I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Yui Makino & Yui Watanabe/Kenji Akabane & Shunsuke Takeuchi -- Let's Pop Together

Now from the sublime to the ridiculous, as the saying goes. And nope, I'm not referring to Earth Wind & Fire. Not at all...are you kidding? I love those guys! "September", Boogie Wonderland"? Those are some of my favourite songs from my childhood. And then there is "Let's Groove"! If I needed to feel better sometimes, EW&F would be the tonic.

OK, I repeat...from the sublime to the ridiculous. Recently, I was made aware of the coming of this manga-based-anime titled "Pop Epic Team" or, as it is nicknamed in a tongue-spraining way, "Poptepipic"(ポプテピピック). Surreal and absurdist are merely some of the adjectives that I would throw its way. Frankly, I haven't found too much of it funny but I think that is really the point be aggressively inane.

I kinda see it as something akin to Monty Python's "Confuse A Cat" sketch with we viewers as the felines to be finagled. From what I've seen on YouTube so far, I've been more bemused than amused, and perhaps even though my anime buddy has said that there may be as many as 20 other anime that he may be interested in catching this season, I've got the feeling that "Pop Epic Team" won't be included in that august list.

One of the gimmicks of the show is that each episode has a rotating duo of seiyuu coming in to voice the characters of short volcanic Popuko(ポプ子)and tall laconic Pipimi(ピピ美). Not only that but each episode has a pair of female seiyuu do the first 15 minutes while the last 15 minutes have two male seiyuu doing almost the same sketches.

Now that I've given enough of the background for the premise, why the whole introduction of Earth Wind & Fire? Well, in episode 4, one of the sketches involved Popuko and Pipimi doing a parody of the legendary band's "Let's Groove" called "Let's Pop Together". Of course, there was a female version above and the male version below. The ladies above were Yui Makino & Yui Watanabe(牧野由依・渡部優衣). I only know Makino because she played the pivotal guest role of Freckles in that "High School Musical"- inspired episode of "Space Dandy" a few years ago. As for the male seiyuu, they were Kenji Akabane & Shunsuke Takeuchi(赤羽根健治・武内駿輔).

Of course, "Let's Pop Together" is an intentionally nutty parody but I found it funnier seeing the responses by some of the Japanese fans on sites such as Anicobin who were like "What the hell is THIS?". Evidently, even post-disco was way before their time. Still, the show succeeded with me in that the song has burrowed deep into my brain like a Ceti Alpha eel. Perhaps my love for "Let's Groove" has helped in that manner. In any case, "Let's Pop Together" was provided by lyricist Kazushige Touma(当真一茂)and composer Gin(吟), the latter of whom is behind the music for "Pop Team Epic".

For all those Python fans, here is the famous "Confuse A Cat" sketch. It's not my favourite by the British comedy team. "The Bishop" and "The Lumberjack" song will always be my beloved creations by the guys.

You may need a mug of the stuff after seeing some more of the craziness of Popuko and Pipimi. I realize that this article is a bit out of left field but, heck, blogger's prerogative!

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