And I return back to arguably one of my favorite anime of the last decade for the list of most randomness details in Flip Flappers’ universe. Which by all mean isn’t a complaint. Flip Flappers is a show that relies heavily on visual language, and while most of the time its heavy symbolic images represent something much deeper about adolescent and identity, sometimes we have some quirky details that just purely out of the whims, making me wonder if the creators were on some kind of LSD effect. Those randomness details below might not add up much in terms of plot or theme, but the sense of wonder is always shining bright here. Granted, they aren’t at all useless, after all those details create quirks that pretty much bring identities to Flip Flappers, making it… well, Flip Flappery. And truthfully, that’s one of the reason why I love this show so much: the ability to let loose and embrace on your weirdest dreams. This list therefore functions more as a celebration of creativeness, of bringing original ideas to the table.
As I stated earlier, even readers who haven’t checked out Flip Flappers, feel free to read this because it’s… useless details anyway. I will list them in order of usefulness, from most to least. Enjoy!!
- The Plugin/ Transformation items (episode 5)
Those tokens (the stick/baton and the bracelet) are supposed to be their precious items in real life so that they can use it a reminder to differentiate between this world and the Pure Illusion world (think Inception), or are they supposed to be a material requirement for the girls to tune in? No one knows for sure as the show didn’t attempt to explain at all. First, they ain’t even precious, at least to Cocona, and second, we never heard about them ever again in our lifetime. Oh, you mean they were carrying those items the whole time but just didn’t show it? Well, fair enough, but in later episode the girls were stuck in one Pure Illusion world wearing swimsuits, where the hell then did they hide the long stick (just the right length, they even commented) in the tight swimsuit? Unless they put it… Let stop here.
- The mysterious unconscious girl (episode 1)
That unconscious girl was shown from the first few minutes into the show, gathering a debate of what the hell the Flip Flap organization was doing with her. Then that poor girl never get addressed again (or even hinted to) and disappeared into thin clouds like she was never there at all. Was she just a bad dream that I had while watching Flip Flappers? Was she just in my imagination?
- Nail Clipper (episode 7)
Because the joke is, if you’re looking for what’s inside the drawer, IT COULD BE FREAKING ANYTHING. So it might as well be something that out of the blue as nail clipper, right? Totally randomness but it makes sense because everyone needs it, right?
- Dr Salt and his bike (episode 12)
In retrospect, episode 12 contains too many crazy moments (more below this list), but nothing as purely cool and whimsical as this: Dr Salt riding his bike to save the world. Forget the fact that he’s riding in the snow. Forget the fact that the bike came literally from nowhere. He crashed that bike with no traffic around, nearly injured his passenger, and then calmly told her to stay on her feet? What the heck did I just watch? Does he have a license to drive that thing? Man, this guy is totally badass. Farewell bike! You had your job well done!
- The Thinking Man Statue (episode 2)
Okay, this might be the most obvious one on this list, as the show clearly implied that there is some philosophy thinking beyond this seemingly adventure tales. But God, who on the right mind would put it in a school yard, as a gateway for another Pure Illusion world? It created a rather nice visual though, as if the statue observing the girls below, wondering what on Earth is happening. You’re not alone, Thinking Man; I am here with you.
- Bu-chan transformation (episode 12)
Guess what? Out of nowhere, in the middle of the climax where we were least expecting him, Bu-chan transforms. Into a goddamn muscle mecha-body attached by human brains and was named… ahem MUSCLE. Just so that his very purpose was swept away by giant snow monsters before he could do anything. That new upgraded version of Bu-chan was absolutely useless just like his former form.
- Sweet Snow (episode 1)
Because why the hell not? That’s the only explanation I could come up with regarding why the girls could spend that much time eating snow. Throughout the series, Papika sure had eaten lots of weird things, but that sweet snow is something that I can guarantee I would never touch. On side notes though, as randomness as sweet snow might be, it’s actually the reason why I have a very fond memories with that first Illusion World, because it has its own personality right there.
- The Heroic version of Uexkull (episode 2)
It’s just so whimsical the way he looked in the Pure Illusion world that it bring me smile every time I think about it. And he actually rescues the girls and saves the day. The true definition of hero in my books. Bonus point for his equally great taste of choosing the best girl (that is Yayaka) to be his ultimate partner at the end.
- The multiple infamous cliffhangers (too many to list)
This wasn’t how you end an episode, Flip Flappers, the way you gave us some false hooks that just outright inconsistent (like in the end of episode 1 and episode 4), and most infamously you spent three consecutive weeks of Papika slipping “Mimi” name just for the sake of teasing us. Not fair, yo! The only redeemable factor I had was that catchy Flip Flap Flip Flap ED that somehow cooled me off from those useless cliffhangers.
- Yayaka kicks ass (episode 12)
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t deny that Yayaka’s transformation was completely earned and satisied both emotionally and thematically, and seeing Yayaka finally kicked some (energy) balls was absolutely one of the most awesome moments in Flip Flappers’ run. So why do I say nonsense? Here’s my qualms. Why kicking? why kicking ball, even a metaphorical ball? I could at least imagined her boxing or slaying, but kicking? So every time she wants to use her special power someone had to pass her some kind of energy balls? It makes no sense, but it’s awesome nonetheless.
- The big painting at the school (episode 2)
We literally saw this big painting in the first episode, but just a passing moments. I remembered while blogging the show, time after time I’d assure that this painting would play a significant role to the climax, like it would be how the final Pure Illusion world look like. Turned out of course I was way off and that painting there did nothing to advance the plot, but to slowly establish the mood. Which was totally fine. If there was a big red herring it would be this painting as characters keep spending considerable amount of time looking at it with admiration for nothing, and if you look closely that area looks like the place where Mimi, young Papika and Dr. Salt used to play out. Or maybe not. We never know, but who care really because if that picture meant to be intrigued, it sure did its job.
- The very existence of Nyunyu
Because doesn’t matter how I think about it, her role doesn’t make much sense at all. Let’s see, she was created to replace Yayaka, but it was their last fragment to collect, so why would they go through all the trouble to produce her, and NOT USING her for this last mission? Afterwards, she got worse because she had no real roles anymore so all she did was hanging around, making friends (with the enemy no less) and having fun. Worst of all, she had to wear that awful outfits throughout its run and served as our perverted lens together with Bu-chan. No, I wonder what the hell she was doing there in the show every time, but for some twisted unexplained reasons I really enjoyed her company. Nyunyu was a badly-written character, but somehow she makes the screen brighter and my anime watching life a little brighter too.