This anime was quite interesting. I picked it up because I thought the show looked pretty, I liked the character designs and M.A.O. voiced one of the main characters. I wasn’t expecting much from what I read, basically a fun time but not something I’d think about when I wasn’t watching it. From the very first episode I figured out how wrong I my expectations were.
The show starts off following Cocona, a typical middle school girl that is having trouble figuring out what she wants to do for high school and her future. She lives with her grandma because her parents died. Through her day Cocona starts running into weird things such as a girl riding a hover board, a robot and some weird twins. We learn this girl is Papika and she’s set on bringing Cocona to a mystical world known as “Pure Illusion”. Papika and Cocona have a very interesting dynamic. They are pretty much the exact opposite with Cocona being more reserved and thinking about things before getting involved while Papika is loud and rushes in without thinking to almost everything. This is even showcased in their designs, Papika has a much larger mouth and longer hair than Cocona.
While in Pure Illusion when yelling “Flip Flapping” the girls can turn into magical girls which they use the powers of to gather amorphous fragments which they are told can grant wishes.
The show takes a fairly episodic route for most its run, usually with Cocona and Papika solving some kind of problem, either within Pure Illusion or from their world using Pure Illusion, in some really weird and trippy segments. All of these were pretty interesting doing things such as legit horror, cloning Papika to be every character except Cocona and parodying Mad Max. One of my only issues with the show was how some of these came out of nowhere. An example is the senpai at Cocona and Papika’s school. She has a thing where she can’t wear nail polish because of an event from her past yet this isn’t brought up until the episode we go through her past. Yeah she doesn’t wear nail polish until after that episode but Cocona and Papika never wear it so how would anyone notice that?
The show has a lot of symbolism which leads to my only other issue. Some episodes it caused a lot of debate over what it was actually symbolizing and was really fun reading theories online. There were a couple times with just cliche symbols. My least favourite was episode 9 which goes through some of Cocona’s backstory and is basically the start of the climax. Cocona and Yayaka (her friend from before meeting Papika) are blocked off from Papika because Cocona doesn’t want to be near her then when Cocona wants to be with Papika the blockage goes away. Cocona is also breaking glass walls which have images from her backstory that she finds out didn’t happen how she thought she did so she “shatters” her memories.
The animation is really nice. Just look at these GIFs. It reminds me of something Trigger would do and it stays consistently that good for the entire season. Pure Illusion usually has the more amazing looking scenes just because it doesn’t need to be grounded in reality but everything looks great.
The voice acting is all great as well as the soundtrack. The opening and ending songs are some of my favourite in all of anime. Serendipity does the perfect job getting me hyped for the episode and FLIP FLAP FLIP FLAP is so catchy I can’t help but sing along.