Genres: Action, Drama
Aired: Oct 2016 – Dec 2016
Also Known As: フリップフラッパーズ
Summary: Cocona, a cautious middle school girl, encounters an eccentric and headstrong girl named Papika. The two girls end up traveling together to strange worlds known as Pure Illusion, where they must retrieve mysterious, amorphous fragments which apparently can grant wishes. As Cocona and Papika gather these fragments for the Flip Flap organization, they come up against Cocona’s childhood friend, Yayaka, who is seeking the fragments for Flip Flap’s rival, Asclepius. As both organizations collide, Cocona learns more about the world than she thought possible.
Review: You ever buy a coat or a jacket that’s flashy but is made out of poor material? I think that summarizes my feelings of Flip Flappers. That comes across as a bit harsh, but let me explain.
From the animation to the background, Flip Flappers is a beautiful show – for about 11 episodes. There were some instances prior to episode 12 and 13, but those two episodes featured a consideable amount of scenes where the characters looked off-model. Which is a shame since the engaging art is the highlight of the show.
The thing is, the substance behind all of the prettiness? You know, the plot when you cut through the takes on various genres as seen in Pure Illusion? The storyline? It’s barebones and shallow. Granted, I think part of my disappointment was due to my own expectations being raised too high. We had to sit through over three-quarters of the series before we started getting some answers. And when they finally came out, they turned out to be half-baked. I felt like I was jerked around on a chain, like I was being led around by someone who seemed interested in me but only wanted the free meal.
Sure, maybe the show didn’t have to have a complicated story. Maybe the premises was always intended to be simplistic yet vague. But after nine episodes of pretty scenery and animation and of dodging the important questions, I had figured there would be something behind all that that was worth being evasive. What I actually got was rushed answers that felt completely pedestrian. I don’t know if you all listen to EDM at all, but Flip Flappers is like a song that has all that build-up… but no drop.
That being said, there are some intricacies woven into the narrative. Some pyschological theories are explored and it’s clear that the writers (or perhaps the artists) are pretty smart people. So why couldn’t they write a decent plot (or decent lines, for that matter)? The fans can dig through the content and try to make as much sense of it, but that’ll be the fans doing the heavywork. At its core, Flip Flappers is a drab story which only looks pretty. It doesn’t help that a lot of things go unexplained (why does Papika look like younger than her actual age is never clearly elaborated on, for instance).
If a character happens to not be Cocona, Papika, or Yayaka, said character is effectively insignificant. Several characters ended up having no bearing on the plot at all (NYULESSNESS is the prime example here). Even the main villain comes across as being secondary compared to these three.
As for yuri. Well. Everyone wants a piece of Cocona. Except for Sayuri who wants some of that Salty Salt sauce. Actually, the yuri is actually only between Papika and Cocona. Yayaka is the doomed childhood friend, I’m sorry. B
ut she will always be OTP with Papika in my heart. No one can take the pleasure of crack ships away from me.
One last thing I will say is that the OP and the ED are quite nice to listen to. The OP in particular never fails to get me pumped and excited. It used to be what I would listen to at work in order to keep me motivated.
Despite having some layers of complexity, Flip Flappers is ultimately flashy yet shallow. It does have beautiful art for the most part, but a lot of it seemed dedicated to meaningless scenes that only ate up screentime that could have been used on character development or steady plot progression or even exposition.