Posted on 10 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

That was the best episode of Darling in the Franxx to date. Truly I am impressed with this though it may be perhaps because the fanservice aspects of the show were not present at all during this episode. Todays episode was spent entirely on the past of Hiro and Zero Two. When this episode is over it brings a whole new light on events before this. All the strange disconnected things that Zero Two did throughout the series just suddenly click and you realize just what she was trying to do. Her distaste for tests, her love for sweet things, searching for picture books in the library, her insistence on Hiro calling her Zero Two over giving a new nickname and even why she calls him Darling. It all connects right back to when they were children as Hiro is the one who influenced all of this. Well the picture book seems influenced by what we can assume is her creator which appears to not be the plantation. They were shocked to find a creature as humanlike as Zero Two.

On that front Dr Franxx certainly lost a lot of points today. Up till now he seemed like the voice of reason within the society but seeing him torture Zero Two with delight over her Kalozuar characteristics certainly paints him in a new light. It’s possible that in the future he wishes to somehow atone for his actions but it’s just as likely that he’s motivated by pure cold scientific curiosity. HIro also could go through a massive character shift here as well as in his memories he certainly is more confident and motivated when compared to his teenage self. But the memory erase seems to have screwed him up bad. With the return of his memories by episodes end this could very well spell a return of the confident Hiro of the past which I would find most agreeable. But yes that moment, when Hiro confirms that he remembers to Zero Two and her turning back to realize that Hiro is indeed the boy she loved in the past. Damn that was a cruel cliffhanger. When taking into account Zero Two’s breakdown it does seem to be more the product of deciding that after all these hints with no results that Hiro wasn’t the boy she knew in the past which pushed her objective to “Becoming human.” So I suspect shes going to cool down quite a bit with his return. What’s more I wonder if the return of Hiro’s memories cause him to start responding more confidently to her advances. Now that would certainly be fun to see.

I will admit that it’s not as if the events in this episode were surprising or unpredictable as I pretty much knew where it was going the whole way through. What makes this episode work was the the execution was on point throughout and it didn’t matter if the events could be guessed beforehand, you were still glued to the screen to see them all unfold. This could very well be a changing point for Darling in the Franxx, where it stops being that strange enjoyable mecha show with weird fanservice and actually branches out into something truly taking note of. Or this could very well be a Little Witch Academia situation where episodes promise greatness only to let down once the next episode starts. Regardless I have found during the string of strong episodes this series is having that it is essentially the only anime I covered during the Winter season that I actually felt interested in seeing what it was to bring each week. Depending on what comes I may even start recommending that people watch this show and be frustrated that they can’t get past the ass controls. Yes, they certainly could have used more subtlety in that department.

Posted on 5 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

Three episode coverage this week as many things got in the way of my casual blogging, the much late preview being one of them. I must say that the last few episodes of Franxx have been quite strong as we have had a string of character development episodes which have really fleshed out the cast. As well as shed some light on the situation of the world itself. First up we have Zoromes episode where he manages to meet what may be his biological mother in the lower city plantation and through talking with her found that becoming an adult isn’t quite what he expected. My previous theory of there being no true humans in the city turned out to not be true and instead it seems that adults just spend their time in a machine that partially drugs them with doses of happiness. Social interaction has more or less disappeared as the woman states she hasn’t talked with her husband in years. Ultimately it seems that the children above are distinctly more human than the seemingly privileged adults living in the plantation. By episodes end it seems Zorome stopped caring about becoming an adult and prefers to enjoy his time up with the others, even mentioning his fondness for arguing with Miku. While locking away his memories of something devastating the woman told him and the way the officers treated him like some kind of contaminant.

Our second episode mainly focuses on Kokoro, Mitsuru and Futoshi with a rather disheartening route as Kokoro chooses to swap partners so she can work with Mitsuru, leaving Futoshi devastated. While in one way this could be considered a betrayal on Kokoro’s part as before there relationship was shown to be rather wholesome, it does bring some more context to those previous interactions. Futoshi is obviously head over heels for Kokoro but when examining previous interaction it does feel like a one sided arrangement. Kokoro very much puts up with Futoshi and his general overbearing affection most likely pushed Kokoro away. Whereas Mitsuru gives her space and doesn’t treat her like everyone else does. Seeing the greenhouse conversations I felt things were moving in this direction but you still feel bad for Futoshi. Though hopefully this is a good lesson for him. As for Ikuno this episode gave more credence to the theory of her being a lesbian considering her attempting a girl on girl control of a Franxx. I am not quite sold on her batting for the other team considering there is little evidence of her having sexual interest in women. I feel the internet is jumping to extremes again. It’s clear she holds a disdain for boys, likely thanks to Mitsuru, but just because she doesn’t like boys doesn’t mean she wants to pull ichigo under the covers. In the same way that just because Mitsuru is salty over Hiro forgetting their promise to pilot together doesn’t mean he’s secretly thirsty for man meat. Though considering that the mechs are often used as a metaphor for sexual intercourse I can’t say that people are wrong for coming to these conclusions.

The third episode focuses on Zero Two and has thrown the Red and Blue Oni theory back on the table. With her going increasingly more out of control and monstrous shes pushing aside her own teammates. Ultimately her fixtation to become human is pushing her to kill Klaxosaurs while being unaware that her fixation is only making her less human. But what makes this rather interesting is that Zero Two apparently met Hiro back then at a point where he was a golden boy and lost his memories. Theories are going around that Hiro might be a clone and that Zero Two is attempting to find the original Hiro who died through him. Either way we basically find that the squad of the series is indeed an oddball within the facility as they see children who go through much more rigorous testing to make them nice little puppets. The fact that the kids developed more human charistics may indeed be some sort of plan by Franxx, either because of curiously or some end goal. It’s clear the man wants these kids to be human and is slowly letting them know of society. Perhaps so they can judge it? We reach the middle point of Franxx and if there is to be a turning point, this is most likely it. This show could potentially become something else entirely in it’s next cour or we could just continue as things have been. What’s your move Franxx?

Posted on 15 March 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

Today on Darling in the Franxx, death flags averted. I admit that throughout this episode I fully prepared myself to see Goro die. The signs were everywhere with him confirming to Hiro that he was in love with Ichigo, the mission leaving him stranded with a trolosuar, the hair clip as well as the base fully admitting they were ready to leave him for dead. But low and behold Goro gets to live another day and even goes as far as to confess his feelings to Ichigo. The beginning of this episode had me worried that this series was heading in the direction of KIznaiver but Goro essentially did the one thing the Kiznaiver kids couldn’t manage to do even after a full cour. As for my thoughts on it I am in favor of Goro nuking this silly love triangle Ichigo has going on with Hiro. For let us be realistic here, Ichigo is not getting together with Hiro as the boy in question has pretty much fully decided on Zero Two. He’s made his feelings clear about Ichigo and while Goro revealing Ichigo’s feelings to him have made him more conscious of her, I doubt he would feel for her that way. To begin with Ichigo’s feelings seem very much like a first crush kind of deal that is a mixture of admiration for his younger self. If we are to judge purely on relationship compatibility, Hiro and Ichigo just feels awkward while Goro and Ichigo are ridiculously compatible. Goro takes care of Ichigo when she’s overreaching while Ichigo stops Goro from taking on everything himself. As far as I am concerned these two are perfect for one another and I am hoping that Goro’s confession helps get Ichigo off the doomed ship that is Hiro and move on.

The monster of the episode is quite fascinating being what looks to be a similar to that of a human brain with does seem to hint that these monsters may be related to humanity in some way. After all they have never been referred to as aliens which suggests their origin is on earth and with the human experimentation that’s going on here, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say these monsters were inadvertently created by humanity. Not the most shocking plot twist, I know, but this show hasn’t been all that surprising with it’s plot direction. Well discounting the odd unexpected fanservice. EIther way we had some good action and I would consider this a pretty strong episode that helps flesh Goro out, even if the majority of his fleshing out is just confirming his romantic feelings for Ichigo. It’s also fun to see Miku start a catfight with Ichigo, prompting Zorome to take the wise road of sneaking off frame before sparks fly. It is hypocritical of Miku though as the whole reason Goro got trapped in the first place was due to them jumping in to attack.

I have always had this feeling with Darling in the Franxx that it would take a darker turn and that feeling still persists here even if shaken by the current episodes events. It wouldn’t be out of the norm for this show to turn at the halfway point as Kill La Kill and Gurren Lagann did take on a more serious storyline as they hit their middleground. It’s isn’t baseless to think this show would go in this direction as there have been several hints to darker aspects and a general idea that these kids are destined to die one way or the other. Either in battle or what is a more likely candidate, shortened lifespan. It does feel like someone is going to die here but it wouldn’t be the first time for a show to hint at dark developments only to take the light road. I would say I will have my answer on where this story stands in a few episodes.

Posted on 7 March 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

Today on Darling in the Franxx…puberty? Well our cast learns an important lesson about respecting each others roles and working together to triumph over the death their predecessors met. And all it took was a monster spraying goo on the female pilots which dissolves clothing and the boys seeing them naked. I…sigh…really? Look Franxx we got to do something about this tone problem you got here. It’s like we have two very different shows smashed together into one with one side being a zany fanservice mecha show and the other being a serious exploration of adolescent with dark undertones. These two are like oil and water, they don’t mesh. Well unless you are Houseki no Kuni which somehow managed to mix serious and comedy without them butting heads. I guess in this matter it’s a problem of extremes, for when Darling in the Franxx is ridiculous, it’s ridiculously ridiculous and when it is serious, it’s deathly serious.

We have a chase where Zero two steals the clothes of the boys and girls in the bath causing hijinks to ensue which pushes one of the girls into the forbidden rooms to discover the objects left behind by previous squad members who are most certainly dead. Miki’s reaction to that photo of the old squad sure is odd overreaction though as she didn’t really know them so I don’t see what could provoke such a shock in her. It’s odd as to why these items were left lying around for the pilots to find as well but there is hints that this squad was given much more freedom over others and this very much seems like these items were intentionally put there to be found. To get back on topic, I feel Franxx should settle its mind on what it’s going to be as it works on the fanservice action “turn off your brain” side but that side undermines the show when it attempts a more serious tone. After all, those former squad members died in mechs with ass controls, tragic though it may be I just can’t quite take seriously the image of a dead pilot holding a girl to his crotch doggy style.

The story does have tonal problem but to give credit where it is due the character really are a saving grace. They aren’t all that deep nor that interesting as they are for the most part archetypes. But they do have great character interactions that really sell the commoradie that the kids have with each other. Each person has their own opinion on the situation and don’t react in the ways you would expect. The situation in this episode being the girls bright idea of placing a line of tape separating the house into a girl and boy half which is rather ridiculous and not thought out. Though they make the point that it was primarily Miku’s idea and the other girls stick with it out of stubbornness. So it was refreshing to see the voice of reason, Goro, be the one to pull sly pranks to try and show the girls how silly the whole idea is and how they could just go back to how things were. Zero Two of course doesn’t give a damn about the line at all and spends her time with Hiro regardless which does put her at odds with the other girls. Again it is great to see each person individual reaction isn’t the same, Zero Two doesn’t care that Hiro saw her naked, Miku is furious, Kokoro wants to forgive the boys but doesn’t have the courage to speak up, Ikuno honestly prefers the situation of having the boys separated(But that doesn’t make her a lesbian, come on internet.) and Ichigo just seems to want to teach the boys a lesson. These mindsets even parallel their partners mindsets who respond similarly. There are two things selling this show as enjoyable for me at the moment and that is the animation of the action scenes and the general character interaction. Even if the plot is confused on tone I at least care enough about these characters to see where it takes them. Something I wish I could say about Fate/Extra airing this season.

Posted on 27 February 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

Today on Darling in the Franxx…a beach episode. A beach episode. Really? I mean i suppose even one of my favorite shows, Gurren Lagann, had a beach episode but in that case the story wasn’t taking itself too seriously so it was fine. It even took shots at the concept by having the main fanservice girl go conservative and disappointing the crew. Here though, Darling in the Franxx can’t seem to find a level between being serious and not taking itself seriously. I mean we are in a mostly destroyed world where humanity lives in rolling plantations but there’s a small patch of land with foliage and a beach to have a beach episode. The group has swimsuits despite not having an ocean or a indoor pool at their birdcage. We have the boys getting all excited by swimsuits and asking about kissing, alongside confirmation of humanity abandoning cities to ruin and foreboding dark tidings. I feel conflicted on this show, truly. Based on what I have seen so far I can say it does have merit but alongside that merit is is the ridiculous and similarity.

I had to stop myself rolling my eyes at having the council of Papa Seele declare being surprised about Hiro being her partner(Despite evidence that was the case) and then declaring that Zero Two would bring him to the Grand Crevasse to start human instrumentality or whatever they are calling it in this one. These guys don’t really add anything, they just sit around, reference vague terms and twiddle their thumbs assuming that everything will work out exactly as planned with no effort on their part. Just like Seele. If they are to be here then let them have a presence or at least some meaning on the plots events. So far they are just there to justify the plot contrivance of not getting Hiro in the Franxx sooner.

Another issue potentially rears its head as I fear that this series may be on the verge of developing Kiznaiver syndrome. Wherein the plot is derailed by introducing various love triangles and troubles which proceed to dominate the show with frustrating love antics. In this episode i am already seeing a chart forming with various lines of who likes who. Kokoro appears to be forming feelings for Mitsuru while Futoshi clearly has a bit of a thing with her and Mitsuru seems to be forming some kind of trust between his old partner Ikuno. Zorome and Miku seem mutual though both wouldn’t admit it. Meanwhile Hiro digs Zero Two, Ichigo digs Hiro and Goro has pretty much confirmed that he likes Ichigo though seems unable to recognise his own heartbreak. We got a whole host of feelings and whatnot that could be easily escalated into teenage love troubles as people pine about senpai not noticing them while simutanously lacking the balls to take the indicative to confess. Made all the worse by these kids clear lacking sex education and you got a big boiling pot of teenage angst just ready to overflow. So I am hoping they take a more ambitious route instead of resorting to shipping wars. Like i don’t know? Start killing them off one by one? Ah even that might be a bit on the predictable side.

The most interesting aspect of this episode is the discovery of the town and the kids reaction to it. This could end up being these kids version of the data creature in From the new World, something which throws off their worldview. We do see Kokoro take a book that looks to be about raising babies so I am guessing that would lead to her getting some big questions. Zero Two appears to know the most about the situation and remarks about the city being abandoned. Note her choice of words isn’t evacuated but instead suggesting that humans willfully left the town to rot. Biggest theory I have now is of humans migrating to some sort of data like existence and abandoning physical living together. Hence what the kids protect are actually giant servers containing the virtual population. Thus these mecha pilot kids may be the only real true humans on the planet. These spects interest me about Darling in the Franxx and despite misgiving this could still go in a interesting direction provided the writer takes the opportunity. Though it’s still going to be hard to put forth a serious plotline when we got mecha controlled by female asses.

Posted on 20 February 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

Today on Darling and the Franxx, Hiro pierces the heavens. Darling in the Franxx manages to carry itself on the action of this episode as it was quite the engaging spectacle. Nearly a constant episode of action which is bad news for me as these are often the hardest to blog. Animation remained pretty consistent throughout and things managed to get the viewer pumped alongside the visuals. I compare the execution of this to How to train your dragon, not storywise of course but rather that the story beats here were quite predictable but nonetheless it was enjoyable to watch due to the presentation. Much like predicted, Hiro managed to fight off his blue tumor with the power of friendship, lust or maybe general motivational speaking. Judging by the tone it appears that Hiro has managed to kick off this weakness for good and from now on will be able to ride with Zero Two however much her wants. Which sort of cheapens the drama and conflict of the previous episode even if Hiro did almost die in the process. Thus unless there is some transformation or development for this whole sickness business this plot point is going to feel rather contrived when looking over the series as a whole.

But well, why be a killjoy about it. I did quite enjoy this episode and while I don’t quite care about the revelations behind this whole organisation, I am somewhat caring for the characters. The team’s general feeling of inadequacy when seeing the teamwork of the more experienced Franxx pilots and how disorganised they are when working together. Got to say I was surprised to see the obvious cannon fodder actually survive the ordeal when things got tough and seeing Ichigo start to get them all to work together to take down the bigger threat was quite satisfying. But boy, poor Ichigo. I knew from the start that her feelings for Hiro were completely in vain but even I felt for the girl when she claimed that she only cared for Hiro as a friend and to have Hiro confirm likewise. You got to have respect for her in how she put the mission above her own feelings and her display her is much like a girl giving up on the person she loves to cheer him on as he goes with another girl.

She did lose her composure upon thinking Hiro was dead but Goro was there to get her together. There’s actual potential for Goro to be a rebound for her though from her reaction at episodes end it seems she still hasn’t quite given up on Hiro. Coming from me, her ship is doomed to sink and I just wish she would move on so I don’t have to see this series try to pretend that she has a even the slightest chance of winning Hiro’s heart. They already established that Zero Two and Hiro need each other so anything butting in on that is just going to be an annoying diversion. Still I wonder just where this series is heading now that the most pressing issue has been dealt with. Now that Hiro is Zero Twos official partner and has survived three runs its up in the air on just where they might take it. I see two paths, one where the series focuses on fleshing out the other members of the squad with individual character episodes or a path of delving into the mystery of the whole organization they work for. The second option is more endgame material though so I think the cast is going to get more development…provided they don’t dwell on Ichigo’s feelings and attempt another Kiznaiver situation of just love troubles. Relationship metaphors using mecha symbolism I can get behind. Teenagers getting all bent out of shape over love and yet still refusing to communicate is something I have come to loath.

Posted on 14 February 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

Today on Darling in the Franxx, Hiro gets a STD. This was a surprisingly good episode as I found myself pretty engaged with the goings on of the plot. Now previous episodes of Franxx haven’t been all that bad besides the excessive sex symbolism but up until this point I would have deemed this show passable. Decently watchable while not being particularly outstanding. This episode however may push Franxx out of the shadows of its inspirations and help it form its own identity.(Well I suppose it was differanting itself with the sex symbolism but that wasn’t exactly a positive distinction.) So we learn that despite Hiro’s posturing and excitement over finally becoming a pilot of a Franxx that him riding with Zero two has indeed been having a negative effect on his body. However until others who have rode with Zero Two and ended up hospitalised, Hiro seems to be undergoing different effects as a blue tumor has appeared on his chest that causes him agony. Despite this Hiro is determined to ride with Zero Two again despite the fact that this would quite likely kill him. I might be wondering whether Hiro would actually die if we didn’t have 19 more episodes to go and while I would applaud the writers if they were gutsy enough to actually kill off the main character, I sincerely doubt they will do so.

Which brings me to a certain theory I read about while browsing the seas of Reddit. It seems that there is a theory going that Hiro is going to end up becoming a creature much like Zero Two and that these two will end up becoming a red and blue Oni. If you watched My love Story or Re:Zero you may be familiar with this Japanese children’s story but the general jest is about a blue Oni pretending to attack a village so the Red Oni could drive him off and become friends with the humans. Afterward only to find a letter from the Blue Oni wishing him well and revealing that they will never seen each other again. There’s a whole TV tropes page on the topic but it does seem to appear quite a bit in anime and manga with having two characters, one passionate and aggressive while the other is more silent and serene. It’s an interesting idea though we can’t quite be sure that’s what this series in gunning for as I don’t see Hiro growing any blue horns. The easy way out of Hiro’s mysterious disease is to turn him into some sort of hybrid like Zero Two but I feel the series would lose a lot of the appeal it gained with this episode if it did that. For after that Hiro would get a power up and it would render the concern and tension of this episode rather meaningless.

We now know what “kissing” means for plantations for it is when two plantations link to transfer liquid hot magma with…each…other…in case you didn’t realise this is symbolism for sexual relations. Boy how subtle the writer’s hand is. There are bits of little info here which hint at darker events to come as our crew meet another robot team who have more experience and it shows that they are the exception to the norm as normal pilots don’t give themselves nicknames nor have specialized Franxx. More importantly when Zorome asked if any of them have “Become adults”, one of the members of the experienced crew whispers to the other “They don’t know.” Suggesting that these kids may have a shorter life span than they might think or that they never mature into adults and instead stay in teenage bodies. Mitsuru also is popping pills for some reason, maybe to fight of the infection that Hiro has.

Zero Two’s more callous and ruthless side appears as well for it’s clear that she cares about nothing other than Hiro and when it comes to other people dying in the battlefield, they were just too weak. So as far as Zero Two is concerned, everyone in the squad can die and she won’t give a damn. Even she knows that riding with Hiro will likely kill him but rather takes delight in knowing that he wants to ride with her despite the risk. As when pushed by Ichigo, she admits that if Hiro dies then he was just too weak to be her darling. But Zero Two also hinted as something else when called inhuman by ichigo, namely suggesting that the kids themselves are not human either which would make sense considering they have already confirmed they were genetically engineered. Well next episode Hiro likely isn’t going to die but that new nameless expendable robot crew might want to abstain from joining in this new operation, or else we will need to start digging some graves.

Posted on 6 February 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

Today on Darling in the Franxx, Hiro gets laid. Truth be told I have been trying to get my thoughts together on just what I think about this show. As far as general consensus goes it’s been rather passable. Decent entertainment with some impressive animation and a plot which is predictable but nonetheless satisfactory. These past two episodes really have dialed back on the fanservice as well as the sex jokes and general nudity are less prominent. They are still there of course what with Zero Two’s suggestive “You wanna ride me, Huh?” to Hiro’s “I feel myself going deeper inside you” but it’s on a level with can at least allow you to take the plot seriously. Though as I previously state, I am not all that interested in the plot of Franxx. For one the organisation seem both stereotypical and stupid as they refuse to test out Hiro and Zero Two’s compatibility again and instead dismiss it as a fluke based on two tests where they made them ride with different pilots. Content just to throw Zero Two on to the front lines with her going through pilots like lunchtime meals. It is a question just why they brought Zero Two to the plantation in the first place and i can’t help but feel some plot contrivance in this situation with how dramatic they made these twos first real fight together. I even much question just why it was that Hiro lost his memory of the first time piloting with her when here he had no trouble at all remembering. Could be a future twist as they are already hinting that Hiro also can only ride with Zero Two a certain amount of times before he’s killed as well.

This episode was mainly animated by trigger which does explain some choppy moments during the fight scene and also why the fight scene had a lot more impact. Not to say the A-1 animation team where doing a bad job, if anything this are on par but Trigger just seems to have mastered the art of dailing things up to eleven and getting the viewer pumped. So plot wise this was essentially a confession episode as Hiro admitted that he wants to ride Zero Two not for the sake of humanity or anything grand but rather because he enjoys piloting with her and only her. There may have been some manipulation on Zero Two’s part to get to this but it does seem that she was feeling uncertain because she thought that Hiro was getting scared by the rumors and the fact that she has klaxosaur blood. Again it’s decent writing but it just feels oh so very predictable. Trigger works aren’t exactly known for their writing as the stories are generally simple and follow formula but generally the impact of the show is enough to brush aside it’s predictability and there are often elements of intrigue thrown in or at least things to speculate on.

But like i said, the organization is boring, I don’t care what they are planning because they are a faceless personality lacking entity which is clearly up to no good. It’s pretty clear that Hiro and the others were genetically engineered to fight and there is a distinct lack of actual people in this world with the only evidence of their existence an empty yellow city in the plantations depths. klaxosaur we know next to nothing about other than them being the main threat in this world.Other than that there isn’t much to speculate on here and we are basically dragged along in a fight where we do not know the stakes nor the goal. The only thing that keeps these fights from being flashy fodder is the character dynamics. The characters do show potential for grown, for one Mitsuru’s partner not only didn’t break down but actually stepped up to support him after his embarrassing ride with Zero Two. Ichigo is playing the role of the responsible leader but it’s clear there is tension between her and Zero Two over Hiro. The smug mech smile of Zero Two’s as she passed Ichigo was quite telling. The development of the team is going to have to be a big thing as at this rate they will be playing second fiddle to Strelizia so it could be quite entertaining to see they each step up to the challenge.

Posted on 31 January 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

Today on relationship symbolism with Darling in the Franxx, NTR. Well jokes aside this episode was easier to take seriously as there were less sex jokes and more drama. Not quite certain what to make of it as I still find the robots a bit too silly to take seriously and overall the plot is just fine if a bit predictable. For example, we knew exactly what was going to happen when Mitsuru decided to control the Franxx with Zero Two. It was obvious from the word go that this was to prove that Hiro was the only one who can handle her in a cockpit. Same with the newbie robot pilots going out on their first missions, obviously something was going to go wrong which would push for Hiro and Zero Two to be sent out. It’s understandable why they are taking the story this way but rather annoying when the reasons for doing so seem rather forced. For example, there is no reason whatsoever for command to be reluctant to send out Hiro wit Zero Two. Not even to fight but just for a test run would be good enough as he’s already proven that he can handle her and the only reason he’s getting shafted is due to him not being an official pilot. But it just seems so arbitrary when they are willing to send out a rookie with her despite Hiro having proven combat experience with her.

Point is that we all know that Hiro’s going to end out piloting with Zero Two and these events are just delaying the inevitable fact. Though this delay does give us some perspective from the other pilots in which it seems that Hiro was originally the golden boy who happened to give them all their names. But after Hiro ended up not being able to handle a robot he was tossed aside but still given special treatment despite his failures. So the other pilots, at least Zorome and Mitsuru appear to resent him for that. They place their hopes on him and he ended up disappointing. Though in Mitsuru’s case it appears he has a bit of an complex due to being stuck with Ikuno and his performance being shaky. The obvious factor is likely due to Ikuno feeling like the a weak link and the two not really having much of a connection. Very much like a couple that were pushed into an awkward relationship. It seems obvious that performance is based on how well the two pilots get along with each other and can be shaken when one loses trust in the other.

So Mitsuru’s performance is going to take a nosedive because of him openly revealing that he does believe that Ikuno is the reason behind their lacking performance and confirming her insecurities. If that’s the case there relationship could take a rather sour turn. On the upside Zorome seems to be growing more attached to Miku and easing up on the cocky little shit act which is promising. Though Ichigo looked to be having some backlash due to her failure with Hiro. I feel sorry for Goro in this situation as it looks like he’s the third wheel and is fully aware of it. I also wonder what is going on with this strange letterboxing in certain scenes. Is it to make it seem more cinematic or place extra emphasis on what is being said in this scene?

Posted on 23 January 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

As it stands now, this is essentially an animated version of a double entendre. Each line is laced with a double meaning so heavy that you can postface lines with the words “That’s what she said.” and it would fit perfectly. I find my stance on this to be rather mixed as while the fanservice is ridiculously blatant what with it’s robots piloted by ass controls and changing room boob groping, it feels like the show itself recognises just how silly it all is. Let me put it this way, shows like Cross Ange present their fanservice with a straight face as it has the age old cliches we all know and hate while Franxx seems to be having fun in acknowledging its own absurdity. I honestly chuckled when one of the pilot said upon starting his machine “Did I do it right? I didn’t suck?” and having his partner reassure him that he did fine. Still while this playfulness is rather comical, it does conflict with the serious plot the story appears to be trying to present. For you see, when you are trying to make a point, it can be difficult to be taken seriously when your statements sound like a sex joke. I mean Franxx doesn’t suck hard but it does suck a little, and while sucking a little can be enough to satisfy some people, I know there are those of us who would prefer it to perform better so that we aren’t left limp when the time comes for it to go fast and heavy. You may be beginning to see my point.

It is pretty apparent that this series is paying homage to mecha series like Evangelion and its contemporaries and as odd as it may be to say, I think that it would be a mistake for this series to attempt to take a darker turn in it’s later episodes and attempt an Evangelion. For you see, nothing will top Evangelion, it is on a pedestal so high and fortified by age, legacy and nostalgia that even if you made a series that was objectively a better version of it in every way, it still wouldn’t top Evangelion. Even Evangelion couldn’t top Evangelion, that’s the point we are at. Attempting to do so would just make this another one of those shows that followed it can came up short and i feel that the idea’s have really all been done. So while this may sound ludicrous to you readers, I believe Franxx should put it’s focus on it’s other aspect which happens to be using mecha as allegory for relationships. I know it sound odd for me to suggest this considering my rant above about this series approach to sex but I feel this is the only real path for Franxx to be its own entity. Mecha and sex have been previously compared before and even the idea of using them as pseudo relationships, off the top of my head I can name Aquarion Evol which dabbled in this. But if there is one aspect that anime has hardly explored, it’s the nature of relationships. In anime, a relationship has a beginning and an end but never a middle. Romance anime either end at the confession or time skip to the marriage and very little of the rather tremulous ground that is the relationship itself is covered. So if this anime can somehow use the ground of mecha to explore sexual relations then this could turn out rather interesting.

Already we have some ammo for this kind of story as this episode can essentially be taken as a tale of erectile dysfunction. The main has to prove his worth by trying to pilot a franxx again but this time he is paired up with another girl called Ichigo who seems to be romantically interested in him. Despite a promising start the robot ends up rejecting the connection leading to the girl trying to get the main “in the mood” so to speak. I am not really pushing to make this symbolic connection either, in fact it’s rather obvious this is what it’s alluding to. Being “in the mood” is looking to be a big factor when piloting these robots as his opponent, cocky little upstart he is, effectively kills the mode in his robot when he openly admits that he would take the Ichigo as his partner, essentially the equivalent of calling out another woman’s name during intercourse. This pisses off his partner, shuts down the robot and we have an ending with Ichigo making the rather suggestive comment that the main was “awful”.

So we have a love triangle here, Zero two is the dangerous girl whose been with a number of guys and is experienced, exciting and spontaneous. Not to mention she’s a dominant bold partner in piloting which may be a factor in getting the main ”in the mood”. Ichigo on the other hand is a submissive partner whose boring, predictable and ordinary, essentially the safe relationship option. But we also have the issue of cheating as Ichigo already has a partner whom she is highly compatible with and well he seems to be aware of her feelings. I admit this may be me simply trying to justify the high amount of suggestive fanservice into something more acceptable as people did with Kill La Kill and I fully admit that this might not be the intended focus of the series. But it certainly would give me something more interesting to talk about.

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