This show was one of the first simulcast titles of the winter season that I was looking forward too, ever since it was announced on April fools of last year. That’s right Pop Team Epic, based on the gag manga of the same name premiered this weekend and wow what a first episode. If there’s one thing to describe this show it would be nonsense in the best way possible. There is no setup and no plot just gag after gag, which works in its favor. To some degree it reminded me of old Youtube poop videos just random shit thrown at the wall to make the viewer laugh or be weirded out.
So with that being said I don’t think doing a plot synopsis is necessary since the show itself isn’t concerned with a narrative structure. So instead I’ll highlight some good moments without giving a lot away. Of course I have to start with the beginning which was very strange. It starts with a different anime altogether and by the end of the opening credits the actual show begins with the two main characters standing in place while one punches the other. This was so surreal and just highlights what made the original gag manga work. It subverted the expectations of the audience and created something very weird yet charming. Another skit involved one of the main characters waking up and them parodying various different things from space drama anime to Kemono Friends to Pokemon.
A good chunk of these jokes hit the nail and managed a good laugh out of me. However, not the entire experience is perfect. I tend to find some jokes missed the landing such as the Bob Team Epic skits. Yet, the show throws a ton of jokes at you a mile a minute to be exact. So even if one joke fails another one can come in and make up for it. Another problem was its runtime the half hour runtime is overkill since the show loops back to the beginning of the episode by the ten minute mark. I wouldn’t call that a detriment to the show since I get the joke, but if this will happen over the next twelve episodes then that gag will get old real quick. Overall, the first episode of Pop Team Epic was enjoyable not amazing as I’d hoped it be and really it being as short as it is is the biggest issue with it at the moment. However, the length may change with next week’s broadcast. This maybe a title that’ll keep me on my toes and while I can’t say its amazing it’s still a good time. It’s worth checking out even if just for the surreal nature the series presents itself as.
Final Verdict: 7/10
Pop Team Epic is currently streaming on Crunchyroll, HIDIVE, VRV, AsianCrush, Midnight Pulp, and a Simuldub will be available through FUNimation Now
Update 06/15/18: Pop Team Epic will be coming to Toonami on June 30th at midnight.