Flip Flappers – Anime Series Review

Episodes: 13

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.

(Source: Wikipedia

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.

not this again.jpg
Expect FF to handle a variety of genres through Pure Illusion. Rather entertaining, I guess.

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. But she will always be OTP with Papika in my heart. No one can take the pleasure of crack ships away from me.

M-my OTP! Stop it! …They do look comfy after getting through all this crap (which includes their own inability to communicate).

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.

my face.png


16 thoughts on “Flip Flappers – Anime Series Review

  1. Ah so thats why episode 13 sapped your anime mojo.

    This really sounds like a case where the overall product ended up being hollow. That’s a pity. I have seen some high praises going around for this too so I’m guessing it’s a matter of how willing you are to dig deep into the visuals, which is generally not something I’m willing to do because I know fuck all about visuals…

    At least you got a crack OTP out of it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My animo mojo went oh-no. No typo here, yo.

      Definitely the most controversial show in 2016 in my opinion. I might have leaned a bit too hard towards my perception here, unfortunately.
      It’s a consolation prize!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would like to argue that it is deep only if you allow it to be. It’s a very strange specimen, and I can understand entirely why it might not have as much appeal to others from a typical viewership experience.

    But before being called out as pretentious, I’d like to say that your mileage definitely varies with this show. It operates more on the level of a conceptual piece rather than a complete narrative, which for the purposes it is trying to achieve, seems to work for itself. Otherwise, I agree — this is one messy show.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see where you’re coming from. There are indeed some interesting elements within the narrative. Reading the fan theories and posts about Flip Flappers are very intriguing! I just felt that the actual storyline was mediocre. I was awful at expressing that sort of viewpoint here, sorry. Perhaps I was a bit too harsh. I do think the show is the most controversial one in 2016.

      You’re not being pretentious. What I wanted to talk about in my review (but ended up scrapping) is the opinions of critics. Does the fact that the common layman did not enjoy Show A mean more or less than the fact that an educated intellectual observed intricacies in Show A which add layers of depth to said show? That kind of argument which has no definitive answer but sort of applies in this situation.
      At times, I sort of lack that deep understanding in regards to various fields that pops up in animation, so I tend to aim for the more pedestrian viewpoint, I suppose. And in my layman opinion, Flip Flappers brought more troubles than treasures to the table.
      …I don’t think I’m making much sense so I’ll leave it at that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s the critics dilemma, actually. I honestly think that people should doubt critics, because most of the time, they’re wrong, haha.

        Also, there’s nothing wrong with “not getting” something from a show, because that’s just a sign that it failed to resonate with you in a way that was meaningful to you. And that’s not your fault — that’s the show’s fault. And yeah, maybe “pretentious” was too strong a word to use, because pretentious would be me insisting that you don’t understand something because you can’t appreciate a good work when you see it.

        But of course that’s not true. No one is in any position to invalidate one or another’s opinion on a show, because we all view things differently. It’s true that there are some common points of observation that are undeniably apparent, but the overall conclusion is, really, all you.

        Hence why I respect other people’s opinions and in fact even try to understand why they didn’t resonate as much as I did with a particular work. And conversely, I try to understand why I DON’T resonate with works that other people, in fact, did (YOI anyone?).

        But what’s important is that people don’t stop communicating; don’t stop opening their minds to discussion, but at the same time keep in mind that your personal views aren’t the end-all-be-all. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that that’s what you’re doing — in fact, I commend you for always being impartial, yet honest with your assessments. But just so you know, people shouldn’t consider themselves as “laymen” in the face of “critics” who just so happen to be able to express themselves better. We’re all critics, we just approach things differently.

        So to any critic that talks down on other people indignantly, just ignore them. Your opinion is just as good as anyone else’s.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, I should have realized that it was a defined idea. Most critics tend to be at least misinformed, I agree!

          That’s fair. I always end up feeling guilty when a show doesn’t really click with me, however. Wahaha, now that sort of behavior would be pretentious.
          Mmm, right. Some people may think they know it all or better, but that’s wrong.
          That’s very admirable of you. That’s the kind of open-minded mindset I strive to have.
          Ah, thanks. And you do have a point. I suppose I’ll have to reconsider a few things!
          Thankfully I don’t really run into those sort of types around these parts, but sure thing! That’s reassuring to read.


    1. I’m of the opinion that the show is messy, but I do think that people can enjoy Flip Flappers. I just sucked at expressing that sort of viewpoint and went in with my own opinions too hard.
      I hope Flip Flappers is more to your liking!


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