The Gist: without explanation for the evil robots that captured the girls at the close of last week, episode two quickly hops into a conflict between Papika, Cocona and Yayaka. Papika’s too bold and embarrassing for Cocona to be around and Yayaka appears to fear being replaced as the social-convention breaker.
Cocona attempts to avoid Papika through school, but this quickly backfires when Papika joins her class as a transfer student… and Cocona’s green pet rabbit Uexkull gets sucked into the school’s… grass vacuuming robot?
During the ensuing Pure Illusion adventure, the girls gain a stronger mutual understanding. Papika realizes what it is like to be afraid that a friend might be killed and also experiences a ‘power up’ moment like Cocona’s last week. Uexkull even transforms into a male love interest of sorts.
Finally, home again, Cocona agrees to join Papika on adventures regularly. We meet a few of Papika’s coworkers, including Mr Salt, and end with our delightful pair going on another adventure.
Flip Flappers really nails a dreamlike aesthetic, with bizarre elements softly moving in and out of the story. The sound design is especially fantastic, with gems like a mooing sound for water drops and the subtle car crash as Cocona lands.
Papika and Uexkull are both adorable too, with wonderful happy expressions and zany body language. The entire segment where the girls become bunnies and must nibble on hard things compulsively, is packed with wide eyed drooling, ‘hard’ objects floating around the characters’ mental space, and miraculously ties into a plot point at the end.
The episode managed to move the plot forward, have a bizarre but well structured adventure, stay subtly creepy, advance character relationships and introduce a new character. The fact that all of it was done well is astounding.
The Verdict: more than last week, this episode was packed with visual details and wondrous moments that excited me to rewatch. The dreamlike quality is infectious and, that it catches on with Cocona too makes it all the stronger.
Very very nearly a 10