After all the praises and admiration I gave for Flip Flappers, I think it should be fair of me to say now that it’s definitely Anime of the Season.
I feel like writing an essay is a more appropriate option when it comes to talking about Flip Flappers. Every episode has its own distinct charm and personality that naming my posts as ‘Flip Flappers – Episode #32434’ seems like insult to this beloved anime. I’ve averaged around 900 words an episode for this show alone, and 900 words is a pretty damn long write-up in my episodic standards. Suffice to say, the deeper we wade knee-deep in Flip Flappers‘ hodgepodge of ideas, the more I find myself wanting to go back and edit something from a previous episode. Of course, that’s unfair but… honestly, there had been a lot of stuff I wanted to say that I kinda missed the opportunity to. So if you see me talking about stuff unrelated to the episode whatsoever, I apologize for asking you to indulge in my antics. Skip to the 5th paragraph if you don’t want to read more of my shit.
An example that I wanted to talk about is priming. See, there’s this movie last year called Focus starring Will Smith. Watch it cause there’s Will Smith, and any movie that has Will Smith in it is good… *cough* well, except for that N. Shyamalan one. Nah, just kidding, but you don’t necessarily have to watch the movie to understand my point. There’s a particular scene wherein Will Smith displayed how to apply the idea behind priming. Put simply, priming makes use of directly or indirectly suggesting something to the subject that will later on influence their actions. On a similar level, what we dream about works kinda like priming. Saw someone in the office? Sure, expect that you’ll meet the guy in a dream. Been seeing clowns for some reason all day long? Got it, prepare for a nightmare.
Now, you may be asking what’s the connection of priming with Flip Flappers. Basically, it goes back to what I’ve felt about this show — it’s dreamy, sorta like Lewis Carroll’s Life is but a Dream with boats, river, and all. Some of the more perceptive viewers had been providing thought provoking-slash-irrelevant ideas that I’ve gnawed on and on when I’m bored af, yet, again, the more I watch, the more I become conscious of this nagging feeling in my head. IF, we take it that Flip Flappers is indeed a dream — or say, Pure Illusion is — then whatever stimulus they are subjected into affects their perception of the PI world albeit artificially evoked (rings a bell? Umwelt and Uexkull, anyone?).
Remember the yellow, pink, cyan rolls in Iroha-sempai’s room? Sure, you’ll see that in Yayaka and the twins when they’re in Pure Illusion. How about all those flower paintings everywhere? Lilies, huh? Cocona and Papika donning a butterfly themed magical girl dress? Have you noticed that the painting hanging in Cocona’s room is strewn with butterflies? Why was Cocona staring at the bubbles right before they went FLIP FLAPPINGUUU? I don’t know, but for some reason there were bubble-shaped rocks in this week’s Pure Illusion. How about paintings, colors, whatever? Cool! That’s episode fucking 6! I don’t even want to mention the clover leaf I’ve seen somewhere that’s now hinted as a preview for episode 7’s Pure Illusion…
Of course, that’s just me playing around with the idea, and I’m pretty sure one swift plot-twist will slam my daydreaming self to the ground… but, hey, it would be goddamn awesome if Flip Flappers manages to weave together every piece of the puzzle rather than them being a set of arbitrary artistic choices made by the producers. Then again, it’s Flip Flappers we’re talking about. This show has been great at using the anime medium to its fullest, and that brings me to episode 6.
Episode 6 is… unexpected. And that’s a weird thing to say for a show that’s so liberal with its creativity. When I thought that it’s just another day at Pure Illusion, they hit us with this new, big, itching question: what. the. hell. is. that? Time travel? No. But whatever it is, it’s no play-thing for kids. Sure, it may have helped Iroha-sempai cope with her repressed psyche/ego/whatever, but the fact that they have the power to directly interfere with someone else’s life on a subconscious level means that things can also go awry. This probably explains why Yayaka is stopping them, but it also shows that Yayaka knows something about the other layer beneath Pure Illusion. Who is Yayaka anyway? I don’t know. I don’t know a lot of things, but Flip Flappers is one perfect case where ignorance is bliss.
One nice touch I’d love to talk about is with Flip Flappers‘ usage of color. Warm orange for the happy days with Auntie, unsympathetic blue for the gloomy household of Iroha’s family. Contrasting both doesn’t only allow Cocona and Papika to fit into the equation, rather, it was also in service of visually interpreting Iroha’s divided personality/childhood/emotions. It was a great way to tell a story, to say the least, yet what struck me the most is… well, the Auntie’s characterization. My favorite part this episode — and this part fucking shoved something into my throat — is when Auntie hugged Cocona-Iroha, just when the grandfather clock chimed its bell alluding a farewell; Auntie is living with a borrowed time. Iroha exclaims that she can’t breath, and instead of seeing it as her fragility and weakness, I’ve interpreted it as her Auntie not wanting to let go of her precious friend. She held Cocona with all her strength, all the while knowing that such a moment will never pass them by again. Iroha trudged the contrasting colors, yet all that time, Auntie never wavered into despair — she was always the bright, warm person she is despite her condition. Welcome, Iroha-chan. Flip Flappers, Episode 6.
- Perhaps… reciprocating Auntie’s unconditional love was Iroha’s repressed desire/wish. She wasn’t able to keep her promise with her Auntie, thus she feels like she doesn’t deserve painting her nails/becoming a lovely lady.
- There are hubbubs going around claiming that Papika’s a dog and Yayaka’s a cat. I’m actually speechless not because the idea sounds stupid, but rather because there are credible proofs and facts present to support such theory. I still don’t know how it fits into everything, however.
- We’re composed of different shades. Regardless of how shitty life is, we have to accept whatever dark past we may have. Of course, the young Iroha had no way to understand the said maxim, and watching her kinda hurts because… it reminds me of how I tried to escape both the orange and blue part of my life. Switch with me Iro-chan? In the end, even the orange Iroha decided to turn her back and bleed blue.
- Irodori means bright colors… Iroha means… google said it isn’t used as a Japanese name (explains why it’s written in Hiragana). Though this explanation for Hanasaku Iroha‘s title may be related.
- The rock the duo were poking is called a sekimori-ishi. Knowledge +1! Thank you, Flip Flappers! Pretty sure the reference is self-explanatory.
- Learned about the Life is but a Dream poem from Kyousougiga. Watch it cause it’s as great as Flip Flappers — maybe even better. The imagery from the poem strikes a resemblance in this episode’s Pure Illusion presentation.
All right. That’s all for this week, folks! I’ve got more to say, but maybe I’ll just polish my thoughts in an essay. Anyways, yet another great episode from Flip Flappers. Next episode seems to be a fun one. Gosh, I wonder what’s going to be the end-game for this show? I. Can’t. Wait.