Patchwork Confession

Patchwork Confession (A Toradora Analysis)

Around this time last year, I wrote about three symbols in the Christmas party episode of Toradora. Apparently cold weather and Christmas lights put me in the mood for symbolism, because I want to explore another Toradora symbol this year. Although this symbol first shows up in Episode 1, I’ll be talking about the series as a whole and assuming you’ve seen it in its entirety. You can consider this the start of my love letter to Toradora.

But hopefully my letter has a little more substance to it than Taiga’s.

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Taiga attempts to put a love letter in Kitamura’s bag, but mixes his up with Ryuji’s. Ryuji then finds this letter, only to discover it is empty. All of this confusion results in Taiga attacking Ryuji and Ryuji winding up with Taiga’s empty envelope. Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: Taiga’s mix-up with Ryuji and Kitamura’s bags is a foreshadowing of her initial crush on Kitamura giving way to her love for Ryuji. I called it obvious, but this is certainly an important interpretation (and probably the main intended one). However, Toradora is not satisfied until it’s packed every bit of meaning into a symbol as it can.Read More »

Flip Flappers’s Chrono-Complex

Flip Flappers’s Chrono-Complex

Possible speculative spoilers for Flip Flappers ahead!

I feel like I shouldn’t write this post just yet, since I’ll be hemmed by speculation, but I’m going to do it anyway. This seems like the best time to point out a powerful storytelling technique—as we are all experiencing it live. I want to emphasize: this essay’s primary purpose is not to analyze the show, but to analyze the meta and mechanics behind the story.

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Every episode of Flip Flappers has been a goldmine for analysis of symbolism, subtext, color, and allusion, but (and I don’t mean to belittle any of that analysis) all of that been relatively surface-level. That is, the show wants us to notice all of it. You can say: Cocona and Papika are like two halves to a whole—they swap hair color when they transform, they can only enter Pure Illusion with the other’s help, one is super energetic while the other is reserved. Yes, definitely, and that is worth talking about, but I don’t think any of that is something viewers are meant to dig for. It’s all right there, immediately accessible, as if Flip Flappers is pushing all of its latent content to the mainstage alongside its plot. As a result, the show can be playful in its storytelling. By first investigating the way Flip Flappers tells its sub-stories, we can uncover a complexity that shapes the show as a whole.Read More »