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

And it’s time for Darling in the sorry I just can’t bring myself to care anymore Franxx. Well once again my previous assertions of what this episode was to be turned out half true and half false. For one they actually did show the final confrontation against VIRM and it was just as disappointing as I could have expected. This episode really was is just a hodgepodge of moments that just felt really familiar for you have seen this plenty of times before. Even the final revelation of Hiro and Zero two being reincarnated just feels so bloody token. The final confrontation basically boils down to Zero Two floating about the place for years and finally finding the VIRM home planet. VIRM then doing something to Hiro to try to prove to be a credible threat and our heroes overcoming things with the power of friendship which didn’t seem to be happening in a moment, so VIRM once again had Zero Two at their mercy for days and still managed to do diddly squat. Seriously why don’t we just head back to earth, it would likely take VIRM a couple of centuries to throw together a new plan and even then they wouldn’t be a

threat. So power of friendship, impregnating a planet with a bomb and the home planet is destroyed along with Hiro and Zero Two. Only for VIRM to show right the back up and state that they would get those pesky humans next time. So fantastic, that heroic sacrifice our heroes did was completely pointless besides buying a bit more time, which they already kinda had cause VIRM got their asses kicked already and likely wouldn’t return for a couple of centuries regardless. This was all just routine, VIRM were a crappy version of anti-spirals and never posed a significant threat and even the battle itself wasn’t even hype cause Strelizia prime can’t do anything fancy. It really did feel like this show wanted to get it over with which makes me wonder why they bothered showing the VIRM battle in the first place.

On Zero Two and Hiro’s sacrifice I must admit to something and that is that these two certainly became very boring didn’t they? I mean Hiro was never anything special but flashbacks showed that once upon a time he had at least a more interesting and bold character which could have resurfaced but instead we are stuck with a wet paper towel for the rest of the series. But the greatest sacrifice is Zero Two because at the beginning of this series this girl did have character but by series end? What happened to you girl? I remember it feeling jarring when Zero Two did a sudden character shift but I at least was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt as it seemed there were some semblance of it going somewhere. Such as that small nightmare sequence she had with all the pilots she killed from years of piloting a Franxx haunting her.(Funny how we danced over that particular plot point isn’t it? Zero Two has killed a lot of people and she was very much about to do the same to Hiro too if he didn’t remember.) But that lead nowhere, it was never brought up again. Instead we are left with a dull boring Zero Two whose personality boils down to “Loves Hiro” and that’s it.

As for the group on earth we just get time skip after time skip with little emotional weight. Klax bring back greenery to the earth so the whole harsh survival aspect is pretty much thrown out the window so that whole episode painting dark tidings of the planet being too far gone to support life is rendered a big pile of pointless. Oh and Ikuno fixed everyone’s life expectancy so they get to live full lives. Well except her own of course because the future has no need for lesbains that ain’t making babies. Ah yes that’s another thing we need to talk about isn’t it? I have stated before that I normally don’t look very deep for sexism or discrimination with character roles in media as it normally is something where no clear line is defined and must come down to the perspective of the viewer themselves. But there are cases where such aspects are so apparent that even I must find it questionable and Ikuno’s fate is something that really rubs me the wrong way. The reasoning behind her shortened lifespan is arbitrary and asinine and when you see all the other characters getting married and having children, then see Ikuno lying in a hospital bed dying and you can’t help but feel it’s hateful undertone.

Well it’s over and I see people pointing the finger at A-1 pictures for the decline of this series from the halfway point. I personally though don’t as this was one main guys passion project so if anything the blame falls on him but I also see a trend in this that could very well be the downfall of trigger. In the past few trigger works there has been a certain reliance on fan pandering. More and more they seem to be relying on past glory to heighten their new series and that is very much the downfall of Franxx as it abandoned what it’s identity was and became a knockoff of Gurren Lagann. Even Little Witch Academia has the same problem as Franxx in abandoning potentially great story threads for the safer route. I may be off base here but I think I see signs which could indicate Trigger no longer being hailed as the savior of anime.

Posted 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.

Posted on 26 June 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

Honestly looking at this episode as a whole I could very well call it a prime example of the problems with Franxx condensed into a single episode. Previously I guessed that Franxx would go one of two endings being either starting a counterattack against VIRM or setting up the new line of humanity. This episode actually tries to do both and the end result is rather mixed. Mainly because the majority of the episode was quite bleak but I still found myself apathetic to the plights of the protagonists. As to why I wasn’t quite invested, the reason was proven by episodes end as for all the grim tidings, everything was just washed away while friendship wins over all. It looks like the Nines are dying, oh wait they have enough strength to pilot Franxx and are good guys now. The farm the kids were building has failed and it seems that the earth is too far gone to support plant life anymore but wait, turns out there is a lush plantation nearby which can support plant life so huzzah!The old Nana returns and is facing an existential crisis, but hey she finds her way giving some random kids some headpats.

There has been serious losses in this needless war, but wait it turns out all the failed pilots were refrigerated below the plantation all along and are alive. Even Naomi from episode goddamn one is still alive. Zero Two is a comatose vegetable, but wait her brain is fighting aliens up in space and now Hiro is going to save her! SIgh…look Franxx, grim storytelling requires consequences. You can’t just hand wave the consequences because it’s inconvenient as that just renders all the drama before now for naught. This is the Maeda problem where in the writer wants all the emotional weight of heavy storytelling while doing everything in his power, regardless of logic, to ensure a happy ending. But a happy ending completely negates the scenes pire for if you have a scene where a character grieves over the death of a loved one, only for that loved one to walk right in moments later then that makes all the grieve and emotion of the scene before pointless.

I now have full confidence that none of the main squad are going to die and that a happy ending is inbound so whatever gaslighting these series attempts will be just a waste of screentime. The writer doesn’t have the balls to kill anyone off so let the shipping happen and lets get this ending over with. Well at least this final battle with VIRM could prove interesting, we got two episodes so I am guessing the battle will take one while the last episode will be some kind of epilogue. So otherwise besides the teenage hissy fits we got Kokoro finding out that she’s pregnant much to her dismay seeing as she has no memory of the conception. Which does pose an interesting question as she was fully up for it before the memory wipe but now that the memory wipe has happened it seems to have removed all her previous interest in parenting. Indeed the trigger for all this was the book she found on the beach episode and if we take away that memory then her interest in children wouldn’t have bloomed. So it’s surprising that Kokoro is the same person yet due to a change of memory has two entirely different opinions of pregnancy. I admit that I am finding new Nana quite amusing as she seems to be reacting to the situation in a manner very similar to mine. She quite frankly holds no interest in anything and is withholding power control from the kids on the simple grounds that she will only follow orders from father. Upon being told that they will all die if they don’t get it she responds that “Yep, guess we will die then.”

Old Nana and Hachi look to be jumping in as the plantations new caretakers under the last orders from Franxx with the general idea of them becoming the new “Adults”. It’s nice to have old Nana back but it does feel a little cheap t have her turn up alive after all. Again this series has heavily insinuated that individuals removed were killed only to have it that nobody was killed and while I am not bloodthirsty I just find the means to keep her alive to be contrived. My readers, few though you may be, I fully concede that I am feeling burned out for keeping up with the anime this season has been tough and work has just gotten burdensome. Some of my dissatisfaction with this series may be due to that mindset though I do feel my complaints are still valid. From the look of things it seems to be a popular sentiment of this show as of late though I find the comments regarding Franxx’s Atheism to be absurd. Franxx didn’t do what he did because he was an Atheist, he did it because he wanted expand his knowledge of science and make himself closer to the Klax queen. If anything I was consider him a religious man who had yet to find his god, which ended up being the Klax queen. But that aside while Franxx has be a rather enjoyable ride, when you look at the package as a whole you find that it falters on many levels. We near the end so as we do I find that this series is beginning to feel like a waste of time. And I value my time highly.

Posted on 19 June 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

Huh…wasn’t expecting that to be resolved so quickly. So as predicted Zero Two makes it to Darling and as predicted they power up and drive off the aliens. Also as predicted Zero is is now dead…or dying…or in a coma…or in some state that leaves her dead eyes by episodes end. I admit to be rather ambivalent about this development. As a matter of fact this episode despite the high stakes and dash to get Zero Two to the finish line, was rather by the numbers. Or it was more that I just felt rather bored as the events unfolded. I also wasn’t fond of how things played out here as we had sudden revelations that only served to make the plot more mundane. For one Ikuna used some sort of super attack to clear rubble which resulted in her aging rapidly which seems like a very left field development as previous episodes hinted more that the rapid aging was a side effect of being clones with a shortened life span, not connected to the operation of Franxx. This just feels like a cheap excuse to negate the shortened lifespan and shows to me that Trigger is gunning for a happy ending. There is also the matter of the Nines whose origin is explained and despite them being an antagonist rival since the halfway point of the series, are tossed aside faster than you can say wasted. I don’t understand, i thought they were going to act as some sort of villain vanguard and they were certainly built up as much but instead here they are just getting decimated which makes me question why they are even here.

We get another exposition dump from the Klax queen who proceeds to reveal everything there is to know about the Klax history, who they are, were they came from, everything. Yet again it proves to be far less interesting than what was previously speculated. Not to mention a rather lazy means of exposition, it is odd for Frannxx to hold it’s cards so close to its chest for the majority of the series, only to just fling everything out lazily by series end. Then there is Franxx who gets some sort of redemption by sending Zero Two to Hiro but again sort of killed the deeper more morally ambiguous aspect to his character. Maybe that might explain my apathy in regards to this episodes content, for Franxx has taken the elements that I previously found interesting and turned them rather rudimentary and mundane. So the Aliens are driven off with them saying they will get those pesky humans next time so I wonder just what the last three episodes of Franxx are even going to be about. We could have Hiro and the rest preparing for a counterattack and have the series end with one more fight or we could just end the series with Hiro and rest setting up some new kind of humanity with the promise that they will fight off VIRM the next time they return. The first ending is predictable but at least could be enjoyed for the spectacle but the second ending would be a terribly unfulfilling conclusion. Which is bad because i get the feeling they are aiming for the second ending more than the first. Regardless I just feel rather tired of this show by now, it had its ups and downs while being a decently enjoyable watch but these last few episodes I will finish more out of obligation rather than genuine interest.

Posted on 13 June 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

Suddenly, Aliens. If you are surprised by this sudden plot twist then I am guessing you are new to Trigger works. For in some form or another space gets involved. Indeed this is fairly reminiscent of Kill la Kill or Gurren Laggan and I will toot my own horn about somewhat anticipating it. I at least was right on the money about Father and the leaders being of extraterrestrial origin. But well here’s the deal. Turns out the Klax were the good guys all along who were trying to protect the planet from alien invaders who tried to drain it’s resources. They kicked the Aliens ass before and went underground to prepare for a second attack in the future. Meanwhile humanity surfaced on the planet and the Aliens, in a mark of rather genius manipulation, infiltrated their society, introduced Manga energy to get them to slowly kill the planet and even got humans to fight off the Klax for them. The Alien race is named VIRM and as a Reddit poster pointed out, VIRM and APE are a clear anagram of VAMPIRE. So yep, now they have revealed themselves and disabled the Klax queen while setting the planet to self destruct because we need a big finale.

Naturally the ground troops are wondering just what in the hell is going on and we got complications with the team in regards to Kokoro and Mitsuru. Both seem to be remembering unconsciously as they call each other by name, promoting an obligatory headache. Actually it is a common trope in regards to memory stuff but why is remembering always followed by some kind of headache? Shouldn’t it be more along the lines of just them accidentally recalling and wondering how they knew? I suppose the boring answer is that APE put in safeguards to [prevent them from recalling old memories. But in that regard this isn’t so much memory erasure but rather locking away memories. Well memories or no memories there is a problem, Kokoro is pregnant. But nobody knows she’s pregnant and sees it as some regular illness. So she’s going to get real surprised when her belly swells and suddenly she has contractions. Not sure how Darling is going to handle this particular plot point so close to the end goal but it’s going to be troublesome if they need to pilot.

I can’t say I appreciate the whole thing with the Loli Klax queen basically NTRing Zero Two. Much like the previous episode regarding Ichigo getting between Hiro and Zero Two, this feels like a forced development. It’s obvious that they are setting up Zero Two coming back to Hiro and just powering up the new Strelizia into some super form to take down the aliens. I doubt this series is going for an end of evangelion ending despite how hard it’s foreshadowing such a turnout. I said before that if this series was going to take a dark turn, it would be at the halfway point so now is too late. At most it will be Zero Two dying by series end which is very hinted at. But if they go that route then…this would basically be repeat of Gurren Lagann’s ending? Minus the giant battle on the milky way while using Galaxies as shurikens. Of course not exactly the same but the beats may be quite similar which leaves me with mixed feelings. For throughout the entire series there has been constant foreshadowing and hints at much darker tidings to come and I don’t believe that is just me looking too deeply into things. To me this series felt like it was promising to dive into deeper more mature themes but ultimately skirted the edge without truly risking anything. So i do feel cheated in that regard, much like watching something that was putting up a front of being deeper than it was. I do feel like they could have taken more interesting routes but didn’t and instead played the safe game. Which can be fine but rather underhanded when you promise more than what you are.

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

It’s hard not to get a foreboding feeling when the squad decides to hold a wedding for Kokoro and Mitsuri, especially when you consider the previous time this studio animated a wedding scene. Yep, it was fairly obvious that things would go south and south they did go as the two lovebirds were torn apart and had their memories erased. Not sure what APE is really trying to accomplish with this and it does feel like a bit of a forced development for the sake of drama. I originally thought this would be the catalysts for Hiro and the others to turn against Father and begin some sort of rebellion and the end of this episode certainly hinted towards that outcome. Though in the end it turned out that Hiro and crew just went to father, asked for an explanation and got told nothing. Thus his rebellion is to ask Father to kindly let them go after they complete their last mission. For as we all know Father has proven to be very trustworthy and most likely will adhere to this promise with no strings attached whatsoever. Sigh…admittedly these guys are basically just ignorant kids but I find it most silly that they can’t seem to comprehend the idea of Father betraying them.

Without a doubt their last mission will be some sort of suicide mission or Fathers version of “Letting them go free” basically means killing them. As much special treatment the squad has got, I doubt they would be willing to let them out into the world, especially considering that they declare two of them getting married to be “Dangerous” Ikuno’s little Yuri infatuation with ichigo got rather suddenly resolved but it was nice to see Ichigo compare her own unrequited feelings for Hiro and understand what Ikuno was going through. Thus allowing her to let her down gently instead of the predictable response of pushing them away or the fan wish fulfillment route of Ichigo suddenly turning gay.

With the second episode we get a exposition dump on the history of the world from the perspective of Dr Franxx and for a show that was so tight knit about revealing the setting it takes place in, I find this sudden exposition dump to be rather underwhelming. For one the planets history turned out to be far more simple and straightforward than I previously thought which effectively killed the interest it drummed up in me before. So the mysterious APE organisation just showed up out of nowhere, taught humanity to make use of Magma energy and then used that to push humanity to hand control of everything to them. Mining the planets Magma ended up slowly killing it and the Klax seem to be some sort of Antibody to stop Humanity from screwing up the planet beyond repair. It’s all very unsurprising, and rather uninteresting.

The one point of some interest is that Dr Franxx seems to have a obsession with the Klax queen and looks to have creating Hiro’s quad using part of her hair. At least that’s what I assume as others seem to be suggesting that Franxx created Zero Two but with the previous flashback it showed that he clearly found Zero Two and was surprised by her existence. Plus the klax queen is blue and Hiro appears to be growing blue horns. Ultimately this episode killed a lot of the previous interest drummed up by the mystery of this world. Now the only things left are revealing who the APE leaders are and what exactly are Klax. Though I am betting the APE leaders are some Alien beings. As a last note, props to Futoshi for not taking advantage of Kokoro’s erased memories to get her back as his partner and Zorome seems to have truly lost any faith in his revered father.

Posted on 16 May 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

Indeed Franxx appears to be doubling down on a darker more serious tone though I still am wondering if it will truly follow through on this or dismiss it fast and go full on happy ending. Personally I always feel cheated when a series foreshadows dark things to come only to turn tail when it’s time to pay the piper. But Franxx at least looks to be delivering so far and if they do negate all dark tidings and go for a full happy ending that would be quite the betrayal. Anyway in todays episode we get a number of revelations, one of which is that the childcare book that Kokoro has been fascinated with since the beach episode has come back full force. Though I misunderstood Kokoro’s interest in this regard as before I thought her interest was in sex but it appears that her actual interest is in having a child. The logic being that they have a means of leaving something behind for future generations besides fighting and which everyone knowing that there lives have a short expectancy she wishes to leave her mark somehow. I was a bit worried about Mitsuri shunned her after her advances and revealing her intentions but hot damn they actually took a route I thought they wouldn’t. Kokoro and Mitsuri had sex, there is no ambiguity in that for it was shown quite clearly. In fact I would be quite annoyed if they backpedaled this in any way as I am curious to where it leads.

I just hope that book went into good detail over just what Kokoro is in for as if she is oblivious then she has a nasty surprise waiting for her. Childbirth will be pretty brutal if she has no doctors on standby to help her out. Will Franxx intervene or would he see this as interesting experimental material? Speaking of which some recent light has been shed on the nature of “Papa” and the others. I may be misinterpreted this but from the looks of things the leaders of APE are not actually human and are possible alien invaders. They seem to be hinting that Klax are in fact true humanity and APE are alien invaders who have been cloning humans to fight humans. This is quite interesting as it suggests that Humanity has taken on some form of biological evolution in order to fight against the invaders, meanwhile the invaders are seemingly aspiring towards human forms. Either that or these are two branches of humanity, one whom took the path of beastal biological evolution that put them closer to beasts while the other took a path of evolution through technology which pushed them closer to a machine like existence. Both of whom seem to consider themselves “True humans” while the closest thing to actual humans are test tube grown cannon fodder for Franxx. In this case with Dr Franxx I always considered him a human who modified himself into a cyborg but what if it was the other way around and he was a machine that modified himself into a human? For the first time this series has got me interested in the actual world of Franxx which I dismissed as a bit too basic. But now there is quite interesting theming going on.

Not liking the Nines much here though. Of course they are not supposed to be liked but they just seem far too stereotypical cocky and antagonistic. I find it somewhat amusing that despite there egotistical posturing their Franxx piloting style is actually reverse so its funny to see someone so excessively prideful over bending over to pilot a Franxx. But thank god for Ikuno jumping in to slap him once he brought up a touchy subject for her. Indeed they seem to be going hard for a lesbian route for Ikuno which could bring interesting tidings provided it’s handled with care. Care which based on Franxx’s previous record, I don’t think it could provide. As a final note it appears that Hiro is growing blue horns hereby putting the blue Oni theory to near confirmed status and it appears adults go through some emotion damping process which can reverse back into a “puberty” state.

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

After the action packed last episode of Franxx, we return to the birdcage for a easygoing episode of the squad learning to be self sufficient after their caretakers suddenly stop providing for them. A change which appears to be at Dr Franxx’s request and I find myself wondering about this man’s objective is. From the flashbacks he seems to be of rather questionable character what with him torturing Zero Two and erasing memories. Yet when taking into account what he is doing in the present it almost seems as though he is trying to help the squad mature as people. It’s hard to determine if this is some attempt to redeem himself or if their is some hidden dark agenda to his actions. Or if Franxx is just neutral in general and prioritises scientific progress over any kind of morally so how good or evil he is depends on which choice brings the best experimental results.

Despite the episode for the most part being rather easygoing and uplifting with even Zero Two making a rather jarring change in personality, this episode just feels foreboding throughout. The fun and games may be sweet on the surface but under that is a cynicism over what the future has to bring. Several characters make statements which tempt Murphys Law such as Goro remarking about how they feel without purpose with the leaders putting them on standby until further notice. Above all Hiro saying the ultimate death flag by claiming that he and Zero Two will always be together which is almost comically timed with a small rumbling of the ground right after. Miku has white hairs on her head signalling premature aging, Zorome stating that they shouldn’t bother praying to father before eating and even Futoshi revealing he has an eating disorder. That last bit about Futoshi was quite a surprising one as he was always the lighthearted fellow who played to the usual trope of being the fat guy who eats a lot. But I wonder if his condition is the result of the standby orders or something that developed after Kokoro left him. Though sadly I do like how Kokoro and Mitsuru’s relationship is developing. She seems remarkably aggressive which might be a product of that baby book she picked up before maybe?

But with that comes back a particular flaw that I remarked about earlier in the series. Namely the jarring switch from easy going fun times to serious drama. Franxx has always had this problem interchanging between the two but it hasn’t reared its head in a while because the last few episodes have mostly been serious affair. But now we have a sudden shift with Zorome trying to force Futoshi to eat playfully at first only for him to start getting aggressive and reveal that he knew Futoshi wasn’t eating. It certainly is a change when you consider that this is in tone with his usual bratty self but actually being concerned over Futoshi. Admittedly he’s handling it in a terrible way what with outting him in front of everyone but you can as least tell it’s not out of malice but a genuine want to help him. But this dramatic shift just didn’t feel natural and was more the product of making things more dramatic for the sake of drama. I look at how Full Metal Panic naturally resolve a personal dilemma with care and find Franxx’s approach to be far too grandstanding. You don’t need a shouting match followed by a group hug to make drama. Really acknowledging that there is a problem and it’s not something that can just be “fixed” is a more mature approach to storytelling. Maybe not quite as visually impactful but meaningful in presenting the characters better. On a last note the new ending appears to confirm that Ikuno is indeed gay. On one hand it’s good to get confirmation but I also feel a little disappointed that the internet’s shortsighted assumptions were proven correct.

Posted on 24 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

Alright Franxx, you are forgiven for episode 14 and thank god this whole mess was sorted out relatively fast. I was truly prepared for this to drag on for several episodes but looks like they had the sense to cut it short and give the audience what it wants. So we get an animation extravaganza with a grand battle against what looks to be Klax headquarters. So it’s actually understandable why the previous episode felt a bit forced, they needed to split these two so that they could get the real fireworks ready for a full reunion and confession. Honestly I don’t think that aspect was handled well as the breakup just made everyone look bad with how sudden it was. The resolution does make for a bombastic spectacle but the means to get to it was clunky.

Goro wins the best character of the episode award for seeing Ichigo once again be ready to block HIro from getting to Zero Two and making the best call for the situation. So much so that I wonder just why Ichigo is squad leader when Goro is clearly more qualified for the position. When this episode was about to go down a long and annoying road Goro stepped in and decided to put a stop to it. And thanks to Hiro riding with Ichigo she was able to see that she pretty much didn’t have a hope in hell with him, finally allowing her to get over her crush and make the right call. Albeit with a little bit of a sore loser attitude. Thus does Hiro and Zero Two do what any couple should do regarding a misunderstanding like this and talk. Cue emotional confessions, crying, kissing and a metaphoral representation of what sounded like really good sex.

So as we can see the major character conflicts have been resolved, Ichigo has given up on Hiro(Or at least I hope she has by this point), the team have worked out their differences and Hiro and Zero Two are together again fully embracing their love for one another. By all accounts you would think this is where the series would end and yet we still got nine more episodes to go. So here’s my take, throughout the series Franxx has been teasing a dark turn of storytelling, several hints have been dropped to that effect for in this episode alone we have the higher ups suicide bombing both pilots and adults for their own agenda and the human like cocoon that dropped out of a Klax core.(Klax being humans is a rather predictable turn of events but hey it could lead to some good story development.) If there was any point where Darling in the Franxx would shift to a darker toned story then this would undoubtedly be it.

We got confirmation of a new threat but with Strelizia’s new upgrade in power I see this going either the way of Gurren Lagann whether the threat gets massively overpowered and needs the power of love to upgrade everyone to defeat it or we are going to go the road of Evangelion where in the challenges become more mental and the organisations cruelty and hidden agendas comes to light. As far as the adults are concerned, I previously stated that I don’t care and I still don’t. The thing that carries this show and keeps me coming back is the characters so my primary focus is just how much this change of tone is going to affect them. Considering episode 14 I fear they may botch it but making developments purposefully infruitating. Still I am interesting in just where this is going, sadly though we won’t get to see this next Saturday as likely to recover from the animation explosion that was this episode, no Franxx episode will air. Instead we got to wait an extra week for the next episode. I don’t mind leaving it at this for now but truly were is this going to go once things start up again?

Posted on 17 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

Last time Darling and the Franxx had it’s best episode yet which raised my opinion of the series and gave me hopes for greater things moving forward. So it’s sad that they follow this up with the worst episode of the series to date. This episode was pure frustration to watch because you knew exactly what was happening and just how easily it could have been avoided. If either Hiro o Zero Two tried to explain the situation and what happened in the past then things wouldn’t have got this bad. If both Hiro and Zero Two hadn’t gone to see each other at the exact same time. But most importantly, if somebody could have stopped Ichigo from going too far. Oh boy if there is a serious casualty in this whole mess, it’s Ichigo. I haven’t seen a fanbase turn on a character so fast but hey Zorome wasn’t cared for that much in the beginning either and now he’s actually rather endearing. So could Ichigo turn this around? In a way she is a victim of the writing as they needed someone to put a rift between Zero Two and Hiro so Ichigo turned out to be the tool to make that possible. Looking at the situation from her perspective it’s actually understandable why she took measures to separate Zero Two and Hiro.

It’s just that under the present circumstances, that was the worst thing she could have done. For she was reenacting exactly what happened in their past to tear them apart and wound up Zero Two to the point that Hiro would see her at her lowest moment. Made all the worst by Ichigo forcefully stopping Hiro from running after Zero Two with her forced confession. Which really was in bad taste as it spits on Goro’s confession to her. Yes, she is under no obligation to love Goro just because he confessed to her but I just find it heartless to disregard his feelings entirely and chase after a doomed crush. You can tell she started things out of concern for Hiro but then her own emotions started pushing things too far that even the team was uncomfortable with how she was handling the situation. You cannot say there wasn’t any spite in how she ostracised Zero Two, particularly in trying to force her out of the next operation. This episode has Ichigo be selfish and ignorant which earned the venomous reception of the internet. For she is the single thing preventing the scene viewers wish to see between Hiro and Zero Two with the action being made all the more hateable by it being born of good intentions amplified with selfish desire.

The thing that makes this episode problematic is that while the characters actions make sense, the situation is just so utterly contrived. It’s clear the writer wanted drama and to tease out the reunion between Hiro and Zero Two. This series of unfortunate events just to create a conflict to force Zero Two away from the team is frustrating to behold and makes all the characters look bad for it. Which makes it more painful when you consider that it will take more than one episode to resolve this stupid misunderstanding between the characters. If they are smart about it, this development could be fixed fast as I am sure not many are a fan of it. But I fear we are in for episodes of Zero Two brooding over Hiro, Hiro brooding over Zero Two and Ichigo trying to sandwich herself in Hiro’s broken heart while Goro looks over it with depressed resignation. And boy, that certainly doesn’t sound fun. Oh and as a final note it is rather humorous for Mitsuru completely brush off Hiro remembering his promise despite him obsessing over it in a previous episode. Not sure if he was just playing it cool or if Kokoro helped him get over it.

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