Pop Team Epic – Episode 12 (Finale) – “The Age of Pop Team Epic”

It has been a wild ride. What started as a “shitty” web-panel series, turned into a “shitty” manga. That manga then turned into a “shitty” anime. And now, the shit has hit the fan in the final episode. Okay, not literally, but it does hit some people involved in this finale. All in good fun. What started as something about two girls just messing around and doing whatever the hell they please, has now become known all-around. There’s only one way for Pop Team Epic to end, and that is to end… Epically. Let’s start the final recap.

To start, there is no opening. But we get the TV from the opening, and on there is a show that is very ’70s like in its appeal. Also, it says “1972” at the bottom. It is “Pop Team Epicrimson”. There’s a bunch of stuff going on, and then there’s giant bad CGI robot-dragon thing that if it was any closer to the screen would give me nightmares.

Then we get a character name. “Popuchin Popusuke”. Code name: Combat Popuchin. Age: 29. Size: 181 cm/70 kg. An image of Popuchin appears along with it.

It’s on to the final main story. Remember these guys from episode 1?

Well, they’re back, and this time, they are not happy. As the names of the creator, and everyone else who was involved in making this anime are shown as well, they can smell the stench of despair that came from them that could poison this era. They became depraved to be involved in this “Nihility farce.” This deep darkness… nah, total ignorance of just thinking it wouldn’t turn out like this. Just looking at them makes them sick.

What they created brought them dishonor. As they go on about all the stuff that happened, like Shrinker Sedation, Infinite Breaks, decoherence xanadu (a bunch of big words and shit), they show all the clips of the girls that happened, the “supermen” from previous episodes they sent to stop them, and how this reality happened, continuously. Basically, they thought it wouldn’t get this far. But it did, as a sign that reads “Anime Begins Jan. 2018” is shown: it’s where it all started to go downhill. The farce spread globally and soon took over. The group had other plans to broadcast it. Like this.

If they have, they could have reach hegemony. The word, hegemony, is something they all love. And next season, they can reach it. But only if they can get rid of those two girls. But their leader says not to worry, for he has the special task force, The Hamlet Death Gods, dispatched to eliminate them.

We then see the girls, as they are enjoying a walk and eating hot sweet potatoes, but the Hamlet Death Gods arrive. The show goes black, as you can hear fighting, guns, explosions, and all types of chaos going on. But as it returns, we see who won. It was Popuko and Pipimi, easily. The HDG didn’t tell who sent them as they died, which shows spirit. As Popuko shoots the last remaining one dead, Pipimi knows who did it. It was Takeshobo. Takeshobo is gonna pay for this.

The next segment has one of those SR card events you see in games that do them. This one has a version of Pipimi getting the person involved in Synthesizing (won’t be the last time this is used on here), asking if you want to face reality and go forth with your potential. After a few clicks on Yes, a bunch of cool graphics and synthesis, it is complete! You get a Rarity Up. What is this new upgrade? A Kiwi bird.

The next one is another Bob Epic Team. This one has Popuko trying to find her glasses in her house. She just misses them, and winds up going beyond Earth finding them. She finds a pair on the moon, but the alien from before claims that they’re his. They fight, as another alien comes in saying the glasses are theirs, even though he himself is wearing glasses already. Their fight sends them off the moon and into a Black Hole.

The next bit, which may be a take on Hamtaro,  has a cute hamster named Ponta come out of a bag. He sees the school he is at. His owner doesn’t like that he does this. Ponta is sorry and hopes that she doesn’t hit him. Another girl can’t believe that she hit a cute hamster, as she tries to explain that Ponta always plays the victim. By the way, Pop Team Epic, you aren’t that slick.

After hearing the title of show said backwards, it’s time to bring back the cute dolls the UchuPeople made. This song is called “Tree of the Heart,” and it was composed by creator Bkub Okawa himself. The song is another fun one with the dolls all singing and dancing about you not growing up and you not doing your best, which the girls will. So don’t complain. Plus, they talk about killing you, poppin’ and destruction. Like destroying the Earth. But hey, you are their Sunshine!

After this, it’s the 2nd half of the main story. The girls are on a motorcycle, and they arrive at the Takeshobo building by literally crashing into it. They cause chaos and destruction by shooting and blowing everything in the building up. The building finally can’t take anymore, blows up, and collapses into a fireball.

As the dust clears, we see the bamboo people from episode 8 all scattered about, most of them dead. Popuko asks the one alive who hired the hitmen. He doesn’t know what they’re talking about. The girls know the anime is ending, so you really shouldn’t mess with them now.

Oh, there’s a good reason for a Sailor Moon reference, which I’ll get to at the end.  But really, they don’t know what they’re talking about. They never invested even one penny on the show. The dude says it was “K” who did it. Pipimi figures out that it is King, as in King Records. The two now set out to take down the evil masterminds. But before that, a Gundam reference!

At King Records’ place, the girls break through and start taking out all the guards. Pipimi uses Popuko first as a machine gun, then Popuko uses Pipimi as a weapon, and they may have made a JoJo reference to boot.  The girls finally make it to the King group. They didn’t expect them to get there, but their time is now up. They will now obtain hegemony by eliminating them. The group uses their power and calls forth their Star Child. The King Records building then becomes a  life form, and turns into its ultimate form, Akashic Records!

(If you’re not aware by now, all of these are labels that work on the show. Most are shown on the life form when it rises.) But Popuko and Pipimi aren’t done, even as they fall. They have one more move left. They hold hands and start to Synthesize! (Told ya.) The result is a golden fusion of the two.

The Golden PopuPip uses Hegemony Dynamic. As they punch through King Records, they ask them if they are angry. King Records replies they are not. King Records explodes, as the two won. It’s a happy ending, right? Nope. As Popuko is all fine, Pipimi lost all her color. Pipimi is gone, and it makes Popuko sad. However, as all hope seems lost, we have a new character come in to help Popuko. Not an anime character. An actual person. This person is Shouta Aoi. In his fab attire, Aoi says he can travel through time, helping Popuko restore Pipimi. The two travel through space/time, as “Poppy Pappy Day” plays on.

Welcome to Pop Team Epic, where Japanese Idols bend the rules of time and physics.

We get to the “Rebroadcast,” so it’s the male VA’s turn. And like usual, there’s a bunch of different things. Starting with “Pop Team Epicrimson”. This one is like an old school, live-action, interactive video game where we see the girls’ POV and where they’re going. They go inside a building where they choose a red door. There it leads them to a gun. This is how the two got the crimson.

For the first half of the story, the King group all have different voices this time around, and I’m 100% certain they used the “Bob Epic Team” voices on them. As for the other stuff:

  • One of the members when noticing the cute stuff yells “Pik*chu!”
  • One notices later that 4000 physical copies of the show sold in a week, while another wants him to not bring stats up they can’t dispute.
  • For the Hamlet Death Gods, this time around they are the “Hamlet Death Pokém*ns”.
  • After taking down the HDG’s, the one survivor thanks Popuko for her spirit comment.
  • There’s no Sailor Moon reference this time
  • In the Gundam reference, Popuko replaces Pipimi this time.
  • When they’re gathering up their power, the group says “All heil, Star Child!”
  • When Syntheszing the first time, the girls said “It’s me!” This time, they say “The adorable whirlwind … will sweep you away!”
  • This time around, the girls ask “Are you upset?” The group replies they are not. A call back to first bit of episode 1.
  • And finally, Pipimi is all fine at the end, and the duo celebrate.

There’s more as well. For the Synthesizer card, when Rarity Up happens, it’s a picture of Pipimi instead. Then we get the last Bob Epic Team. In a callback to one of the bits in episode 1, Pipimi is interrogating Popuko. She knows she did it, but she isn’t talking. She gives her katsudon, but Popuko isn’t biting. Then another Pipimi arrives. She’ll get her to talk. There are many “Oy’s!”, fists, fingers that break Popuko and the screen, and lots of katsudon. After a while, it finally breaks Popuko. She gets her neck up filled with katsudon. For she is katsudon.

Aoi appears again at the end, but this time he sings and dances the ending theme song. For the last thing, there is one more special announcement. WE ARE GETTING A SEASON 2!!!!! Of Hoshiiro Girldrop. Hoshifuri and co. were planning to do solo careers, but then Daichi proposed to her. Now it’s either a solo Idol career or travelling abroad with Daichi as his wife. What will she choose? To be continued in Season 2!

For one last time, we get the VA’s and who played who. For the female VA’s, we got some famous ones. Mami Koyama and Kotono Mitsuishi voiced the girls. Koyama is well-known for playing this adorable little cutie in the Dr. Slump/Dragon Ball universe.

She voices Arale on there, and also voiced Launch on Dragon Ball as well. They’re not the only roles she’s known for. She also voiced Balalaika on Black Lagoon, Kaguya on Shippuden, and can be heard on One Piece right now as Big Mom. As for Mitsuishi, she may also have a role she’s known for. It’s not much. Just one of the most recognizable anime characters of all time.

Yup, Sailor Moon herself is on here. Which is very ironic, because Popuko said her infamous line, but Mitsuishi herself was voicing Pipimi. She also has other roles she’s known for: voicing Misato on Neon Genesis Evangelion, Boa Hancock on One Piece, and Excel on Excel Saga.

For the male voices, we got some big timers here as well. Shō Hayami and Jouji Nakata voice the girls here. Hayami is known for being the narrator on One Piece, but he is more known for voicing this reality-bending asshole on Bleach.

He has also voiced Ichiya (MAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!) on Fairy Tail, Zarbon on Dragon Ball Z, and Vanilla Ice. No, not the terrible rapper. The character on JoJo. For Nakata, he is known for voicing everyone’s (mostly) favorite vampire, Alucard.

He also voice Hody Jones on One Piece (so many OP people on here) and voices Kirei Kotomine on the Fate/Stay Night series. But it’s not just them. Shouta Aoi, the Japanese singer who appeared on here, has also done voice work. He’s known for voicing Ai Mikaze in the Uta no Prince-sama series. So everyone gets some work here.

Overall, this was one of the best episodes in the show. They destroyed all their labels: the great voice over work, the singing dolls once more, the countless references, the fabulous time-travel Idol dude. This episode had everything. It went out the way it started: epically and totally shitposting the hell out of you. Hell, Pop Team Epic started with Hoshiiro Girldrop and ended with it too. That is quite a way to go with a joke show. That may already have a manga out as well.

But for an overall experience, what can I say? This show delivered and then some. It’s definitely up there for Best Winter Anime, and more than likely Anime of the Year for me for how it presented itself. Sure, they were joking it was a “shitty anime from a shitty manga.” But a lot of people had expectations for this show. Simply put, it kicked ass from the very start and never looked back. From the introduction, to the many (and highly strange) Bob Epic Teams, to the 2nd half using male voice actors to do the roles, to the Japanmignons, the dancing dolls, the Hoshiiro Girldrops, the great opening, the singers complaining on the ending theme about not appearing, thinking of Hellshake Yano, the live-action parts, the Eisai Haramasukoi, and everything thrown together all throughout. Sure, some of the jokes didn’t land, and some of the stuff was kind of average, and I didn’t like that the show missed out on doing one of the best jokes from the manga.

But even so, the good outweighed the bad by a ton, and through it all, this show was just comedy gold throughout its run. There was a lot of effort put in by Kamikaze Douga on this, and it showed through everything they did. All the sketches. All the voice over work they got. All the live-action stuff, the video game parts, the main stories, everything. For a shitty anime, there was a lot of love put into it. If you have not seen this show, I would definitely say check it out, because you are missing a gem. It’s a fantastic show that should be checked out, either subbed or dubbed. It doesn’t matter what you choose, because the dub has been as just as great. It doesn’t matter what. If you have the time, check Pop Team Epic out. You won’t be disappointed. The girls might be in you, but that’s something else entirely. What started as a 4-panel “shitty manga” has, as King Records in this episode stated, taken over the world. The girls have gone out on top, middle fingers raised high in the air. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. So, for one last time, let’s jam out to the opening.

Pop Team Epic was animated by studio Kamikaze Douga. It was licensed by Sentai Filmworks, and can be seen on Crunchyroll and HiDive, with the dubbed episodes on Funimation. The simuldub can be seen on Funimation Now at 5:00 PM ET Mondays.

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