[Absurd Comedy Spring 2020] Like Poputepipikku (Pop Team Epic)? Watch This!

Comedy comes in many forms and anime is obviously no different but we’d say that, generally speaking, one brand of comedy that the medium often excels in is the over-the-top absurd variety that has you question what exactly it is you’re even watching. This can be attributed to many factors, such as Japanese comedy as a whole putting a greater emphasis on visual comedy (which translates well to animation where it can be exaggerated for greater impact).

In any case, Pop Team Epic was a particularly strong example of this with its off-the-wall skits, and extreme playfulness and variety when it came to the visuals and animation style, perhaps best exemplified by its famous (infamous?) “Bob Epic Team” segments. Although we’d say that Pop Team Epic is still very much its own show, we thankfully have two currently-airing anime that capture a bit of that bizzaro spirit that we think Pop Team Epic fans should check out!

Liked Poputepipikku (Pop Team Epic)? Watch Gal to Kyouryuu (Gal & Dino)!

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 2020 – Currently Airing

This one’s all in the title! We have our titular gal (or gyaru, which is a fashion-focused Japanese subculture) Kaede, who, for some reason, ends up bringing a dinosaur into her apartment one night who becomes something between a pet and a roommate. The loose story follows their everyday lives as Kaede, as well as her friend Yamada, ex-boyfriend Shouta, and others, experience life with a weird dinosaur who seems mostly interested in playing games, watching TV, and eating ramen. The format overall is basically like that of a Japanese variety show going from episodic anime segments, live-action, gags, and the like.

Major Similarities Between Poputepipikku (Pop Team Epic) and Gal to Kyouryuu (Gal & Dino)

1. Fun & Bizarre

Although Gal & Dino has a lot more tame, slice-of-life moments than the more overtly weird Pop Team Epic, the whole show has a bit of an odd undercurrent throughout with the dinosaur’s aggressively cartoonish design and wordless sound effect communication and the general strange, drawn-out pace. It also does have its share of overtly weird parts that we won’t spoil too much but will definitely catch you off guard beyond its frequent live-action segments which feature an actual person in a dinosaur costume running around and real-world Japanese comedians like Hollywood Zakoshisyoh.

2. Chaotic Visual Styles

That last point segues nicely into probably the biggest similarity: how Gal & Dino handles its visuals. Just like Pop Team Epic, each episode is subdivided into multiple segments, many of which have their own directors/creators and very distinct visual styles ranging from clay-like 3D animations to handmade analog sequences that seem to be using magic markers, and the aforementioned live-action sequences that also sometimes feature some puppetry. Basically, if you liked how freeform and surprising the visuals and changing formats of Pop Team Epic were, you’ll likely get a kick out of Gal & Dino’s approach as well which shouldn’t be too surprising considering many of the Pop Team Epic team are behind it!

Liked Poputepipikku (Pop Team Epic)? Watch Olympia Kyklos (Extra Olympia Kyklos)!

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: April 2020 – Currently Airing

Olympia Kyklos is another anime with a strange premise, this time following an ancient Greek vase-painter named Demetrios who is something of a laughing stock in his small village for his wayward emotions and dislike of sports and competition and his often being pushed around by the comically avaricious village elder. Things get interesting after a lightning strike somehow transports him to the home of Professor Iwatani, an elderly man living in Tokyo during the 1964 Summer Olympic Games, thus beginning his time-hopping journey of self and sport discovery? Well, something like that. Although each episode is only five minutes, they go places!

Major Similarities Between Poputepipikku (Pop Team Epic) and Olympia Kyklos (Extra Olympia Kyklos)

1. Offbeat Wonderland

Even just with its ancient Greek + 60s Tokyo setting revolving (loosely) around the Olympics, Olympia Kyklos stands out quite a bit and does so even more thanks to its goofy characters and themes. Sure, there are some cheap jokes aimed at some of the more obvious historical targets, like how Greek athletes would compete naked, but there’s also this sense of raw chaos that pervades Olympia Kyklos with its over-the-top characters, including a random talking dolphin, and a playfulness with its historical settings. There’s also a bit of the Pop Team Epic-like feeling in the flow of the series as a whole which is perhaps best seen in the bizarre karaoke segments at the end of each episode.

2. Mixed-media Monstrosities

Like Pop Team Epic (and Gal & Dino), Olympia Kyklos has a very unique visual style that immediately sets it apart from most anime. While it stays mostly consistent with the ancient Greek portions and characters being Greek statue-like stop-motion claymation (which also reminds us a bit of Sekko Boys) in little dioramas and the Tokyo portions and characters being made mostly of paper cutouts, unlike Pop Team Epic which has more variations, it nevertheless feels quite similar to the more bizarre animation styles that show would often use. It even sometimes mixes in live-action, particularly with the karaoke ending segments, for further variety and weirdness that we think Pop Team Epic fans would likely appreciate.

Final Thoughts

Altogether, we’d say that Olympia Kyklos and Gal & Dino are fairly niche shows that will often have you cocking your head sideways because of their unconventional approaches to storytelling, art styles, and animation that, while both are distinct, they are also reminiscent of Pop Team Epic and worth checking out because of it for fans of that series. There’s also something to be said for some similarities to some American animations like Spongebob Squarepants or Robot Chicken, but that’s a bit beyond the scope here. In any case, we hope you enjoyed this article and encourage you to share your own thoughts in the comments section below! Until next time, see ya~!

Gal-to-Kyoryu-dvd-1-225x350 [Absurd Comedy Spring 2020] Like Poputepipikku (Pop Team Epic)? Watch This!


Author: Oskar O.K. Strom

Call me Oskar or OkiOkiPanic or other things depending on how whimsical you're feeling. I'm an artist and game designer currently working in the indie scene. In true otaku fashion I'm also interested in anime/manga, collecting figures, building robot models, idols, denpa music, retro games and electronics, etc. Judging by the company I keep I figure it's only a matter of time until I'm obsessed with wrestling and mahjong.

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