「ピュアブレーカー」 (Pyuaburēkā )
Perhaps it’s because Flip Flappers has been so consistently stand-out with everything it does, but I haven’t been noticing that Flip Flappers hasn’t been serving up the crazy action that has been one of its key highlights. It’s only now, after an episode or two of introspection, and as Flip Flappers back towards spectacle, that I’m remembering that Flip Flappers is actually crazy. Completely off its rocker. And that’s wonderful. So, while we didn’t even get a transformation sequence last week, this week we have multiple, and not even in the right genre.
Make no mistake, this week is very much a fanservice episode, in every way. It’s not just that the entire cast sallies forth into Pure Illusion conspicuously dressed, but also because, well, giant robots. Flip Flappers doesn’t tiptoe around this point—both swimsuits and robots are, essentially, male fantasies sourced from testosterone. And it’s a curious thing to mash into a magical girl anime like Flip Flappers nominally is. While magical girls were supposed to target a demographic of young girls and super robots were supposed to target a demographic of young boys, the adolescent anime otaku seem to have claimed both. The two genres actually share a lot in both themes and motif, but my theory is that transforming and fighting is all anyone cares about, so here we are. That part is the gratification. It’s the fanservice. We all know that the two robots are going to combine. And not only do we expect it, we demand it. That’s the part that feels good. It’s the flourish before stomping on the bad guys that prompts the audience to cheer and celebrate, purely there for the applause. We know it. They know we know it. Everybody is fine with it.
I wonder, though, if this fanservice episode was not also something of a metaphor for the larger Flip Flappers plot. Often does Pure Illusion seem to mirror the world ‘outside’, and here we have it once more, in spades. Is Pops not a melodramatic Dr Hidaka? Does he not have a Flip Flap of his very own? Pops built his futuristic, abstract world, under threat from shadowy forces; is it the same for Hidaka? Is Pure Illusion the work of man, now imperiled by… whomever Yayaka works for, I guess. And how about Yayaka? In more plot-relevant development, she’s slowly coming around, though at the expense of her peer reviews. What better way is there to break Yayaka out of her shell than super robots? Yayaka’s always been (or made a show of being) a no-nonsense, purely business sort, while on the other hand super robots are, frankly, stupid. They’re unwieldy. They run on magic and wishful thinking. You have to shout your attacks. And you can’t even use your most powerful ones until the end of the fight. They’re stupid. But also awesome. They’re an invitation to willingly throw away rationality, something which is obviously difficult for Yayaka but it’s the only way she’s going to be part of the trio instead of the odd girl out.
So what am I trying to say, in the end? Once again, a great episode of Flip Flappers, at once a definite crowd-pleaser and also a substantive piece of the narrative. We’re definitely going somewhere, but each step of the way is shamelessly entertaining, and the juggling act is an achievement in and of itself. Of course, we’ll need to see where we actually end up with the plot, since that’s the ball that’s been constantly in the air. So, once again:
I think a lot of the episode and the fanservice in it makes more sense once one realizes that todays PI is about Buu-chan. I mean doesn’t the planet look like a brain? And he was suspiciously absent for like 90% of the episode.
who thought it was okay to overload this episode with so much brilliant sakuga? why would they think we could handle all this? THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!! Seriously the way the action was framed this ep was top notch. But yea, as it seems that yayaka is getting closer to sort of rekindling her closeness with cocona (which will seemingly be emphasized next ep if the preview is any indication), there might be a right beginning to form between papika and cocona. I mean i get it; Cocona has always felt empty and lost, then all of a sudden this manic pixie girl comes out of nowhere and seems to love her conditionally regardless of not seeing herself worth any value. Just when cocona thinks someone out there truly loves her, she might have to face the reality that papika may love her because she’s someone else….ouch!
In other details, it looks like pure illusion this week was inside of bu-chan. You can tell because the planet is designed like a brain and the girls messing around in the world seemed to have had cascading effects in the lab while hidaka was administering repairs. The midget scientist seemed to be a proxy for dr.hidaka trying to defend his creation in pure illusion. Through it though we see that hidaka does have a caring side, something that Sayaka realizes when (and softens up a bit) she draws the conclusion that the pure illusion world of this ep was related with the zany doctor
Anywho, here’s hoping yayaka joins the team; in typical mahou girls fashion, she would be the 6th power ranger of sorts. They teased the idea in ep 6 that she might be able to transform but hasnt because her mind sort of rejects the magic anf whimsical nature of pure illusion. As passerby said: she’s always been about business. Now that she’s soften up a bit, we should see what she’s capable of.
or rather, the midget scientist is actually bu-chan himself; it actually seems that way to me now on second watch
Yet another great Flip Flapper with a massive WTF after the credits roll.
I personally think if showing a girl have her head cut off is ok (another magic girl show) it is more than fine to show to show girls bodies which are designed to be attractive in conservative swim suits wether you into creationism or evolution. Very good point in the many ways of fan service Passerby.
It was a beautiful city they were in. Good during the attacks but kind of sad that no people in it not during the attacks.
Damn I’m so in love with this episode
Ever wondered what a Final Fantasy Alexander would like in a Tron-esque setting?
Me neither, but Flip Flappers got you covered all the same 😛
Didn’t really notice while watching, but…
Toto’s a boy right? That zipper must make it really uncomfortable.
Heck if I know, I’ve seriously been wondering that this whole time recently too. One of the episodes previously mentioned that only girls could go to Pure Illusion too…so I was confused. I didn’t know if that meant he could somehow go as well as long as there was a girl there to open the door etc or what. Do males in Japan even wear that same style of swimsuit…? The zippers seem weird to me to begin with before even considering his gender.
Greatest summary blurb ever, Passerby.
Always watch out for the Laser Parrots.
Very curious how exactly Cocona has a fragment physically inside of her… Then Papika has the one on her ankle that seems to be inside the little band thing but not physically inside of her. Only now we find out she can’t actually take the band off. The fragments are very clearly shown as being part of the transformation that the girls both are able to perform, which is backed up by Dr. Salt telling the girls to both keep a fragment on them. I wonder if Yayaka can’t transform because she doesn’t have a fragment, or only because she doesn’t have the right mindset for it.