Before anyone can answer the question: "What is Pop Team Epic?" I believe a more pressing question is more like "Why in hell am I writing a serious review of this shit post?"
Actually, I have an answer to that question, unlike the first one. First of all, I love my absurd and nonsensical Chinese cartoons; I have a special place in my heart (and in some case my Top 10) for shows like Nichijou, Daily Lives of HS Boys, and of course, Gintama. That said, I don't really think Pop Team Epic can really stand up to those shows when we are talking about how entertaining they are, disregarding how much meaning or (non)sense they have integrated into their identity.
I understand these are all big words, so I'll simplify it for those who only care for this anime because it's a shitpost:
Pop Team Epic is a funny shitpost... but it gets old pretty quick.
Although I have to say, this show almost convinced me that I should think otherwise, as this show isn't really trying to be anything grander than a shitpost.
The problem is- while I can get lost watching vines, cracks and just plain memes on YouTube all day, I really can't say the same for Pop Team Epic.
I understand I am only on the fourth episode of the anime as I am making this review, however, I am already bored of it.
The problem with the anime is that random bullshit doesn't always equal entertainment for the audience. Bullshit needs consistency in its logic (unfortunately), or else it just becomes aimless, incoherent and pointless.
It's not like the anime is trying to parody one thing either. If it dedicated it's entire runtime to parodying JRPG anime like SAO (for example), then at least there would be something there for people to refer to for humor. It's a simple case of knowing what they are referencing, and the joke accurately making fun of the concept in a refreshing way.
Parody anime like Gintama have mastered this effectively- I'm not going to give spoilers, but a recent example of how Gintama plays with concepts found in its genre (shounen) and then shits on it while making it genuinely entertaining, is a scene from one of the latest episodes.
The scene was of negotiations. On "our" side, we had the Shogun, whom now has bowel problems (it makes sense why he has bowel problems in context) and of one of the enemy leaders who was requested to negotiate with. The bowel problems in a normal shounen would be similar to that of "butterflies in the stomach", however, the joke doesn't stop there as it builds on itself. The shogun tries to subtly hint at his need to go to the bathroom without being direct about it, the enemy takes his references out of context and interprets them as threats. Without ruining the joke by saying what happens next, essentially the enemy leader understands by the end that the Shogun needed to shit, and "negotiations" end there. Both are embarrassed, to say the least, and all misconceptions between the two sides are adjourned. That is literally how you shit on negotiations.
Now after reading that somewhat competent explanation of a joke you probably didn't understand, tell me, when does Pop Team Epic do something like that?
Initially, I thought Pop Team Epic was a parody of the slice of life genre, much like Nichijou, by taking scenarios you would see in real life and pushing the joke to 11. I haven't read the 4-Koma manga, but I remember a few strips that would support that claim- as I saw that Popuko was giving the middle finger in a scenario you really wouldn't because of social norms. I thought when I saw this "This would really be funny because that's what we all want to do", so where is all of this in the anime?
I suppose it can be later down the road, but why do we also have to do a parody of video games (that really doesn't make sense), horror movies, anime, manga, Hollywood blockbuster films intermixed with random nonsense that both looks ugly and makes no sense, AND THEN having the entire episode repeat itself before having time to comprehend it?
There's such a thing as overload, and Pop Team Epic doesn't seem to understand that you can't be funny without something like a breather.
Not to mention the lack of consistency in both the animation and stories themselves damages all suspension of disbelief. That said, I never had any, nor did it need suspension of disbelief, because the purpose of this anime is to shit on other media.
All Pop Team Epic needed to do was shit on others right.
And it didn't.
Now I'm sure that something will change in the span of the next 9 episodes, actually, I am practically guaranteeing that they'll do something crazy for their finale. But right now I am just bored of this anime.
What is Pop Team Epic? I suppose Pop Team Epic is just... too much of everything.