And here we are, the final episode. Its been quite the trip these last thirteen weeks. Some ups and some downs. One year ago today the final episode of Flip Flappers aired. As I write this right now is when it would have been airing. There was a lot riding on this episode, many things it needed to get right to have a satisfying conclusion. Most people would agree that it knocked it out of the park.
There are a lot of possibilities for discussion here. How Papika regressed to a child, Cocona finally and explicitly admitting her feelings to Papika, Cocona and Papika beating up Mimi. Salt and Mimi’s reunion, and so on. But I think today we’ll talk about the final part of the episode, when Cocona wakes up and finds herself in “reality”.
Cocona awakens in what turns out to be Sayuri’s apartment. It seems rather grey and washed out, compared to what we are used to. The city outside is no longer the fanciful, unique place it was during the series. Instead it just looks like…a city. A city you could find anywhere. The vibrant colors and creative architecture are gone. The only other time we’d seen a place like this in the series was at the very beginning, in the cram school.
Cocona’s school uniform is now dark black and grey, the school is a standard, ordinary Japanese middle school. Uexkull is a normal rabbit, Hidaka is a weirdo playing at being a scientist. In short, all the magic has left the world. Its just…normal. No one can go to Pure Illusion, no one knows where Papika is. Then, at the pipe-house, Papika reappears. Mirroring their very first meeting.
This isn’t reality, its just another Pure Illusion, one Cocona trapped herself in due to her final, lingering doubts. But with Papika by her side she no longer has those doubts. They escape the dull, grey world and into the blue sky, along with a flock of vibrant butterflies. Everyone in the cast looks up into the sky, as Cocona and Papika fly off together for more adventures. Because there are always more adventures, more Pure Illusions, and they will experience them together, always.
When Papika entered her life, Cocona’s world became bright and colorful in a way it had never been before. Her reality is made better by Papika’s presence, and without her, it becomes grey and ordinary. Pure Illusion isn’t just a fantasy world, its the world we create around ourselves, formed by our relationships with others. The “reality” of Cocona’s world is irrelevant. What is important is that when she is with Papika, her world is bright and fun, when Papika is gone, it becomes grey and ordinary.
So that’s it, the final message of Flip Flappers. Pure Illusion is the world you inhabit, formed by your experiences, your relationships and those you care about. Cocona’s Pure Illusion is the vibrant world she explores with the girl she loves by her side.