This is Flip Flappers‘ obligatory swimsuit episode. In this case, it’s a school swimming class. I haven’t really discussed the sheer amount of fan service in this series (and believe me, there’s a lot here). Unless I can sneak in a quick comment, it goes without saying that I think it’s pandering but it’s also anime so I try to mind it as best as I can. This episode however, I was getting rather annoyed with the eye candy. For the vast majority of the episode, Cocona, Papika, and Yayaka are in their swimsuits and that’s even when they step into Pure Illusion. Continuity and lore justifies this (whatever you wear carries over across dimensions) though that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a lot of self-indulgent visuals. Combined with the magical girl transformations and outfits already being pretty seuxalized, this episode felt very excessive.
To this episode’s credit however, how often does an obligatory beach/pool episode involve an epic battle with kaiju and mecha in a futuristic city? I kid you not, that’s the main scenario of this episode. Part of me is a little disappointed that we’re back to zany dimension hopping; I really enjoyed the more eerie and grounded atmosphere in the past couple of episodes. At the same time, I still enjoy the absurdity for what it is. The best part is the inclusion of a 90s Tokasatsu-esque jingle when the girls combine their mechs and fight the monster of the week. That’s both a great homage and also just downright funny.
Considering that the show has recently established the correlation between the real world and Pure Illusion, I was wondering if the futuristic city was connected to any character. The only problem is who that would be? My only guess is Hidaka, the FlipFlap scientist. He noticeably bookends the episode with his antics at the lab and the girls meet a zany scientist with similar mannerisms in Pure Illusion (he’s the one who provides the mechs even). What makes me doubt myself is 1) the scientist is voiced by Matsuoka Yoshitsugu and not Jun Fukushima and 2) there’s no apparent change in Hidaka’s personality after the adventure. I hope there is some correlation as it’d give Hidaka something to do (notice that I don’t really talk about him or Sayuri) and you’d think Flip Flappers would immediately continue to explore this new plot detail.
One bit of character development that is clear involves Yayaka. It wouldn’t surprise me if she’s ultimately a good guy at the end with how she’s been acting recently. Despite acting largely indifferent towards Cocona and Papika, some of her actions have been speaking otherwise. She still checks on them every once in a while, helps them win the battle with her own mech, and even concedes the fragment over of them. A question both the twins and the scientist asks Yayaka if if her intent is to help Cocona and Papika. Yayaka doesn’t give a straight answer the first time around and the episode cuts away the second time though the implication is that her answer is that helping is indeed her intent. That naturally creates tension with the twins, one of them even intending to report Yayaka’s behavior to their higher ups. Another telling clue is that Yayaka can indeed FlipFlap with Cocona and Yayaka and there’s no way that won’t happen again, perhaps with Yayaka becoming a magical girl herself.
Once more, this episode ends with Papika bringing up the name “Mimi”. This time around, she directly calls Cocona that by accident. That confirms that the two are connected and it even implies that Cocona greatly resembles Mimi. Perhaps Mimi is a twin sister of Cocona’s though that would be a bit weird since, unless Cocona has serious amnesia, a twin has never been mentioned before. I also have the hunch that Mimi is somehow connected to the woman in Cocona’s dreams though now I’m less sure since that woman is a young adult, much older than Papika. Then again, maybe I should think about what Papika’s deal is. After eight episodes, she still remains an enigma of sorts.
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