“Just write down where you want to go.”
-School counselor to Cocona, Flip Flappers, Episode 1
This post was actually going to be part of a longer post on small “breadcrumbs” that Flip Flappers has scattered throughout the series — small tidbits that are now either coming together, or reframed by recent exposition in Episodes 11 and 12. However, that one post turned out to be far too unwieldy, especially for something that began as a collection of odds and ends.
The first post is on Mimi, the idea of “the witch,” and perceptual ambiguity. This post will cover Cocona, Papika, and Yayaka in regards to their color scheme and color theory.
“But Iro is Iro. There’s always been only one.”
-Papika as Iro to Cocona, also as Iro, Flip Flappers, Episode 6
The key to understanding Pure Illusion is in Flip Flappers‘ sixth episode and the memories of Iroha Irodori.
“I’ve known her for years . . . how should I put it?”
-Cocona to Papika regarding Yayaka, Flip Flappers, Episode 3
Before Papika, there was Yayaka.
“Well, I don’t mind going with you every now and then. Only now and then. And if I feel like it.”
-Cocona to Papika, Flip Flappers, Episode 2
The initial setup of Flip Flappers resembles a standard magical girl story. Cocona, listless, directionless, and terrified to make any decision at all is swept up into the world of Pure Illusion thanks to Papika. Throughout the first four episodes, Cocona gradually begins to accept Papika into her life, and the fifth episode onward is where the meat of her emotional narrative begins.
Like all magical girls, Cocona and Papika come with their respective sidekicks.
Cocona’s is a green rabbit-like creature named Uexküll — a reference to Jakob von Uexküll whose ideas of subjective perception (umwelt) led to the field of biosemiotics. Uexküll’s namesake informs the Flip Flappers viewer, encouraging a closer look at the role of Pure Illusion and how Cocona and others interact with it.
Papika’s is an odd, perverted robot named “Bu-chan” that somewhat resembles a lawnmower.