Back to review Flip Flappers after taking a break to try out the Summer 2020 premieres. I actually have one or two more First Impressions to write but those will probably be quick write ups. And honestly, I’m more in the mood for this; this Summer isn’t looking too stellar.
Last we saw of Cocona and Papika, they entered a machine run by FlipFlap to enter Pure Illusion. The beginning of the episode suggests that some time has passed since. Our heroines have been separated. Papika appears to have been wandering the new desert area to the point of exhaustion and dehydration. Cocona shows up as the leader of some biker gang terrorizing the village Papika takes refuge in. You later find out the mask she’s wearing was controlling her mind and it was forcibly put on her by the monster of the week.
I enjoyed this scenario more than the previous one. Not that the rabbity acid trip wasn’t fun but this desert area has more going on — two conflicting factions, an actual villain, and a situation beyond mere survival. The only thing that’s potentially disappointing is that this episode is probably the only time we’ll ever see this area. I’d very much like to know what happens to those extras. Like, does the village and biker gang befriend each other after seeing Cocona and Papika’s unity. With the monster of the week dead, are her slaves freed? Seriously, what was the deal with them?
The most interesting detail in the episode comes when the monster reveals to Cocona that the mask she put on exaggerates what she’s currently feeling. This suggests that, deep down, Cocona actually wants to fight Papika and this revelation greatly disturbs her. Unfortunately, the show sweeps this under the rug with Papika saying it’s water under the bridge and it’s best not to think too much about it. That is completely in character of Papika but this seems like something that ought to be explored down the line.
This episode is where we see the true extent of Cocona and Papika’s mysterious power: transforming into magical girls. Even when I first tried Flip Flappers in 2016, I knew about this in advance. The show itself was also clearly leading up to with the girls gaining Super Saiyan-esque power ups. That said, I still find their first transformation extremely out of the blue. These two say “‘Transform'” as if they know exactly what they’re doing but was it ever brought to up to them that they can take their powers to this next level? You could reason that FlipFlap filled them in offscreen but that’s still sloppy writing in and of itself. Oh well, at least the fight is awesome (I pray for the day 3Hz delivers another anime with their A-game).
Following the fight, we learn that Yayaka is actually an adventurer herself, accompanied by twins Toto (Sayaka Inoue) and Yuyu (Airi Toshino) (both of whom made a cameo in Episode 1). Evidently, she’s a new enemy or at least a rival to Cocona and Papika as she takes the monster’s fragment for herself and Papika later finds out that she’s allied with the people that attacked her and Cocona in Episode 1. This development is also out of the blue but I give it more of a pass since it’s 100% meant to be a twist. There’s potential to it as well. I don’t know what to make of the twins but Yayaka opposing Cocona will certainly put their friendship in jeopardy. Of course, this is assuming that they were truly friends to begin with.
During the post-credit scene, Cocona wonders how much time has passed and learns that she missed cram school, worrying her grandmother as a result. Fortunately, her grandmother doesn’t pry for specifics and is just relieved to see Cocona returning home safely. I really like how the show keeps bringing up the effect these adventurers have on Cocona’s once normal life. These two elements clearly clash with each other and after this close call, Cocona probably knows that she can’t truly go back to the way things were.
Thanks for reading!