A departure from its usual rendition of quirky and cryptic Pure Illusions, episode 9 takes us into a straightforward yet equally fun presentation.
I want to applaud Flip Flappers for its ability in making a setting simple, all the while keeping ample nuances to make it interesting and enjoyable to watch. The vast swath of white from this week’s Pure Illusion in particular doesn’t readily pose a symbolic meaning or theme for us to question, rather, I felt like it helped in ennunciating other facets of what I may have been unconsciously looking for every week on top of my sakuga and puzzle-solving induced boner: comedy, character interaction, and characterization.
While we’ve seen enough of Cocona and Papika to know what makes these two tick, the obvious focus of this episode is on Yayaka’s character arc closure — with a bit of equivocality as a side-dish, that is. Though there really isn’t anything new to understand from Yayaka’s character — as it should’ve been surmised and answered from the earlier episodes that, well, she’s Cocona’s childhood friend who’s liaising with the cult — I still love how they brought her backstory into the foreground, and closed it with a resounding and emotionally charged finish in one confident stroke.
Like, that part with the dome reflecting what is probably Yayaka’s inner turmoil was so viscerally effective, we didn’t necessarily need to hear Yayaka explaining it any further. Yayaka, to begin with, isn’t even that verbal with her emotions — as she even had a spot-on tsundere moment from last episode — and utilizing the “anything goes” nature of Pure Illusion to convey and tell something without resorting to drawn out expositions is I guess one of main appeal of this show to me as a whole.
On top that, I actually feel like the colorless world of this week’s Flip Flappers, wasn’t just an arbitrary choice by whoever is in charge of the story, rather, we can still draw some connection from it to Yayaka’s character based on what we know about her. She is affiliated with the cult, and the cult is heavily implied to be a group of doctors or scientists, and doctors take pride in their white coat which is a symbol of cleanliness (in fact, we started this episode inside a white locker room, presumably somewhere within the cult’s hideout).
In addition to this, I’m also guessing that Cocona’s impression “It’s empty” and how the “defense mechanism” of this week’s Pure Illusion works speaks true to Yayaka’s character to a certain degree. After all, we know nothing of Yayaka other than she’s ‘supposed’ to be an agent of the cult. Nothing more, nothing less. Yet, ‘muh friendship’ prevails, and the defense mechanism that bottles up emotions — emotions which Yayaka is keen to hide — are shattered when the emotion itself overflows (remember how they escaped from both instances they’re in an enclosed space?). I don’t know, I’m obviously making up things, but, hey, if it makes sense then why not?
- All right. Wait a minute. I’m sure you know that I kept on blabbering about the color schemes Yellow, Pink, and Cyan but… actually, they’re color coded based on Yayaka, Papika, and Cocona. And yeah, I just found out cause I assumed it’s representing the twins and Yayaka. Very clever, Flip Flappers.
- So, what happened to the painting in the hallway? Will it stay as a painting in the hallway?
- Uh-oh. Granny’s probably a part of the cult. After all, remember how episode 1 ended with Cocona getting kidnapped by them only to find herself waking up in her bed?
- Umm… flowers and butterfly, anyone?
- Also, to follow up on that, how does the cult know where and when Cocona and Papika enters Pure Illusion? I mean, Yayaka and the twins were shown looking for something elsewhere (probably the shards in a random Pure Illusion), and that confirms that they don’t have an exact way to pin-point where an amorphous is. Then is it true that they planted a tracking device inside Cocona? What about Yayaka’s statement claiming that there’s surely an amorphous wherever Flip Flap goes? Fishy fishy red herrings.
- I… I don’t know. Who the hell is Mimi, really, and what the hell is that flashback weeks ago?
- WAIT. Maybe Dr. Salt is trying to stop the cult in collecting the shards. I mean, people are saying that Papika’s memories are starting to return the more the shards go in the hands of the cult.
Honestly, all these questions does nothing but to make my head hurt. Anyways, it’s another A++ for Flip Flappers this week but to tell you the truth, I’ve always felt like Hibike! Euphonium‘s finale is going to be a huge BANG — like, everything feels like it’s building up for this one gigantic emotional pay-off. Suffice to say, I’m really glad how this season turned out to be.