Pop Team Epic – Episode 10 – “Ginza Hostess Detective”

Before I get to episode 10 of this show, quick question. Do any of you reading this like Law and Order? Hmmmm, probably not as relevant for this recap, so scratch that. Do any of you like Case Closed? If so, then you’re in luck with this one. The whole story and who does voices is a big part of this. I’ll get to that as I recap this and talk about the voice actors, but let’s start this murder mystery/hostess adventure.

The show begins with some people in Feudal Japan with their Lord, Hikomaro Takeshobo. Lord Takeshobo can sense something. He wants Pop Team Epic to quit hiding and show themselves. He can smell them.

The bush rattles, and out from it pops Popuko. With her baseball bat. After the opening, we get Bob Team Epic. Popuko is being lazy, and saying “Sluga sluga, slugabed”. But then an old man appears from the sky. He is the Sluggard God. He sees potential in Popuko and would like her to succeed him and rule over his kingdom. She gives him the middle fingers, as she can’t be bothered. This destroys the Sluggard God and, in turn, turns Popuko into a desert area called the Prickly Realm. A person drives through it saying what she did.

It’s on to another Pop Team Cooking. We have Pipimi there, but she’s with a different lady this time. They’re doing a super-economical recipe. The ingredient is premium wagyu tenderloin, but the lady thinks they should use a cheaper beef. But Pipimi got it for only 50 yen. The lady asks where she get that type of meat for so cheap. Pipimi is angry that she questions her shopping techniques and tells her to her own shopping. The next segment is a video game one that is (I think?) Tetris. When everything gets connected, an “Everybody say Ho!!” message appears, and things get crazy. There’s dancing and other fancy stuff in 8-bit, and then it’s Game Over.

The next one has the girls playing soccer. Popuko wants Pipimi to pass the ball to her, and she does. With her Aura Cannon. Nice pass. Pop then passes it back with the same technique.

You’re not supposed to use your hands in soccer!

On to another Bob Epic Team. At a restaurant, a waiter serves Popuko water, but it splashes all over her face. He gives her a button to push when she’s ready to order. She’s mad at this, so she sets up traps that include a bear trap, a giant spiked ball, and some spears. She then presses the button, but he doesn’t come. She presses it more, but still no one. She then gets up, but forgets her traps. With her saying the segment’s name, the traps all get her. The waiter finally comes back … and splashes more water in her face. Popuko can’t win this one.

It’s finally on to the main story. We start with some guy meeting with another person in a room at an inn, but this other person smashes the dude’s head with a hard object, and the dude dies immediately. At the very same inn, we see Ginza hostesses Mama Pipimi and Popu enjoying the hot springs. During it, we see what the girls look like from afar … normal anime characters (or whatever is normal these days.) But, as the steams covers them and disappears, it goes back to their normal selves on here. Anyway, Mama Pipimi asks Popu what’s the most important thing for Ginza hostess? It is to enjoy life to the fullest. This is “Ginza Hostess Detective, Part 10. Mystery at the Hot Springs. The Crime and Punishment of the Young Inn Madam.” What a Toei-like episode title.

As the girls get out of the hot springs, they see that there are police everywhere with all the guests lined-up. The police are being led by Detective Higure. He lets them know a murder has taken place there, and they’re all persons of interest. Just like a Case Closed episode, with even the music sounding like it is. As the guest start to worry, Higure tells them to calm down and wants to know what each have to say. Wait, did I say Higure? I meant Mama Pipimi. Popu can see Mama is doing her busybody thing again. Popuko then sees a guy wearing a suspicious white mask and says he’s the killer, as it’s the one truth! But Mama Pipimi calms her, as not to be rude to the guest. The two then serve him. She asks if he was on his way home from work … or murder? Higure is not liking that the two are doing his work, but Mama ignores him and still does the questioning.

At the scene of the crime with the forensic team, Higure asks if they found anything. However, a couple of them are being served by Mama and Popu, and even give away clues to the two of them. Higure has had enough and kicks both of the hostesses out. It seems this is as far as they can get as amateurs. But Popu still will keep with Mama, since Mama Pipimi is Ginza’s top busybody. Pipimi agrees and thanks her, so now the two will get to work to find who the killer is (with Popu doing actual detective stuff.) After a while, it leads them to an old woman, who talks of her late husband always getting up late to pee. This reveals something to Mama Pipimi, as she knows who did it and wants Popu to gather everyone. Mama whispers the stuff in Popu’s ear, as she totally gets it.

She understands everything now (Doesn’t get it at all)

The show then shows doors closing. Again, just like Case Closed. Before opening back up, we get the names of all the people on the door. Other than the detective, there’s Hiromi Yoshikawa, Kiyoshi Teshigawara, Tanaha (AKA The masked dude), Ichirou Suzuki (Not the baseball player. The murder victim), Gouzou Kaneko, and Camille.

As everyone is gathered, they wonder if they have found the killer, as Higure tries to calm them down. It’s then that Mama Pipimi starts to explain her past. She started working in Ginza, when the nation still had life, which was all dazzling and good. Ginza accepted her, as she accepted Ginza. In it, she made her own club, Club Pipimi. There, we see that the girls are celebrating Mama Pipimi’s 25th anniversary. The girls’ present was a trip to the inn, and they have Popu go along with her for topping the sales last month as the newbie. The trip was a “present of love” from all her girls, and it got spoiled by a murder. It’s then that Hiromi says they think it’s her fault, and everyone looks at her shockingly. She is the one who did it, as she kneels in sadness.

Hiromi couldn’t forgive the man who, 15 years ago, because of him, her father … (It doesn’t say what he did, but you can tell that he did something that lead to her dad’s death.) Anyway, she can join her father now. But Mama tells her Ginza is a mirror that reflects the human soul. Her death won’t appease any souls, but Hiromi begs to die. Mama Pipimi smacks her good beause in Ginza, they call women like her a “damn fool!” Hiromi tearfully apologizes. Mama Pipimi tells her that when she’s done serving her time, she wants her to come by her club for a drink. It be on the house. They’ll all be waiting for her in Ginza. The ending credits then play, as it isn’t Poppy Pappy Days, but a nice song that shows the girls walking in a field, all happy. To end it, we got Hoshiiro Girldrop. Daichi wants to find his real self, and is going to study aboard. Oh no, a departure!

Onto the male voices. To begin with the different chances, we start with the OP which has the the sound effects take over the music this time. From the bat smashing the TV, to all the different sound effects in the animation, to the music getting quieter when the TV gets farther away. It’s an unique set-up for this OP. The only change in the short ones is in the soccer one, where Pipimi’s move is now the “Satellite Cannon,” but Popuko’s move stays the same. Other than that, the rest are in the Ginza story. When Mama Pipimi says to enjoy life, Popu says “That’s creepy.” When asked if she said that, Popu denies it. When Higure’s name is mentioned, the girls wonder if the show can actually go with that name, and they make fun of it. I’m guessing this is either an inside joke, or an actual person in Japan or something else because I definitely don’t get it.  Where Popu said Pipimi was Ginza’s top busybody, she says here she’s “Kinshichou’s worst-nightmare” busybody. When talking to the old woman, Pipimi tells her she’s gonna die next. Goddamn. There’s more talking and whispering throughout this, and at the end, Pipimi tells Hiromi to find them in Kinshichou, not Ginza. Then there’s the Kinshichou station and missing a train because of oversleeping and whatnot.

As I said, there’s a big reason why this episode felt like Case Closed, and it’s not just because of the murder mystery that was presented. The male VA’s themselves were Rikiya Koyama and Wataru Takagi. These two are from Conan’s universe, as Koyama voices Kogoro Mori on there (Or Richard, on the Funi dub you might not remember) and Takagi voices Genta Kojima (or George, on the dub). They made it feel like this was like like an episode, so that was a plus for this. As such,  any Case Closed fans should be gushing over this, and a lot did. However, I am not one of those people. Because I liked the female VA’s for these roles a whole lot more than them, and it’s not because they played hostesses. The female VA’s for this were Sora Tokui and Suzuko Mimori. Now, they both appear in the anime Milky Homes, but they are more better known for these two roles, respectively.

Sorry, people. But I’m too far into the Love Live! hole now to pass this opportunity up in not mentioning Nico and Umi. So, y’all can enjoy this.

Or, if you can’t stand what entering Hell feels like for 30 minutes, then just enjoy this song

Yeah, I might like this more, and maybe I’m being biased because I like this show more than one than has been the same thing for 1,000 episodes with still no clear conclusion of Conan getting his body back to normal after 20+ years (You thought Ash had a hard time being stuck as a kid.) But even so, there are more roles that these people played. As I said, the female VA’s have been in another show together, but they also have been on other shows. Tokui was just on last season’s meme-opening hit (and fun show) Blend-S as Hideri. And even more surprising, Mimori does a dub role. A Japanese dub, sure. But still a dub role. She voices the energetic party pony Pinkie Pie on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. As for the male side, both Koyama and Takagi were on Shippuden as well (Koyama as Yamato, Takagi as Obito Uchiha), with Takagi also voicing Rubeus on Sailor Moon R, and Onizuka on GTO. They all have their different roles that are famous.

Overall, this episode was better than the last episode. The main story was a lot better, the shorter stuff was more fun, and even though there was no full-on English, it just felt a lot better. I liked the energy both sides brought to the roles of the girls, and I did like how this episode felt like it was an episode of  Case Closed, even if I haven’t seen an episode in 5 years. Just remember the moral of this episode: Enjoy the Ginza life to the fullest. Wait, that’s not right. Was it one truth prevails? Hmmm, no. Crap! I need to close this recap out in an intelligent way.

 

Nico Nico Nii!!

 

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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