*Recap of Episode one is included in a very brief format*
Welcome to a world full of variance and color. An anime for the amazingly talented Studio 3hz FLIP FLAPPERS is the latest entry in the company’s lineup and it a magically beautiful one at that! Our very first episode gives us a glimpse into the everyday life of a girl named Cocona whose days are spent fretting over mock exams and wondering where her life goals will take her. Struggling with figuring out just where she wants to end up school wise and having strange, mystical dreams Cocona is a girl preoccupied by the toil of her mundane life. Meanwhile another lively lass by the name of Papika and her slightly odd robotic friend Boo-Chan strike out from an underground location in search of Cocona for unknown reasons. They meet under odd circumstances as Cocona had simply wandered outside to read after another day of school work and toil, only to find that Papika was waiting for her in the large concrete pipe she was sitting on whilst trying to find a place to sneak away from the toil of the day. While unbeknownst to Papika she is being tracked by a Dr. Salt who seems curious about both the girls and what they will be able to find within the Pure Illusion world; with their ultimate goal of finding a “Shard of Mimi” The only information we get in regards to this shard is that it is able to grant any wish; something that Papika mentions to Cocona.
This awkward meeting sees them both wandering off to the aforementioned world Pure Illusion. It is a beautiful world with snow that is as sweet as a freshly made pastry; it also happens to hold the ruin remains of an unmentioned town. It is here that Cocona and Papika plus Boo-Chan experience a journey that ends with them making camp for the night. Cocona very much believes this mystical world to be nothing but a facade built by her subconscious in the form of a dream and before she and Papika can talk more mysterious “Frozen Trees’”(Or snow slugs as I call them) begin to wake and disturb the area whilst making way to a larger lake. Both Cocona and Papika escape unharmed (Thanks to Boo-chan & Papika’s hover board) in the ensuing chaos, but Cocona loses her glasses in the process. Wanting to help Cocona out Papika charges in braving large and flailing tentacles to grab a simple pair of glasses; all while ignoring her damage and the please of Cocona to stop. As fate has a way with things, she manages to grab the glasses, but finds herself being taken under the water with the giant beasts. Cocona becomes distraught as she collapses by the lake after Boo-Chan drops her to safety.
Upon feeling utter anguish over the ordeal a power awakens from Cocona’s inner thigh and a power is released allowing her to breach the now freezing pond in order to save this rather wild girl. Papika is amazed by how her new friend looks and is amazed to see that they are flying! The feeling is short lived as Cocona realizes the change and they begin to fall into Boo-Chan’s waiting embrace as they then leave the Pure Illusion and arrive back home in the real world; this time with a glowing blue stone. The return is sadly short lived as strange forces apprehend the duo and the episode finishes. While the pacing of the episode was a bit quick for my likes I feel like the first episode did what it set out to do and did it in a fashion that I feel is very Studio 3hz in nature and form.
Okay! Diatribe and episode recap aside I have to say that this first episode of FLIP FLAPPERS is just stunningly amazing! Everything from the art, the music to the character design is just utterly gorgeous; heck it is an awesome way to ring in our newest bout of Simulcast titles! The art and music are both massive standouts about this newest title from Studio 3hz. The characters are so beautifully animated and drawn to standard for Studio 3hz; especially the wildly random Papika whose fluidity gives her a silly feeling. The characters are just so beautifully drawn and brought to life by the talented artists at the studio. Even the background art in this title is superb with a gentleness to it that I have not experienced in anime for a long while now. There are scenes that fill the screen that are often not seen in magical girl anime. These scenes are provoking and wide in scope that give the viewers the sense of wonder and discovery. It is frankly refreshing and purely superb. The music is also on par with how well the animation is cared for with both opening (Serendipity by FAQ) and the ending (Flip Flap Flip Flap by To-mas feat. Chima) adding so much beauty to this already spectacular first episode.
As far as firsts go this anime is a definite watch. While the first episode does throw a bit at us viewers, it is enough content to keep you interested in figuring out what exactly is going on; especially with how the first episode ends. I feel that the anime has enough pull with the story to keep things diverse and interesting for it’s episodic run, but all I can say is just give the first episode a shot! While I can say that I have been looking forward to this title, what do you all think about the first episode? If you have yet to watch it feel free to pick this one up! We are streaming this title as a Simulcast so you can expect to watch the episodes as they release in Japan! You can watch FLIP FLAPPERS in the following countries listed below!