Weekly Motion Cannon: Flip Flappers Episode 11

  Don’t miss an episode! You can watch Flip Flappers on Crunchyroll!

69fc4114-f657-4c4c-868d-2589e942bef1

Be sure to check out the write-ups for prior episodes!
Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8 | Episode 9 | Episode 10


ibcf-smallibcf (@_ibcf_)

“It may not be the direction I’d hoped for, but I suppose it’s better than no direction at all.”

This is another plot-heavy episode. There are no real animation standouts, just a few token action scenes and the tightly drawn character art we’ve come to expect from the series. The focal point here is Mimi, who quickly establishes herself as evil with her red tentacle-like extensions and callous disregard for human life. Another long flashback sequence reveals the tragic conclusion to Mimi’s backstory, which feels a bit more coherent now that the key elements have been introduced. I don’t find the character drama too convincing, but at least I now understand where the story is trying to go.

The Asclepius leadership, now irrelevant, is easily dispatched by Mimi’s reality-warping powers. I wonder where this leaves Nyunyu and the twins. The confrontation with Nyunyu doesn’t amount to much, and the twins are last seen still scampering around in the pipe maze. What purpose do they now serve, besides being loli bait? Will they continue to follow their bosses’ orders, or will they team up with the good guys against the greater threat? I’d like to think that they have motives of their own, which could make for an interesting twist.

Hidaka doesn’t get a lot to do here, but at least he gets a couple of decent smears. I like how uncomfortable he looks outside of his lab. The design on his oversized green bag is also pretty neat. Yayaka shows up in the nick of time to save the scientists, looking pretty badass with her eyepatch and whip. She seems set to play a central role in the next episode, which is good as she’s slightly more charismatic than either of the main protagonists.

ff11-10

Salt shows how hardcore he is by threatening to simultaneously shoot both his wife and daughter for the sake of the world. Of course nobody,  least of all Mimi, believes he’s really going to do it. Having seen how he looked and behaved in the past, it’s pretty clear that behind his cloak and sunglasses he’s just a big softie. I bet Gendo Ikari wouldn’t have hesitated.

I didn’t particularly enjoy this episode, but I can’t say much bad about it either. It gives us the essential exposition and sets the stage for the finale. Perhaps this and episode 10 were necessary in order to push the show in its intended direction. It may not be the direction I’d hoped for, but I suppose it’s better than no direction at all.


JimmyGnomebiggerJimmy Gnome (@jimmygnome9)

“ It plays its cards just like any other forgettable tripe that airs seasonally.”

Before watching this week’s Flip Flappers I sliced a fresh, whole lemon into quarters to eat during my viewing. I recently received a few of them from my brother-in-law, picked right off the tree, though I had never actually eaten one in this sense. The sharp taste was refreshing in comparison to the souring developments being shown on my screen, giving me a stimulus that this anime so sorely lacks. Even still, the small fruit did not last me the entire twenty-three-and-some minute runtime of the episode, and as soon as I had polished it off I returned to the beige indifference known as Flip Flappers.

This show has become inescapably pedestrian. It is so far removed from the ambition of making art, what made it so bold and eye-catching in the first place, that the lack of visual fidelity this episode seems entirely natural. Outside of the spare number of striking layouts there’s nothing to this show visually, nothing to excuse the cliché-ridden plot. Flip Flappers is now just an anime. It plays its cards just like any other forgettable tripe that airs seasonally. A secret laboratory backstory, a crazed scientist, parental muddling, memories of the past, it’s all there. And now the whole world is in danger of merging with Pure Illusion! Who will protect all of those nameless students?!?

ff11-25

Maybe I’m jaded as hell. I’m supposed to watch the episode while sitting back with a beer instead of peeling a lemon and contemplating how I’ll react in written form. Honestly, though, if I weren’t writing about this show I’d have dropped it weeks ago. I can’t deny that I don’t like Flip Flappers as it is now, even divorced from my expectations; and if you factor in those expectations you’ll find that I really don’t like it. What could have been the most ground breaking original TV anime since Space Dandy has been ultimately squandered, and even if this direction wasn’t Oshiyama’s original plan for the series, he has inherited a blemish on his record right out of the gate.

There are plenty of things that I could pick apart specifically from this episode, like the irony of Mimi wisely stating that ‘people have many faces’ when her own face is so plain and inexpressive; or the random crotch shot of Nyunyu, the most recently introduced feeling-less robot, which I’m sure was totally tasteful and justified. But I think I’ll just leave my frustrations as they are, my empty impressions of an empty anime. Hopefully they’ll at least make the finale presentable.


fR2BruO4_biggerCJ Hitchcock (@cjhitchcock)

“This isn’t a plot hole, this is somebody ripping the pages out of your book and burning them.”

Last week was filled with disappointment; now I’m just pissed off. I am dumbfounded right now, and I’m struggling to put coherent sentences together. This series basically took a nosedive into an empty concrete pool in terms of, well, everything. Plot, storytelling, character development, animation, even in matters of taste. All of these have taken a turn for the absolute worst. I’m at a point now where I refuse to believe this was the original plan for the direction of the series. No, somehow we’ve ended up with the alternate cut of the series that was made to appeal to ten-year-olds. While I know there are stories circulating that the main writer of the series left the project, I’m starting to wonder if the entire staff just got up left with her after episode 6.

The long and the short of what happened with this is episode is it turned into a re-imagining of the End of Evangelion. Cocona has been possessed by her mother, Mimi, who single-handedly wipes out the Big Fire Rejects by turning them into flowery piles of goop. So not only has the quote-unquote “Villain” of the series been instantly taken care of without them even getting the chance of showing the slightest amount of competence, but you killed them off exactly the same way Rei did at the End of Evangelion. Mimi’s motivation for all of this is to create a better world for her child, again exactly like Rei. The idea is that Mimi’s mind has been possessed or altered by Pure Illusion, and it’s driven her mad. Mimi has captured Cocona within Pure Illusion and is holding her there against her will, all while Mimi merges Pure Illusion with reality. If you want more proof the creators just said, “Screw it, just make it like Eva” Take a look at a side-by-side of Yayaka and Asuka.

ff11_sbs1

Besides the villains just randomly getting killed off out of the blue, the godawful backstory from last time returns, leaving me with so many questions that I know will never be answered because who gives a shit at this point. We cut back to Mimi and Papika as adults/older teens.  They wanna escape and apparently the reason for why is because Mimi is pregnant with Cocona. How did this happen? Who the hell is the father? Is Papika the father? Is Papika a futa or is this one of those stories where lesbians can take magical pill that will allow one of the two to get pregnant? Is Salt the father or is it Pure Illusion itself? You don’t just randomly give a lesbian couple a baby without proper context, especially in this situation. They’re in a confined location without contact from the outside world. That’s bad storytelling. This isn’t a plot hole, this is somebody ripping out pages from your book and burning them.

ff11_vaginashot

Also is it just me, or has the art direction in this show gotten pretty tasteless? For example, in this episode there’s that incredibly tasteless shot of one random girl’s vagina from the back. You know, that one where the girl looks like a ten year old who’s doing a terrible job cosplaying as Kamen Rider Drive. Seriously, what the hell is the point of that giant tire around her shoulder? I know the series has had fan service moments here and there, but recently they just seem to popping up everywhere. It’s become one of those things that makes me think an entirely different staff shanghaied this show. It started off with being this thought-provoking tale of self discovery, and now it’s just an Eva ripoff with an unbearable amount of fan service.

ff11_sbs2

Prediction for the next episode: Ashton Kutcher pops out of the screen screaming we all just got Punk’d.


subs_biggerThe Subtle Doctor (@TheSubtleDoctor)

“ Flip Flappers has used some creative visual metaphors to illustrate [its] point of view.”

“Love to one only is a barbarity, for it is exercised at the expense of all others.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Hey folks, you’ve made it to the positive impression!

Love can be a monstrous thing. We have seen in past episodes of Flip Flappers that it can be a commitment to the unknown, a light to warm cold hearts, and the impetus for noble sacrifice. But, like all things that touch human beings, even love can be the catalyst for disaster when connected to the wrong combination of vessel and circumstances. So many stories say so many things about love that we often take it lightly. However, it is a fierce tempest that can tear apart the one it is poured into.

Mimi has lived her life as an experimental test subject because she can enter (create?) Pure Illusion. She is unhappy until she meets Papika(na) and Salt, who show her the outside world, cultivate relationships with her and just generally bring joy to her life. She bears Salt’s child, Cocona, and convinces the young scientist to run away with Papika and she. Unfortunately, they are caught in the act by Salt’s mad father, who threatens to take Cocona away from Mimi as punishment.

At this point, we see an internal “switch.” A different, suppressed facet of Mimi’s self comes to the forefront during her emotional turmoil. The timid aspect of Mimi allows the scorned, vengeful aspect to become the dominant one. This has been a recurring theme throughout the series: the masks that amplify hidden feelings in episode three, Cocona and Papika playing parts of the abused Iro’s personality in episode six, and Papika appearing to Cocona as the many aspects of her unified self in episode seven. Human beings are complicated, often contradictory creatures whose personalities are never as simple as they seem, and Flip Flappers has used some creative (if straightforward) visual metaphors to illustrate this point of view.

ff11-19

The world we live in is a cruel one, one that unfairly takes from us. Even the bonds of love aren’t often enough to protect those we hold dear, and we lose them forever. Some can survive this and come back from it, and some cannot. Mimi’s sheltered upbringing has made her into a person who cannot cope with lost love. When the person she cares for more than even herself is going to be taken away, the depth and ferocity of her love are turned against everyone else. She chooses to attempt to destroy the world yet ends up very nearly destroying herself. The blinding intensity she gives in to shatters her relationships with lovers and friends. Her love has turned to poison.

This reality is reflected in her interactions with her daughter within Pure Illusion. Even after all the time that has passed, it is obvious Mimi’s scars haven’t healed and her heart is being eaten away by her pain. Her acts of love toward her daughter read as someone projecting their younger self and wanting to protect it because no one else did. She wants to remake herself in Cocona and to mother that self, her abstracted self. Mimi never loved herself, I don’t believe, so I don’t think she can healthily love her daughter. There is an ominous feeling in the air at the end of the episode; you get the feeling that if Cocona doesn’t accept her mother’s distorted love, not even she will be safe from Mimi’s wrath.

In a similar way that many folks here have read Flip Flappers as being an episodic showcase of different fantasy worlds, the show seems to me to be a parade of distinct (though related) thematic concepts or explorations of different psychological aspects of the human being. This kind of thing feels much more anchored down, substantial and relatable to me, so I am greatly enjoying the direction the show is taking.


Want to see more content like this? Consider supporting us on Patreon!

wmc-patreon

7 Comments

Add yours →

  1. You guys are all lame!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “I can’t deny that I don’t like Flip Flappers as it is now, even divorced from my expectations;”

    This thought stand out for me.
    It’s not that “I don’t like FliFlap” anymore, is more that I don’t like this type of old chiché story. While I was watching that scene in the alley I was shocked, “it’s the same anime I was watching just weeks ago?”, “made by the same people?!”.
    How could it go so wrong?
    This episode revealed nothing new that we already had not guessed, and what it confirms feels wrong. Why Salt and Mimi need to part, that way? What Mimi and Papika did and where during that one year? If the two managed to escape couldn’t Mimi have used her powers to not be captured? Why after helping her Mimi turned against Salt? What KKK wanted to do anyway with her powers? Dumb apocalyptic plot. Had not Mimi taken Cocona with her to PI, or something went wrong and Cocona stayed behind? Why Salt did not stay with Cocona? If Mimi wanted to much to live in the outside world, distant from her dreams, why would she box and play doll with her daughter? When will Cocona start to think about her own identity, what she wants from the world, and decide if she want or not change anything?
    Anyway, this episode raises many questions that the series should not have to answer.
    And in the end, friendship and love conquers all, right?
    Wonder how we still can be surprised with two more episodes. Next one seems like a dumb old over the top funny boss rush.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I feel like I am required to comment at this point, but I can’t even work up a proper rebuttal.

    We may as well be watching completely different shows, for all that I can actually understand the positions taken by ibcf, Jimmy and CJ.

    If you are curious about what people are seeing in the show, I’d suggest looking into the articles written by Emily Rand (https://formeinfullbloom.wordpress.com/category/editorialsessays/flip-flappers/). I don’t really have half the way with words she does.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for linking that piece, Emily’s interpretation is well written and I even mostly agree with her. However, finding meaning in a work doesn’t necessarily equate to finding value, which is my personal issue with Flip Flappers. Usually I can invest in a series that relies almost exclusively on thematic storytelling (Yuri Kuma Arashi is a recent example) but nothing here feels particularly meaningful or challenging; it speaks to commonly held beliefs and surprises no one. Now, the central romance between Cocona and Papika could have been what made this show fascinating, but as I’ve mentioned time and time again they simply aren’t convincing to me based on how they’re portrayed by the animation. I understand that this entire shift in focus was alluded to and likely planned, but I don’t think the change has made the show any more compelling than it was at the beginning.
      To me, Flip Flappers succeeded best at presenting carefully crafted worlds and tones, episodically swapping between rich textures for the audience to vicariously experience via Papika and Cocona. It was a novel concept for an anime, one that complemented the talents of the staff very well, and though the execution wasn’t always perfect (some of the fanservicey bits were awful) it made for an engaging watching experience. Moving away from this core premise could have been an improvement, but it was a bad trade-off for me. I just don’t find it compelling, and unfortunately I can only write criticism from my own experiences.
      So, in essence, I’m sorry that you have to put up with me every week, publishing my negative impressions on a show that you like. I intend no harm, we’re just misaligned on how we find value in our media.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for pointing me to this one : https://formeinfullbloom.wordpress.com/2016/12/15/breaking-promises-in-flip-flappers/#more-9143. Emily and I share some of the same thoughts and sentiments, though she is certainly the superior writer.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: