DARLING in the FRANXX Episode 2
After the high from his first battle, Hiro has been dragged back to the dirt again when he is unable to pilot with Ichigo for a mock-battle. This especially sucks for him because if he can’t pilot, in his mind, he is good as dead. It was sad to watch because we saw how happy he was finally able to be useful. He finally found the resolve in him to not run away, and was desperate to experience being a part of the piloting while conscious. It frustrated him to no ends having no memory of what took place whatsoever. His only clue was the special kiss he and Zero Two shared, and unfortunately for him, when he tried to recreate it with Ichigo, it failed, miserably.
I felt absolutely awful for both of them because of how mortifying it was. Although the concept of “First Kiss” is not something any of the girls or boys seem to even be familiar with, (they are completely oblivious to the meanings behind the intimate process), it did not make it any less awkward when Hiro could not feel a thing from it, and felt guilty about it. Ichigo on the other-hand, wasn’t ready to give up, but they were out of time. The two were not able to connect.
Which leads me to my next point: From the get go the first thing that struck me was how Ichigo appeared to have a crush on Hiro. She was quite jealous of the fact Zero Two was able to draw out his power, and was furiously protective of him because of the rumours that surrounds her. However after their failed attempt to draw out his power with a kiss, I wonder what becomes of her feelings. Ichigo was so upset about the failed mock test that she took the reigns of the FRANXX herself and ended it quickly, and bitterly thought how awful he was. It’s hard to say whether or not she is specifically referring to the kiss, or the fact he had given up, or even both.
While on one hand there is clearly something that is holding Hiro back, I have a feeling when Hiro instinctively began doubting himself when the FRANXX stopped moving may have also played a part of his failure. One of the keys to successfully piloting a FRANXX requires not just compatibility but absolute trust between the pilots. Without that trust, it will throw them out of sync and the FRANXX will not be able to be used properly. We saw this when Miku got angry at Zorome for hitting on another girl/partner. But what happens when the pilots lack faith in themselves?
I am especially curious about the circumstances around Hiro that makes him so incompatible with the Pistils within their squad. For some reason, only Zero Two has been able to successfully draw out his power. I also get the feeling Zero Two knows she found her true partner, simply because of the way she calls him Darling. Chances are, whatever is causing Hiro to be unable to connect with the Pistils, could end up being the key to surviving the process with Zero Two as his partner.
This episode felt relatively short, but it was a good follow-up to the premiere. It wasn’t overwhelming, and gave us a chance to start learning the names of the cast and meanings behind the terminology, (ie: Stamen are the Male Pilots, and the Pistils are the Female Pilots, the FRANXX Two Zero and Hiro piloted is called: Strelizia, etc…), as well as the sense of how things works in this world. However I would like to quickly note it also looks like the term “Kissing” will have its own shares of meaning as we heard about a process of “Requesting Kissing on Plantation 26” and will begin in 172 hours. My guess it has something to do with repairs by the context of it.
In the mean time, we witnessed some intriguing discussions at APE’s headquarters. The higher ups mentioned how Hiro is a rare sample who isn’t showing signs of Physical Aging after piloting with Zero Two. This leads me to believe Zero Two’s former partner was perhaps actually much younger than he looked. Another point they made was “mixing the special specimen will taint her blood”, which I am guessing they are referring to the Parasites perhaps, unless Hiro is something else altogether. Honestly I wouldn’t put it past that considering the current circumstances.
And finally the Opening is something that is worth to be discussed. It certainly set the tone of what to expect from this show, highlighting how blood, honey, and the intimate process, also showed us we will be meeting a different squad. Impossible to say whether or not they are rivals or an enemy fractions, but I am really excited for what’s to come.
Random Note of the Week: Wow Naomi actually survived?!?!?!?! I find that hard to believe…. >_>