Cocona is an average middle schooler living with her grandmother. And she who has yet to decide a goal to strive for, soon met a strange girl named Papika who invites her to an organization called Flip Flap.
Dragged along by the energetic stranger, Cocona finds herself in the world of Pure Illusion—a bizarre alternate dimension—helping Papika look for crystal shards. Upon completing their mission, Papika and Cocona are sent to yet another world in Pure Illusion. As a dangerous creature besets them, the girls use their crystals to transform into magical girls: Cocona into Pure Blade, and Papika into Pure Barrier. But as they try to defeat the creature before them, three others with powers from a rival organization enter the fray and slay the creature, taking with them a fragment left behind from its body. Afterward, the girls realize that to stand a chance against their rivals and the creatures in Pure Illusion, they must learn to work together and synchronize their feelings in order to transform more effectively.
To be honest Flip Flappers should-be more popular. I felt that it had all the material needed to engage with audiences regardless of their preferences, and most importantly sell great merchandise. The only thing that stopped me from giving the incredible piece of art a solid 10 was the strange and often times confusing story; which I'll get into in a moment so please keep sitting in your chair, or levitating above, you wizards.
So what is Flip Flappers about? Why should you be watching it? Can you eat it? Only two of the three questions above will be answered.
Flip Flappers’ story is interesting in many
ways. We follow the lives two cute girls, there’s intense action, amazing visuals, a yuri undertone lurking. What more could you want— other than nudity, perv.
The Story can be hit or miss depending on your preferences. If you’re into simple story-telling and plot developments then Flip flappers most likely won’t be on your watch list. The plot, the real plot, not fan-service is very confusing at times. It is so bad to the point where I found myself questioning “what the hell going on?” in certain episodes. You see, Flip Flappers method of storytelling is hard to follow…
There are often times too many distractions, mostly imagery, that if you miss a single detail then you will be momentarily confused as to what is happening in the story. This is extremely prevalent when there are scenes filled to the brim with dialogue and monologues. Personally, I found myself getting lost in the vibrant imagery or special effects while characters were talking. Now as far as the story telling goes, the “direction” I have to say that I strongly believe that both the narrative was straight forward as to be expected. Flip Flappers method of storytelling is “the hero’s journey.” For example, think of movies like Harry potter or Lord of the rings.
For those who are unfamiliar with the scenario, something bad or out of the ordinary happens. This causes the girls to go on an adventure to solve the problem; they receive supernatural aid, and get just a bit of character development. As their adventure progresses, they run into the antagonist whom they proceed to do battle with. At this point, “death & rebirth” kicks in. The girls lose, but suddenly realize that this battle is important, plot armor kicks in, and they both gain some sort of supernatural ability that helps them defeat the antagonist. After the grueling battle rests, a predictable outcome, the heroes succeed and head back home where everything is nice and happy.
Now with “the journey “that the girls go on. It is not incredible but it sure is unique. During the span of the entire series Papika and Cocnoa are involved in some type of journey that teaches them both lessons. For example they both need each other. They’re friends! Most of the problems the two have to fix during the series, I perceived them as stepping blocks for the two to continue building their budding relationship.
There’s never a dull moment in the Flip Flappers’ story I feel like it provided more than enough entertainment.
At first glance, depending on if you have a good eye or are just really experienced with watching anime. One would assume Gainax worked this title with its unique choices in art. However, they didn’t (as far as my knowledge goes) do much in the animation department. The credits in episode 11 say that they were used for outsourcing. This is common in the anime industry. Personally I believe that their unique art style was used as inspiration for 3hz.
Backgrounds are beautiful despite lacking detail and high quality at times. Character designs are unique, cute which is most important. On the other hand, the animation wasn’t as impressive. I felt like there could’ve been improvements to the aesthetics and quality to make the show look more modern. HOWEVER! And Honestly, I think everything worked out. I enjoyed the beauty the show had to offer. It has a sort of “dreamscape” fantasy design to it. This choice fits with the theme of the show. Lastly, the colors are rich and the special effects are fluid.
The soundtrack does an excellent job setting the mood for certain situations. I felt that the composer did a wonderful job of creating songs that fit theme of the show. Happy, jaunty, tunes, the bells are of course the most important part. Voice acting was good to say the least. I didn't feel like the actors were anything special. The opening and ending song... Scratch the opening song. The ending song perfectly describes what the show is about! the sound director deserves to be acknowledge for their contributions to the show.
Enjoyment & Overall: Flip flappers deserves some notoriety for its great efforts and contributions to the fall 2016 season. I felt that this title was incredibly fun to watch! The characters, art, soundtrack and story. There was so many things that I liked in the show that made it enjoyable. I had to give Flip Flappers a solid 9/10 because of how great I felt watching everything unfold.
Flip Flappers is the textbook definition of a hidden gem. A short, artistic original anime by a relatively unknown studio, and also an anime which is quite difficult to explain. This is partially because of its symbolic themes, but also because the execution itself is very unorthodox. It is like the anime equivalent of an LSD trip; something I can only describe as a crossover of FLCL and Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita. But somehow, Studio 3Hz actually made it work, resulting in what I would probably have to consider my favorite anime of Fall 2016.
The story follows two girls who meet each other by coincidence:
the extremely energetic and cheerful Papika, and the much more level-headed and all-round normal Cocona. The somewhat futuristic world which Flip Flappers plays out in does not only contain hoverboards and advanced robotics, but also a fair amount of less explainable things. Supposedly there exists a second, overlapping dimension called Pure Illusion which Papika and Cocona end up stumbling upon by literally falling down a hole into it. This other world is largely responsible for what makes Flip Flappers so different, because in Pure Illusion pretty much anything seems possible. It reminds me of Fantasia a bit with its magical, colourful landscapes, mythical beasts and other strange creatures, doors functioning as teleports, and just a ton of magic in general. Sometimes however it can be sci-fi-esque rather than fantasy-esque, with digital Tron-like cyberspace environments, mechas and more.
Papika and Cocona work for the Flip Flap organization, which tasks them with searching for so-called "amorphous" fragments within the world of Pure Illusion, which are supposedly capable of granting wishes. These fragments can be found in different kinds of environments within Pure Illusion, which is largely what causes them to end up in such blatantly different surroundings in almost every episode. In their adventures however they end up finding out that Flip Flap is not the only organization on the hunt for amorphous fragments, as they encounter a second group who seemingly wants them for their own ulterior motives. And thus we end up with a lot of fighting in-between the two sides throughout the anime as they keep trying to beat each other to the punch for every fragment.
Flip Flappers utilizes the strange world of Pure Illusion in order to tell unusual stories on a mostly episodic basis out of chronological order, and on top of providing interesting adventures it also has a plethora of symbolism underneath the surface. Pretty much everything in this show has a meaning. However, not the entire anime is on an episodic basis. Towards the end, everything starts to connect, and an overarching storyline you might not have even realized was ever there suddenly starts to become visible. Ultimately, it all culminates into a quite grandiose and conclusive ending.
But what really makes Flip Flappers a success to me is that it manages to deliver its deeper messages without it really hampering the fun factor of the anime itself. A common problem I have with more philosophical anime is that they often end up feeling like nothing more than lectures and either turn out to be quite boring (like Mushishi) or just plain cringey (like Yuri Kuma Arashi). But Flip Flappers is actually a ton of sheer light-hearted fun on top of its subtle themes, like a child's imagination come to life with its execution, and even though there is generally way more to each scene than meets the eye, it is still very entertaining to watch. And as a result it actually made me interested enough in the show as a whole to motivate me to pay attention to the details as well, so in a way the fun factor actually made the deeper themes better too. It is the same reason you usually learn more from a class you actually enjoy than one that makes you literally fall asleep.
The characters are overall quite likable but also very symbolic. Papika's bubbly personality is like a representation of childhood innocence, whereas another girl called Yayaka rather seems to symbolize adulthood, with Cocona stuck somewhere in-between the two extremes, unsure what she really wants to do. It's a nice way of combining character diversity with contrasting deeper themes.
The production value is also quite surprising. Studio 3Hz do not have much in their repertoire other than Dimension W and Sora no Method prior to this, but even so they still definitely delivered here. The art style looks incredibly hand-drawn, like something you would normally see in a Studio Ghibli film rather than something you would expect to see airing on TV. But it fits really well with the Fantasia-like setting of Pure Illusion, further enhancing the experience of magic and wonder of it all. And on top of that, Flip Flappers boasts with not just having one of the best opening themes of the entire season, but also quite frankly one of the best ending themes I've ever heard in anime.
Overall, what you have is an anime which honestly does not feel like it has any clear weaknesses in my eyes. The unorthodox setting and story, the way all the dots suddenly connect towards the end, the diverse and symbolic characters, the gorgeous art and the enjoyable theme songs, it is all really good. Just... not utterly amazing either. I guess the biggest downside would be that at times the story will undoubtedly come across as rather confusing, even if you really try to pay attention. Granted, this is all intentional, but that does not really help much in practicality. However, as mentioned earlier, even if you will not understand literally every message that Flip Flappers is trying to convey, I think you should still be able to enjoy it quite a lot. When it all comes down to it, that is probably its greatest strength.
Originality is not an easy thing to accomplish. The sheer amount of content out there at our disposal makes it immensely difficult to stand out. You can either attempt to create something completely new, or you can try to do something different with what’s already there. A fresh perspective can go a long way, breathing life into a tried concept or even gaining a new audience altogether.
Flip Flappers doesn’t really try to be anything new, and it doesn’t have to. The story follows two middle school girls as they embark in wonderful journeys in a different reality known as Pure
Illusion. Cocona is reserved, careful, and afraid to make decisions for herself. Papika serves as her foil, taking a drastically different approach to life. The two grow closer as they face the dangers of this imaginative world, learning much about who and what they are in the process.
This is very much a show about magical girls, so expect everything to revolve around friendship, imagination, and oversexualized youth. What stands out is how the show propels the ideas of identity and reality to the forefront. These are touched on in other mahou shoujo, but the great lengths taken to integrate the concepts into every aspect of the show make this a remarkable watch.
Like many shows in the subgenre, there is a focus on collection as the girls travel to different themed worlds searching for magic crystals. Generally, shows like this tend to be repetitive, but Flip Flappers alleviates some of the problems associated with the episodic nature by focusing on the macro rather than the micro. What does each world represent to them? What is Pure Illusion? We are continually asked questions without it ever feeling overwhelming thanks to smart writing and clever timing.
It’s not often that a series attempts to break immersion with the viewer rather than strengthen it. Quick cuts, abrupt scene transitions, varying obtrusive camera angles, jarring wide-screen effects… It’s very apparent we are supposed to notice the editing. This is normally a bad thing, though in the rare case that we aren’t supposed to believe the authenticity of the world being presented, it’s brilliant.
Unfortunately, the show’s second half is a lot messier than the first. While the story unravels naturally and is still very engaging, a lot of what made the show stand out in the first place is lost. Thankfully, nothing on a technical level really suffers. The animation stays consistently fluid and the use of sound is never overbearing or underused. It’s just a shame that the little strokes of genius found earlier in the show never come to fruition.
Flip Flappers is proof that you don’t have to re-invent the wheel to have a completely new experience. You just need to look at things with a fresh perspective.
Critics call this series: "beautiful, imaginative, action-packed, and mysterious"
I'll add that it's also "diverse, unique, immersive, and, most importantly, it's (*cough*cough* mostly *cough*) coherent!"
Flip Flappers is pretty underrated and will take you on a relatively unpredictable journey with two middle school girls named Papika and Cocona as they travel to another dimension called "Pure Illusion". The story begins mysteriously as it follows the warm and simple-minded Papika as she escapes from what looks like a lab and flies off into the night sky on her hoverboard. It then switches to the perspective of the visibly depressed or kuudere Cocona and briefly gives insight into her
struggles to figure who she wants to be and what career path to choose. At this point, no one could have guessed the incredibly diverse future that was in store for these two protagonists.
TL;DR at the end
I strongly believe that Flip Flappers is one of the most original and imaginative anime ever made. It should get more attention because it definitely has all of the necessary ingredients to become one of the treasured gems of the anime genre. I highly recommend that you check this out if you enjoy diversity, unpredictability, action, and beauty. I usually like to contemplate anime, but this series was so unpredictable and silly that I had to turn my brain off for most of it, haha!
The concept of other dimensions gave this anime the ability to explore unlimited possibilities. Mechas, ghosts, sci-fi, action, comedy, horror--- you name it and it was probably in Flip Flappers. The overarching plot showcases the growing friendship of Papika and Cocona as they journey to "Pure Illusion" to collect rock-like-things that grant a wish once collected (kind of like finding the dragon balls). They eventually come to face opposition from another group that's also trying to collect them. However, ~PLOT TWIST~ things aren’t really as they seem… What real-world consequences will their actions in Pure Illusion have? Do the rocks really grant wishes? Who, exactly, is Papika? In fact, who is Dr. Salt? In fact... who... are you...? Just kidding, but these are some of the major questions that you might wonder throughout this anime. Overall, I did think it was a bit random (mostly in a good way) and sometimes the randomness strayed from the coherence of the plot. However, the pacing was, nonetheless, great and the stories/sub-stories were all interesting as well.
Although the art was mostly simple, it was beautifully simple. The art was deliberately made to look simple and is one of the most colorful anime that I’ve seen. It was truly a work of art! The motion was a bit choppy at times, but you could really FEEL the action. Pure illusion (alternate dimension) was absolutely stunning with rich and vibrant colors, and its artwork was enough to make me feel fully immersed in this series. The art wasn’t good because of its detail, but instead because of its creativity. They did a great job on setting the moods of the diverse settings in Flip Flappers. Sometimes it goes from a fun and light-hearted mood to a sci-fi mood, and then to more darker moods. Although the art was really good, I never once thought “Oh... My... Fuck... BRILLIANCE! MASTERPIECE!” like I did for Unlimited budgetworks (unlimited bladeworks) or Kizumoneygatari (Kizumonogatari) so I couldn't give it a 10 (Visit Kill la Kill or Katanagatari [10/10 Art]) for how to be flambuoyant, but still fluid in animation)
Every character’s voice matched the character, battle sounds were great, and background noises were normal. The background OSTs were primarily cinematic and didn’t have a memorable central theme like in Fairy tail, Kill la Kill, Guilty Crown, SAO, Madoka Magica, or Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles but it was nonetheless great background music. The opening was pretty good, but the ending was perfect for this anime. The ending was lighthearted, had an Alice-in-Wonderland-like feeling to it, and the artwork really matched the music perfectly. The sound was great overall.
I personally think the characters were the weakest part of this anime. All of the characters were cliche tropes that weren’t complex at all. The story was diverse enough that it didn’t matter much, but none of the characters were particularly unique in any way. It’s fine because I’m not sure how they could’ve developed more complex characters with its diverse settings in a matter of only 12 episodes. Their simplicity didn’t really take much away from the anime, but you probably won’t be getting any new favorites from it.
I really enjoyed this anime. It was pretty unique, so I think I’ll remember it for a long time. I enjoyed it enough to watch it again someday! That doesn’t happen to me often (I’ve only really re-watched like 2 series). There was just something special about this anime that I haven’t seen elsewhere.
It was very unique, the story was pretty good, and it was interesting overall, but it could have been better. The story was also extremely diverse but consequently had some very minor inconsistencies. The artwork was creative, but a bit choppy. The sound was great and well-suited to this anime, but not amazing.
Should you watch this anime? Well, I totally recommend it personally but:
If you value anime for its uniqueness, then definitely!
If you like artistic anime, then yeah!
If you like girl action anime, then yep!
If you like sci-fi anime, then ehhh you might want to give it a shot...
If you found the story or concept to be intriguing, then you should probably try it for about three episodes...
If you dislike simple anime and tropes, then no because this anime is very simple and trope heavy.
If you dislike “friendship power”, then nah this anime “Fairy Tail”ed at times.
Hope this helps you make your decision! If it did, let me know by clicking helpful~ If it didn’t, let me know what you disagree with so I can learn from my mistakes!