I know this is super late by now, but here it finally is.
Flip Flappers is far from being a perfect anime–but what it lacks in storytelling strength, it certainly makes up for it through wonderful animation, imaginative settings, and a lot of heart.
The reason I chose not to blog this anime in its entirety was because of the surprising amount of fanservice present. I sort of get that all the fanservice was actually supposed to be symbolic of our characters’ “budding sexualities;” but it’s still a bit uncomfortable that there was so much of it centered on our main characters (who are both 14 year old girls).
I also feel that storytelling was never really Flip Flappers‘ strength. After a rocky start, we are treated to some really lovely episodes; which sadly then leads to a somewhat disappointing conclusion. It wasn’t disappointing because of how the series ended (we got an unabashedly happy ending after all)–rather, it was disappointing because of how we got to that point. I think Flip Flappers was trying to do too much at once. The series steadfastly refused to explain what was going on for most of the season. Thus, when the last four episodes came around, all the plot points suddenly had to be wrapped up, and it was done so rather messily and with a lot of duex ex machina thrown into the mix. Flip Flappers was a fairly original anime up until the last few episodes, where there were suddenly a ton of cliches and the story became somewhat predictable.
Nonetheless, I appreciate Flip Flappers for what it was. You can’t deny that there wasn’t a lot of effort put into every world that Cocona and Papika explore. Honestly, I wouldn’t have minded a series that was just that, without the over-arching plot. The animation for this series is also rather lovely and dynamic for the most part. Even with it’s large flaws, Flip Flappers was an engaging series that I thoroughly enjoyed from the Fall anime season, and I think it definitely deserves more attention than it got. If you’re looking for something different, or if you want a series that has a similar feel to any of Ikuhara’s work, then I highly recommend Flip Flappers.
So, out of five, I rate this series:
Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara Second Season:
Geeze, what happened? I reviewed the first season of this anime in a previous round-up review post, and I thought that it was a pretty alright series. This second season, however; was just awful. They ditched everything that made the series good (all the poking fun at tired magical girl tropes) and the show basically became some terrible, boring slice-of-life anime with increased fanservice and mascot abuse. No thanks.
The ending was also incredibly disappointing. Making a story arc that lasts three episodes for a 4 minute anime was a dumb move.
Out of five, I give:
Bungo Stray Dogs Seasons 1 and 2:
Okay, first off—if you haven’t read Moeronpan’s First Impression of the first episode of this series (season 1), then you should go read that, because that provides a lot of context for my review below.
Anyway, BSD is not a series I would normally watch, as it’s not really the type of anime I would be interested in. But I had a terrible sense of curiosity, mixed with some free time during breakfast and lunch, and thus I ended up slowly watching through the entire first and second seasons. The first season technically aired in spring, but the second season (which just ended) aired in the fall; so heck with it all—I watched this whole series and I’m gonna review it.
BSD is… to put it bluntly, like a B movie with really good production values. It’s “animay” as all hell, has some hit-or-miss attempts at comedy, and also has a pretty basic premise. I agree with Moeronpan in that detectives do not need to have powers/be supernatural to make a “good” detective series. I personally don’t hate the trope as much as Moeronpan does, but if you’ve watched or read an anime detective series before, you’ll likely see all of BSD’s plot-twists/culprits from a mile away. Once you’ve seen one anime detective series, you’ve basically seen them all; so in a way I understand *why* BSD went the route it did with its detectives—it’s just trying to find a way to stand out, and I get that.
However, I still don’t understand the literary author slant. Why was this necessary? At least ClassicaLoid hand-waved all the inaccuracies in appearance/personality with “they’re all reincarnations!” But BSD… never really explains it? The best answer that I can come up with is that they’re meant to be gijinkas of the authors and the authors’ works—but then that still begs the question: why was this done at all? What is point? Were the writers of this series trying to attract the literary fanbase, or were they trying to motivate younger folks into reading works by the great literary authors? Who knows???
Returning back to the comedy in this series—it’s pretty bad, I’m sorry. Most of the jokes in BSD are restricted to: 1) people yelling, 2) and typical anime slap-stick antics. BSD also handles them terribly; because this show doesn’t know how to transition between jokes and serious scenes very well. As I said many times in my previous reviews, making a series that is both soul-crushingly dark and gut-bustingly funny is very hard to do. Of course, it can be done (look at Kotoura-san and Sekai Seifuku as examples of this type of series done well); but if handled poorly, what you get is an anime that induces massive mood-whiplash. I actually enjoyed most of season two, if only because almost all the out-of-place comedy was nixed due to a more serious storyline. Apparently the manga for BSD is much more serious to begin with, and I feel like the anime should have just stuck with that tone instead of amplifying the comedy aspects of the series.
Overall… I honestly still don’t know what to make of this series. Taste is subjective, and while I don’t think this is that bad of a series, I still don’t think it’s all that amazing. It’s… it’s okay. BSD definitely tries too hard to be ~edgy~ with all the blood and violence. And it also takes itself far too seriously even though much of its plot is kind of clichéd. And god, where do I even begin on how ridiculous the second season gets? But I can’t deny that this *is* a really well-animated series; and the VAs for the characters are all really great. Still, it’s kind of… uncomfortable? I guess? That it’s mainly so popular because of all the bishonen dudes—though I can’t really rag too much on people who like this series just for that. I mean, I like Dazai’s character design a ridiculous amount even though I still kind of loathe him as a character.
So um. Yeah. I have a hard time really recommending this to anyone. While the series does get better after season 1’s first episode (which imo is the weakest episode of the whole series), your enjoyment of the series will definitely hinge on how much you can stand clichéd anime drama, plot, and comedy; and how much you can stand… Dazai’s really in bad-taste suicide fetish (which thankfully also gets nixed in season 2). But I suppose it’s entertaining enough for what it is, as long as you realize what you’re getting into.
Out of five for seasons 1 and 2: