Everything about Pop Team Epic has been weird, from its inception to its new anime. It seems not a day goes by that we don’t hear about some new antic or troll. And the latest on the list? Apparently a Popuko mask so popular, they had to call the cops.
The Pop-chin Army
Episode 3, “The Documentary,” charts the rise of pop idol Pop-chin and her manager, Pipi P. Things happen (as they tend to), and the skit ends with Pipi P. ruling over the world with an army of Pop-chin clones.
To piggyback on the episode, Japanese store Animate offered a limited run of Pop-chin masks to shoppers in January. It was first-come, first-serve while supplies lasted, so fans were encouraged to arrive early.
But they were more popular than anyone figured — so popular, in fact, that the huge crowd required law enforcement to intervene. No Pop-chin masks were to be had on this day.
And people were sad. Fortunately, there’s a new opportunity on the horizon.
From The Comfort Of Home
Animate decided to try again — and this time, they knew what they were up against.
The shop scheduled a new day for the hand-outs, once again encouraging early arrivals and reiterating that supplies are limited. But they added a helpful backup: downloadable masks!
After on-site distribution of the masks, fans could visit the site and print a full-color PDF at home. So if fans couldn’t get their prize at one of the three participating Animate locations, there was always the website to fall back on.
Could anyone have predicted just how popular a simple Pop Team Epic mask would be?… Well, maybe. The show set records early in its run, netting more than 1 million views on Nico Video in two days. And with simulcasts from multiple services, it’s getting around to viewers worldwide.
Not bad for a kuso manga.
(Image Source: hoshiiro.jp)