Meaning Revisited

Meaning Revisited (Flip Flappers Analysis)

A little while ago, I wrote about the temporality of meaning in Flip Flappers. Due to the story not being completed, that post was more speculative than I would have liked. This essay will act as a redefining and expansion of the arguments in the original post. I recommend you check out that essay if you haven’t, as I will be trying not to repeat myself too much and will be referring back to my original work throughout this piece. With all that being said, let’s take a fresh look at how Flip Flappers plays with meaning.

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But first, a quick refresher! To start, Flip Flappers encourages viewers to engage with “immediate” latent content by making adventures in Pure Illusion act like parables, beating us over the head with symbols, or straight up telling us the point. This gives us initial interpretations of events/characters/symbols—let’s say: coercing us into a particular analytical perspective. As we move forward, we discover that our initial interpretations weren’t exactly wrong, just that they weren’t complete or we were right in ways we hadn’t intended. This reflection on our own perspective is the essence of Flip Flappers’s unique storytelling and content temporality. Note: I originally call this “temporality of meaning”, but as I thought more about the show I decided “content temporality” is more accurate. It’s not just meaning that morphs, but perceived purpose and other qualities as well. All the content we take in changes.Read More »

EM: Malleable Designs in Yuri!!! on Ice

Malleable Designs in Yuri!!! on Ice

Yuri!!! On Ice utilizes malleable character designs to communicate varying character identities, relationships, and motivations. This malleability can be seen as early as Episode 1, but Episode 5 provides the best and most interesting example so far. Yuri’s face modelling and costume both change between his performances to reflect significant changes within and around his character.

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Yuri’s first performance is clearly motivated by a desire to execute what he has practiced and impress Victor. Or, rather, to “seduce” Victor. We’ve already seen the androgynous, half-skirted costume in earlier episodes, and it has come to represent both Yuri’s idolization of Victor and his efforts to become a “pork cutlet bowl fatale that enthralls men.” These are two important aspects of Yuri’s identity. In his relationship with Victor, he has (at least up until this point) been submissive. He looks up to Victor, he is Victor’s student, and he performs for Victor’s attention. He manifests this in his efforts to become something beautiful and seductive, something he transforms into on the ice. He spends early episodes learning what his “eros” is, and thus what this identity is. As he explains at the end of Episode 5, he was unfamiliar with love and had to discover it under Victor’s tutelage.Read More »