FLIP FLAPPERS - Reviews

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WhopoGestapo1's avatar
Dec 30, 2016

(Spoiler Free)

In short Flip Flappers is a wonderfully crafted odd little adventure that captivates the imagination with it unique worlds, characters, and designs. It is a show built not on the foundation of a cash grab but genuine care and love with a suprisingly deep characterization. However, it is not without its flaws and suffers from what I call "13 Episode Syndrome" which is the senario of a anime with a lot to tell, story or character wise, but runs out of time to portray these elements and must rush to fill in gaps. Overall it is an enjoyable experience and is worth at least one watch and I highly recommend

(No Major Spoilers, May Contain Minor Spoilers)

Flip Flappers follows the journey of two adolescent girls, Cocona, an average japanese middle schooler trying to find purpose in her life, and Papika, a energetic, adventure loving character who befriends Cocona. 

For the majority of the series their adventures happen through the world of Pure Illusion as they attempt to find these "Shards of Mimi" for the organization Flip Flap.

Story

The story of Flip Flappers in the beginning is a mysterious entity that does keep you invested on whats going to happen next, and the characters and worlds the main characters interact with go to help fill up any void left by the story. However, after a while the main story does drag on with its plot, barely revealing much except a few small snippets of information only to sprint to the finish during the last 3 episodes.

To be completely honest I would rate episodes 1-10 standalone a 8/10 despite being slow to reveal much. This is mostly because you have no idea where the series is going after watching those episodes. (if you do know where the show is going then congratulations on being significantly more attentive then me)

Episodes 11-13 left me confused, not because I didn't understand it, (even though that was my inital feeling while watching) but due to the sheer amount of plot elements being taken in and out of the series in such a short time with built up plot points being resolved as though lightning had struck them and then from the ashes two new plot points are born. These episodes are what ultimately hurt the show for me and is the reason why story suffered and gets a 6/10 rating.

6/10 - Above Average

Animation

Flip Flappers has wonderful animation and scenery. There are moments where it does faulter and becomes flat (mostly in episode 11-13) but overall wonderful animation, not the best but pretty good. On a side note I must say the opening and ending is an amazing work of art and depicts what to expect from the series and the characters beautifully.

8/10 - Very Good

Sound

The opening and ending to Flip Flappers is by far the best music the series has. There are a few other tracks that play well with their respective senarios, but some music is reused in a few instances and I instantly picked up on it because these tracks are not that memorable. They only serve to help convey emotion during certain moments in the series so it did annoy me at times when I felt a more appropriate music choice would have been in order when they were reused.

Voice acting feels supurb and I had no quarrel with how any of the character were voiced nor how they delivered their lines.

7/10 - Good

Characters

By far the strongest element this show has.

Cocona is a introverted, dependent character with little direction in life, a leaf in the wind kind of character. Papika is a energetic, outgoing character who doesn't plan ahead well and mainly reacts to the immediate situation and goes from there. It was a joy to see these two characters interact with each other from their cold and distant beginnings to there full blown love for each other, and while I feel that Papika had little in terms of growth, Cocona by the end of the series is certainly a stronger character and that is in part thanks to Papika.

Secondary characters have interesting quirks and personalities so they come off as likeable and colorful.

The Antagonists are mediocore to say the least and aren't really that investing except to make a KKK joke everytime they appear. The only exceptional antagonist would be Yayaka who I feel was handled well, but certainly needs more development like the other side characters.

9.5/10 - Fantastic (mostly for Papika and Cocona's relationship, which is the focal point of the story)

Final Thoughts

I feel there's a lot of love behind the development of this show and it would have been better if the creators went out on a limb and pitched it like that. I could easily see this series to have gone on for 3 to 4 seasons.

Maybe that would have resulted in a 13 episode cliffhanger, but at least with a ending like that there'd be fans demanding a second season and a chance that maybe not the following year but after a few years of gaining momentom it would return.

For what the show is it is good and I reccomend watching it, but I certainly feel the show could have gone in a much better direction if it didn't suffer from "13 Episode Syndrome"

7.6/10 - Good

6/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
7.6/10 overall
thor123's avatar
Dec 29, 2016

For me personally, Flip Flappers earned a couple of titles: Anime of the Season in Fall 2016, Anime of the Year 2016 and, most notably, Surprise of the Year 2016. Because I really didn't expect to enjoy this show to this extent. I mean, looking back at the fact that I almost dropped it after episode 2 still makes me shudder at the thought of missing this experience. 

- I tried to keep spoilers at a minimum -

Story

So, what the flip is this anime about anyway? Well simply put, it's about the "normal girl" Cocona, who gets dragged to a weird alternate world called Pure Illusion by "weird girl" Papika, to go collect mysterious shards who could supposedly grant wishes.

Of course, no sane person would keep watching this if the entire plot would be such a generic magical girl story. For one thing, that description completely disregards the competition in the search for the shards. And it also doesn't really express just how weird it really is. Or just how well the characters develop (more on that in the characters section). But most of all, it doesn't do justice to the huge variety of stories this anime contains.

Allow me to elaborate a bit on this last statement, by telling you a bit about how the show is built up:

  • First off, there's the set-up in the first 2 episodes. As stated before, I almost dropped the show there, because it didn't seem like it was all that well done (looking back, those episodes were better than I thought, but hindsight doesn't help first time watchers XD ). Especially the fact that it seemed like the show wanted to "be weird for the sake of being weird" wasn't exactly to my tastes. There are a lot of things here that are important for later though, so don't skip them :p
  • "Part 2" actually also contains some parts of episodes 1 and 2, because with this "part" I'm actually referring to the seemingly pointless episodes with fun things in them. But every episode also contains a part of the "puzzle" that forms the overarching plot. The best thing by far in these episodes is the way how Pure llusion is handled: it goes from a horror to a serious drama to DBZ-like fights without feeling jarring, making it a show which has at least one episode everyone would love. Doesn't matter if you love DBZ, or over the top mecha like TTGL, a good horror or a dramatic/feels episode: there's something for everyone. Which is also what I meant with the "huge variety" mentioned earlier.
  • And then, of course, there's a finale: everything comes together quite nicely, the pieces of the puzzle fall into place - although you have to make some of the pieces yourself, because of the style of the storytelling

In regards to the style of the storytelling: it's so interesting that Crunchyroll has written a total of four articles about it (might contain spoilers!): one - two - three - four (there could be more, this was just after a quick google search). Basically, the show uses it's visuals to throw around references, symbolism and surrealism.

So yeah, while the start was a bit rough, the overall energetic atmosphere, versatility of the show, the style of the storytelling and the great finale made me decide to give it a 9.5/10.

Characters

As is magical girl - tradition, this show is also partly a "coming of age" story for Cocona. Which means, of course, that she is the one who gets fleshed out the most, and who develops the most. On the other hand, this does NOT mean that other characters don't get any attention. Be it the obvious Papika, Yayaka, the enigmatic Dr. Salt or the stoic amorphous kids: they all get the screentime necessary to explore their personalities... except Nyunyu ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ .

Animation and artwork

Well, I first picked up Flip Flappers because I saw a short clip of the great animation in episode 1 (Papika on her hoverboard), so I guess it's obvious that it's top-notch. Fights look pretty damn great too (probably the best animated fights I've seen since One-Punch Man).

The artwork is already adressed a bit in the style of storytelling: it's really creative and interesting.

On top of that, there went a LOT of care into the backgrounds, to the point where  it's often Ghibli-level. (Crunchyroll has an article about this too: link)

The only thing I didn't really like at first was the way the eyes were drawn, but once I got used to that it didn't bother me anymore.

Sound

The only thing I can objectively think of that outshines the animation and artwork, is the sound in this show. The voice acting is perfect; the OP song is great and energetic, and gets you hyped for the episode, the OST and insert songs are really nice and the ED is one of the most addicting songs I've heard in ages (yes, a rare case of ED being better than OP!).

I really have no reason at all to subtract any points in this category, so I'll just leave it at 10/10.

Overall

This show is like an energetic little hamster, doing all kinds of random, creative crap to get out of the labyrinth it's confined in. While the first steps it takes seem boring, the middle part is tons of fun, and the finale is fantastic! Combine that with great visuals and sound, and you get a great show. 

Now, go watch it! 

9.5/10 story
9.9/10 animation
10/10 sound
9.3/10 characters
9.6/10 overall
Bucknerd's avatar
Jan 2, 2017

Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars / 9 out of 10

Pros:

  • Gorgeous animation
  • Unique narrative that is layered and weaves together the random elements of the first 6 or 7 episodes into a longer narrative "pay-off"
  • The random episodes, even seemingly without a coherent plot, are a true joy to watch
  • Cocona and Papika's evolving relationship
  • Never knowing what to expect

Cons:

  • Exposition at the end felt a tad bit rushed
  • Character introduced towards the end with no narrative importance
  • There is an instance in episode 11 where the animation was still frames for 5 seconds.  This did not effect the story
  • Not everything was fully explained in the end but the conclusion is still satisfying

Review Summary: Innovative anime with lots of hidden nuances and metaphors behind all the fun insanity.  The story is deeper than it first appears.  

You may like this if:  You enjoy FLCL, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, or Paprika.

Recommended

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
9/10 overall
Baeron's avatar
Apr 24, 2017

It's a good watch if you really don't think about what you're viewing, but if you happen to be an active thinker, and can see where the story is actively cutting into itself, it can be quite an irritation to endure.

This anime, kind of rubbed me the wrong way. The characters were vapid, and oblivious to most everything around them, as well as the worlds were cut-and-paste layouts from other anime/manga. The show is riddled with "convenient loopholes" for when their plot doesn't line up with the layout of the story. It feels like it literally backtracks over itself to do this at times.

The characters were probably the worst part of this. They would say things like "I love you!" only because they were slotted together and forced to be partners. They were forced together for only a couple of days, and suddenly they are closer than the school friend, who was with the main character her entire life. And it doesn't help them any that "Just because I because" is the answer they give to a LOT of things here. One such scene that really brought this out, was when the two children meet at a cage of roots. Neither one thinks the cage surrounding them is something out of the ordinary. Neither one of them even bats an eyelash when the roots suddenly pull aside and disappear. Then they just start laughing with each other, with the only reason for this is that the story has them pegged as "best friends". On top of this, this event loophole was supposed to have happened before the two school friendships were made, in order to solidify a place of the two flappers being closer.... simply because they met earlier. Of course, they have No contact whatsoever for the next 10 years, and completely forget about each other, but that doesn't seem to matter here at all.

Now the bad guys... were arguably more fleshed out than the main characters in terms of intellect, but in terms of visibility, they were nothing more than standard cookie-cutter fanatics, with no real concern for themselves, just the task they are pursuing. They are even "conveniently" given masks when their reveal comes so that you don't get attached to them.

The most creative environment in the entire anime would have to be the closing segment with the credits. The first few areas also have some creativity in them, but as the story progresses, they lose all their defining traits, and eventually, you literally end up with a flat, white world with nothing in it. All of the other areas are heavily taken from other anime tropes, and nothing is really that different from those standards.

Then the endings... of well... every encounter... are filled with inconclusive arguments. Most of the time the arguments resolve in one direction or another, simply because the story wanted the argument to end such a way, and not because they said something convincing enough for that to be the result.

The shards... which are the focus of the entire storyline's collection attempts aren't even fully explained. How did they happen? Why are they separated? And a whole lot of other internal-logic errors pop up all over the storyboard. One such error was that their "superpowers" were claimed to "have come from inside themselves", but then they were "actually from this other person", but then again turns back to "from inside themselves" when they have to confront the provider of said power.

Anyway, the anime does have some content to it, but just don't try to follow its own rules too closely or it begins to fall apart.

4/10 story
8/10 animation
5/10 sound
2/10 characters
4/10 overall
Xaring's avatar
Jul 4, 2017

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS  READ AT YOUR OWN RISK

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synopsis: Flip Flappers is a show about Papika and Cocoona, toto, mimi, yayaka and many other characters with repeated syllable names. Watch them as they suffer through Cocona's parents (does she even have a father?) divorce through the eyes of this chuunibyou couple. Will Cocona manage to calm down her enraged mother and find the caring one again? Experience their weird adventures and realize what it feels like while being high on LSD feels like in this animu.

No, but seriously... I cant get myself to like this anime. Starting from the "mahou-shoujo" transformations, the episodic style of its episodes, the dream-like worlds they go into... I dont know, not my thing.
As I said in my fake synopsis, It just feels like a couple of girls with a grave case of chuunibyou. Is yayaka of a frail complexion and needs to go to the infirmary a lot? - While in their minds she gets beat up in their adventures? I don't know.
On top of this, there are a lot of loose ends. Who are Papika's parents? Who is Cocona's dad? There is no cloning mentioned, so do we have a case of children abductions? Why can they go to school happily then, didnt all those other test subjects die?
What is the backstory of Pure Illusion? Seriously, there nothing explained about it. They have a research ongoing for "millions of years" and there is no mention on what it really is? (Again, I can't help but to think of chuunibyou - its all in their heads)
And I could keep going on and on. I feel like Cocona, having absolutely no idea of whats going on around.

5/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
6/10 characters
6/10 overall