Pop Team Epic
Pop Team Epic (Japanese: ポプテピピック, Hepburn: Poputepipikku), also known as Poptepipic, is a Japanese four-panel surreal comedy webcomic and digital manga series written and illustrated by Bkub Okawa (alternatively romanized as "Bukubu Okawa"), which started serialization on Takeshobo's Manga Life Win website in August 2014. Takeshobo has released three volumes in Japan. The manga is licensed in North America by Vertical.
|Pop Team Epic|
Cover of Pop Team Epic volume 1 by Takeshobo featuring Popuko and Pipimi giving the finger.
|Written by||Bkub Okawa|
|Magazine||Manga Life Win|
|Original run||August 29, 2014 – present|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Jun Aoki|
|Produced by||Kotaro Sudo|
|Written by||Jun Aoki|
|Original network||Tokyo MX, BS11, AT-X, GYT, RCC|
|Original run||January 7, 2018 – April 1, 2019|
|Episodes||12 + 2 specials|
The manga chronicles the misadventures of two 14-year-old girls named Popuko and Pipimi, who encounter a variety of both mundane and bizarre situations and respond to them in equally bizarre and exaggerated ways. The manga is noted for its frequent parodies of pop culture and its combination of surrealism, absurdity, and non-sequitur, all of which have contributed to it developing a cult following among both Japanese and Western audiences. An anime television series adaptation animated by Kamikaze Douga and produced by King Records aired between January and March 2018; two additional episodes aired in April 2019.
- Popuko (ポプ子)
- One of two protagonists. A quick-tempered, short, blondish orange-haired school girl.
- Bob Epic Team segments: Voiced by: Shunsuke Itakura (Team AC) (#1 - #6, #8 - #12, #14),
Shunsuke Itakura (Team AC), Tōru Adachi (Team AC) (#7, #13) (Japanese); Christopher R. Sabat (English)
- Japon Mignon segments: Fanny Bloc
- Pipimi (ピピ美)
- The second protagonist and Popuko's friend. A calm, tall, blue-haired school girl.
- Bob Epic Team segments: Voiced by: Tōru Adachi (Team AC) (#1 - #6, #8 - #12, #14),
Tōru Adachi (Team AC), Shunsuke Itakura (Team AC) (#7, #13) (Japanese); Ian Sinclair (English)
- Japon Mignon segments: Christine Bellier (TV series), Kaycie Chase (TV special)
Pop Team Epic is written and illustrated by Bkub Okawa, previously known for his Touhou Project dōjinshi. The series was serialized in Takeshobo's Manga Life Win website between August 29, 2014 and November 7, 2015. The first tankōbon volume was released in print on December 7, 2015. Okawa released the "second season" on the Manga Life Win website between February 18, 2016 and April 30, 2017. The second volume was released on June 7, 2017. A "third season" began on the Manga Life Win website on October 10, 2017. The manga is licensed in North America by Vertical, who began releasing the series in October 2018. A comic anthology based on the fictional Hoshiiro Girldrop manga featured in the series was released on January 9, 2018.
|No.||Title||Japanese release||English release|
|1||Pop Team Epic|
|December 7, 2015 |
|October 2, 2018|
|2||Pop Team Epic: Second Season|
|June 7, 2017 |
|December 4, 2018|
|3||Pop Team Epic: Season Three and Four|
ポプテピピック SEASON THREE AND FOUR
|March 7, 2019 |
|—||Hoshiiro Girldrop Comic Anthology|
|January 9, 2018||ISBN 978-4-8019-6153-1|
|An anthology of comics from different artists about Hoshiiro Girldrop.|
An anime adaptation of the series was announced on April 2, 2017. It was initially teased as an adaptation of Hoshiiro Girldrop on April Fool's Day 2017. The anime features animation by Kamikaze Douga and production by King Records, and is directed by Jun Aoki and Aoi Umeki. The series aired 12 episodes between January 7 and March 25, 2018, following a delay from October 2017 due to an "error by King Records". A television special aired on April 1, 2019 which consists of episodes 13 and 14.
Taking after its source manga, the anime takes the form of an animated parody show, featuring numerous, typically disjointed skits of varying lengths; while some of these shorts are adapted from the original comic strips, the majority of them are original creations. The various shorts collectively showcase a variety of animation styles, most often CGI, professional-looking 2D animation, and idiosyncratic animation from Team AC (AC部, AC-bu). Each half-hour episode features two near-identical 15-minute segments, each containing different voice actors and other subtle differences.
The opening theme for episodes 2-10 is "Pop Team Epic" by Sumire Uesaka, while the ending theme titled "Poppy Pappy Day" is sung by Popuko (Yui Makino/Kenji Akabane (ep 1-6), Hiromi Igarashi/Toshiki Masuda (ep 8-9, 11)) and Pipimi (Yui Watanabe/Shunsuke Takeuchi (ep 1-6), Rei Matsuzaki/Wataru Hatano (ep 8-9, 11)), with Shouta Aoi performing the theme for episode 12. The ending theme for episode 10 is "Jinsei" (人生, lit. life) also by the Igarashi/Matsuzaki and Masuda/Hatano duos. The opening theme for episode one, which opened with a Hoshiiro Girldrop segment, is "Twinkling Star" by Drop Stars (Yui Ogura, Inori Minase, and Uesaka). Episode 12 used the classical music pieces Night on Bald Mountain and Dies Irae in its storyline.
Sentai Filmworks simulcast the series on Hidive. Crunchyroll simulcast the series worldwide outside of Asia. Funimation simulcast the English-dubbed version in English-speaking territories as it aired; Funimation also acquired the rights to release the anime on home video in North America. Funimation also arranged the series to air on Adult Swim's Toonami starting June 30, 2018. In Australia and New Zealand, the series simulcast on AnimeLab. Aniplus Asia simulcast the series in Southeast Asia. The series became available on Netflix in February 2020 in what was originally 11-minute episodes. It was replaced by the original half-hour format due to complaints from users.
|United States airdate|
|January 7, 2018||June 30, 2018|
|Hoshiiro Girldrop, a supposed-to-be animated series about a girl who is secretly an idol singer, complete with cold open and title sequence, is quickly abandoned in favor of the antics of Popuko and Pipimi. In the titular segment, Popuko experiences death and rebirth as she experiences many first encounters with Pipimi. Among other skits, Popuko is annoyed by a flight attendant asking whether each passenger will take beef or chicken, Pipimi questions Popuko on any wrongdoings, and the two girls go to France in an attempt to use gestures to communicate.|
|2||"Vanver — A Game in Another Dimension"|
"Ijigen Yūgi Vanvū" (異次元遊戯ヴァンヴー)
|January 14, 2018||July 7, 2018|
|Popuko and Pipimi are inadvertently summoned to an unfinished animated fantasy series and make the heroes do impressions, much to the voice actors' consternation. Other skits include a stop-motion musical performance by felt dolls of Popuko and Pipimi, Popuko drawing a deluge of fortune slips, and Popuko being confronted with the harsh reality of time's passage.|
"Za Dokyumento" (ザ・ドキュメント)
|January 21, 2018||July 14, 2018|
|A documentary profiles how music producer PipiP decided to find the perfect bandmates for pop idol Pop-chin by cloning her, with the Pop-chin clones taking over the world. Other skits include Popuko dozing off while leaving for school and severely oversleeping, Popuko becoming obsessed with baguettes, and Pipimi attempting to hire Popuko as an assassin.|
|4||"SWGP 2018"||January 28, 2018||July 21, 2018|
|Popuko takes part in the Skeleton World Grand Prix, facing many tough opponents. Other skits include a parody of Earth, Wind & Fire's "Let's Groove", Popuko forcing an extraterrestrial being to evict from her house, and Popuko and Pipimi encountering a boss while exploring a dungeon.|
"Imo Yoba" (イモ・ヨバ)
|February 4, 2018||July 28, 2018|
|Iyo Sakuragi becomes step-siblings with her admired upperclassman Hojo after their parents, portrayed by Popuko and Pipimi, get married and make their children's' lives a nightmare with their antics. Other skits include a cooking show hosted by Popuko and Pipimi showcasing a simmered dish (煮), Pipimi literally growing with affection for Popuko, Popuko killing herself and Pipimi after choosing to self-destruct rather than die of hiccups, and Popuko doing a poor impression of Mickey Mouse.|
|6||"The 30th Cyber War"|
"Dai 30-ki Den'nō-sen" (第30期 電脳戦)
|February 11, 2018||August 4, 2018|
|Guided by the spirit of Pipimi, Popuko fights against the Elite Four in a shogi tournament. Other skits include Pipimi's fantasies about Hellshake Yano distracting her from Popuko's venting, Popuko demonstrating an increasingly bizarre variety of regional activities, Popuko and Pipimi discussing modern slang, and Popuko thanking those supporting her fanbase while making death threats on the rest.|
"Herusheiku Yano" (ヘルシェイク矢野)
|February 18, 2018||August 11, 2018|
|Pipimi has a daydream of two narrators (Shunsuke Itakura and Tōru Adachi of Team AC, as themselves in Japanese, and voiced in English by Christopher R. Sabat and Ian Sinclair) detailing the time when rock star Hellshake Yano held a concert by himself while his bandmates were running late. Other skits include dealing with haters, Popuko turning into a baby, and Pipimi going fishing.|
|8||"The Dragon of Iidabashi: Pipi's Revenge"[note 5]|
"Īdabashi no Shōryū: Fukushū no Pipi" (飯田橋の昇竜：復讐のピピ)
|February 25, 2018||August 18, 2018|
|Yakuza member Pipi decides to take vengeance against her gang when they stray down the wrong path of committing YouTuber crimes. Other skits include Popuko trying to treat an injury, bacon trying to eat some bacon, and Popuko fools a dead tree by throwing some flour (instead of magic powder) against the tree.|
|9||"Dancing with a Miracle"|
"Kiseki to Dansu o" (奇跡とダンスを)
|March 4, 2018||August 25, 2018|
|Popuko and Pipimi encounter a young runaway boy while visiting New York City and made a lasting impression on him that shaped his ideals. Other skits include Popuko ordering latte art, Pipimi attempting standup comedy, and the girls trying French cuisine.|
|10||"Ginza Hostess Detective"|
"Ginza Hosutesu Tantei" (銀座ホステス探偵)
|March 11, 2018||September 8, 2018|
|While staying at a hot spring inn, hostesses Popuko and Pipimi investigate a murder that has taken place. Other skits include the girls playing soccer, Pipimi cooking some premium meat, and Popuko dealing with incompetent waiters.|
|11||"Cursed Mansion"[note 6]|
|March 18, 2018||September 15, 2018|
|A group of college students find the mansion they are staying in to be haunted by Popuko and Pipimi, who do nothing as the students end up killing each other. Other skits include Popuko starting a dance craze called Eisai Haramasukoi, Pipimi becoming giant, and Popuko playing with a shark.|
|12||"The Age of Pop Team Epic"||March 25, 2018||September 22, 2018|
|Popuko and Pipimi have a final showdown against the evil King Records organization after they sent a death squad on them, with guest appearance by time traveler Shouta Aoi (as himself in Japanese and voiced in English by Apphia Yu). Other skits include a talking hamster going to school by hiding in his master's bag, Popuko trying to find her glasses, and the Popuko and Pipimi felt dolls singing about growing up and destruction. After the credits in the second half, there is a teaser trailer for a second season of Hoshiiro Girldrop.|
|13 (SP1)||"The Convenience Store"|
|April 1, 2019||TBA|
|Popuko and Pipimi discuss potential careers in the future, playing out a scene where Popuko plays a convenience store clerk being hassled by both Pipimi and Cthulhu, before it degenerates into a certain film. Other skits include Popuko allured by a food truck, a clay-mation of Pipimi playing Daruma Otoshi, and Pipimi telling Popuko what 1+1 is. The post-credit scene is the Chapter 1 opening scene of Final Fantasy XV, called "Departure", only with Popuko heads on Noctis, Gladious, and Prompto, and a Pipimi mask on Ignis. The opening animation is done by Sunrise.|
|14 (SP2)||"Edo Era Pop Team"|
"Ōedo Popute" (大江戸ポプテ)
|April 1, 2019||TBA|
|In Japan during its Edo Era, Pipimi is giving Popuko combat training when they accidentally kill a mountain deity, forcing them to battle a demon the deity kept at bay in a biker bar with a return appearance by Shouta Aoi (JP: Himself, EN Voice: Apphia Yu). Other skits include a song about how stupid the anime series is and how they ran out of voice actors to play the lead characters, using the power of imagination to get revenge on your boss, and Pipimi bringing a flower back to life.|
The Nendoroid figures of Popuko and Pipimi, dressed as Batman Ninja's Batman (voiced by Kōichi Yamadera) and Joker (voiced by Wataru Takagi) respectively, were displayed at the Warner Bros. booth at AnimeJapan 2018. It was suggested by Junpei Mizusaki at Kamikaze Douga; the studio animated both Pop Team Epic television series and Batman Ninja film. The crossover figures were accompanied by a 15-second television commercial, where Popuko and Pipimi (in the aforementioned costumes and being voiced by the film's respective voice actors) re-enact a sketch from Pop Team Epic comics before it jumps to a Batman Ninja scene.
On April 26, 2018, Japan Racing Association's Umabi.jp website launched the Pop Team Epic Kinen (ポプテピ記念, Poputepi Kinen) campaign, where users can create a customised avatar of either Popuko or Pipimi as a virtual spectator. It also hinted a surprise to be revealed when a number of avatars reaches one million. As the number reached one million in late May 2018, the JRA released a branded webisode on 14 June 2018. Produced by Space Neko Company (which animated Pop Team Story segments and some of short sketches in the TV series), Mikako Komatsu and Ryusei Nakao reprised their role as Popuko in the first and second halves respectively, and so did Sumire Uesaka and Norio Wakamoto as Pipimi. The JRA also held promotional events at Tokyo Racecourse.
- Episodes 13 and 14 aired in four different versions, titled Blue Dragon (青龍, Seiryū), Vermilion Bird (朱雀, Suzaku), White Tiger (白虎, Byakko), and Black Tortoise (玄武, Genbu), which each aired on different networks and streaming services and featured different voices.
- Stylized as ホップ☆ステップ☆ドロップ
- Stylized as 理論とひめちゃんパンチ〜ふたりの距離〜
- Stylized as はにかみ☆マタニティブルー
- The English title is a contraction of "Don't call me your sister!". The Japanese title is stylized as イモ☆ヨバ, and is a contraction of 妹なんて呼ばないで!
- Japanese title is stylized as 飯田橋の昇竜 〜復讐のピピ〜
- Japanese title is stylized as 呪館 JUKAN
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