First Impressions – Flip Flappers

flipflapper 01-lead

Flippidy Flappidy Doooo!

Man, robots that can shift dimensions? What is this crazy business!? Plus that thing is, like, all hands! Someone needs some help!
Alright! My second most anticipated anime Flip Flappers came out and boy am I excited, but will it live up to my hype? We shall see.

Magical Adventure

Papika: Hey, you wanna Periscope something cool?

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The idea of exploring parallel worlds really isn’t anything new in the world of anime – like with Space Patrol Luluco – that core idea always seems cool to me because it opens the doors for the artists to go crazy with drawing interesting worlds, much like this first episode of Flip Flappers. The first world Kokona and Papika visit together is completely covered in snow, but not just normal snow! This snow tastes and smells sweet for some reason? That and there are strange “trees” that come to life as well? Yeah that definitely sounds like the stuff of dreams which is kinda what Flip Flappers is doing taking odd things and creating a world for the characters to explore together; however we quickly learn near the end of the episode that Kokona isn’t exactly on board with the idea of adventuring with a girl she just met and after her first experience I can’t blame her for saying no. Aside from the parallel world exploration stuff I really liked watching Papika, who is my favorite of the two main characters and she quickly reminds me of Nono from Gunbuster 2 right down to the hairstyle and her out there personality! Then we move to Kokona the quiet girl who is trying to pick a new school. She seems fine so far I’m just not too into the ultra quiet girls, but I’m sure she will grow on me eventually.

Pure Illusion

Kokona learns the value of the level up!

This show seems purpose built to attract attention, from it’s character design, to it’s wild sakuga indulgences, and it’s somewhat veiled naughtiness; a very handy robot and Papika’s clothes…But once it has your attention, what is it offering? Well, in short, it’s formula is on offer. Not the points I illustrate above. No. The formula is how is connects those points. From the mysterious facility and scientist sorts doing secret magic stuff, to the meeting of the two characters, to it’s plot and character progression, and even it’s thematic approach. It’s all been done before, and it’s doing it a bunch this season. So what makes this one stand out? Pure charm? That’s what happening on the surface. Plus there’s just a hint of leaning harder into the primary mahou shoujo thing, and that’s a story about growing up. Which is about shifting perceptions. They do underline that very well with the snow. It’s edible? It tastes good? It doesn’t behave like normal snow? There is that storyteller quality to it that gives it a nudge more into some nice depths. It embraces that dream-like nature of it’s premise, then it makes you wake up, Kokona denies the call. Then it wakes you up all the way, proper, as Papika is caught; I would say, caught again. She’s a serial escapist, that one.

A few more dreams…

flipflappers 01-001

Special Friends!

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WOW what an episode! It was a mix of Eureka Seven, Space Patrol Luluco, GunBuster 2 and a few other series rolled into one, but boy did it have me glued to my screen thanks to the fun characters, bright and colorful art style, music. It’s odd ball story, which isn’t perfectly clear to us quite yet, but I assume the plot isn’t that hard? I’d guess some evil dudes want the crystal things to rule all worlds, and our heroes gotta stop that from happening – or something like that? Now i’m just curious to see the other worlds the girls explore next! So yeah I’m hooked right now!

Yes, this show is everything I wanted it to be. First the art direction, design, and motion are all delicious. It’s as yummy as dream-snow! It’s light-hearted,  and it looks like we are seeing the top end of a great skein of golden ore cutting into the mountain, but it doesn’t forget to give that some depth as well. Second, it doesn’t club you in the head with it’s message, and I appreciate that. Kokona has a lot on her mind and that makes her the quiet girl she is: I especially like that bit with the ghost in the row-boat at the beginning. But she makes friends, and she isn’t too standoffish. All in all, this is a great blend, and I can’t wait to see more. We got kidnappers with nets and magic gems a plenty…

flipflappers 01-002a

Hmmm, do you see some bad guys?


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26 Responses to “First Impressions – Flip Flappers”

  1. Wanderer says:

    Hansel and Gretel story in the ED was simultaneously adorable and creepy. (BTW you have the images for that out of order. The image with the witch being shoved in the oven and the girls escaping to follow a swan should be the last one, not the second one.)

    Anyway, this episode was weird on toast, but very interesting too. It was quite amusing how Papika proceeded to stalk Cocona throughout her day.

    …And I just realized that that gerden where the two of them met is on the school’s roof! What kind of school has a multi-acre park with trees and everything landscaped on its roof?!

    • skylion says:

      Fairy Tales/Folk Tales always have a bit of a weird on toast message to them. The marmalade, if you will, seems to be squeezed from equal parts “beware of strangers” and “don’t be a fartburger to people cause they might just bite you in the end” and liberally mixed in with “be good or a woodsman/deranged aunt/well meaning idiot will chop off your ankles”. In FlipFlappers, it seems to be made of “sharing your weird perceptions make them a bit less weird”?

      Thanks for the heads up, for the record I edited the images to reflect your correction. Don’t know how I misnumbered that batch…

      As for the school roof. I see that and raise a grabby robot…wait, I lead with the grabby robot…

  2. Highway says:

    Parts of it looked very Trigger-ish, to the point of me repeatedly having to remind myself that it wasn’t Trigger. But really, this whole show was feel. The only plot was that little bit at the end, very little character development, and not much else to go on besides “Well, what did it feel like watching it?” I suppose you can infer some about Kokona from her reactions to Papika, but that’s pretty much the limit.

    • skylion says:

      You seem to have this Trigger trigger?

      So, how did the show feel? Is it different from Matoi, from Raising, from Brave Witches?

      • Highway says:

        Well, it basically took Mari Okada to make a Trigger show watchable for me. That one was very good, but the rest of them I have bailed on, usually sooner than later. But this was more just the visuals, it never went for that early daffy duck wacky that usually drives me away.

        I haven’t seen Matoi or Raising, and this was definitely different from Brave Witches. I thought it was interesting, and had a ton of style, but I found that I don’t know about Kokona and Papika getting along that much. We’ll have to know more about Kokona, since it seems more like a “Papika is just gonna Papika.”

    • Foshizzel says:

      I felt the same way that this could have been a Trigger series, but as a fan of that certain studio I call that a good thing! Trigger has a record with me as being the super “fun” studio and it helps the character design and overall artstyle appeals to me vs something like Yuri on Ice, All Out and other series that have more “realistic” style cause i’m all about the style of a series.

      I can agree the plot was dropped hard on us at the end with WELP KOKONA GOT KIDNAPPED and now were collecting magical stones? That and the damn preview spoiled the fact that Kokona is gonna be fine…LOL

  3. sonicsenryaku says:

    The way this episode was directed indicates that this was a more “let the visuals immerse you into the world and the characters and let it tell this eccentric tale that we have in store”. There were too many things in this first ep that gave me signs that there was a sense of direction going on with the narrative. There were also a lot of dark undertones prevalent that im sure are going to play a major role as the narrative continues to expand. At first, i felt that the writing was bit messy but then after giving it another watch, things started to click more with the visual storytelling and i was a bit more on board; things just really made sense and i felt like i understood where this series was going. Ill see with the next few eps where my opinion stands but as of right now i enjoyed myself thoroughly and i see pedigree written all over this story

    • skylion says:

      I agree that there’s a lot more than meets the eye. Kokona has at least some sort of guilt or secret affecting her, and that will have to be worked out. But, is Papika the one to do it, or just help her along the way?

      I have to disagree about the mess, I thought it all flowed very well, with moments of quiet given equal time with moments of activity, so it paced itself very well.

      • sonicsenryaku says:

        no no, i agree; At first i thought the writing was a bit messy but then i gave it a second watch because i felt like maybe i made that assertion off-handed. After my second watch i didnt feel that way so much and i appreciated the writing much more

    • Foshizzel says:

      Right I noticed that through the episode right down to the ED which clearly shows there is going to be a darker tone to this anime later and I recall a lot fairy tales having overall “creepy” messages if you deep into them or check where the fairy tale came from.

  4. Namaewoinai says:

    So…Another Magical Show, That about 3 (or perhaps 5 including This and this one) on this season, i mean…WOW!

    OK, If the last one had a Religious Involvement, How about this? uh, I wonder the Staff took the idea from this show’s studio! i mean yeah…Seems Familiar all right!

    Pure Illusion…Hmmm…i sense there will be a “despair and suffering” moment for this but like the last one it’s kinda rare for a moment, but who knows?

    also Eating Snow and it taste sweet…URRRGGGGHHHH!! see, That orange haired girl there is such a primitive minded (IMO) kind of…

    • skylion says:

      Eating Snow and it taste sweet…URRRGGGGHHHH!! see

      I think you might be missing there part where that was a dream? Dream-worlds can follow different rules. So, the snow tastes good, and it something you want to eat, and not have to worry about real world things. That’s the point of contrast between the two characters.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Yep there are a lot of magical girl series out and you might as well include ViVid Strike! Even though I bet nobody is watching…

      Flip Flappers is magical girls meet Space Patrol Luluco at least to me.

      I’m not 100% sure how much “suffering” you or anyone else is going to find in Flip Flappers…I sorta expect this series to steer clear of that for a while! I’m not sure how id feel if this series includes death and sadness.

      Primitive? Naw pure child like wonder and happiness!

  5. akagami says:

    Hmmm, now that you have mentioned Nono from Gunbuster 2 Fosh, I have to check this out.

    That last pic reminds me of something out of A Channel. Sigh… I need some more good 4-koma adaptations in my life.

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