Pop Team Epic, the anti anime metaseries.

It’s rude, crude, repeats itself with each episode, and doesn’t seem to have an actual plot. It is called Pop Team Epic and it may just be the answer to anime fans who didn’t know the question.

Fans of anime in recent years have seen a lot of the big super huge series dominate for a number of years now with shows like One Piece, Naruto, and Dragonball never reaching an end and just going on and on with massive story arcs, seeing the same characters over multiple generations, facing problems that seem to go on for years, and often times never seeing any real conclusion. Meanwhile, this show features two high school best friends (the quick-tempered Popko and the calmer and taller Pipimi) and what seems like a fever dream of weird imagery and story that only last for a little over 10 minutes before to repeats the same 10 minutes over again only this time the characters speak with different voices.

And it works.

Pop Team Epic features the two girls being voiced by different people at any given time. Each voice lasts one 10 minutes “episode” that is then repeated but with a different voice. Newew people play these roles every week. Besides the adventures of the two girls, an episode also features odd experimental shorts like Bob Team Epic as well as Japon Mignon, a segment featuring a French animator. It never drags on and doesn’t let you get bored at any point. It doesn’t hang around the plot too long before firing a rapid-fire gag or surreal image at you.

The series is based off a comic from Bkub Okawa that was featured on the Manga Life Win website between 2014 and 2015. The animated version was first released in January of 2018 and has already created a buzz amongst anime fans for its short disjointed skits and bizarre surreal feel of the show. Skits feature things like a life or death Skeleton sled race (the Olympic style one, not human skeletons), an “Enter the Dragon” style battle of playing the game Go and winning without making a move, the call of a bed and pillow to go back to sleep and miss your entire day, being a rude pop idol, and all the while there are plenty of middle fingers to go around.

What you don’t see are long, drawn out, overly dramatic, battles that span months worth of episodes, people standing around yelling at each other for no discernible reason, and no filler storylines that do not match the flow of the series and only serve to kill time until the source comic is ready. It is the exact opposite from what has come to be expected from anime and popular shows that fans generally flock too. This bizarre show is so unpredictable that viewers are left to wonder what will happen within the ten minutes let alone from episode to episode and it makes a refreshing change of pace from the bigger shows with literally hundreds of episodes to comb through and story arcs that sometimes play themselves out over months.

Pop Team Epic is already being shown to an English speaking audience thanks to a subtitled simulcast from Crunchyroll where it airs every Saturday afternoon and Sentai Filmworks has been showing an English dubbed version on its own service HiDive. It has been said that this bizarre show is only planned for 12 episodes right now but with how off-kilter this show is, it could very likely end up being around for more than one season. We shall see!

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