Hey, it’s been a while since I made an article on here. I thought about getting back to it during the winter, but I decided to get back when Attack on Titan returns later this April. However, what better time to jump back in then with a return from the cursed, trolling duo of Popuko and Pipimi. Pop Team Epic has returned for 2 special episodes, and it’s still the same as usual: a complete visual takedown of the haters, or however you want to take these little 14-year-old hellspawn. Time to get back to the epicness.
*Note. I watched the White Tiger version of this special. I’ll get to what this means at the end.
Episode 13 – “The Convenience Store”
The first segment starts with a guy noticing Pipimi is a “metal-head” and Popuko denying it. They leave, as it shows Pipimi is made of metal (a mecha, to be specific). The Opening starts, and it’s basically like an old-school Gundam OP, with many other mecha references thrown in for good measure. It’s off to a good start.
The next segment has Pipimi wanting Popuko to show her what she’s got, in a serious tone, and Popuko responds with a “Baramos Spelunker.” Pipimi sees she has it in her sparkling eyes, but Popuko couldn’t do it. The next one has Pipimi and another dude selling sexy model voices from a truck. Popuko wants one, and she gets a “Whelk” and “Sushi,” which she loves. The next segment is a new one called “Pop Clay Epic”: a Claymation piece involving the girls, and it’s pretty cute. Sure, Popuko gets her face hammered in by Pipimi, but it’s still enjoyable.
It’s on to the main sketch called “The Convenience Store.” The girls are invited to perform on a show. Popuko starts with how she wants a job in high school, even though the two already did an easy dance ad before. No, it wasn’t Town****. It was an au An-Jan, which can’t be said either. Anyway, Popuko does want to be a convenience store clerk, and the two begin their skit. Popuko is a bored cashier, while Pipimi is a robber, and as she is robbing Popuko, another person come in with a gun. I believe this person is Cthulhu? It’s some weird creature that wants Popuko to repent to it, and she does. After both do this repeatedly to Popuko, Pipimi doesn’t like that this old timer is interrupting her when she is robbing, and they get into an argument. Popuko has had enough and blows up the store in a fit of rage.
Later on, the store is surrounded by police led by the Cthulhu dude. Popuko is in the store, acting as a Rambo-like character. Colonial Pipimi from the Department of Defense shows up, as she’s the only one who can stop Popuko. This Popuko was an ultimate soldier thrown into Vietnam, with Pipimi as her commander, as Pipimi is the only one she’ll listen to. Pipimi enters to tell her the war is over since they’re in America, but the war is still going on in Popuko’s mind. She can’t get over how she liked the clothes she got, but how anyone hated them, including Pipimi, even if they were in a fashion magazine. Popuko reveals she was an anime voice actor who played many cute characters, but the war took its toll and killed many of her friends. She still has nightmarish dreams where her seiyuu poetry bombs. She breaks down, and Pipimi consoles her. They exit the store together, and the skit ends. Popuko decides she rather be a waitress instead, but who cares. The end.
The next one is the return of “Bobunemimimmi,” or Bob Epic Team for English people. Popuko lost Pipimi, but she finds her surrounded in light. She’s dancing and singing with her skirt going up and down. Then she gets picked from a crane game. A true entertainer. The next one is a return to the video games segment, and this one involves signing. As always with these, there are many video game references in it. This one starts with Pong, and includes the original Sonic the Hedgehog, Dance Dance Revolution, QWOP, and even Minecraft among them.
We then meet up again with the French animator in the “Japonmignon” sketch. Just like always, there are no subtitles the first time around, but this time, I’ll just tell it here instead of waiting for the 2nd half. The French dude wants to highlight France’s traditions, so he sends the girls to Fest Noz in Brittany. The girls are loving Fest Noz, as both Pipimi and Popuko join in on the dancing there. Pipimi wants to travel around the country and see everything. The next day, they visit a church that is beautiful. However, Popuko is still in a Fest Noz mood and tries to have the sisters dance with her, to no avail. The next bit is a “bonus question”: 1+1 is 2, but what is 1+1? Popuko doesn’t know, so Pipimi whispers the answer loudly. Next, Pipimi tells Popuko that phone screen protectors are easier to stick in the bathtub. Popuko turns into a motorcycle to not hear this, but Popuko does this when she gets home, even if Cutie Shark is in the bath.
The next one involves more clay, as the girls have what I believe is an igloo that Popuko enters in, and she exits out the other end. You know those old Play-Doh sets you had where when you squeezed it down, the Play-Doh comes out long and round? Well, the same happens with Popuko. We then get the ending credits, and it’s no “Poppy Pappy Day”, but it’s still like PTE. It involves Multi-Creators, Multi-Missiles, and woodpeckers getting slapped to death. Also, Mob Psycho 100 II ended the same day this aired, and well …
Watching the PTE special after Mob, and can't help wondering if this is Mob himself. And that Popuko just killed him pic.twitter.com/uYf7Cqk8GV
— Cedric King Alpha (@cedric_alpha) April 1, 2019
And all it took was for him to say “Hawawa.” To end this, we get some audio commentary on here, and by that, I mean we get some Final Fantasy XV mods. No really, look at this shit.
Like before, the episodes repeats but with male voice actors and small differences that occur. The first one has some censoring on the “Show me what you got!” part. The sexy model voices sketch has Pipimi this time saying “Ikebana …. Idiot.” The Vietnam part here is a lot different than the first one. This one is basically all the horrors and PTSD of ‘Nam, like Popuko dreaming of looking for her comrade’s legs that got blown off by incendiaries. Yeah, it gets dark as hell. The video game bit had Popuko appear first, but Pipimi appears this time and leads off with Asteroids. There are more references here, including Cuphead, of all things, and while the first one had only one TV, this one ends with multiple TVs for all the games. Oh, I can’t leave out their Smash entry either.
The 2nd clay sketch ends with fart noises. The ED where the Mob lookalike gets killed by Popuko? Here, he said the awful word “monetize”. He had it coming. Also, the Multi-Creator is now an anime producer who didn’t get the VA’s the girls wanted. Pipimi spares him, but they diss King Records and Takeshobo (again). And finally, they do mention Final Fantasy in the mods bit. That’s it for the first one. Time for the 2nd episode.
Episode 14 – “Edo Era Pop Team”
Hey, look who’s back again for this special?
The girls of Hoshiiro Girldrop and Daichi are back again, and this time with “Pretty Candle Star.” It’s still a cute and fun Opening like “Twinkling Star” was, and WHERE’S THAT SEASON 2 YOU PROMISED FOR THEM?!!
This episode starts with the duo going to the dentist office to get Popuko’s tartar out. The dentist tells Pipimi to hold Popuko’s hand and talk to her. She tells Popuko the difference between Hiyashi-dofu and Hiya-yakko is their sizes. Popuko presses a button, liking the latter. The next sketch has Popuko find a plushie of her that copies what she says, making her extremely angry. So angry, that she goes Ultra Instinct before Pipimi can intervene.
The next one is Pipimi helping Popuko’s foot pain. She presses an area that, if it hurts, Popuko is confirmed scum. Pipimi presses very hard, and Popuko tries to resist as much as she can. Then, Pipimi presses on a different part of the foot where Popuko is a gentle soul if she feels it. Pipimi presses hard, and Popuko doesn’t feel it, but she lies that she does. The next segment is all in water-coloring style where the girls tell you college grads that you can use your imagination to murder your boss. The imagination turns into a car running the boss man over.
After that, Popuko has a giant bamboo shoot that she wants to stab vampires with, but no vampires will let her. Pipimi kicks one to let Popuko stab him. Then it’s “Legal Battler: Pipimi” where after she Aura Cannons the Six Main Codes of the Japan book, she helps out Popuko, who pleads innocent in court. She kicks the judge’s stand, ordering him to free Popuko. Then it’s once again the dolls from the Uchupeople. They do a cute, little dance (with Cthulhu plushes too) that sing another of their usual songs that’s full of sass, shitting on their anime, and not caring about the haters.
Then it’s double CGI segments. The first has Pipimi all metal and cool, even though she is still nurturing this look. It still makes Popuko happy. The next one has Popuko and Pipimi throwing bombs for the “Glory of Pop Team Epic!” They epically fail at it. The next bit has nice animation, where Popuko is doing the childhood thing of the “Loves me, loves me not” flower pedal game. She gets to the end at “He loves me not”, making her sad, but Pipimi resurrects the flower, making her happy. Afterwards, it’s a Bob Epic Team, as Hippo is back playing soccer and the girls pull his tongue. Then it’s Pop Team Cooking, where the girls are making pot-au-feu and ordering/sacrificing alive food into the boiling pot.
It finally gets to the last and main sketch, “Edo Era Pop Team.” The girls are roaming Japan’s Islands in the Edo era looking for legendary battles, but they first stop at a mountainside restaurant. Pipimi is discussing how Popuko can counterattack in a fight so she can use the 4 Grace Frames during it. Popuko doesn’t know what that it, but a dude who shows up does. He doesn’t answer however, as Popuko kills him with her skewer. Basically, Grace Frames means an enemy will be vulnerable for an attack within 4 frames, but they can hit them with a light punch to be more affected. The restaurant owner comes out and sees the dead person. That person was a mountain deity who banished a demon into the mountains. Since he’s dead, it’s the girls’ responsibility to beat the demon as it turns into a RPG Quest now. Pipimi likes it, so Popuko joins her.
The girls set out on their motorcycles, because when I think of the Edo period, I think motorcycles. Popuko tells her story of how she got the motorcycle (she stole it from her uncle) and how she failed at riding it (doing wheelies and hurting herself), but loving it after some time. After Pipimi makes fun of her, they admire the sunset and the wide road they’re on. They arrive at a biker bar, and everyone there notices them, including two bikers playing a linked match-up on their Game Boys. They ask for the demon, and the big red guy shows himself. They start to fight in the bar, as they’re the only 3 left remaining. The demon is tough, as Popuko can’t hit him. She then remembers the 4 Grace Frames and light punch counter. As the demon throws his punch, Popuko counters with a light punch. It works! Popuko defeats the demon, and wins.
However, the demon had a little kid with him, and the little girl cries for her dad’s defeat. This isn’t good, since the show’s ratings relies on the 4-10 age demographic. So, they call on an old friend to help them fix it. In enters Shota Aoi once more with his spacetime control magic. The ED arrives, as Aoi reverses the whole episode during it, with him singing and doing whatever else during it.
It’s back to the beginning with Hoshiiro Girldrop once more. HOWEVER, as the OP starts, Bob Epic Team Pipimi rips it apart, and the OP continues like before, but with all the BET characters making it chaotic and horrifically wonderful. “Hoshiiro Girldrop” turned into “Hot Seal Cold Loop.” Other than the change to male voices here, there weren’t many differences until the end. When Popuko pressed the button in the dentist skit, she just laughed, and for the Edo start, it says the girls are after “legendary battle axes.”
But to the battle as was, before Popuko beats the demon with her light punch, Aoi arrives to stop her and point out the demon’s young daughter. Pipimi tells Popuko it’s time to leave, as this battle concludes with a happy ending… except the mountain restaurant owner is pissed at this. He thinks the mountain is in danger if this is left as is, but the demon doesn’t want to be evil anymore. He wants to be with his biker gang. Pipimi is OK with this, but the owner isn’t. So what is Aoi to do in this “effed up” situation? Before he can answer that, a new person arrives. This person is here to end Shota Aoi. Who is this person? They take off their glasses and hoodie, and it’s revealed that it’s … Shota Aoi! Basically, his evil version. The special ends right there, with regular credits.
Overall, this was as Pop Team Epic as it got. The goofy sketches, the weirdness, just shitting on their own show, all the references and guest appearances. It was a welcome return from these girls, and being on April Fool’s was as marvelous as this show can get. However, because it is Pop Team Epic, they couldn’t do this normally. And why not? They haven’t done that before, so why stop there? Even though there were 2 24+ minute episodes, there were actually 4 DIFFERENT VERSIONS of them. And on said versions, there 8 different seiyuu for each of them. The versions were:
- White Tiger
- Vermilion Bird
- Black Tortoise
- Blue Dragon
I watched the White Tiger version myself, and I will try soon to watch the other 3 versions soon, but for now, here is the list of seiyuu that appeared on the different versions (I’ll edit the list of which ones were on which versions later on):
- Yukari Tamura & Yui Horie
- Kana Hanazawa & Haruka Tomatsu
- Sakiko Tamagawa & Atsuko Tanaga
- Yumiri Hanamori & Nao Toyama
- Mariko Kouda & Kikuko Inoue
- Emiri Kato & Kaori Fukuhara
- Junko Takeuchi & Rei Sakuma
- Etsuko Kozakura & Chisa Yokoyama
- Souichiro Hoshi & Akira Ishida
- Kappei Yamaguchi & Kenichi Ogata
- Yuki Ono & Kensho Ono
- Takashiro Sakurai & Jun Fukuyama
- Nobou Tobita & Bin Shimada
- Tomokazu Seki & Yousuke Akimoto
- Toshihiko Seki & Koji Yusa
- Hikaru Midorikawa & Takehito Koyasu
Yes, it seems weird that there would be so many people to voice these two creatures and mostly to change up a joke or two among the way. And yet, that what makes Pop Team Epic so great. The studio, animators, and seiyuu all put their time, energy, and effort into all this and delivered something spectacular. It what makes Pop Team Epic, a “shitty, 4-panel manga”, into the greatness that is this “shitty anime.” These specials were a lot of fun and a welcome return to this precious duo. I hope we get to see more of Popuko and Pipimi in the near future.
Pop Team Epic was animated by studio Kamikaze Douga. It was licensed by Sentai Filmworks. The whole series can be seen on Crunchyroll, Funimation, Adult Swim on-demand, and HiDive.