‘Pop Team Epic’ Season 2 Release Date: ‘Hoshiiro Girldrop’ Anime Desired By ‘Poputepipikku’ Manga Fans

Kamikaze Douga'Pop Team Epic' Anime TV Still

The Pop Team Epic Season 2 anime is in the shadow of its own creation. The prospect of a full-length Hoshiiro Girldrop anime (sometimes spelled as Hoshiiro Girl Drop) is actually more desired than the second season of the Poputepipikku anime despite the fact that Pop Team Epic Episode 12 ended by indirectly announcing the sequel. Unfortunately, with this crazy series, it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s not and at least one producer has been talking negatively about doing a second season.

With the way the series has been trolling fans, it would not be surprising if a full season of the Hoshiiro Girldrop anime was announced only to find out it’s really the Pop Team Epic Season 2 anime in disguise. After all, that has been one of the longest-running gags conceived by the Poputepipikku manga author and his team of ninja trolls. International fans new to the series might not be aware of that particular bit of history, so is it worth repeating the joke once again?

The Pop Team Epic manga (also known as Poputepipikku) by Bukubu Okawa (also known as bkub Okawa) started life as a four-panel webcomic on Takeshobo’s Manga Life Win website way back in 2014. There are two compiled book volumes, but the official English translation by publisher Vertical will not be released until the fall of 2018 according to Anime News Network.

The manga series has already been renewed for multiple “seasons.” The manga’s second season ended in April of 2017 and the current Pop Team Epic Season 3 (or Volume 3 of the books) began in October of 2017. The running gag began when Okawa announced back in 2016 that the Pop Team Epic manga was ending so it could be replaced by the Hoshiiro Girldrop manga series.

Considering that the planned manga series was filled with blatantly boilerplate rom-com tropes, fans found the news bemusing. The publisher even created character bios, web banner ads, and a Twitter campaign as part of the elaborate setup for the joke. The punchline came when the Hoshiiro Girldrop character Sosogu tore off her face to reveal Popuko underneath and announced Pop Team Epic Season 2 of the manga series.

Pop Team Epic Hoshiiro Girldrop Popuko Reveal
Episode 1 of the anime continued the trolling by opening with the 'Hoshiiro Girldrop' anime.Featured image credit: Bukubu OkawaTakeshobo

And that’s why there is an appropriate image of characters Popuko and Pipimi giving fans two middle fingers. For those who want to see it, the very brief Hoshiiro Girldrop manga gag is contained in Chapter 16 of the Pop Team Epic manga (beginning of Volume 2/Season 2).

The multi-level trolling continued in 2017 when an official website and Twitter account announced the Hoshiiro Girldrop anime with a teaser trailer and a timer that counted down until April 1, 2017. Obviously, it was an April fool’s joke intended for revealing the Pop Team Epic anime adaptation, but the joke continued when the opening scene of Episode 1 fooled people into thinking they were watching the wrong anime. The gag got even more meta when a very real Hoshiiro Girldrop Comic Anthology was published in January of 2018. (No, this article is not trolling you; go and read it.)

Hoshiiro Girldrop Anime’s Story More Popular Than Pop Team Epic?

The interesting part is that more people are searching nowadays for “Hoshiiro Girldrop” than “Pop Team Epic Season 2,” according to Google’s search data. In fact, in the week following the airing of Episode 11 of the Poputepipikku anime, there were six times as many searches, which is unusual considering the first season just ended.

The final episode preview of that dang Gainax ending finally explained why Daichi cannot remember Sosogu at the start of the story. In a deal with Gaia, Daichi apparently exchanged his memories of Sosogu in order to bring her back to life. But now that he remembered her, a second death is teased for a Clannad-like ending.

Hoshiiro Girldrop Anime Characters
The 'Hoshiiro Girldrop' anime characters.Featured image credit: Kamikaze Douga'Pop Team Epic' Anime TV Still

Needless to say, the brief segment in Episode 11 fed fans’ frenzies by finagling frames to flesh out fanboys’ fantasies of fictional fashionable idols forever fearing fatal finis. (Sorry, the ghost of V took over Frye. Back to our regularly scheduled article. Fufufu, Eisaiharamasukoi!) Instead, the finale dropkicked all that death-talk and jumped straight to asking whether Sosogu should remain an idol or become a bride. They’ll probably go the Hoshiiro Girldrop: After Story route.

Anime fans were hoping Pop Team Epic Episode 12 would finish off with the series by devoting the episode to the Hoshiiro Girldrop story. According to Animate Times and MyAnimeList, that idea was being reported as real at one time. A tweet from MAL indicates that “30 minutes worth of Poputepipikku‘s (Pop Team Epic) final episode will feature the anime’s parody shoujo series Hoshiiro Girldrop.” Unfortunately, that did not happen. Even if a full Hoshiiro Girldrop anime season were to be announced, fans would have to see it, watch it, and own figurines and the entire Blu-Ray box set just to believe it.

Even The Anime Director Thinks “Bob Team Epic” Is Incomprehensible

Anime studio Kamikaze Douga is more well known for animating portions action series like Gatchaman Crowds, Terraformars, and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. According to Yaraon, director Jun Aoki said he only agreed to accept the anime project because he was under the impression that the Pop Team Epic manga was a “typical easy web manga.” He jokingly regrets the decision and other people in the anime industry have not been supportive.

For example, animator Ikuo Geso was attacked on Twitter for criticizing the show since it’s supposed to be “crap.”

“Even calling it crap is like a compliment,” Geso tweeted. “All these works that make me depressed are increasing, and I’m at my wit’s end.”

The self-described “crappy anime” is lovingly described by fans as a “f**king s**tpost in the form of an anime/manga.” According to Comic Natalie, even the anime merch booth was listed as “crappy.” Some fans have joked that MAL needs to update its scoring system to add a “?/10” option just for Pop Team Epic.

Pop Team Epic Season 2 Release Date For The Anime – Episode 12 Confirms But Producer Denies The Second Season

The anime was produced by King Records (the butt of jokes throughout Episode 12) and licensed by Funimation and Sentai Filmworks in the anime production committee. As of this publishing, Episode 12 did claim that Hoshiiro Girldrop Season 2 was “confirmed,” but animation company Kamikaze Douga has not announced anything official about the Pop Team Epic Season 2 release date. However, there can be reasonable speculation about when, or if, the Poputepipikku Season 2 premiere date may occur.

It’s a fact that King Records producer Kotaro Sudo told Animate Times that the turnaround time for producing the first season was about two years. The process started in the spring of 2016 and the producer almost didn’t get it approved. He also revealed that the music was the biggest part of the budget because they created more than 100 pieces of background music, which is abnormal for any anime.

An official confirmation of the second season may not come out for quite a while since previous “announcements” have mostly been jokes. In fact, when Kotaro was directly asked if there was going to be a second season or a Pop Team Epic movie he denied it without hesitation.

“No, we won’t,” Kotaro said back in early 2018. “It’s more like we’re trying our best just to get through these 3 months…”

The subject came up a second time in the interview, with one question asking whether King Records would “sponsor more crazy shows like this in the future.” Instead, Kotaro admitted he’d rather do Seitokai Yakuindomo Season 3.

“This is the last of it,” Kotaro insisted. “I’d like to make a nice, wholesome show after this, like a sequel to Seitokai Yakuindomo.”

The producer may have been joking. Seitokai Yakuindomo is a rom-com anime about an all-girls school that converts into a co-ed school. Certain scenes were censored, so it’s not exactly a “wholesome” anime. (Well, compared to Pop Team Epic, perhaps everything seems wholesome?)

Assuming the second season’s confirmation in Episode 12 isn’t a joke, there’s no reason to wait. The plot is plotless, and the anime does not rely on the manga source material for creating episodes. This animated meme has already gone viral enough to generate piles of cash and justify a second season. Unlike many anime, several volumes of the six-volume Blu-Ray/DVD box set were already available for sale in Japan while the first season was still airing. The first disc sold 5,880 copies in the first week, which is better than some anime that been renewed for a second season.

Still, there’s the little matter of the anime studio’s availability. Besides Poputepipikku, the only 2018 project listed for Kamikaze Douga is the upcoming Batman Ninja anime, which releases on April 24, 2018. It’s possible the studio is booked up for years with unannounced projects, but Kamikaze Douga is mostly known for doing the opening and ending animations for other studios’ series.

If there is any major delay in confirming via real PR statements that the production for Pop Team Epic Season 2 aka Hoshiiro Girldrop: The Really, Real Anime is greenlit, then the studio has a ready-made excuse. They’re just too busy thinking about Hellshake Yano.

[March 26, 2018] Added new info from Episode 12 and quotes from producer. Updated previously written paragraphs to reflect reality. Reality. So boring.