Darling in the FranXX continues to be my favorite show of this season. The pacing is rather slow but well managed, the imagery and animation are absolutely breathtaking.
We finally get to see a flashback of the characters childhoods. We see that Hiro was the one who gave names to most of the other characters. It might be the reason why Ichigo shows so much affection for Hiro. “Ichigo” comes from “Ichi” and “go” which literally means 15. It’s confirmed that the children in the opening are the characters who pilot the FranXX. After the incident with Hiro, Ichigo shows some weird behaviour. It’s obvious, that she didn’t take the kiss well with Hiro. They have now a strange and difficult relationship. The way Ichigo is acting didn’t pass unnoticed by Goro, who asks Hiro what happened in the FranXX. Furthermore, Goro and Hiro discuss about their relationship. They see each other more as siblings because of the history they had together. During the discussion Hiro mentions that he wants to pilot the FranXX with Zero Two. However, Goro objects to this idea pointing at the rumors about Zero Two.
In the main dining hall, the others discuss about Hiro and Zero Two. We learn that Hiro was special even for the double digits. He must have potential, but he doesn’t show it (because he didn’t find the right partner). Against all others, Ichigo is the only one who still believes in Hiro, next to Goro of course. Furthermore, we finally see some more interaction between Zero Two and Hiro. Zero Two shows him around the bunker they are in and guides him through security to an amazing view. They have a great conversation about what they are and what they want to do. This back and fourth is almost romantic. Hiro even wants to give Zero Two a proper name. But Zero Two replies, that when they die, they are nothing more than a statistic.
After a short briefing the squad is sent to fight against some small Klaxosaurus. However, the Klaxosaurus appear more powerful than they expected. After it becomes obvious that they have no chance against this many Klaxosaurus Nana decides to send Zero Two with Mitsuro. Fighting happens, and Mitsuru gets obviously wrecked in the process.
Besides the obvious sexual themes there is also the theme of jalousie against Hiro. Particularly Mitsuro seems to have a grudge against Hiro and his skills. We can also see that Ichigo has difficulties to handle the complicated relationship with Hiro. These themes will surely be explored in depth in the coming episodes.
This is by far my favourite episode of Darling in the FranXX yet. We got some world building, characterisations, and plot development. This is all I wanted to see and I obiously got far more. I am very pleased with this episode.
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