Once again, a timeskip of sorts happens between episodes. By now, Cocona and Papika have three fragments though how many times they’ve ventured into Pure Illusions to obtain three could honestly be much more. Fortunately, you don’t get teased again what kind of worlds have been visited off screen. I wonder a little if this is a sign of Flip Flappers rushing through feelings but truth be told, the show itself doesn’t feel rushed at the moment. And if it is rushing, I’m hopeful the show is at least getting to something worthwhile.
After the usual exploring a Pure Illusion and fighting with Yayaka and co. for another fragment, much of the episode actually revolves around a world within the world. Cocona and Papika find themselves in a rural town and seemingly take the role of a girl named “Iro”. In the process, they learn of Iro’s troubled childhood and the time she spent with a surrogate grandmother before the latter succumbed to Alzheimer’s. As you continue watching, it becomes more and more evident that our protagonists are living the memories of someone else.
It’s a strange scenario in two ways. The first is that this is the most normal Pure Illusion has been so far. Some of it is still surreal. Cocona and Papika act as the same person and fight over who’s who. There’s a singular tint over the visuals; orange for Iro spending time at grandma’s house and blue for the one stuck at home. Aside from those, the episode is largely set in a normal rural town with nothing out of the ordinary. The second way is that this kind of world is unprecedented. There’s been parallels to the real world before but it’s never been brought up that Pure Illusion could contain actual memories belonging to someone. That leaves me wondering what exactly this realm is.
While Cocona and Papika act as Iro throughout the whole episode, I can’t help but notice a lot of parallels between them and her. Cocona shares the most screen time with the old lady and that bears resemblance to her relationship with her own grandmother. At one point, Iro’s mother tells Cocona to get good grades, much like how Cocona started out doing nothing but studying when the show began. Meanwhile, Papika tends to take the place of the Iro who draws alone at home and feels estranged by her parents which may hint at Papika possibly feeling lonely. Papika doesn’t have a family to call her own as far as we know (really, her entire origin is a huge enigma). Perhaps then, when Papika demands to trade places, she’s inadvertently hinting that she wishes for a family and a home. It’s entirely possible.
The end of the episode reveals that Iro is Iroha Irodori, that upperclassman from the school Art Club. Really, who else could it be? It got very telling that Flip Flappers never said her name until this very episode (hence why I never referred to her by name until now). That said, I really enjoyed the foreshadowing that leads up to this reveal. Early in the episode, Cocona and Papika pays the Art Club a visit and learn that Iroha sometimes uses nail polish for her paintings. As they experience Iroha’s childhood, they learn she really enjoyed drawing and Yuki likes nail polish, even having a favorite brand. At one point, they as Iro use nail polish for one of their drawings. What seems to be cute and quirky ends up being a very key detail that clues you in Iro’s identity.
Upon finishing the episode, I’m left stumped as to what else is there to be done with Iroha. At the beginning of the episode, Iroha seems to recall the old lady solemnly and reveals she doesn’t use nail polish on herself because of that. Towards the end of the episode, Cocona and Papika reminds Pure Illusion’s version of the old lady of Iroha. When they return to the real world, they find Iroha now happily sporting nail polish on her fingers. This lends to a potential conversation on Pure Illusion and what effects it may have on the real world and whether or not that’s a good or bad thing. Thing is though, that conversation doesn’t need to directly involve Iroha so one has to wonder what else is in store for this girl. I can honestly see Flip Flappers not doing anything else with her from here on out.
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