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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: What is the deal with Papika? Is she as air headed as she is because she's just a simple Cloud Cuckoolander? Or is she something else entirely? Episode 3 seems to reveal that she's the missing part to a weapon, and that she's actually named "Papikana", so it seems like it's heading towards the latter interpretation.
    • The name "Papikana" may be a subtitle error, and it's not at all clear that the thing she's one half of is a weapon or something else, like a magical girl duo. Episode 10 does reveal that the spelling is intentional, though.
      • Episode 11 reveals that Papikana is the name she went by as an adult, something happening to deage her and have her use the more childish Papika, and the weapon comment was a red herring.
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    • There's one very simple and unified explanation for her brand of crazy which is overtly mentioned as a throwaway gag: episode 3 has a goon say that he likes her name, that "Papika" reminds him of "Puppy". The girl introduces herself to Cocona saying "I waited forever for you!", is constantly sniffing the air and tracking people or things by scent, is frequently seen going about on all fours (especially in the beginning), plays Fetch with Cocona's glasses, goes all googly-eyed when she has an opportunity to chase a bunny, drools, and regularly puts inappropriate things in her mouth. She's clearly curious, and maybe even rather smart, but it's all instinctive reasoning rather than intellect or analytical intelligence. This is of course in addition to the ignorance of human norms. About the only quirk this little gag doesn't explain is her rocket-hoverboard habit and the rooftops it frequently lands her on.
      • Later debunked. Papika, as Papikana, is shown helping Mimi court Dr. Salt, and she is a young woman in her 20's.
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    • About Papika's love for Cocona— how much of it was real, and how much of it was her projecting her feelings for Mimi, her old partner onto Cocona? Of course she's not doing this to hurt anyone, but after Episode 9 one just has to wonder.
      • Episode 12 shows that Papikana, Papika before her age decrease, knew Cocona from when she was originally born, and fell for her at first sight...
  • Awesome Art: One thing that most people can agree on is that the art direction and the animation of the series is top quality. The picturesque landscapes coupled with the dynamic action of the Pure Illusion segments make it a treat to watch.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Yayaka. She's either a welcome change to the cast by having her be concerned for her friend yet still antagonistic and mysterious, or she's kind of a jerk meant to stand in the way of Papika and Cocona (thematically and metaphorically). Interestingly, this dies down after the latter half of the show, particularly after Episode 12, with the brunt of disappointment being brought down instead on the two heroines of the show.
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    • Papika as well. Some people aren't fond of her being so energetic and hectic all the time, and see her as no more than a human puppy that follows Cocona around. But she still has her fans who think that her energy makes her a good Foil for Cocona.
  • Broken Base:
    • The series' main point of contention is its admittedly slow pace. Does going case by case instead of moving forward with the main plot help establish the characters and world better, or does it make the show more confusing since it refuses to get to the point? Dr. Salt is the biggest indicator of this, since he leads the Flip Flap organization and doesn't say any more than two lines per episode, neither of which brings us any closer to the truth.
    • And the complete opposite opinion after Episode 9: the pace of the show becomes too fast, and even though most of the plot is explained, accusations of the show becoming an infodump in Episodes 10 and 11 run rampant. Character development is also criticized for all characters, as some characters are left with their base personalities during the second half, and others accuse the heroines of not having grown at all in comparison to Yayaka, who got her Character Development in the shortest amount of time.
    • The Central Theme of the series, namely that an individual needs to make their own choices, was either a well executed theme that pervaded the show, hollow since it only became present in the last few episodes, or decent, but poorly timed.
  • Epileptic Trees: Mostly every theory revolves around Papika being something inhuman or might die by the end of the show.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Due to the crazy amount of symbolism in the series, everyone's trying to scrape together some semblance of meaning from every possible angle. What does the death imagery invoke? Why are there so many optical illusions? What does the Flip Flap organization represent? Why is the rabbit named Uexkull?
    • Since Episode 5, this has only escalated, thanks to all the sudden yuri imagery.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Welwitschia oozes it, thanks to her sexy servants and her rather intimate scene with Cocona.
    • Mimi invokes it somewhat, being a cold, ruthless and tsundere version of Cocona.
  • Genius Bonus: The show has a lot of literary and scientific allusions hidden within the walls of the story. In fact, Cocona's own pet rabbit Uexkull is a reference to the Estonian scientist Jakob von Uexkull, who's famous for his work on the theory of Umwelt.
    • The rival organization, Asclepius, is named after the Greek god of medicine and rejuvenation. Quite a fitting namesake for a cult with the intent of "liberation" for the world they live in. And ultimately, they are trying to gather all of the fractured pieces of the mysterious girl named Mimi, making it more of a case of this trope.
      • The structure Ascelepius put amorphous stones into resembles the caduceus symbol, one used commonly in medicine, adding to the healing theme.
    • The Thomasson apparatuses seem to be references to Hyperart, or Thomassons, which are generally useless additions to buildings that have been carefully maintained despite the fact that it's unnecessary— thereby making it art. On their way to the Thomasson in the Flip Flap organization, they're even shown going through Pure Doors.
    • The large painting in the school is just one of many artistic depictions of Ophelia and her tragic drowning.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The show gets way more discussion in the West than it does in its native country as shown in Acclaimed Flop in the Trivia section. Sentai Filmworks apparently caught wind of the series' higher level of popularity in the West which is why it produced an English dub along with offering a Premium Edition for their localized release.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Go back over the first half dozen episodes knowing that Mimi is the power behind Pure Illusion, loves Cocona and hates Papika/Papikana... Suddenly, a lot of the abuse Papika goes through isn't half as funny...
    • A throwaway line, that Cocona 'wanted to (beat Papika up) for a long time' takes on a worrying turn when you realize Mimi has been bouncing about in Cocona's subconscious mind, and that Cocona never spoke and her eyes were unseen...
      • Notably, In Episodes 11 and 12, Mimi pretty much admits, outright, she DID have plans to beat Papikana up for over a decade...
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: As one fan put it, "Everyone is Yayaka for Cocona". There's been a select few people Cocona hasn't been shown with in fan works, and even then they have some sort of respect for her. The last few episodes revise it to 'Everyone is Mimi for Cocona...'
  • Les Yay: There is so much of it in this series that it deserved its own page.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Welwitschia in Episode 3. There's even implications about what she's planning to do with Cocona and Papika in her lair... and it won't be pretty...
    • The Greeters from Episode 5. Good lord, those things are unnerving.
    • Mimi. She embedded a good chunk of her soul within Cocona, in order to seduce her own daughter... and that's just before the series starts...
    • Mimi in Episode 12 nonchalantly changes a key event in Papika's memories of Papikana so that Papika remembers Mimi telling her that she must leave Cocona to her, when Mimi was originally planning for her to grow up independently, with Papikana as her guardian...
  • One True Pairing:
    • While it has been somewhat split between who fans would rather pair Cocona with, it appears a majority prefer pairing her with Papika over Yayaka. The fact Cocona and Papika become canon certainly helps.
    • After it was revealed that Mimi and Salt are Cocona's parents fans prefer pairing them together rather than pairing Mimi with Papika.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: There is some division between those that ship Cocona with either Papika or Yayaka, but it doesn't appear to generally cross into Die for Our Ship territory.
  • Spiritual Licensee: Some fans have called the series the closest thing we'll get to an Alice in Wonderland adaptation that matches the tone and themes of the story.
    • Spiritual Successor: To Miyuki-chan in Wonderland, being a story about a girl stumbling through several surreal short events to discover her own repressed sexuality. It even has at least one incident be a groundhog day loop.
  • Squick: How some people felt about Papika/Cocona after The Reveal that she's actually older than Cocona and was there for her ever since she was born. How she comes to her ultimate declaration of love doesn't help matters:
    "Since the start, I've always, always loved Cocona!"
  • Tear Jerker: Episode 6, full stop. The lackluster home life that Iro-chan had and relationship between the old woman and Iro-chan is heartbreaking to watch, especially when the woman is admitted into the hospital, after succumbing to what's very likely to be dementia. The fact that this is all Iroha-senpai's childhood makes this all worse.
    • Episode 11. Cocona is slowly made to believe mother knows best, while Papika is shown battered, beaten and defeated.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Though we learn about Toto, Yuyu, and Nyunyu being Artificial Humans, the plot ultimately doesn't do a lot with them, relegating the twins to simply Yayaka's partners and Nyunyu to the role of a Thomasson.
  • Unfortunate Character Design: Leading members of Asclepius's organization wear robes with conical, face-concealing headgear that appear to function as elaborate environment suits. While American viewers will readily make comparisons to The Klan based solely on these outfits, given the organization's bearing and overall goal it is more likely that the outfits were meant to evoke the capirote, a traditional costume worn by Catholics in Spain during certain holidays and associated with punishment and penance. In this case, the outfits symbolize the organization's belief that their work (to remake the world into a utopia by restoring and controlling Mimi) is an act of atonement or self-sacrifice on behalf of the world; this attitude sharply contrasts with the organization's highly unethical methods, ruthlessness, and the apparent madness of Asclepius.
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