There’s a distinct line between the magical and sci-fi genres, yet there are many works of fiction that take pleasure in combining the two genres together whether the outcomes of those combinations are successful or not. “Flip Flappers” is one of those shows. During its original airing, it was known as an underdog or better, a hidden gem.
“Flip Flappers” brings the audience into a whimsical world of magic and science fiction, as two high school girls named Papika and Cocona are tasked with retrieving amorphous fragments from a dimension known as Pure Illusion. The world that this show takes place in is fanciful as the animation and art, for the show could be compared to something out of a Ghibli film. The landscapes and characters are all brightly colored and the art style itself is quite unique, reminiscent of old Gainax shows such as “Neon Genesis Evangelion” and “FLCL” as well as art and shows designed by Hiroyuki Imaishi. Imaishi is best known for his contributions to Studio Trigger in animations such as “Kill La Kill,” “Space Patrol Luluco,” and “Promare.”
The artstyle and animation of “Flip Flappers” are not the only thing I find interesting about this show but the world building and presence of Pure Illusion. As Cocona and Papika traverse this unknown dimension, it warps into different types of worlds as they face off against foes that exist in dystopian societies, supernatural schools, and other unknown worlds. There’s always something fresh and new awaiting in each episode as you don’t know what the girls are going to go up against. There’s also the magical aspect of these shows, where the two girls transform into magical girls and this action only occurs during the episode’s climax when the girls’ feelings are synchronized. It is in these forms that they are able to fight the foes and creatures better known as amorphous beings.
This show has all an anime watcher or general TV watcher could want: action, magic, sci-fi, and comedy all balled up into one show. The plot for this series however is hazy but I feel as though that’s part of the appeal, as not everything in this show is supposed to be fully explained as that would leave little room for speculation and wonder. I personally enjoy shows that don’t tie their endings up into perfect bows but leave a little left for the audience to wonder and guess about. At the time of its release “Flip Flappers” was highly overlooked but I can say without a doubt that those who skipped over it missed out on a charming show that gave so much more than it needed to when it came to world building, aesthetics, and the mixing of genres.