Anime / Flip Flappers

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Papika and Cocona: Our two heroines.

"Flip Flapping!"

Cocona is a girl who has friends and is intelligent enough, yet lacks any clear goals or motivations and lives a drab, dull middle-school existence. That all changes when Cocona sees a energetic girl with bright red hair flying past her on a hoverboard. This girl, named Papika, decides that Cocona absolutely must go on an adventure with her and takes her to a fantastic world called Pure Illusion. Before she knows it, Cocona, together with Papika, finds herself tasked by the mysterious organization FlipFlap to search Pure Illusion for gems called "Amorphous", which when gathered together are said to grant any wish.

Flip Flappers is an original Magical Girl anime which aired in the Fall 2016 Anime season. It is produced by Studio 3Hz and directed by Kiyotaka Oshiyama. It is simulcast for international release through Crunchyroll. The anime was also licensed in America by Sentai Filmworks.

Has a characters page in dire need of construction.

Flip Flappers provides examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: The cast has fairly normal names like Cocona, Sayuri or Iroha. And then there's Salt. Bonus points considering he's the only member of the cast without a Japanese-sounding name.
  • Affectionate Parody: Episode 8 is this to the mecha genre. Complete with Insert Songs and shout-outs to various mecha series.
  • A God Am I: Mimi. The amorphous are fragments of her power. When the fragments are united and she returns, she can nonchalantly overwrite all of reality with Pure Illusion.
  • Alice Allusion: In the second episode, Cocona and Papika enter an illusion world by following a rabbit down a hole. A piece of official art even has Cocona as Alice, Papika as the March Hare and Yayaka as the Cheshire Cat.
  • Alliterative Name: Cocona Kokomine. Iroha Irodori. Papika, Yayaka. Mimi. Toto. Yuyu. Nyunyu.
  • Always in Class One: The 3 main characters all share the same class. Justified as Yayaka has been tasked with spying on Cocona and Papika just follows Cocona around wherever she goes.
  • Ambiguously Gay: As the episodes go by, it becomes clear that Cocona is probably not straight. Whether she has a single target sexual fixation on Papika, is bisexual, or is outright lesbian is unclear. The "ambiguous" part is dropped near the end of the series when Cocona reciprocates Papika's feelings for her.
  • Angels Pose: Papika and Cocona in episode 3 after their first full transformation.
  • Ankle Drag: Happens to Cocona a few times. An example being the scene in the finale where Mimi's creatures try to grab hold of Cocona.
  • Anti-Villain: The "Greetings Girls", guardians of the Tower Amorphous. They have three different phases of creepy horror, but they try to play nice with invaders. Also, if they actually wanted Cocona and Papika dead, they could have left them to die by acid rain or let the ground smash them to bits in the clock tower.
  • Artificial Human: Two different types: Toto and Yuyu turn out to be children made of amorphous, while Cocona's grandmother is actually a robot, while the humanity of Papika and Mimi is very ambiguous.
    • An interview with the director confirms Papika is a normal human.
  • Art Shift: Briefly in Episode 13. The fakeout ending is noticeably done in a more realistic style with a darker, grayer palette. Uexkull notably looks like a real rabbit as opposed to the green blob that he is.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: When Cocona manages to finally find her assertiveness, and declares that she love, love, LOVES Papika, she and Papika get a power upgrade which gives Cocona a crown.
  • Badass Gay: Papika has openly stated on multiple occasions that she loves Cocona, especially in Episode 3, and she's plenty badass. Episode 7 seems to indicate that the same is true for Cocona as well. In Episode 12, it's confirmed.
  • Bait and Switch:
    • In the conclusion of the very first episode, Cocona is kidnapped, then, in the following episode, she's not, and instead wakes up back at home. Her home life has been fabricated from the beginning, and her grandmother probably never existed.
    • The previews for Episode 6 looked set to provide a glimpse into Cocona's childhood, since it depicted her as a little girl and the woman she was with looked like a younger version of her grandmother. The fact that Papika was there only seemed to signal her going into Cocona's memories. However, it was actually Iroha's childhood we were looking into, with Cocona and Papika acting as her proxies.
    • A minor one in Episode 6, Cocona goes to the art room to give cookies she and Papika made. Onscreen, the viewer sees two plates of cookies : One perfectly made and the other one very poorly made. The viewer may instantly assume the bad ones were made by Papika until Cocona tells Iro the poor cookies were made by Cocona herself.
    • In Episode 11, it seems like Mimi is about to give Ascelpius everything they want. They get everything they deserve and she takes them out with little effort.
    • Near the end of the series, it looks like Papika may be gone forever while Cocona is back to living her life in the real world. Try as she might, she is unable to re-enter Pure Illusion as Sayuri, Yayaka and Hidaka all lament its loss. As it turns out, Cocona is actually stuck in Pure Illusion and Papika ended up breaking her out in a sequence mirroring their encounter in Episode 1
  • Beast Man: Uexkull becomes a rather large Beast Man in a cloak while in the version of Pure Illusion Cocona and Papika warped to in order to save him.
  • Beam-O-War: This happens between a breath weapon beam and a wave motion gun pitted against each other during the clash between Welwitschia and the duo in episode 3.
  • Beat: In Episode 5, upon first encountering the "Greeters", Papika and Cocona just stand there for a moment before screaming and suffering from Color Failure.
    • Later that episode, while flying up the clock tower, Papika, carrying Cocona, has ran out of upward momentum, she then has the bright idea to fling Cocona...downwards. The scene pauses for a while as Cocona lets out an "Eh?". Turns out Papika has a bubble placed underneath Cocona to act as a trampoline for her.
  • Binocular Shot: Briefly in the first episode, as Papika cups her hands around her eyes for makeshift binoculars to look for Cocona's glasses.
  • Blush Sticker: Most of the cast seem to have this on almost all the time. It is compounded by a Luminescent Blush whenever they actually get embarrassed.
  • Bondage Is Bad: When Cocona first encounters Welwitschia, she is surrounded by a harem of orange and blue haired girls in bondage gear. The Fridge Horror aspect comes up when you think about which two particular characters are shown prominently with those hair colours.
  • Bookends: The show ends with Cocona rushing to the concrete sewer pipe where she met Papika in the first episode. Sure enough Papika is there as well, and the scene unfolds in much the same way, with Papika crawling toward a confused Cocona and sniffing her.
  • Boss Rush: All of the enemies that Papika and Cocona have faced in Pure Illusion come back with a vengeance in Episode 12.
  • Butterfly of Transformation: A recurring motif throughout the series symbolizing, among other things, Cocona's Coming-of-Age Story. The girls' henshin forms have butterfly motifs, Salt's room (in both past and present) have framed butterflies, and the finale has Cocona and Papika follow massive butterflies to the exit of Pure Illusion.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: Other than the first time, when it just happened on its own, Cocona and Papika have to yell "Flip Flapping" to transform into Magical Girl forms. Yayaka also does this near the end, and Evil-Mimi uses the same phrase to power up as she attempts to trap everyone in Pure Illusion.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": Uexkull is the most literal version of this trope as one can get. He's called a rabbit, has ears and teeth like a rabbit, and is treated like a rabbit, but his shape changes every other second, he doesn't make rabbit noises, and he's green.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Papika and Cocona do this in Episode 3 and 8 alongside Yayaka.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • "Flip Flapping!"
    • Yayaka has "You're too soft/naïve", whenever she speaks to Cocona. She also often goes "Tch" whenever annoyed.
    • Papika's "Hollo!", "Mitsuketa!" (Found you!) and "Dai Dai Dai Suki!" (I love love LOVE you).
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The stakes are noticeably raised once Mimi enters the picture. The previously episodic nature of the series gave way for a more plot-focused final arc.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Double Subverted. When Nyunyu is shown raiding Flip Flap, she wields a handgun but never fires it. That is until the finale where she fires it on Buu-chan's brain in an attempt to wake him up.
  • Childhood Friends: Yayaka and Cocona are this. Episode 13 reveals that Cocona and a de-aged Papika were this way before when both were trapped in the limbo between Pure Illusion and reality.
  • Character Tics: Cocona tugs at the hem of her skirt when she's nervous.
  • Chest Blaster: Papika, Cocona and Yayuka finishes off the Monster of the Week in episode 8 with a powerful beam fired from the gemstone situated on the combined mecha. The beam is even visible from orbit
  • Chromatic Arrangement:
    • Yayaka, Toto, and Yuyu have the CMYK color scheme with Yayaka taking yellow, Toto with blue and Yuyu with pink. All three wear black on their PI outfits.
    • The characters who can perform the "Flip Flapping" have the RGB color scheme in their transformed states and the primary color scheme in their regular states. Cocona takes pink/blue, Papika takes blue/red, and Yayaka takes green/yellow.
  • Chromosome Casting: The only important male characters that appear are Dr. Salt, Toto, Hidaka, the Asclepius leader and maybe Buu-chan.
  • Clothing Damage: Not all, but a good deal of attacks in the show seem to do more damage to the clothes than the wearer. Surprisingly not played for as much Fanservice as it could be. Cocona's uniform takes a hit or two in the mission to retrieve Uexkull, but does not become massively revealing. Similarly, the most significant casualties of Papika's fight with Cocona were her cloak and shoulder pad, the latter of which was simply dented.
  • Combining Mecha: Papina King, Yapico Boy and Great Pacoya in episode 8. Bonus points for Portmanteau Couple Name.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: For Cocona, as she begins to find purpose in herself, loosen up, and go on a journey of sexual discovery along the way.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The setting of the show is bright and cheery with beautiful, picturesque landscapes, but we already see a dark underbelly start to surface. Papika's Robot Buddy can die and has a human brain housed inside of it, it's implied that all of her potential partners prior to Cocona have died, and the Flip Flap leader is an ominous figure with vague and shady motivations. Their own shady organization is competing with another more powerful and more overtly evil one.
    • When Mimi's true nature is revealed, she abruptly seizes Cocona, physically and mentally, pulling her into Pure Illusion to be with her forever in a perfect fantasy world.
  • Creator Cameo: The director voiced the Gokigenyou Girls in Episode 5 with the aid of a didgeridoo.
  • Creepy Doll: One appears in Episode 5's Pure Illusion. While the doll itself isn't malevolent, it's there to provide a hint to Cocona and the audience that there is a time loop.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Asclepius really didn't stand a chance against a Reality Warper such as Mimi, who effortlessly turns their entire army into white clovers.
  • Cutting the Knot: During the raid of Flip Flap, Yuyu and Toto are trying to find the shortest route to Yayaka. As Toto is calculating the shortest possible route to take, Yuyu just punches a hole through the wall.
  • Deadly Euphemism: When we first meet Papika, she notes that her latest plan to find a suitable partner was "another bust", which is accompanied by what appeared to be a corpse on the ground. When she takes Cocona to the entrance to Pure Illusion, she's almost elated to find that she's still alive. Notably, whenever Papika discusses her 'previous' partner, she refers to Mimi, who has been gone for a long time...
  • Deranged Animation: The Gokigenyou Girls in Episode 5 are subjected to this, moving very unnaturally.
    • When Pure Illusion is melding with Reality, the environment starts to resemble something out of Salvador Dali's works.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Cocona starts the narrative like this, as she's unsure of where she wants to go or what she wants to do once she graduates from middle school.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: By the end of the series, Papika and Cocona defeat an Eldritch Abomination capable of overwriting realities by simply charging into her.
  • Dream Land: A possible interpretation of Pure Illusion, where each Pure Illusion is associated with different characters.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Papika is barefoot, only wearing a golden anklet. Combined with her usual personality, she could count as a Barefoot Loon.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The very first shot in the anime at first looks like a stylised image of an hourglass on a clock... until you remember what else this particular optical illusion can be seen as.
    • When Mimi first appears to Cocona on the boat, her pose and red choker brings to mind the Young or Old Woman optical illusion.
    • Papika has an affinity of biting cables or wires. It may not seem like much until you realise that she may have delivered Cocona when she and Mimi were on the run from Asclepius.
    • In the finale when Mimi is absorbing everything into oblivion, the black hole is situated at her lower body. Adding to that, Cocona and Papika both defeat her by plunging into her.
  • Dramatic Pause: When Buu-chan gets damaged in the first foray into Pure Illusion, Cocona suggests that they should fix him. They open his lid, and see a pulsating and presumably human brain. Papika and Cocona just stare at it for a moment, then calmly close the lid and pretend like they didn't see that.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Yayaka and Papika both want to be close to Cocona.
  • Fairy Tale Motifs: Seems to have this. The visuals are very picture book-like, and the ending is done in a watercolor style that retells Hansel and Gretel with Papika as Hansel and Cocona as Gretel. Later episodes have other characters make fairy tale allusions as well, such as Iroha asking if the pair brought her a poisoned apple to eat.
  • Fanservice: Papika shows up in a skin-tight bodysuit with some very odd cutouts, which later receives Clothing Damage. One villain has a bath house full of succubi-like women. Overall, though, there isn't a whole lot of overt fanservice... until episode 8, when they enter the "mind" of Bu-Chan the pervy robot. They have to do the whole mission in School Swimsuits, often encountering questionable camera positions, cramped spaces, and big levers stuck between their legs.
  • Finger-Suck Healing: Papika does this to Cocona when the latter pricks her finger embroidering.
  • First Girl After All: Papika. When she chases Mimi into Pure Illusion, she manages to grab the baby Cocona off her, and spends an unknown amount of time with Cocona, with Cocona herself the only person who witnessed Papikana's age reverting.
  • Fisher Kingdom: Pure Illusion seems to be a land of this sort:
    • Whatever goes on in the regular world or whatever is happening physically and emotionally with Cocona is mirrored in the land. For example, when the duo come to Pure Illusion in the first episode, they take note that the land is very snowy, but tastes strangely sweet. Cocona on that episode is distant and cold before she meets Papika, but she's noted to be a very sweet person deep down when one takes a closer look at her, and her initial cold attitude towards Papika is dissolved after Papika goes after her glasses and almost drowns.
    • In addition, wherever the duo slip into Pure Illusion, rather than entering with a distinct purpose, the place where they ended up looks like an remixed version of the area surrounding the entrance point. Episode 1 looks like a snowed over version of Cocona's home town, and Episode 2 has the girls walk around the inside of a giant vacuum cleaner, which they were trying to get into to retrieve Uxekull.
    • It is later reworked by Mimi to be a playground for Cocona, where she will never want or need anything, and will never need to decide anything.
  • Fighting Down Memory Lane: A variant. Yayaka and Cocona engage in a battle in a memory dome where flashbacks of their childhood are reflected in the bezels of the dome. As the fight progresses, Yayaka inadvertently destroys some of the bezels, and they end up being replaced with moments Cocona and Papika shared together.
  • Flower Motifs: Prevalent throughout the series.
    • Yayaka is often associated with Begonias, particularly Red and Pink ones, which symbolize love and romance. They can also symbolize unrequited or one-sided love, as well as dark and unpleasant thoughts distracting from happiness and joy, reflecting her relationship with Cocona.
    • Mimi on the other hand is associated with White Clovers, which symbolize think of me and revenge for broken promises. Both relevant to her character arc.
    • Her henshin form takes on the motif of the Higanbana, or Red Spider Lily, which symbolizes death. Fitting considering her agenda at that point is to destroy Pure Illusion and the real world and restart it all anew.
    • And of course, the many White Lilies in Episode 5, where Romantic Two-Girl Friendship is most prevalent.
  • Foil: Papika and Cocona. Papika is more energetic and optimistic while Cocona is somewhat stuffy and doesn't have anywhere near the energy Papika does.
    • Yayaka also serves as a foil to Cocona; whereas Cocona likes to fret about everything and tries to look at things seriously, Yayaka appears to be more carefree but turns out to have way more to worry about on her plate.
  • Foreshadowing: In Episode 6, you can tell that the girls entered Iroha's Pure Illusion due to the way the landscape's structured – it uses bright, contrasting colors, and almost looks like oil paint, which Iroha's works are usually painted with.
    • There is a brief moment in the opening where Cocona is sitting in a chair in a pool of water but her reflection is that of a girl with longer hair. It's not until Episode 10 where we learn that the girl is Mimi, and to further establish the connection between the two, the same reflection shot is used.
    • The reason why Cocona keeps having dreams of a near-identical girl is because the core fragment of the amorphous is within Cocona, which allows Mimi to reconstitute herself and take over Cocona's body and mind in the 10th episode.
    • Episode 2 has a brief scene where Yayaka grabs onto Cocona's elbow in the nurse's office while Episode 3 has Grandma holding onto Cocona's elbow, foreshadowing theie role as Asclepius moles as they were checking the tracking device implanted on her elbow from the stinger to Episode 1.
    • In Episode 5, Papika is seen reading a book with a golden scarab on the front cover. This foreshadows her having underwent a rebirth some time ago in Pure Illusion to the audience as golden scarabs are a symbol of rebirth in Jungian psycology.
    • Episode 13's fakeout probably won't surprise you if you noticed that the news channel is called LIE News.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Cocona has met Papika way before the events of Episode 1, but Cocona has all but forgotten their first encounter with each other.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • In the Title Sequence, there there is a moment when Buu-chan faces right at the camera. If you look right at his eye, you'll see in the reflection: Senpai's skirt.
    • In the sequence with the hundreds of one-eyed robots, one can make out a small blue-haired girlnote  in step with them.
    • In Episode 1, a computer terminal briefly lists Cocona's and Papika's information. Cocona's age is listed as 14, while Papika's is simply "—". The reason for this doesn't become clear until the end of the series.
    • In Episode 3, a disguised Yayaka can be briefly seen in the bar Cocona shot at.
    • The On the Next segment at the end of Episode 12 is a series of storyboard frames from Episode 13 all jumbled out of order. Overlaps a bit with Never Trust a Trailer as some storyboards frames are not included, giving the impression that Salt may perish and Papika may disappear forever.
  • Freudian Trio: With Papika as Id, Cocona as Ego and Yayaka as Superego.
  • Genki Girl: Papika
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The Flip Flap organization's goal is to collect a huge assortment of fragments from Pure Illusion in order to "liberate it". Papika and Cocona's mission is to retrieve the fragments.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Papika and Cocona spends episode 5 trapped in one while in Pure Illusion, enforced by the "Greeters".
  • Half-Identical Twins: The other two members of Asclepius are the sibling pair of Yuyu and Toto, one boy and one girl.
  • Handshake Substitute: In Episode 11, Papika and Cocona share a fistbump after defeating the Episode 8 Defense Mechanism with a single punch.
  • Hoverboard: Papika has one. By the end of the series, Yayaka has commandeered it.
  • Humans Are Flawed: The real Mimi's life lesson to Cocona. That the reason she's never really got out of the rut Asclepius and Mimi's dark side kept her in is that she was worried about making a mistake, rather than living with her mistakes. Her first major choice, however... "Dai dai DAI Suki PAPIKA!"
  • Humongous Mecha: Episode 8. Despite Pops being tiny, he's perfectly capable of building absolutely humongous mechas.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode is titled "Pure X", with the X being a stand in for things that are related to audio engineering.
  • If I Can't Have You...: Mimi's literal stance over Cocona, even killing off members of Asclepius who attempt to claim her.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The Asclepius robots. Especially in the raid of Flip Flap in Episode 10 where they seem incapable of hitting anything.
  • Indirect Kiss: In Episode 7, Papiya shares her Ramune with Cocona, to which Cocona proceeds to drink. This causes Cocona to blush immensely upon realization.
  • Insert Song: Episode 8 has "Let's Flip Flaping [sic]" by TO-MAS during the mecha battles as an homage to the genre.
  • Instant Expert: Papika and Cocona as well as Yayaka all gain the knowledge to pilot the mechas upon entering them.
  • Instant Sedation: Subverted in the first episode. When Cocona is knocked out with chloroform, it takes her a good amount of time before she finally falls unconscious, waking up in her home as if nothing happened.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Iroha and her elderly neighbor used to have a relationship like this, at least until the woman developed a bad case of Alzheimers. She was the one that encouraged Iroha to keep drawing, even when her parents didn't quite approve.
    • Papika and Cocona, in a sense. Papika has known Cocona ever since she was born, however, she was de-aged and had her memory wiped out after being trapped in the limbo between Pure Illusion, effectively creating a blank slate for her to restart her relationship with Cocona where both of them were children, subverting the trope.
  • Intertwined Fingers: Especially in Episode 5.
  • In the Name of the Moon: "Evil flower of Pure Illusion! We're going to pluck you out!"
    • Unlike most examples of the trope, the duo has only said this once in the entire series.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: As it turns out, the girls ended up travelling into Iroha's on their mission to find Episode 6's amorphous.
  • The Klan: Most members of Asclepius wear robes like this.
  • Limit Break: In the finale, courtesy of a bullet to the brain by Nyunyu, Buu-chan activates Limited Mode and it looks like he's going to be doing something useful for a change...that is until he malfunctions and crashes into the ground...conveniently creating an entry point for Sayuri to reach Elpis.
  • Little Bit Beastly: Cocona and Papika gain bunny ears and tails during the Pure Illusion run to find Uexkull. This also comes with buck teeth, a desire to gnaw things, and superior ability to dig holes. Cocona is unhappy with this, but Papika is popping in and out of the ground like Bugs Bunny before long.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Some worlds are so utterly similar to Earth, using just the right number of weird but plausible entities to make the user recognize a clear line between reality and Illusion, not realizing that line is just dividing a world of... well, giant butterflies.
  • Love Confession: In the finale. A mutual one at that.
    Cocona (to Papika): I love you. It absolutely has to be you.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Mimi. You try to stop her having her way with Cocona, she'll do everything in her power to stop you.
    • It turns out that she was forced into making a Deal with the Devil to save Cocona, and Mimi's gentler side has been locked away inside her mind since.
  • Magical Girl: After Cocona and Papika are able to awaken their powers, they tend to transform in a manner similar to a typical Magical Girl Warrior. They even parody the concept a little, as Papika makes her entrance as a new student in a very magical girl-esque outfit in episode 2, and the two pose dramatically while they're making their In the Name of the Moon speeches in episode 3.
    • Yayaka finally awakens as one in Episode 12.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Iroha's surname contains the character for color, which is fitting for a girl who loves to draw and paint.
    • Uexkull the rabbit is named after a scientist who developed theories of mind about the Umwelt, or, how different organisms can be in the same physical world but have very different views of the world inside their head.
    • Elpis means "Hope" in Greek, the last thing remaining inside Pandora's Box after it had been opened. Sure enough, the climax has Salt entering Pure Illusion via Elpis to try and stop Mimi from destroying the world.
  • Living MacGuffin: The amorphous is also inconsistently referred to by some materials as the Fragments of Mimi.
    • In the conclusion of the 10th episode, they all are gathered forcibly by the spirit of Mimi, who is inside the piece within Cocona's thigh all along...
  • Magical Land: Pure Illusion. Though the fact that Papika quizzically asks Cocona what she meant by "parallel world" suggests that it's not entirely detached from the regular setting...
  • Mind-Control Eyes: The whole town gains this as Mimi brings Pure Illusion into the real world.
    • Papika gets this in Episode 12 as Mimi forcibly rewrites her memories.
  • More Than Mind Control: Episode 3 has Cocona brainwashed by a magical mask and lead a desert gang to steal a village's water supply. As it turns out, according to its original owner, the mask only amplifies feelings inside the wearer that were already present, and even mocks her for fighting Papika, saying that she must have wanted to do that for a long time.
    • What Mimi does to Cocona, keeping her in a sedated state and offering her anything she desires... as long as she also gives all of herself to her.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: Asclepius appears to be an organization of this sort. Interestingly, Yayaka and the two twins work for them. It turns out they are trying to reform Cocona's mother, a god-like being whose essence is in every part of Pure Illusion. They get it horrifically right.
    • Later on it's played with: It's later established that Asclepius actually have no ill will towards Cocona, due to her being the daughter of Mimi, and are just waiting for all the pieces of Mimi to be gathered before using her to unite them.
  • New Transfer Student: Papika is this in Episode 2.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The PV for Episode 13 does not actually contain any footage from the episode itself.
  • Nightmare Face: Welwitschia shows some of these off in episode 3.
    • The "Greeters" in episode 5 have a permanent one as well.
    • Mimi also showcases some in the finale.
  • Not Quite Human: Cocona. She is the implied daughter of the entity who controls and maybe created Pure Illusion, meaning that she is most definitely not 'just' a normal girl.
  • Not So Different: Flip Flap, despite having nobler end goals than Asclepius (wanting to liberate Pure Illusion from the Amorphous shards as opposed to taking over the world), is implied to be sending children to their deaths in an attempt for Papika to find a companion to traverse Pure Illusion with. Their methods not being different from that of Asclepius' earlier days.
    Papika: [...] but that was another bust. [Cut to frame with a dead/unconscious girl]
    Papika: [Upon entering Pure Illusion for the first time with Cocona] You're alive!
  • Obviously Evil: The "Greeter" schoolgirls in Episode 5 play with this trope. They first come off creepy, with smudged features and distorted voices, but are otherwise fairly harmless... unless you threaten their loop however.
  • Oddly Small Organization: Flip Flap. Prior to Cocona's arrival, the group only consisted of 4 people.
  • Off-into-the-Distance Ending
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Not Latin, but whenever a scene gets particularly serious, the background music will switch to one with an ominous chorus.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: TT-392 is always referred to as "Bu-chan" with the exception of a scene early on in Episode 1.
    • Mimi can't pronounce Papikana's name properly, so she opts for "Papika" instead.
    • OO-303 is called Pops by everyone. His real name is only shown in the credits.
  • Only One Name: With the exceptions of Cocona (whose family name, Kokomine, is revealed in a computer terminal in episode 1) and the Senpai, Irodori Iroha, the rest of the cast only has one name.
  • On the Next: Generally humorous, with characters talking over each other and forgetting to say the name of the next episode in time.
    • An amusing example in Episode 10 has Salt stating that since "next time" is indefinite concept, "previews of next time" do not exist. Sure enough, the actual PV was released a day late.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: Used to a great degree in Episode 6, symbolizing Iroha's positive and negative memories.
  • Playing Possum: Papika does this in order to trick Yayaka into lowering her guard and stealing her rations.
  • Pokémon Speak: Buu-chan only ever communicates in "Buu" with a few exceptions (Episode 1 where he says "This is Pure Illusion. Welcome to Pure Illusion!" and when MUSCLE is activated.
    • Nyunyu shows shades of this as well.
  • Power Floats: Cocona as she is possessed by Mimi at the end of Episode 10. Notably the shot is framed in such a way that Cocona appears to have hanged herself, symbolizing Cocona is no longer in control of her body.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: When Papika and Cocona transform, their hair grows longer in addition to changing color.
    • Mimi has long pale blue hair, and even gives Cocona a similar look when attempting to make her more like herself.
  • The Power of Love: This is what enables Papika and Cocona to defeat Mimi and escape her clutches.
  • Power-Up Food: Sweet Potatoes in Episode 3. It lets the duo henshin.
  • Quest for a Wish: The amorphous pieces, when gathered together, can grant any one wish of a person. Yayaka's organization wants to use it for "world conquest" whereas Flip Flap wants to "liberate" Pure Illusion. Exactly what these schemes might mean in practice is pretty vague.
    • Both are half-lying. The amorphous is the fragmented power of Mimi, Cocona's mother, and an Old Shame of Dr. Salt. Ascelpius meanwhile want to control Mimi due to her ability to manipulate Pure Illusion even in the real world.
  • Raised by Grandparents: The only other person living with Cocona by the time the story starts is her elderly grandmother. Her grandmother is fake, a robot and is revealed to be an Asclepius mole. Cocona doesn't take this lightly once she finds out.
  • Rapid-Fire Typing: Pretty much Hidaka's shtick.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Both Papika and Cocona employ this in the fight with Welwitschia.
    • Papika fires off a move that causes the action to pause and the letters "Papika Raging Hundred Fists" to appear on screen, Fist of the North Star-style.
  • Real Place Background: The whole series takes place in Motomiya, Fukushima. Episode 7 in particular has several backdrops and buildings recreated in the anime. In addition, Yayaka's Trademark Favorite Food are cream boxes, a specialty of Fukushima. This link compares the locations featured in the anime with their real world counterparts.
    • Koriyama, Fukushima also makes an appearance in Episode 7.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The villain in episode 3 has them even in her disguise, an early hint that the villager girl isn't all she seems.
    • The antagonistic twins Toto and Yuyu have red eyes as part of their design.
    • Cocona gains these whenever Mimi is operating through her.
    • All PI Defense Mechanisms have red eyes or red elements in their design (the red face of the clock tower in Episode 5 for instance). This is due to the influence of the shards of Mimi, who herself has Red Eyes.
  • Red Herring: Nyunyu. While she did have a spot in the OP and even appeared in a piece of official art, she's essentially a Thomasson.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Papika is the Red, Cocona is the Blue. It's to the point where it's even in their default hair colors. Oddly enough, Papika's transformation gives her blue hair while Cocona's gives her pink.
    • In the past, Papikana is the Red, Mimi is the Blue, with Papikana being passionate and wild, while Mimi is cold and calculating.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: In the finale, Mimi's face occasionally warps into a crocodile or a snake. It's slightly disturbing if you're not expecting it.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Ascelpius are all but wiped out when Mimi discovers their plans for Cocona and the Amorphus.
  • Rivals Team Up: Yayaka teams up with Papika and Cocona to defeat the monster ravaging Pop's City in Episode 8.
    • Yayaka eventually teams up with Papika to save Cocona.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Papika and Cocona as well as Cocona and Yayaka. Episode 5 plays the trope up like nobody's business, which only becomes more and more pronounced with each time loop. Oddly enough, only Papika and Cocona engage in any yuri-like behaviour; everyone else just acts like setting pieces or giggling, unnerving monsters.
    • Unlike most other examples of this trope, Papika and Cocona do eventually take their relationship to the next level, with both of them mutually confessing their love for each other in the finale. Subverting this trope.
    • In fact, Episode 5 can be seen as a criticism of the trope itself, where Class S relationships are depicted as repetitive and given a Surreal Horror backdrop where none of its inhabitants want to progress into the next phase of a relationship.
    • Papikana and Mimi's relationship can be described as this.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Plenty. This link (In Japanese) provides a list on the anime's use of symbolic themes.
    • The most notable use of symbolism used is with regards to audio as a theme. Symbols relating to audio can be seen throughout the anime, from character names (Mimi meaning Ear in Japanese), placement of musical instruments (OP has the twins playing piano while Salt's room has a guitar and a keyboard), titles of the anime being Pure [Audio Terminology], to various items in the series resembling audio equipment (for instance, ELPIS resembling a cassette player.
  • Say My Name: Tons. Sometimes paired with a Skyward Scream. Here's an example from the first 3 episode.
  • Scenery Porn: The anime features spectacular vistas and backgrounds. Be it a snow covered forest, a Mad Max-like desert world, a sci-fi cityscape or even a mundane town, the anime never fails to deliver gorgeous environments.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: While Papika and Cocona are looking for food in Episode 4, they run into the nest of a kiwi bird, and are promptly chased off by it.
  • Sempai Kouhai: Papika and Cocona have this relationship with Iroha. Even after going through her memories and told to state her name to the elderly woman, they only respond with "Iroha Irodori-senpai".
  • Ship Tease: Starts off as mostly one-sided, but Papika seems to really like Cocona. In the relationship chart, she says "I love, love, love her!" about Cocona, and even during the very first episode she gets very close and personal with her, even when she hadn't known her for very long. Later episodes seem to indicate that Cocona reciprocates those feelings, but she isn't sure herself. By the end of the series, It's outright confirmed she's fallen in love with Papika too.
  • Short-Range Guy, Long-Range Guy: Papika and Cocona fight like this in Pure Illusion once they have a better handle on their powers. Strangely enough, energetic Papika is the long range fighter, using a gun and having to aim, but thoughtful Cocona is the short range fighter, using blades and melee tactics. Both do know how to fight at close quarters, though.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Episode 3 has a huge reference to Fist of the North Star with its desert, chalk frames for attacks, and the all important rowdy punk bikers. It also has a couple to Mad Max: Fury Road with the punk bikers with pale skins and the minions fixed upon poles while they're riding. In addition, Episode 3 also contains a reference to Sukeban Deka with Cocona's Iron Mask breaking in half.
    • Episode 2 places Papika and Cocona in a closet Thomasson, with Papika holding Cocona's hand to keep her calm. This mimics the childen's book Oshire no Bouken, a story about two children who start an adventure in their closet.
    • The girls transform and fight in the style of Pretty Cure heroines. To drive the point home, they even called themselves "Pure Blade" and "Pure Barrier".
    • Episode 5 recreates the hallway scene from The Shining, and the episode as a whole references Romantic Two-Girl Friendship shows like Maria-sama ga Miteru.
    • When Buu-chan gets his powerup in Episode 12, his eye changes to an anchor icon. The satellite that helps set it off also looks like a tin can.
    • Sayuri's room has posters of Mad Max, Sailor Rune, Dune, and School Deka. Alluding to her connection with the Pure Illusion in Episode 3.
    • Episode 8's mech designs bear a resemblance to those in Choushinsei Flashman.
  • Sky Surfing: Papika has a literal rocket powered surfboard.
  • Spoiler Opening:
    • The ending animation gets in on this too, but it's more symbolic. Each scene with Cocona and Papika used in the ending carefully summarizes the episodes chronologically without giving too much away; the girls enter the forest (1), interact with animals (2), explore for a while (3), relax and make a campfire (4), are watched intently by hundreds of judging eyes (5), and their real selves are sleeping in what looks like a trance-like state (6). The two come across a dream-like house and explore, only for a witch to be seen creeping up in the corner (7-9), Cocona is kept captive by the witch (10, 11), Papika goes to free her (12), and both make a run for it out of the woods (13).
      • Notably, The panel count doesn't match the episode count. The 11th episode doesn't have the ED on it, ending instead with Yayaka and Papika going to save Cocona.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: Cocona's transformation power. She was able to pull out a Wave Motion Gun twice her size and a giant hammer out of nowhere.
  • Tempting Apple: In the botched escape attempt from Asclepius, Mimi crossed her Despair Event Horizon and entered her own Pure Illusion, which is a white room with a lone apple atop a white table. Touching the apple ended up bringing her into Deep Pure Illusion, where she ended up choosing to switch personalities with her crazy, psychotic overprotective side all for Cocona.
  • Transformation Trinket: Papika and Cocona spent the majority of episode 4 finding these for their "Flip Flapping". Papika chooses an accessory like more modern magical girls go for (a bracelet), while Cocona is left with a stick to wave around like she's saying an incantation. Averted since they seem to not need them one bit, and it's just window dressing for the actual process.
  • Theme Naming: Episodes are titled "Pure [Audio-related terminology]".
  • Trail Of Breadcrumbs: In yet another fairy tale allusion, Cocona starts leaving a trail of candy in the snow when she and Palika first get lost in Episode 1. It doesn't work, partially because Papika eats the trail as they go along, and part of it is because there are large monsters that would have destroyed the trail anyway.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Interestingly, both Cocona and Papika have activated their transformations after seeing the other in danger – Cocona after witnessing Papika get trapped under the frozen lake, and Papika after Cocona and Uxekull are about to be submerged in lava.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Several things presented throughout the first half of the series as facts are proven false. Papika's age compared to Cocona, Cocona's grandmother, how long Papika has been working for Flip Flap, the nature of the amorphous, what actually happened to Mimi, how long Papika hasn't had a partner, the actual nature of Flip Flap, Ascelpius and Pure Illusion...
    • Invoked in universe in Episode 12. In a cute scene between Mimi and Papikana, the first time we see the scene, Papikana is seated, head in Mimi's lap, listening to Cocona moving. As Mimi says something, it flashes to the present where Mimi hijacks Papika's recall of the event, and Papikana is now sitting very stiffly next to her, and listening dilligently to her tell her that she wishes to isolate Cocona from everyone, with Present!Mimi asking Papika to tell her again what she said, satisfied that whatever she really said, Papika won't admit it.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: The cult, and to a lesser extent the shadowy scientific organization before it. Yayaka, the cult's agent, claims that they are interested in a world free of war and conflict. This is why they feel justified in experimenting on children, imprisoning young girls, and threatening babies.
  • Wham Episode: The first is episode 3, with both the reveal of the awesome power of Papika and Cocona's transformed selves and the arrival of a Dark Magical Girl-esque rival after the same "amorphous" as our heroines - and she's Cocona's classmate Yayaka.
    • Episode 7. Cocona meets several fantasy versions of Papika in Pure Illusion, and realises that her feelings for Papika are anything but mere friendship...
    • Episode 9. Yayaka is given an ultimatum to claim all the fragments Cocona and Papika have collected, while Papika and Cocona have begun to split apart due to a strange case of Mistaken Identity. Yayaka ends up doing a Heel–Face Turn as they try to figure out why Papika is mistaking Cocona for Mimi...
    • Episode 10. The girl in Cocona's dreams is Mimi. The base gets invaded and Cocona has had enough of everything and heads back home. Only to turn out even her home life was a lie as her grandmother tries to capture her, only for Mimi to intervene, because Cocona is Mimi's daughter.
    • Episode 11. Mimi controls Cocona to make her devoted to her, and begins overwriting reality with the first Pure Illusion world that Cocona entered, intending to keep her, literally, for herself for all eternity.
  • Wham Line: In The Stinger to Episode 8, Cocona and Papika have obtained the Amorphous and are in the showers. Papika in particular is celebrating a successful run. As Cocona is reflecting on their victory, Papika says, to Cocona,
    Papika: Let's go again! Mimi!
    • And again in The Stinger to Episode 9 where after Papika and Cocona appear to have mended their relationship, Papika's memories suddenly flow back to her as a result of Asclepius merging the Amorphous Shards, and Papika is in a state of panic as she desperately tries to find Mimi, revealing her relationship with Mimi
      Papika: Mimi's my partner!
  • Winged Humanoid: Both Papika and Cocona grow a pair of insect-like wings in their full transformation. Cocona's wings sprout out from her shoulder, while Papika's wings sprout out from her hips.
    • The true version of their transformations are identical valkyrie-style armor with matching energy wings.
  • The World Is Just Awesome
  • Umbrella of Togetherness: Cocona and Papika share one in the sun at the end of the opening sequence.
  • You Are Number 6: Mimi and Papikana were known as Test Subjects 33 and 45 respectively in Asclepius. Crosses over with Meaningful Rename as 33 and 45 are the rpm for a Direct Drive turntable.
  • Yuri Genre: Both the story and some sub-dimensions of Pure Illusion have their own examples. In Episode 3, the evil ruler of the dimension is a Psycho Lesbian and has her whole race tied up in bondage and ball gags for her pleasure. In Episode 5, the dimension of Pure Illusion they go to is a Yuri-themed school. A lot of the overarching story itself is romance between Cocona and Papika, but for more on that see the LesYay page.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Cocona is an odd example, as her socks actually go slightly beyond her skirt, not showing any skin if she's standing straight.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Anime/FlipFlappers