If I have one huge glaring weakness when it comes to covering Japanese music and pop culture, it’s the fact I don’t watch much anime. I’d like to blame this on a lack of time, but that would be a lie — I managed to watch Paddington for the second time ever last night. I don’t know why! I always catch bits and pieces of new shows, and mostly put everything together via the internet. Anyway, I’m always behind on that (highly vital) section of pop culture, and it’s something I’m constantly trying to fix.
I did start watching Pop Team Epic when it landed on streaming services a couple weeks back, and it’s great. Some people call it “the dankmemes anime,” but really it’s a flurry of pop-culture references gone wild, with an element of trolling worked in. It’s a blast, and just as good is “Pop Team Epic,” the opening theme by Sumire Uesaka. It’s a slice of electro-pop throwback, channeling the buzzy days of 2008 when it looked like this whole digi-saturated style would take over. It didn’t, but leave it to the theme song of a referential anime to do a damn good interpretation for folks who like the sound of a human voice imagined by a computer more than actual human voices. It even comes complete with a harsher passage that would make the people who put Beautiful Techno together smile. Listen above.