Flip Flappers – Review
Original Air Dates: October 6th, 2016 – December 29th, 2016
Synopsis: Cocona is a model honors student, cautious, slow to embrace new opportunities. It doesn’t help that she’s unsure of where she wants to head in life, unable to even imagine what she’d like to do. But her life takes a complicated turn when Papika suddenly appears, a fearless hyperactive girl in search of a wish-granting crystal, the “Shard of Mimi.” Fates collide and the two gain the ability to transform into powerful fairy-like beings. Just where will their journey take them as they explore the lands of “Pure Illusion?”
Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Flip Flappers has been a stand out, visually, this season, offering up beautiful artwork and eye catching visuals no matter which art style it wielded episode to episode. With a constant variance of styles, Flip Flappers always has something new to show and catch your attention with. It’s easily the series’ greatest component.
Linny: The visuals were a huge plus for Flip Flappers, being one of the main things that was undeniably appealing about the show. Almost every episode offered something new and interesting with imagery and colours that made you feel like you were hallucinating in the best way possible. However, what did make me pause for a second in the very first episode and then some others is how sometimes the really young and childlike characters seem to be dressed in outfits that were body hugging and revealing. While it wasn’t overtly sexual or anything, they also felt like awkward costumes for young children. In fact, there’s even a scene where the camera lingers and slowly pans across Cocona’s naked body as she takes a shower for no logical reason other than fan service. Then there’s the fact that the show seems to be going with yuri baiting between the two lead girls, often talking about how much they love each other and put in situations that tease.
Tom: Our two leads, Papika and Cocona, are decently likable, but rarely compelling. The problem stems from Flip Flappers’ disinterest in filling us in on any of the backstory behind Flip Flappers, of which there’s a lot. By the time we decide to actually build up these characters, expand on who they are, where they’ve come from, etc. it’s just too late. Flip Flappers waits until its handful of final episodes before providing proper development and backstory for any of its leads, as well as additional cast members. Even then, because it’s squandered so much of its time, there’s entire sections of its expanded cast who go unexplained, their roles in Flip Flappers’ greater world still elusive to audiences unwilling to dig deep into the series imagery and one off lines of dialogue in search of whatever small answers there may be.
Linny: If you dislike characters who act babyish for their age, you will dislike Papika who acts so juvenile and carefree that it almost feels like she has some mental development issues. And Cocona doesn’t stand much of a chance of winning more particular audiences as she ultimately comes off as the cliche protagonist whose life was dreary and lacked any passion or inspiration but is now all better and happy thanks to the magical solution and power of completely made up and fantastical elements. Given the over the top nature of the show and its story, it would have been silly to expect realistic characters but what we get is a tired trope and a toddler for our leads and if you prefer your characters to be smart and charming, these two might not cut it for you.
Tom: The lack of proper character building leaves the audience extremely disconnected when the story’s major themes, elements and overall narrative finally come into play. And boy, is it a lot of information to take in. Flip Flappers takes a huge dive in quality as the show works hard to cram in an overly complex and complicated narrative that really needed a far longer run time to flourish. With lack of time to delve into proper explanations and flesh out details, Flip Flappers becomes a mess of ideas, imagery, meaning, metaphor and more that will hardly make sense and could be best described as outright incomprehensible.
Linny: Incomprehensible is the perfect word to describe what Flip Flappers ultimately turns into…and maybe was from the very start. I know there are those of you out there who are okay with and even enjoy shows dripping with symbolism and imagery so long as it makes for a visual delight. However, because the story crams in so much exposition in the end, it’s going to feel suffocating to anyone else who tries to make sense of it. It’s actually impressive that the show manages to cram in so much backstory and exposition yet leaves you confused and wondering what the heck you just watched. Honestly, I would have preferred if the show had just stuck with its original theme of one off episodes that showed viewers all the crazy universes our lead duo found themselves in because at least those episodes were pretty to look at and had some creepy themes ever so often to leave you feeling unsettled in just the right amount.
Tom: Flip Flappers art is solid, and there’s even a few music scores for both the ending and opening that’ll continue to grow on you. Sadly that’s not enough to elevate Flip Flappers above all its glaring flaws. The series takes a nose dive after the midpoint and never recovers, which is a real shame. If you’re just in it for the artwork, Flip Flappers may still be worth a look in, but that’s a very niche audience.
Linny: There’s no confusing or denying that Flip Flapper’s main appeal is its visuals and like Tom already mentioned, that limits it to a niche audience. There were definitely some earlier episodes that were extremely entertaining but the disaster of an exposition dump that is its final episodes makes the show feel like an unnecessary watch as any attachment you develop is negated by it. Ultimately, I’d only recommend this show to anyone who wanted interesting visuals alone with not a care about story because anyone else is likely to walk away confused and disappointed.