Once more, Flip Flappers does some narrative maintenance. This time, it’s finally dropping new information and addressing some of the threads that have been looming in the story for quite some time. The big reveal of course is finding out who Mimi is (and don’t worry, we’ll get to it in due time). For the most part, it’s a decent episode though some of the execution does leave a bit to be desired.
Let’s start with the negatives. You have Cocona finding out that Yayaka is an agent pretending to be her friend and that she has a fragment of her own in her body. If that doesn’t sound terribly shocking, that’s because it isn’t as this is info Flip Flappers has already imparted to its viewers. You need to Cocona to learn all this though surely, there could’ve been a better way to go about it. Like, why not have Cocona learn about Yayaka’s deception in the last episode while they were fighting over their friendship. Also, you’re telling me Cocona never noticed the fragment in her thigh? That thing glows very brightly when she transforms! The reveals end up feeling more like Cocona catching up with the acknowledged viewers and that creates a disconnect with the shock she’s supposed to feeling at this moment.
By far, the most disappointing reveal though is finding out that Cocona’s grandmother is a double agent working with the villains. Presumably, she’s actually one of the robots wearing a disguise. To play devil’s advocate, the twist actually makes sense when you consider some of the other information that gets dropped in this episode. Still, it doesn’t sit well with me. I really like that the idea that the grandmother serves as Cocona’s last thread to her old, normal life. Finding out that she was part of the crazy stuff going on the whole time is frankly pretty lame.
Mind you, it’s not all bad. Yayaka drops some juicy details as she recovers at FlipFlap. First is that Toto and Yuyu are test subjects combined with the amorphous fragments are birth while Yayaka is the sole surviving subject who received hers later in childhood. That helps explain the disparity in personality. The twins were practically bred for their job while Yayaka was more or less forced into it. Second is that collecting all the fragments don’t just grant your wish per se but rather, it gives you control over Pure Illusion and by extension, the world. It gives all the more reason why the organizations the characters serve want the fragments. More importantly, Cocona becomes disillusioned by this news, feeling she’s been deceived by FlipFlap to do their dirty work.
And of course, you finally learn who Mimi actually is. The context as to how this information is relayed is admittedly a bit strange. Papika tells Cocon about Mimi as the two of them escape FlipFlap which gets ambushed by Toto and Yuyu. It just seems like an awkward time for such an important conversation. Context aside, there’s a lot of intriguing info surrounding Mimi. Papika explains that she is Mimi’s original partner. Mimi was the only person known to enter Pure Illusion and Papika, then known as Papikana, was the only person who successfully synced her impedance with Mimi’s. You also find out that Salt is the son and apprentice of the head scientist and met both Mimi and Papika through his father’s work, developing feelings for the former. Salt is also able to pull some strings and assists Papika in showing Mimi the outside world which Mimi rarely sees.
The most suspicious about Mimi of course is how much she resembles Cocona. Their physical appearances is a given but even their personalities aren’t too dissimilar. Like Cocona, Mimi feels stuck with her current life. In her case, it’s being a lab subject with little to no exposure to the outside world. Papika helps Mimi open up and takes her to places she could only dream of which isn’t too far off from how she interacts with Cocona. The bookends of the episode rectifies why these parallels exist. Not only is Mimi the person Cocona sees in her dreams but she’s also Cocona’s own mother.
That admittedly raises a few new questions. We can assume Mimi is dead but how and why is a mystery. Assuming Mimi grew up and gave birth to Cocona, that means Papika is way older than she looks. But then, why hasn’t Papika aged? There’s also the question of who the father is. I suppose the only answer would be Salt since the flashback establishes his feelings towards Mimi. He certainly looks old enough to be a father. But then, why did he not raise Cocona himself? Did he know Cocona was living with someone she thinks is her grandmother? Did he know that person is a fake? I suppose the remaining three episodes of the show will have to address these.
Still, I do find the Mimi twist really intriguing. It’s a satisfying answer to the mysteries that haven looming about for quite some time and it explains why Cocona is involved in this story. More importantly, it creates an interesting dilemma between Cocona and Papika. Cocona of course thinks she’s substituting for Mimi as Papika’s best friend and while I’m sure Papika might indeed see Cocona as her own person, she can’t seem to express that in words. Papika has already called her friend by her mother’s name numerous times and makes the mistake of not explaining Mimi’s direct connection to her. In the end, her telling Cocona she’s her own person rings hollow.
There’s also the fact that Mimi is literally connected to Cocona. As in, Cocona is somehow mentally linked to her mother and can get possessed by her. It’s strange though I can’t call it far-fetched seeing as how Cocona is able to see Mimi in her dreams. What does perplex me is that through Mimi, Cocona can draw in nearby amorphous fragments to become stronger. I imagine more stones would equate to more power but darn, how powerful was Mimi if she can do stuff like this?
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