Pop Team Epic – Episode 3 – “The Documentary”

It’s time to move ahead to episode 3 of Pop Team Epic. Where as episode 2 had VA’s going crazy over the script, people going crazy over sped-through fortunes, and me going crazy over the insane and awesome OP, episode 3 had some stuff that happened that had a lot of people talking. And by that, I mean a certain pair of famous voice actors that basically had the people go meme-crazy over who voiced the rambunctious duo. But that will be answered in due time. Maybe I’ll answer it in thirty minutes. For now, recap time.

The episode starts with Popuko heading off to school, and saying goodbye to Blankie. But Blankie doesn’t want her to leave. Blankie gets on her, despite her saying no, and Popuko falls asleep.

After the Opening (which I have now listened/viewed over 110 times as of this writing. Yes, I been keeping count), the next segment shows a subtitled called “Peer Gynt Morning.” Popuko had a good sleep, and wakes up feeling good. But when she opens the blinds, she sees it is actually night, not morning as the subtitle had said. She gets furious and takes her anger out on the subtitle, breaking it and the screen we are watching this show on.

It’s then onto the main segment. A story called “The Documentary – ‘On The Other Side of an Idol’s Dream'”. It’s a certain month and day, at a certain Live Music Club in Tokyo. An Idol group is performing for their fans as an Idol Producer is watching on. She is named PipiP, as she is pretty big in the Idol world.

But PipiP is putting her efforts into her newest talent. That talent is Pop-chin, who is with her group the Tame Monkeys. Pop-chin is…well, not popular with her fans. But she smokes away, not giving a damn.

As this behavior is unwarranted for an Idol, the Tame Monkeys duo want her to shape up and be like a proper Idol, and asks PipiP to help out. She tells Pop-chin to stop smoking cigs, so she does. And goes on to cigars instead. PipiP likes this “special girl.” The others can’t believe it, and PipiP tells the disheveled duo to light her cigar, which they obediently do. Pop-chin sees some cameras are recording this, as they are part of the crew making this story come to life. She tells them she’ll do her best today. The TV guy narrating this asks PipiP why she doesn’t lecture Pop-chin on her behavior. The answer? It’s because PipiP sees she is “a vessel who will reach the pinnacle.”

Pop-chin’s attitude still doesn’t improve. At meet-and greet autograph signings, she rather have a log take her place as she plays video games. At a show, she breaks a bottle over a fans’ head. It gets worse for the Tame Monkeys because PipiP tells them they are holding Pop-chin back, and so PipiP kicks them out. Like literally, kicks them out.

PipiP tries to find others to take the Tame Monkeys place (including a panda and gorilla duo, and a hamster and doggy duo), but none of them suffice to her standards. So PipiP comes up with the most logical conclusion: To clone lots of Pop-chins. This plan is put in place in a factory of an unknown land, where many Pop-chin clones are produced at a significant speed. So many are produced, that they actually threatened mankind’s existence and take over the world. And so, with PipiP now the ruler, the narrator asks, was this what PipiP envisioned for an ideal world? She believes so. The documentary ends there.

The next segment is back into the video game world, where a fighter has been beaten by Popuko, and wants his friend to throw in the towel, but a “reggae fan” took said towel. Popuku also has one, is waving it around, and takes off into the sky, where a bunch of video game references are made, including Pipimi as Bison. Who kills Popuko instantly. The next segment has Pipimi checking out a red car. The car salesman sees she’s interested in its color. She is, as the red color can camouflage all the blood. Not knowing how to answer this, he tells her it’s a quiet Hybrid. That’s good for her too. Because she can kill without it making a sound.

The next segment has Popuko wanting to work a side job. Pipimi has one that can get her paid in advance, and gives Popuko a briefcase full of money. Popuko is happy. The next one has Pipimi giving Popuko a list of names. Then giving her a golden gun. Do it, Popuko. Then it’s time for another “Japanmignon” segment. Remember the last time it happened? We got the actual real French dude telling us what happens, with the girls talking in French. But with no subtitles ’till the 2nd half. Well guess what? They did it again. As stated before, I don’t know French. So it is weird seeing the girls get baguettes, and then see Popuko wear them as skis, without knowing what is happening.

Then it’s onto another “Bob Epic Team,” with the caption that it’s a “new series.” A blonde girl, who I think is Popuko, sees a lesser panda. Or as it is commonly referred to as, a red panda. She thinks it’s cute. As the panda gets up, she runs to it. But it shows that it is big. And very damn scary close up.

It’s totally would give someone nightmares, as she now sees that these creatures are a lot bigger up close.

The next segment has Pipimi finding Popuko spinning around fast on the ground, and asks what happened. Popuko tells how she was walking along, slipped on a board on the ground, went in the air, and she ended up like this. Don’t ask how this could happened. Because IT DID!! Then it’s on to another “Bob Epic Team.” Popuko is sambaing, and then does a mambo. Pipimi notices a figure. It’s a sad Samba Master. He is sad that Popuko Mambo’d. Then Pipimi does an “Olé.” This makes another person sad, in a female Flamenco Master. But the Flamenco Master and the Samba Dancer share in their sadness, and bond together.

Did I forget to mention how weird these BTE segments can be/look? Everything looks wrong.

The next one has the girls get a letter. It says the show has too many lame parodies, and they want more original content. Man, these internet dweebs are fast. It gets to Popuko deep in her, but she winks with a “Gotcha!” And then we finally arrive to the cuckoo clock. Popuko thinks it’s cute. But seeing on closer inspection, it pisses her off. Its motherfucking life ends in 30 minutes.

But as she waits for it, “Poppy Pappy Days” plays on the TV right next to her. Then we get a preview of Hoshiiro Girldrop episode 4, which involves volcanoes and stuff now. And then we repeat the episode again with male voices. Aw, but it’s not just any male voices we get. We get some legendary voices. The voices this time are Norio Wakamoto and Ryūsei Nakao. AKA The seiyuu of Cell and Frieza from the Dragon Ball universe. That’s right, the most known villains in that show are now voicing teenage girls. And to think, what started out as fanart last week is now making this officially canon. This show is something else.

But it’s not just the changes that happen there that occur, as usual, in the 2nd half. There were some slight differences in the documentary, like PipiP suddenly becoming male to go with her voice actor. It said it in the subs, so take that as you will. Plus, when asked why PipiP doesn’t lecture Pop-chin, PipiP says, and I quote, she’ll be “an essel-v who will reach the innacle-p.” Then we got the “Japanmingon” segment with subtitles. The French dude talks about baguettes and how popular they are in Japan, but are even better in France. The girls go to a bakery, and Popuko falls in love with them. Pipimi buys more, as Popuko even sleeps in the hotel bed with the baguettes. She then uses them as skis, having Pipimi say she went too far.

And so, another Pop Team Epic comes and goes. Now, as this was a fairly solid episode, I do have one big gripe about this (Well, I do got one tiny gripe. Like how TV censorship in Japan works. It’s okay for a tiny, 14 YO girl in Popuko to be seen smoking, but it isn’t for a beefy,  big 17 YO in Jotaro from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure not to? I guess it depends on which network is showcasing it), and it has to do with the last segment. The clock one. Why do I have a problem with it? Because it was only there for 10 seconds, the ending, and then nothing. Yes, I was pretty disappointed they didn’t continue on with this gag. The Ending credits on the TV was a nice touch, but it wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted to see them carry on with the gag through the whole episode. I know that would have been annoying to some, but wouldn’t that be how this show rolls? Hell, I would have been more than happy if they just kept showing Popuko waiting to destroy the clock as the 2nd half played on the TV like they did with the ED. But alas, it didn’t happened. Maybe it’s for the best it didn’t happen. Or maybe, I’m just making my own stupid theory, but maybe they are going to continue it into the next episode at the beginning. Now THAT would be an unexpected troll job that would make PTE as it is. I doubt this will happen, but it would be fun to see.

As for the rest, this was, as said, pretty good. The Idol Documentary was great, the car segment was fun, and hearing Cell and Frieza (or Jiraiya and Guy-Sensei from Naruto, if you want to go that route) do the male voices was fantastic.  To close this out, the dub of the first episode of Pop Team Epic is now out, and boy does it really hold up nicely.

With the voices of Christopher R. Sabat and Justin Briner voicing Popuko, and Ian Sinclair and Colleen Clinkenbread voicing Pipimi, the dub is just as good so far as the first episode was. And as mentioned in the tweet above, I do want to see this show on Adult Swim. It fits as perfectly as any show that has ever graced the late-night line-up with how surreal and crazy it can get. It doesn’t matter which version you watch this. If you haven’t seen it yet, I say go experience at the first episode of this show. It is something to be amazed.

Pop Team Epic is simulcasted on Crunchyroll and HiDive, and can be seen at 12:30 PM ET Saturdays.  The dubbed episodes of Pop Team Epic are on Funimation. The simuldub can be seen on Funimation Now at 5:00 PM ET Mondays.

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