DARLING in the FRANKXX Episode 01 [First Impression]
Eva’s First Impression
Of all the shows I have watched so far this season, this one absolutely hit a home run. Right from the get go, it had an impactful and dramatic start using the mystical Jian birds to explain the situation our protagonists are in. Like the birds, the children must be paired up with a compatible partner in order to pilot FRANXX. If they fail, they are useless and discarded. And according to rumours, Parasites who failed were heard to have never returned to the ‘Garden’ (I am guessing they might be referring to the orphanage- though it has yet to be confirmed if Parasites are all orphans).
It was quite clever to use Jian’s nature of being dependent on finding a partner in order to fly and have a better chance at survival. The poor bird Hiro tried to save unfortunately showed us how they have a slim chance of ever surviving.
We are going to have to take time some to getting used to the terminology that they will be using in this series: Such as the children who are chosen by APE as hopefuls to pilot the FRANXX are known as Parasites. Like the birds, their so-called Life Purpose is piloting weapons called FRANXX in male-female pairs in flight.
I am curious to see how the story will unfold, especially given how Parasites are more or less simply serve as tools to enable APE’s weapons. We don’t know much about the APE organization as of yet, but it does go to show the heads from the headquarters will only show up in a hologram rather than in person for the ceremony/ritual as they called it. I am also very interested in seeing and learning more about the character’s mindsets as Parasites. Instead of actual names, they are given Numeral Code Names. And if they are to ever receive a name, it appears it only happens when someone offers to name them like Hiro had with Naomi.
Which leads us to our protagonist Hiro, Code 017.
Let me just get this out of the way first: I don’t care what you say, Hiro has nine lives. If he didn’t, I don’t think he would have survived their event, period. But at the same time he was at the right place at the right time thanks to his former partner Naomi not letting him board with her as moments later she was crushed to death by the Klaxosaur.
How should I put it, Hiro as an individual didn’t particularly stand out to me. He is more or less by the book in terms of character archetypes, but I do look forward to seeing how they will flesh him out. And to be fair this episode wasn’t so much about learning about the characters themselves, but the situations they are in. They established how in the environment he is in, he is regarded as a failure, and that’s why he had planned to leave this place. What is interesting however is that despite his failure, the headquarters had given him special permission to stay there, and Zero Two has also made the point at the time they met that his ability may be simply dormant until he finds a partner to properly awaken it. Still, Hiro had planned to leave until the whole Klaxosaur shit happened, where there he refused to let Zero Two fight on her own, and demanded to fight with her regardless of the risk of being killed by her in the process.
Speaking of the devil, Zero Two the complete opposite of Hiro. She is one hell of an intriguing and badass girl. Her personality is quite bold and stubborn. When she wants to do something, such as go for a swim, her eyes is on the prize and nobody can stop her. Orders be damned. Until she has met Hiro, Zero Two is always alone, but she’s not afraid of death- or so she claims…
It was also revealed she has Klaxosaur blood flowing through her and is called a *Pistil (but I don’t know if this is a term for her kind of species). The unique thing about Zero Two is her horns and the fact she can actually smell a Klaxosaur nearby, along with her reputation as the Partner Killer. So far that has been proven accurate as her former partner (and older guy), was already wounded to begin with and she apparently finished him- how she did it, that remains a mystery for now.
We were only given a peek in regards of the type of threats they are facing in this world. The Klaxosaur we met today is classed as “Moho”, whatever that is on the scale of threat, but had Hiro not partnered up with Zero Two (002), it looked as if that thing could have easily killed everyone. And perhaps that is the most startling part of all: Despite the Klaxosaur being a known threat in the area and has warning signs of its emergence (fog), it’s quite alarming to see how it appeared they were not properly equipped to fend of that thing and it appears evacuations was the only option. It took the true awakening of the Iron Maiden (two hearts became one) to unlock FRANXX’s true form to finally finish it off. However I do want to quickly note how it looks like some of the other pilots’ (who are paired) FRANXX appear to be in the ideal combat form. I just wonder when they are talking about “true form” they are referring specifically to Zero Two’s robot.
Another thing to keep in mind was how the first thing we heard from the officials was the priority to protect the Parasites. The children are that valuable, but it also makes me wonder if they are perhaps even actually being targeted by the Klaxosaur.
Overall I am super psyched for this collab with TRIGGER x A-1 Pictures. Although I have joked about the characters reminding me of Anohana’s cast, I definitely felt the similarities were certainly more apparent in the key visuals than in the actual footage in the show – which is a good thing. I did also notice by catching some glimpses of the character designs on twitter how different they looked. Other than that, the original soundtrack was on point- making me eager to hear the future tracks!
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