This episode of Amphibia’s all about conflict. For eons, people have fought each other over every idea or belief imaginable. As Anne and Hop Pop learn in this episode, sometimes conflict occurs because of something important, like politics. Conflict can also occur over something stupid like shipping.
When the town’s theater night’s canceled, Anne shows them her favorite movie. This ends up backfiring when the town splits on which guy the female lead should end up with. Worse, Anne and Polly are leading the respective factions, while Anne and Hop Pop refuse to take part in the conflict.
When the diplomatic approach fails, Anne and HP resort to stealing each sides flag. That only leads to full on war. When Polly’s about to be blasted by produce, though, Sprig’s brotherly instincts compel him to protect her and the two reconcile. In the end, both sides agree this whole fight was dumb and pack it in.
After hearing Hop Pop rant about how bad a leader Toadstool is, the people of Wartwood nominate him to run for Mayor. Anne, Sprig, and Polly decide to support him to keep him from being depressed over losing the stand.
In Wartwood, elections involve trials in which candidates compete to win favor, and Hop Pop wins every one over the inept Toadstool. Desperate, the Mayor tries to convince HP to throw the last trial in exchange for giving him back his stand, tax-Free. While tempting, Hop Pop decides this is about more than just him and wins.
Despite all of Wartwood voting for him, Hop Pop loses the election because forgot to campaign in the rest of the valley. However, as thanks for giving them hope, the people of Wartwood pitched in to buy Hop Pop back his stand.
If there’s one type of conflict I wish to abstain from more than anything, and that’s the shipping wars. I may have my opinions on who would make good couples in fiction, but I’m not going to get into a dumb war over it. Civil Wart served to reinforce my opinion on that. It can be fun to talk about who should be paired with whom, but when you get too invested in it, it can ruin the fandom for everyone.
As for Hop-Popular, I was looking forward to it resolving two ongoing stories in Amphibia: the mayoral election, and HP losing the stand. We’ve seen Mayor Toadstool campaign for re-election since episode one, and its what’s driven his character so far. That led to HP losing his stand, which led to the two plot threads combining for a good resolution.
My one complaint about Hop-Popular is that chose to maintain the status quo and keep Toadstool as Mayor. On the flimsy excuse that everyone in the valley was voting for Wartwood’s Mayor, too. It would have been a good way to shake up the story by having Hop Pop as Mayor; lots of potential stories from that.
This was a fun episode in the end, though. I, for one, enjoyed it. I can wait for the status quo to change in the season finale. Until then, Amphibia can keep hopping along with conflicts of the episode.
Click here to see my other animation stuff.