These last two episodes of Pop Team Epic have both had a common theme, and that theme is murder. Sorry to put a SPOILER!! there before I even get to recapping, but it’s true. Murder happens in this episode, but who gets murdered is the mystery I won’t yet answer. However, I will say this was also a horror story that may have some influences from a cult American horror classic. That will be answered in due time, not by me, but someone else. Anyway, on to the blood, the wine, and the dancing. We have to begin with the dancing.
To start, let’s go back to episode 8, which during a “Bob Epic Team,” we got a new dance from Popuko. The “Eisai Haramasukoi” dance. This time, we didn’t get BET, but a normal version where Popuko is dancing to it and still asking if it will catch on. As usual Pipimi says it won’t, and Popuko gets sad. But this time, Pipimi thinks this through in her mind when asked and said it will catch on. Then it’s on to the opening, but with a catch. The opening starts basically in the middle of the song (If you haven’t heard the whole song, try to find it. It’s amazing). It takes place in a club where everyone is dancing, having a good time grooving to the song. It’s then that we see Popuko appear, and on top of a platform, she starts the Eisai Haramasukoi. Pipimi herself is DJing the music as Popuko dances away.
It’s on to the main story. We meet four people in a mansion: two girls and two guys. The dudes are Shogo and Hayato, and the women are Reina and Aya. They’re celebrating the cozy place Hayato got for them, as he got it on a website that was really hard to find. The people all do their thing there: just watching a home party, eating, Instagramming the house, and taking selfies of them, except when Hayato wants to be in it, which ruins the moment. Even so, they’re happy for the place, but as the show focuses in on a picture in the background, the picture has a pair of figures who… you know who it is. The title of this is called “Jukan: Cursed Mansion.” As there is a blizzard outside, Shogo is asking Reina out, and she’s all willing. Hayato asks where Aya is, as she has been gone awhile. The group doesn’t see the two figures pass by quickly out the window.
Aya is in the bathroom getting her make-up done in a mirror. But she starts to hear whispering, and then sees two shadowy figures in the mirror. She turns, but nobody is there. It’s creepy. As she leaves the bathroom, she can hear noises in the hallway, and then sees the two at the end of it. She screams loudly.
The others rush to check on the totally frightened Aya , and she points to where she saw the girls. But there’s no one there. She swears she ain’t lying. Hayato tries to calm Aya down, but Shogo picks her up and Reina goes with them, completely ignoring the fat dude. He is not pleased. As they are back in the dining room, Aya’s wrapped up and all better, so it seems like things can calm down. Nope. Reina starts to call out Aya, thinking this was all a “helpless and cute” act to get attention. Aya swears it wasn’t. Hayato tries to stop this, but Reina is not having it. She and everyone here knows that Hayato has a crush on Aya, and Reina thinks it’s sick. Hayato tries to hide it as best as he can, but she fails badly. Reina thinks he and Aya would make a good pair, like her and Shogo. Seeing as Reina is being a jealous bitch, Aya feels bad for her. Because Reina didn’t know that she and Shogo were actually seeing each other.
Shocking truth! Shogo knows he screwed up big time, especially hitting on Reina earlier. The girls are angry, but not as angry as Hayato. He grabs an ax that is conveniently on the wall behind them, and cuts open a watermelon that splats on the ground! Oh, he also cut downs Shogo as well.
Hayato has had it with Shogo getting all the girls, and rubbing it all in his face. So he decides the best option in this situation: Slaughter everybody! And for the hell of it, let’s add Pipimi’s eyes on him for a split-second.
Going from normal horror to moe-horror pic.twitter.com/Nnsjv0on4r
— King Meow (@cedric_alpha) March 21, 2018
The girls try to escape him, and Reina does. She gets in the car outside, and tries to start it as she panics. It won’t start, as she gets even more anxious to leave. It finally does, but as she looks up from the ignition, the headlights show the girls standing right in front. Reina freaks the fuck out, hits the gas, forgets it’s still in reverse, and the car careens over a cliff, exploding in a fire ball. Aya herself gets thrown into a wall, as Hayato is just about to kill her. But, like the ax before, a conveniently placed shotgun is also on the wall. She grabs it and shoots Hayato. However, Hayato still has enough strength left and strikes down Aya with the ax. Everyone is now dead. But as some old-timey music plays on a record, we see the picture frame from before, now blood-soaked like the room, with more people in it. The duo are happy they got new companions.
The next bit is a “Bob Epic Team.” Popuko visits the mayor, who is one big, blonde, beard person. She has an idea for new playground equipment: a jetpack swing. The mayor thinks that’s too dangerous. So is having a gun to your face, which Popuko does to him. He has to pay her for her work with his life. She starts shooting, but nothing but pellets come out. The mayor then splits into two birds, who eat the pellets. Live long, bird-hair mayor.
Next segment is “Pop Team Epic: Stories of Old.” Popuko is reading a book, and Pipimi wants to know what it is. Pipimi then suddenly becomes a tree, making Popuko sad. Popuko doesn’t want her to leave her, so she grabs on to Tree Pipimi, and becomes one with her. That is how the story goes, according to the old man telling this to his grandkid. The next one has Popuko being carried by Pipimi. Because Pipimi has become a giant. Why has Pipimi become so big? Simple.
It’s the future we all are going to live in, people. It’s then on to another “Pop Team Cooking.” Popuko and Pipimi today are making rice omelets. As is tradition in anime, Popuko will draw a heart on it with ketchup. She does it, but just as she is finishing, she messes up the whole dish because the heart is embarrassing. The woman from the last episode in this segment is freaked out, because both of them are covered in the ketchup mess. She thinks they’re gonna kill her, and then they both decide to chase her.
It’s on to another “Bob Epic Team.” In the correspondence corner, the girls receive a letter. The letter reads: “Bob Epic Team is lame. It doesn’t have many keyframes. It needs to take note from other animes.” Popuko says it hits hard. Taking note here that their bodies don’t at all move during this, Popuko, as the camera just focuses closer and closer to her face, says they’ll draw many keyframes to make them move. And how to do that? EISAI HARAMASUKOI!!! The added keyframes make her the only thing to move. The dance is the real McCoy.
Then it’s onto another “Japanmignon” segment. I’ll get to it as usual in the male voice parts as that is how it rolls. But first, some info on the dude. The French animator is named Thibault Tresca. He did an interview recently about working on Pop Team Epic. The interview gives everything about how he got the job, his surprise role on the show, his “freedom” with how he animates these bits, and important things to know working in Japan as a foreigner. It’s an enlightening interview that you should check out.
In the last segment, that’s like a little cartoon doodle drawing, Popuko is having fun playing in a shark’s mouth. Yup. It nearly eats her. But they have fun again, until it has to leave. She says goodbye, as it’s all a good dream.
Just like the last couple times “Poppy Pappy Day” has played, the female singers once again complain about not getting screen time. They mention there’s one episode left, and can’t have it end like this. They want more episodes. I agree with this thoroughly. Finally, it’s the last episode preview for Hoshiiro Girldrop. As Daichi is still trying to find himself, he remembers the past of him and Hoshifuri. She died in his place to become a star, but Gaia’s power’s erased all his memories of her and brought her back to life. But Hoshifuri is gonna lose her life for Daichi again, and he wants to keep that promise he made to her.
…WHEN THE FUCK DID THIS SHOW BECOME MADOKA MAGICA OR SOME SHIT?!!
On to the male voices, and most of the stuff that happened involved the main story and “Japanmignon,” so I’ll get the smaller details out of the way first.
- In the dancing one, the dude voicing Popuko saying the dance’s name kinda makes it sound funnier than it should (Although, learning what the name could mean in Japanese is something else entirely).
- In the tree one, Popuko says “If Pipimi goes, she’ll join her.” Pipimi responds “I would too.”
- One of the title transitions has the VA saying “Explosion, Implosion, Beware.”
- In the dream, Pop says as she sleeps “This must be Heaven.”
The main story part here is a pretty unique one. Here, we get the story, but on the side, one of the male VA’s (I’m assuming it is?) is watching this unfold in real time and giving commentary on it. He even makes guesses as to what is going to happen, and points out stuff most might not have known, like if you have your pinkie finger pointed out, you may be a baseball player. Then about a 1/3rd of the way through the story, he basically goes into story mode, talking about millennials, Bud***ser, puking, and other stuff.
Sure, he completely ignores most of what’s happening until the murders start to happen, and he does freak out a bit when Popuko and Pipimi appear, but he is knowledgeable about his movies. He even knows this is like the one American horror classic, “The ShXXXng.” Pop Team Epic does know how to spice stuff up.
For “Japanmignon,” we hear Tresca talk about French people being pretentious about wine, when they mostly don’t know what the hell they’re talking about (like rich folks here). So, in the story, Popuko is enjoying a glass of wine. She talks of the smooth texture, its clear coloring, and how the fragrance is making her tipsy. Pipimi is mad because she won’t finish the grape juice that’s in it.
Moving on to the VA’s, we got a some good ones here. The female VA’s in this were Nana Mizuki and Mamiko Koto. Mizuki is well known for one of her most famous roles. She plays the Best Girl throughout all of the Nartuo/Boruto series.
She has also voiced Moka on Rosario + Vampire, and Lan Fan on Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Koto has two roles she is known for. She played Rin on Inuyasha, and is recently more known for playing Mavis Vermillion on Fairy Tail.
She also was Fil on No Game, No Life, and the narrator on Please Tell Me! Galko-chan. Both VA’s have also appeared on Witchblade. For the males, Hozuki Gōda is Popuko on here. He is best known for voicing Leorio in the 1999 version of Hunter X Hunter, and playing Nefertari Cobra on One Piece. He also had roles on Strike Witches, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Digimon. The other role is filled by Banjō Ginga. He is best known for his role as Gihren Zabi on the original Mobile Suit Gundam, and voicing Liquid Snake and Major Zero in the Metal Gear video game series. He also voiced Lucy’s dad on Fairy Tail, D’Arby on JoJo, Com. Perry on Space Dandy, and even took over the role of Netero for a few episodes on the 2011 version of Hunter X Hunter, when Netero’s original VA passed away.
This episode was indeed a fun episode. I loved the horror story, which was made even better with the commentary in the 2nd half. I liked how we got to know more about the French animator in that interview. I now know a few more things about the process that goes into this, and I saw a couple other bits from that interview that are clearly present in the sketches, like the monitors. All the other bits were just as good, making this episode as well as some of the other episodes before it. And now, we are down to only one more episode of this shitty anime adaptation of the shitty manga. And I’m gonna enjoy it as much as possible. I think we need to celebrate the final episode the only way we can. By doing the EISAI HARAMASUKOI!!
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.