So finally, Flip Flappers begins elaborating on its mythology. Hidaka (Jun Fukushima), a scientist working for FlipFlap, explains to Cocona and Papika that their powers and transformations are tied to their levels of “impedance”. In other words, their feelings and the strength of their friendship. That lines up with how their powers have manifested, stressing out over the other’s safety or and a heightened moment of unity after being separated for a period of time. The only problem is that it needs to happen less impulsively and more reliably so it’s decided for Cocona and Papika to spend some time living together as to increase their impedance.
For whatever reason, Cocona packs up her things to live out in the woods with Papika. Wouldn’t it make more sense if Papika crashes at Cocona’s place? Both scenarios require Cocona to come up with an excuse to her grandmother but surely, the trip to the woods would be the tougher sell? And judging by the grandmother’s reaction, she’d definitely be fine with Papika sleeping over. To be fair, our heroines get the results they’re looking for so I guess I’m just arguing semantics here.
Even though we’re in the real world for the vast majority of the episode, things still get pretty weird. Cocona and Papika search for food and run into all kinds of wildlife. In the third act, they straight up get stranded on a deserted island. It’s far from the dreamy realities of Pure Illusion but the sense of adventure remains. Part of me maybe would prefer to keep the adventuring in the fantastical dimension though to be fair, it’s not like the real world is that realistic in Flip Flappers. The whole school campus has a slight whimsical look to it and Papika has a hoverboard for crying out loud. I can suspend my disbelief for this occasion. Plus, when Pure Illusion finally does kick in, you really do buy the real world as considerably more normal (seriously, they get sucked in by a solar eclipse; can’t get any weirder than that).
Considering this got swept under the rug last time, I’m glad to see this episode further explores how Cocona views Papika. Throughout their time together, she realizes that she doesn’t hate Papika per se but rather, she greatly envies her. Papika is so free-spirited and adventurous and within the right context, that gives her an edge in adapting to and staying levelheaded in a new situation. Cocona doesn’t have that mindset and she easily gets shocked and panicked when dealing with something unfamiliar to her. Combined with living a rather rigid lifestyle, it’s easy to see how she might feel like she has nothing going for her and that she wishes she could be more like her friend. While Papika can’t entirely assuage that, I think she gave the best response she can, arguing that her mindset has its flaws while Cocona’s has its advantages which are both true. By the end of the episode, you really buy that these two have grown closer.
This episode sheds some light on a couple of looming threads. Cocona has that same dream of the mysterious woman again and the woman peculiarly says she “welcomes” her back. Combined with the revelation that Cocona’s parents are dead, I’m getting the impression that the woman she’s dreaming of might be her mother. That girl in the art club shows up again. I still don’t know what her deal is but she’s clearly going to be relevant at some point. Perhaps the most pressing matter however is Yayaka. For a while, you’re led to believe she’s disappeared but she does eventually attend school and has a rather awkward encounter with Cocona and Papika. Her demeanor is notably more serious and she doesn’t mince words that she is in fact opposing our heroines to recover the fragments. She even goes as far as offering the two to join her. I’m 50-50 over how permanently Yayaka will be as an antagonist. Maybe she really is irredeemable but until we learn more, I can see her friendship with Cocona will win out in the end.
Thanks for reading!