Sumire Uesaka’s new single “POP TEAM EPIC”, the theme song to the titular anime, reached number 12 on the Japanese pop charts on February 7th. It seems the hottest anime of the winter is not just making its mark in the world of anime — it’s also taking over the Oricon pop charts!

Popuko and Pipimi from POP TEAM EPIC
Rude and crude | Image via sohu

POP TEAM EPIC, the irreverent meme-comedy of winter 2018, is an adaption of a 4-koma, a Japanese comic style, by Okawa Bukubu. Popuko and Pipimi, the protagonists, are little more than blobs with faces who cuss and intimidate their way through the world. Rough and ugly, it is everything that mainstream anime is not. Despite this, or perhaps because of this, it is one of the hottest shows of the season. It flouts anime convention entirely, not even filling its full 23-minute time slot. The episodes only last 12 minutes, after which they are redubbed with gruff, manly voices.

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New Heights for Singer Uesaka

The song reached  12th overall for new singles in terms of CD sales and first in terms of digital downloads. It was released on January 23rd and is Uesaka’s best-selling single to date. When the rankings were posted on Feb. 7th, Uesaka’s catchy electro-pop tune had sold 9,933 hard copies. This is in addition to some 26,121 digital downloads, adding up to a total of 36,054 sales.

Sumire Uesaka at Anicon 2015
Sumire Uesaka at Anicon 2015 | Image via wikicommons

This is Uesaka’s hottest song to date, selling faster than any previous singles or collaborations the 7-year seiyuu (voice actress) and singer had worked on before. While her past projects include such popular shows as AHO GIRL and GIRLS UND PANZER, this hit anime opening is the milestone moment for Uesaka. The song is so popular that Uesaka’s single is, as of Feb. 7th, beating out new and recent releases from such pop heavyweights as Sakamoto Maaya and Nogizaka 46.

Just a Blip, or the Start of Something Big?

Of course, “POP TEAM EPIC” may not stay at number 12 for long, but the fact that it got there is remarkable in itself. While surely the popularity of “POP TEAM EPIC” has something to do with the popularity of the namesake show, the song is infectiously catchy. Not quite pop or electro, the song uses glitch-tune melodies, pounding bass, and distorted vocals in a way that combines the best of pop with the best of glitch. Glitch, like chiptunes, is a style of electronic music which uses mechanical blips and error sounds as melody pieces. While not a new style, it is not yet a pop chart regular, making Uesaka’s success more pronounced.

Just like POP TEAM EPIC’s success, Uesaka’s hit single is fresh and bracing. A unique theme for a unique show; hopefully this productive relationship will continue to bear fruit!

Featured image from the JPop wiki

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