What’s the best way to promote a new anime adaptation? According to the creatives behind Pop Team Epic, it’s apparently lying about the show, lying about the cast, and releasing an anime trailer with no animation! And that’s just scraping the surface. Let’s look back and see how Japan’s “kuso manga boy” has prepped for his big show.
The Biggest Fake-out
Back in 2016, manga artist Bkub Okawa announced that his surreal 4koma Pop Team Epic would be ending. In its place, he’d be releasing idol rom-com Hoshiiro Girldrop, a strip about an idol and her childhood friend. The strip didn’t get far before the big reveal: the whole thing was an elaborate announcement for Pop Team Epic “season 2”.
So, with Okawa at the wheel of a new anime project, fans knew that nothing would be as it seemed — especially when the announcement was for a Hoshiiro Girldrop anime!
But the fancy character profiles and crew listing didn’t fool fans for long. And their suspicions were correct: it was actually Tall Girl and Small Girl coming to the small screen! Mikako Komatsu (Kanae of ClassicaLoid) took the role of the petite Popuko, and Sumire Uesaka (Lisa in the upcoming Mazinger Z/Infinity) came on as the tall Pipimi.
…Or so we were told.
It Gets Weirder
Even once the show went into production under its real name, everything was lies. The new anime designs teased by the manga’s mag, Manga Life Win, were adorable. They also weren’t anything like what we ended up getting — which was Okawa’s original style.
And when the anime PV came around? Nope, still no dice. It consisted of footage of a Russian anime fan getting beat up by giant Popuko and Pipimi mascots for being excited about Basilisk.
As for the first episode itself — well, you can guess, right? Yep, it kicked off with a cold open and OP for Hoshiiro Girldrop.
Even the voice cast was a lie. Popuko and Pipimi were voiced by Houchu Ohtsuka (Chibodee Crockett in G Gundam) and Masashi Ebara (Might Guy in Naruto), respectively. Except for the second time they showed the episode, in which they were Yuji Mitsuya (Grinpatch in Toriko) and Noriko Hidaka (Akane in Ranma 1/2).
So what the heck is the reality of Pop Team Epic? Is anything they’ve told us true? Is it even a real anime? Could it be a mass hallucination? Does anyone else here have a headache?
Have you seen Pop Team Epic? Tell us what you think in the comments!