A while ago, I linked to the absurdist anime Pop Team Epic with no comment, mostly because it defies explanation. This interview with its producer, Kotaro Sudo, reveals the freedom afforded to its segments’ creators, and its commitment to experimentation. For instance:
Q: Going back to episode 1, how did that French segment come about? I feel like I saw a lot of viewers at the advance screening and the TV broadcast who were left dumbfounded…
A: That was Kamikaze Douga’s idea. There’s a French person who works at Kamikaze Douga, you see.
Q: You mean the one who shows up on camera.
A: That’s him. He doesn’t speak Japanese, and communicates at work with English, so Kamikaze Douga said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if we gave him the manga and let him do as he pleased?” So we ended up going with that suggestion. Since he doesn’t understand Japanese, he made the segment by looking at the art and imagining what was going on. That’s why it ignores the canon and has Popuko and Pipimi going to Paris, and makes self-deprecating French jokes. Also, he creates those as a one-man team, which is why it’s animated more like a Western cartoon. We also hired French voice actresses, so the footage is sent over there for voice-over recording. I was shocked to hear how much it actually cost to do all that… (laughs).
It’s available in Japanese or English — watch it.