Two high school girls, the short and exceptionally quick to anger Popuko, and the tall and much more calm Pipimi, do insane things and swear like sailors in this absurdist comedy filled with references and meta humor.
There haven't been a single page that haven't made me laugh.
Poputepipikku or Pop Team Epic, is a 4-koma, seinen gag manga that is bustling with intuitive and surreal comedy. With characters dressed as generic high school girls with never changing cute faces, this manga is everything BUT generic.
Being a 4-koma manga, doesn't give much room for a story. Each individual page is a (somewhat) self contained story of head scratching and seemingly random comedy.
The art is oddly fitting for the type of comedy that it delivers. The characters are always drawn with a ":3" face, no matter the situation, which in itself creates comedic situations.
For example when a ":3" faced high school girl is planning to destroy a cuckoo clock with a sledgehammer because "It's fucking pissing me off just looking at this shit." That is the actual quote from the manga.
Sometimes oddly realistically drawn hands are drawn in order to make a comedic point stronger. It works surprisingly well
A lot of the comedy comes from the unusual situations our 2 nameless main characters find themselves in.
The small and blonde girl is the instigator of mostly all of the jokes/gags and the tall, blue haired girl is the "straight man" that either 1-ups the joke that the blonde girl set up, or shoots the joke down (sometimes literally), which in itself is really funny.
I enjoy Pop Team Epic immensely. I read the first 20 chapters in one sitting and the manga just got better and better. There were some jokes that i didn't get, mostly because i'm not the target demographic (which is Japanese people) but the vast majority of the jokes are easy to understand.
Overall Pop Team Epic is hilarious. From the surreal comedy and drawings, to the unusual reaction of our main characters and the illogical but really funny decisions that they make. Every page is brimming with comedy that you might, or might not get at first.
Some of the jokes requires a little research or knowledge beforehand, but is still enjoyable nonetheless because of the funny drawings that accompany the jokes and gags.
“Blessed are the weird people: poets, misfits, writers, mystics, painters, troubadours, for they teach us to see the world through different eyes.” ― Jacob Nordby
Bizarre. Random. Hilarious. Ridiculous. These are all adjectives which accurately describe the yonkoma comedy series called Pop Team Epic. It’s a joy to read and brings happiness to my soul. When I want a good laugh at some of the most joke-packed dialogue riddled with references knowing full well it more than likely won’t make any sense, I know what I need to read. When it comes to making a statement, there’s nobody who does it better than Bkub Okawa through
his latest series.
It’s hard to explain what this manga is. There is no real structure to anything in the world of Pop Team Epic. Events happen that are quickly forgotten about, Popuko (and her ghost) died in one chapter only to appear in the next with no explanation given. Stuff even ends abruptly with no plot points tied up. Being someone who enjoys a well-written story, this all sounds like something I’d scoff at. However, Pop Team Epic is one of the funniest series I’ve read in a long time. I’m talking “Hahaha, what the blue cheese am I reading?” kind of funny. I’ve never read any manga like this, and all the rules can and will be broken. The focus is more on the dialogue and character interactions rather than the plot, and it’s backed up with some of the most off the wall humor redolent of the equally comical 10th Dimension Boys by Cutbu.
If there’s anything more silly than the lacking story, it is the two main characters. Popuko and Pipimi are fourteen-year-old high school girls; the former is short, blonde-haired and choleric whilst the latter is tall, black-haired(? looks blue to me) and for the most part, more easygoing. These are possibly the only consistent attributes to both of them since not much else is known. They epitomize the “Red Oni, Blue Oni” duality since they have contrasting personalities and are opposites in regards to appearance. Despite their differences, the two are best friends forever and tend to get along quite well.
The artwork can best be defined as “quirky” and this actually works in favor of the manga. Popuko and Pipimi are both recognizable and fun to draw/doodle. There’s nothing too detailed or involved so I can’t imagine getting any eyegasms, but the style jibes well with the manga’s vibe.
Even though I love Pop Team Epic, it’s a bit difficult for me to know who this is supposed to appeal to. I will say this is not for everyone. I introduced it to my brother and even though he likes it and finds it funny, I’m pretty sure he’s not as big of a fan as I am. A few friends have simply stated they “don’t get it” and others love it quite a lot. Due to its surrealness, it sometimes gets labelled as a meme. This might be because it has become a cult hit and has a strong following on sites like Tumblr (which is actually where it became known to me, so good looks) and the internet sewage known as 4chan. I feel this does a disservice to the quality and comedy gold that is put into it. I believe if you have a messed up sense of humor then you’ll be in for a treat.
To put it bluntly, Pop Team Epic is grrreat! It may not have a deep theme or engaging storyline, but that doesn’t preclude it from being downright enjoyable. I catch myself rereading chapters just so I can experience it all over again. I am definitely looking forward to watching the anime adaption come January.