Among various shows this season, FlipFlappers has shown to be the most eccentric and beautiful show of the season. Whereas Drifters is the darkest show, FlipFlappers is your sugar rush, color explosion, eccentrically beautiful show for this season. The show started off giving a Hayao Miyazaki vibe with a beautifully constructed world in Pure Illusion, but as the show moved on, it gave fans something more. Each episode has been unique until episode 10. In each episode, we were given a different world encompassed by Pure Illusion, and as we watched the girls grow in new and exciting environments, the story moved on unexpectedly.
The best thing about this show is the world building and the shows ability to take each episode and make it different. In the first episode, we got a Miyazaki-esque world. In episode two, we went down the rabbit hole. In episode three, we got introduced to a Mad Max like world where water is the needed item, even a world resembling Tron. As the story moved on, the writers and animators changed the colors and plot devices, bringing us more drama and horror. With each new world, we progress with Papika and Cocona, as well as see how different the show can be. With no real defining genre, it manages to weave various landscapes and storylines in a way that makes each episode refreshing and brings the audience one of the most beautifully drawn shows this season.
Not only does the landscape make the show great, but the colors make for a beautiful show. In the beginning, we get a dull world that Cocona lives in, with dark and non-pastel colors. When we get introduced to Papika, the colors become more vibrant and are sustained this way. The decision to do so makes the show unique compared to some of the basic and more usual colors in anime. The decision to draw and color the way they are reminds me of No Game No Life and Nanbaka, two shows who also use a unique color palette that helps enhance the show and make it more refreshing.
There is more to like in the show than artwork and world-building though. If you appreciate shows that can change genre on a whim and do so in a way that makes it work, this is the show for you. The writers knew what they were doing when they took this show and found a way to make the episodes stand out. In the horror episode, we saw Papika and Cocona trapped in a school with students who have creepy faces and an eerie clock that doesn’t go for 24 hours. The show then evolves as the girls discover the mysterious entrance to escape the building but must do so before the time reaches a certain point or they get stuck in this world.
In the Tron episode, we see how the girls encounter a smaller man who created the world and together they must use robots who can combine to beat a larger being. It’s as if Tron and Power Rangers had a baby and this is the lovechild of the two concepts. We even saw as the episodes progressed the relationship between Papika and Cocona grow and in turn become reflected in the world.
When the two get sucked into an entrance within Pure Illusion itself, they encompass two girls who are identical and switch places between two households. As the girls continue trading places in households that have different color palettes, representing the warm and niceness of their aunt and the cruelty and sadness in their parents home, we watch as they fight over time with their grandmother. When the episode is over, a drastic change occurs with a character and we find that they altered the history of that character and changed them forever, something that is possible in Pure Illusion.
Other times, we find Cocona and Papika get into fights, where Cocona is put into a world where everyone in her life represents Papika in some way, whether it be a classmate, a lover or a sister. The way they use that to symbolize Papika’s own personality as well as a way for Cocona to think about her issues, the episode gives the audience a new look into this world.
FlipFlappers has a weird name and may throw some off at first, but the show has proven that it doesn’t need to rely on its eccentricity to tell its story. Lately, the show has forgone the alternate worlds in turn for background information on Cocona’s friend Yayaka, who seems to be in competition with Cocona to collect these gems for evil characters who appear in KKK looking robes. As the story progresses, we see Yayaka fighting with herself and her friend, trying to pick a side. We are also introduced to Cocona’s returning nightmare and a big reveal with the history of Cocona and Papika. The show has shown us that in reality, Papika and Dr. Salt, who appeared to be random, have actually been an important part in Cocona’s life.
We also see Cocona’s mother was a part of Cocona’s dreams and has taken over Cocona’s body to protect her. In doing that, the show has given off an impression that maybe Dr. Salt’s dad leads the KKK group, since, earlier, his mind was messed with, similar to the school friend. Now that Cocona’s mom is changing the world for her daughter’s sake, we approach the climax in a show that has gone far in a way that seemed to have no linear story until we reached a moment that revealed everything.
The beautiful artwork, the eccentric and wacky worlds, the story lines and the underlying meaning behind each thing in this anime make it a beautifully outstanding show that should be watched. It is unlike any other anime out there and will have you falling in love.
Collegian blogger Kevin Avis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.