[Description]: My thoughts on Flip Flappers episode 6.
If nothing else, over the course of its 5 episodes thus far, Flip Flappers has taught us to expect the unexpected and this episode follows through on that understanding spectacularly. There hasn’t been an episode like this before and though you could probably say that about each of the show’s episodes in turn, this one felt like an even greater departure in some regards. That being said, there are still some overarching things to take away that might continue to affect the story in the future.
After another awesome set of awesome and colorful action sequences, we arrive at the meat of the episode. Though Cocona and Papika have entered Pure Illusion to do battle with Yayaka and the twins over the amorphous, they stumble across a stone and subsequently a rather ominous looking portal. The stone itself is a ‘sekimori ishi’ or guardian stone. The significance of this is a barrier – in approaching and entering the portal, Cocona and Papika are effectively ignoring a pretty big red flag that might denote the danger of what they are dealing with. Bu-chan later reacts to this though is unable to stop them from entering a second time.
The content that follows is great – it’s a touching story of Iroha’s childhood, detailing her complicated family life and dealing with her aunt’s Alzheimer’s. There are a ton of visual implications and meanings built into the presentation of the episode but I think I’ll save talking at length about those for a different post. It’s a nice little vignette explored in an absolutely bizarre way. The way Cocona and Papika trade off between their portrayals of Iroha is outlandish yet fascinating and inventive. Touching story aside, I think the manner in which it comes about might hint at what is to come or perhaps offer additional insight into Pure Illusion.
This is highly speculative and I’m not comfortable with thinking one way or another given the nature of Flip Flappers though maybe this is worth thinking about. Time and time again we’ve seen how Pure Illusion can in some ways embody or be influenced by the psyche of those within it though never before have we seen the events within Pure Illusion affect the real world in such a way as they did in this episode. We see Cocona and Papika come back with scratches and bruises and so we know that what happens is real however the way in which their actions in some way affect Iroha’s real world self is significantly different from this. It’s as if, by going through the portal, they were able to interact with her psyche – her memories or even her past in such a way that changed how she thought and acted upon their return.
I don’t think this is time travel and it feels far more charitable to think in the abstract when it comes to Flip Flappers – that Cocona and Papika in some form interacted with Iroha’s subconsciousness to help her come to terms with her experiences by acting her part. It’s utterly strange but this way in which the girls’ actions have a tangible effect might have some relation to what Salt initially talks about in liberating Pure Illusion. Could Salt want to affect the world or somebody in a similar way? Who is to say. Iroha wasn’t even linked to Pure Illusion in any particular way and this is all to say nothing of why the girls are gathering the amorphous but it’s food for thought I suppose.