Posted by AidanAK47 on 3 July 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

The longer this series goes on, the faster my goodwill disappears as this episode was terrible on many fronts. At this point I think we can admit that this series has been on a downward spiral since episode 19 and has only worsened with each subsequent episode. Part of the problem was 19 spilling all the beans on the world which it had kept relatively close to heart and the thing which truly sunk the ship was the introduction of VIRM. As I have thought over the events of the last few episodes, i have found that VIRM don’t really make much sense and as antagonists there goals and actions are just too vague and indistinct. Let us examine things by looking at their objective which is to pull all races into some sort of collective being and the question I have to that effect is…what is stopping them exactly? I mean I believe they just absorbed all the adults no bother and it doesn’t really seem like consent is an issue considering that the upper brass were not willing yet were absorbed regardless. So then, why can’t they absorb the children, nay why couldn’t they absorb the Klax when they first landed instead of asking for permission first and then going to war with them? What would winning a war even accomplish?

The second objective seems to be destroying Strelizia prime but again the only reason Prime exists is because they went to war with the Klax! I guess we could reason that in order to be absorbed they first need to get the race to enter those happiness machines they made but again if that was the case then why didn’t they take the same approach as they did humanity and infiltrate society to introduce the machines. I highly doubt that the Klax were the first to rebel against their intent. We spent the majority of the series with APE acting as the antagonists and they too were not great due to being faceless with vague motivations. However they still have a presence and mean something to the characters of the story. VIRM on the other hand is an unknown, faceless entity with a boring motivation that means nothing to the characters. As a villain they are literally nothing more than a plot device and they seem to hold no real threat having being beaten by the Klax and now being obliterated again with little effort. I just can’t see these guys as a legitimate threat, I mean they had Strelizia at their mercy for months and at best they only managed to scratch it. Our villains ladies and gentlemen, couldn’t even hurt an unarmed enemy for months on end.

But enough of that, what actually happened in this episode? Well this felt like three episodes all crushed into one as we had many a climatic development with none of it felt earned. We start the episode with the squad all playing around in Franxx in space..wait a minute.. how did they modify Franxx to fight in space without doctor Franxx? Oh I see Nana and Hachi (Wait a second, why the hell are you guys here? Aren’t you supposed to be on earth guiding all the children?) confirm that the Klax made it for them..wait…why would the Klax make space equipment for their enemies? No I don’t buy that bull about them somehow thinking that humanity would rise up and preparing equipment for that time. The Klax were fully committed to sorting this stuff themselves, the Klax queen made that very damn clear. Also they prepared a ship which is set to autopilot to Strezla prime(Then again, why are you here Nana and Hachi? If you aren’t driving the ship then what’s the point of being there? Moral support? To exposit that poor piece of justification for the space suits?)

Anyway the leader of the nines is acting as Hiro’s partner now to get him to Zero Two and oh no he sacrifices himself talking about how Hiro and the gang teaching them how to live…um sorry, when did that happen? Last I remember you were all throwing a hissy fit in the medical bay before you decide to go on this mission. Are you talking about those points you berated them for living like that? Wait Kokoro and Mitsuri suddenly love each other again? Zero Two pushed away Hiro and went off on her own despite being completely unable to move prime? Wait Zero Two’s body turned to stone? Wait Prime now is literally a giant Zero Two? Alright the mech science hasn’t being realistic for the whole series but at least it was consistent but this is just pure magic and makes no sense whatsoever. Wait you are planning a suicide attack on the alien homeworld by going through some gateway out of nowhere while using the Klax ship as a bomb? Can’t you launch it through the gate? Considering VIRM couldn’t make a dent in Prime I figure this won’t be much of a final battle. Oh no Hiro and Zero Two may never return and…again sorry I feel like I skipped to an emotional climax without any of the buildup.

Sigh. This episode was a mess. It feels unplanned and unjustified with all these nonsense story developments and sudden changes in tone to try and pull at your heartstrings. It’s feels like the writer wrote himself into a corner by introducing VIRM and now must work to resolve something that would take more than the last few episodes to resolve. Truthfully I question just how much of this story is planned for the episodes of the full series do play out haphazard and without strong continuity with an inconsistent level of quality. This last arc is mainly like a satire or homage to many other famous Mecha shows with none of the finality and with characters replaced with the Franxx cast. I just wonder what the point of it really was for I previously mentioned that Franxx could end in one of two ways, with the gang raising a new humanity or a final confrontation with VIRM. It was though they were going for a mixture but looks like they are going to cut out the final confrontation with VIRM after all and go right back to the setting up of new humanity. Franxx would need to pull out something real special to make all this worth it but considering the tend of these episodes, my expectations are certainly low.

3 Responses

  1. Avatar Amagi says:

    Sad because they kinda tried to make it interesting and it had some potential but on the other hand everything feels like someone is trying to copy popular Gainax/Trigger series without understanding how to write. In the end it feels like a listless Frankenstein’s monster of TTGL, Top wo Nerae and a few others while simultaneously trying to be wishfulfillment (you know that everyone important loves Hiro and gays get shafted).
    The end will 0 surprises I guess. I bet my ass the MCs will just return because love makes everyone immprtal here. They’ll probably return years later, not aged and everyone waited for them while the child of Kokoro (who will probably be named Hiro) will welcome them. It will be a timeskip because drama and because it’s also a cheap way of forcing couples. I bet they will resolve the Ichigo problem that way. She will just be Goro’s happy wife, mark my words, this anime is cheap. I hope I am wrong though.

  2. Avatar Quiddity says:

    I’m not sure if you are familiar with the Arthur C. Clarke novel Childhood’s End, but I felt that the reveals regarding APE/VIRM towards the end of the series were very similar to that novel, most likely inspired by it. I bring this up as I wonder if VIRM absorbing the adults but not the children was a purposeful inversion of what occurred in that novel. In that novel, there is an entity called the Overmind which has absorbed countless alien civilizations into what is essentially a hivemind. The Overmind comes to Earth and absorbs humanity (destroying the Earth in the process), but it doesn’t simply absorb all of humanity. Rather, humanity is essentially overseen by a seperate race of aliens called the Overlords for a number of years, during which a last generation of humans are born. This last generation, which are still children, is what is absorbed into the Overmind, not the adults, who all die off. In Franxx they appear to be doing the opposite, absorbing the adults while leaving the children.

    In any case it may not be a purposeful inversion but when you brought up that point in your opening paragraph it made me think about that.

    • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

      I have actually read Childhood’s End but I feel you are reaching for similarities. The Overlords and VIRM are significantly different in their methods as the Overlords more gently nudged humanity in the direction they wanted while VIRM straight up took them over. The overlords actually had to raise humanity into something which the Overmind could absorb while VIRM didn’t quite establish just what was needed to be absorbed by them and there infiltration of human society seemed mainly to use them to get back at the Klax. Which does show a difference in attitude as I recall the Overlords being rather remorseful over humanity’s fate and their role as puppeteers of destruction while VIRM practically delights in it.

      I would say any parallels would be coincidental and I would say this story was more attempting to create an adversary like the Anti-Spirals of Gurren Lagann. Which this final arc echoed quite a bit.

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