Apr 12, 2018
Aslt (All reviews)
What makes a joke funny? Is it a well-thought build-up, steadily tied up, making us want to hear the punch line established at the end of a gag? Is it the topic a joke tackles, politically correct or, even better, the incorrect one? Is it the way it's presented and conveyed to us, with the use of different signals, voice tone and other small things people telling us the joke want to use in order to increase its impact? Or is it just the timing of it? No matter which of these reasons you choose, all of them are pale in comparison to the most basic aspect a pun, by definition, has to have in order to at least try to make an addressee laugh - the intention to be comical. As simply and straightforwardly as it sounds, I found it surprising that Pop Team Epic, an anime which the fans claim to be extremely witty and humorous, did not understand such a concept.

It looks as if this series' "brain" got stuck somewhere in the first grade of the elementary school, where the most random, stupid and nonsensical oneliners were considered to be absolutely hilarious. If you were to look at its episodes as something more than a shitpost, you would notice that within PTE, there are a lot of inconsistencies, among which, the fact that a gigantic portion of its gags, if not every single one of them, come off as undercooked, definitely stole the spotlight and single-handedly ruined every attempt at comedy. The structure of a standard joke consists of 2 elements: the build-up and the punchline, which I briefly referenced at the beginning, yet in this show, there seems to be no such thing as a punchline. As a result of it, the gags end up halfway through the build-up, leaving us without the conclusion. Because of it, quite literally, there's nothing to laugh at. By the end of the skit, the only thing we feel is indifference and abdominal pain because we just consumed something "raw". Heck, even though PTE makes a lot of brilliant and imaginative references to various popular movies, games, music or even anime, they simply could not be entertaining by themselves. That's not how references work, goddamnit! "Play" with them, mock the source material in a meaningful way, that's not offensive to the work itself, do something that makes at least a little bit of sense and aims at making me, the viewer, giggle.

There are also 2 "miniseries" in PTE, called Bob Epic Team and Pop Team Cooking, and oh boy, they accumulate everything this anime does wrong! Besides the easy to spot lack of care put into crafting the puns, Bob Epic Team, with its atrocious ideas and even worse execution of them is a completely and utterly disgusting abomination. Imagine a terrible paint drawing of a distorted character put into motion mixed with such cringey and lifeless scenes that the only thing you want to do, and in fact your brain forces you to do after witnessing such a travesty, is committing seppuku with a plastic knife doused in hot sauce for the extra spice. Pop Team Cooking, on the other hand, while suffers from the same problem of being lacklustre and inherently bad beyond salvation, is at least somewhat eye pleasant, which didn't lead my internal organs to be dying in an agonizing pain because of what I was seeing on my screen.

On the topic of being eye pleasant, the discriminative art style and simplistic animation, mixed with a live-action skit, 3D segments about France, which in all honesty, were mediocre at best, the previously mentioned appaling Paint drawings create a rather distinctive vibe and feel. The same can be said about the sound. The wacky and, to my surprise, lively voice acting, opening theme, different song parodies, for instance, Earth, Wind & Fire - Let's Groove, while they are not right up my alley, I can definitely see their purpose and appeal in such random and senseless series and to be honest, without the okay-ish production values, Pop Team Epic would be even harder to "digest" and that says a lot.

Pop Team Epic has its alright features, but at the end of the day, they meant nothing. It is just a terrifyingly awful meme you would find on some shitty website such as 9gag or ifunny and cry like a maniac, because of its quality. It's horrendous, it's shocking, it's unentertaining, but do you know which is the worst part? Some people will label it as an outstanding work because of that.