Darling in the FRANXX reaches new heights across the next batch of episodes I’m covering to catch up to the newest run of the series.
Episode 9 follows Goro as he confesses his feelings of love towards his partner Ichigo to Hiro. This realization makes him also recognize and respect that Ichigo is not attracted to him; she is very clearly after Hiro. Armed in his FRANXX with Ichigo later leaves them separated as he is trapped within an enemy. After being rescued by Ichigo, Goro confesses his feelings but expects nothing but friendship from Ichigo. Perhaps the most cliche of this batch of series also effectively manages to have a mature twist on the unrequited love trope.
In episode 10, Squad 13 has been received news of a ceremony held in their honor to reward their hard work. While there, Zorome tries to understand the adult world that he has always desired to learn about. He is for the most part ignored until he runs until an adult who teaches him what being an adult is like and there seems to be a shrouded mystery about the children of Squad 13. The theme of this episode gives the message that in adulthood, women grow up to become isolated, silenced, and neglected while partnered with a man who receives pleasure at their expense, (Where’s the goddamn lie? ).
Episode 11 shakes things up a bit with a partner shuffle. All the while, Hachi clearly has some hidden animosity towards Hiro who we learn was his childhood friend, (or possibly even childhood crush since we know how FRANXX mechas are piloted). This episode follows a theme of the consequences of broken promises and the weight in which promises carry.
Throughout the episodes, Zero-Two has been behaving even more erratically than normal. She seems to know more than she lets on, (and more than we know), about Squad 13 and her fangs grow longer. As Squad 13 is taken back to the area they grew up for testing in Episode 12, Zero-Two is supposed to be undergoing testing as well but violently refuses. This violence causes her horns to grow, her eyes to glow red, and her overall way of speaking changes.
Squad 13 takes a field trip to the exact location they were raised called the Garden and it is revealed that they were just there 6 months ago however their memories of the place seem like years ago and their physical appearance definitely makes it seem as though they’ve been away for 12 years or more. As Zero-Two continuously says, “I need to kill more to become human”, Hiro starts to remember something while in the garden that doesn’t quite make sense until Zero-Two snaps while piloting their FRANXX.
Zero-Two’s identity looks to be finally revealed in the next episode which is something I’ve been looking forward to since episode 1 but I’m starting to question more of the existence of Squad 13. Clearly something is way off about the setup of this nearly dystopian world, but the small hints spread throughout the series have not gone unnoticed. The weirdest hint of all is the adult welcoming Zorome into her home and she disinfects areas he touched before he sits down. All of episode 12 tells viewers that perhaps Zero-Two isn’t the only person to be looking at while watching the series.
Darling in the FRANXX episodes 9 thru 12 introduces new questions to be addressed while confronting some of the questions viewers have had since the start of the series. Shredding away from the gross fan-service of the last batch of episodes, I’m finally back 100% on board with this series.
Rating: 9 out of 10