DARLING in the FRANXX Episode 15: The Power of Love
RIP Plantation 26 and 35 and Squad 26. They were ordered to sacrifice themselves when Papa ordered them to use Protocol 32, a suicide method to stop the Super Lehmann-Clas Klaxosaur (basically a Warship). But even so, their efforts weren’t enough to protect Plantation 13, but perhaps enough to have saved Hiro in particular (who was benched due to having lost his partner). Had Hiro been killed, well I don’t think Squad 13 would have survived either, and surely would have also received orders to commit suicide in attempt to stop the beast.
Going into this episode was quite stressful, especially seeing how the (first) big battle that was looming over us for the past few episodes had finally begun. The ominous state of the battlefield freaked me out, mainly because after last week’s shit-storm, I was so worried about Goro’s fate. As result, several times throughout the episode I fast-forwarded to random parts, just to like check to make sure he was still alive. That’s right, despite everything that had happened today, Goro’s safety was the only thing that mattered to me, especially after he freaking stepped out of the bloody franxx, (in the middle of a battle!) and told Hiro to pilot with Ichigo to reach Zero Two. Thank god for Miku being close by to pick him up and take him to safety. I would have flipped out if he were killed there.
As much as adored Goro’s selflessness and ability to put his foot down when Ichigo continuously denied Hiro’s right to speak to Zero Two, the writing made me cringe. Maybe it’s because I really can’t handle corny scenes like this, but the thing that bothered me the most, was the inconsistencies in Ichigo’s feelings towards Zero Two, and the piloting process altogether.
Last week, she was completely opposed to Zero Two, caught up in her own head thinking once the girl was gone, Hiro would be himself again and would finally see her. This week it was more of a mix, (one I think would have been more forgiving had we seen this side of her last week instead of the full blown drama of “HIRO IS MINE!” / “PROTECT HIRO AT ALL COST” mentality.) One minute, she would try to quietly push herself onto Hiro, holding his hand while blushing, (HANDS OFF! DID YOU NOT HEAR HIM THE FIRST TIME?!), and she even had this delusional idea in her head that she could teach Hiro how to pilot from the ground up (like what?????? Girl you don’t even understand why he can’t pilot with anyone else but Zero Two!) And of course, attempt to deny him from seeing Zero Two. Thankfully, this episode put the final nail in the coffin in regards to any glimmer or delusional hope she had, thinking she had a chance with him. Ichigo can finally begin her redeeming herself, and she should thank Goro for that, because it was thanks to him that she was able to get the much needed closure in the first place.
However the whole process of “rescuing the princess” (Zero Two) was a questionable one. For starters, we know that Ichigo and Hiro are not compatible, therefore they cannot pilot a Franxx together, not for more than a few seconds. In fact because they couldn’t get the bloody thing to move, it was what prompted them to share a kiss, in desperate attempt to get the Franxx to move again. So naturally I found it puzzling to see them not only be able to fluidly control it enough to undergo a brief catfight with Strelizia, but suddenly we have Ichigo witnessing Hiro’s memories now. I don’t understand how they were able to do this in the first place, especially since it felt more like an intimate and forceful process when Zero Two was about to devour him whole. As result this scene of Ichigo witnessing how she had no place in his heart felt like a convenient tool to hastily resolve Ichigo’s feelings for him.
And so after the shit-storm of an episode last week, at last our two love birds are finally able to reunite with each other. While doing so, they not only apologized to one another (my favourite part about it, to be honest), but confessed their love, sealing with a kiss and with the power of their said love allowed Strelizia to undergo a major evolution. The whole scene was absolutely beautiful and full of feels. We just had to wait an extra week for it. (RIP the Stamen that were ordered to partner up with her though, she ended up killing them all and resumed fighting solo).
But there was certainly more to it than simply announcing their love. Hiro in particular, having been separated from Zero Two started questioning himself, his identity, and what changed. Having recovered his memories, he finally understood what made he him connect with Zero Two from the get go. What made Zero Two stand out was how it made him realize, he wasn’t alone in fighting against the contained world (the Garden) they were trapped in. They were different, they had minds of their own.
There was also the part where Zero Two was able to acknowledge her own mistakes, experience the guilt of treating him like a fodder, using him and being scary. It truly ate her upside, and because of it she didn’t feel like she had the right to see him anymore. But the highlight was how while she acknowledged herself to be a monster (not human), Hiro made it clear that it didn’t matter, they will figure it out together, because together they are one.
I liked that they explained how Zero Two was able to protect her memories. There was an invisible force protecting them from being vanquished altogether, but it seemed to be connected to her blood. Zero Two discovered by licking her own blood, she can recover and protect her cherished memories with Hiro. Since she gained it through digestion, she decided to eat her beloved picture book as well, and by doing she learned how to read and talk.
We also learned that Dr. Franxx also figured out that Hiro would be rendered “useless” due to having ingested his blood. But it seems at the time, he didn’t take into account that Hiro and Zero Two have already formed as a pair that cannot fly without the other. However since he now recognizes the requirements, he is the one who gives Hiro that push to throw himself onto the battlefield to reach her.
And I must say, it drives me nuts how I can’t get a read on Dr. Franxx. We know he has done some horrible things to Zero Two and others, including erasing/altering Hiro’s memories, and attempts to get rid of hers. Yet at the same time, we see him going back and forth between the Squad 13, his “test subjects” and Papa’s Circle at the Aerial Fortress. He seemed to have also criticized Papa’s decision to go ahead and sacrifice more Plantations by making them self-destruct.
HAH, isn’t that ironic? The children were raised to protect the adults, yet the very same Papa is casually sacrificing them and their homes for their own gains. With the current mentality of Squad 13, this is undoubtedly going to serve as a wake-up call. Each of them discovered a crucial clue to begin questioning further of Papa’s ultimate goal of obtaining control of the Grand Crevasse.
So what is the Grand Crevasse?
We don’t actually know what it is yet, but what we did learn was the Grand Crevasse is hidden under a massive dome (one Goro had observed to have been potentially man-made), filled with Klaxosaurs, and conquering it is Papa’s long-standing wish. They say it could be the turning point in “Humanity’s History”, but I smell bullshit. The elites were cackling in delight as they gain ground, while at the same time “Hrinhorni’s construction” (perhaps the excavation project we seen in earlier episodes) is proceeding smoothly too. With the destruction of the dome that sealed it, the door to the Grand Crevasse has finally opened, there will certainly be hell to pay.
There is also another major obstacle that guards it. A massive and monstrous hand emerged from the earth, not only destroying basically 98% of Plantation 13, but retrieving the eggs that remained in the skeleton of the and dragged it to god-knows where. Interestingly, Zero Two was unable to detect is, indicating either it is far more powerful than anything they have ever faced, or she is gradually losing her Klaxosaur’s special senses, of being able to sniff them out. The way one of her horn had broke, may be an indication to that.
With that all said and done, let’s take a moment to review each of their discoveries, because I am sure they will have a role in the future.
- Goro immediately noticed how the walls/dome appeared to have been “man-made”
- Zorome, Miku, Ikuno and Futoshii discovered a broken core, where a golden piece drops out, resembling the form of a Human or perhaps more accurately, a fetus. (In fact, the Cores seem to serve as “eggs”)
- Mitsuru realizes the Plantations are under-going self-destruction.
- Everyone witnesses Squad 26 Committing Suicide
I can see all of them losing sleep over this, especially Mitsuru since out of the entire group, he has never questioned Papa’s intentions. He always considered it as “absolute”. But seeing how the Plantations were sacrificed, with people (the adults) still inside, there is no doubt in my mind he will be haunted by it, just as the others will surely be haunted by their own respective discoveries. But perhaps this may the key to them experiencing their own “awakening”, by beginning the question the status quo and the way “Papa” is doing things, along with his purpose and desire for the Grand Crevasse. Is it truly for the greater good? Will they recognize they are merely disposable tools, used to attain Papa’s and his inner circles goals?
And to add more fuel to the fire, now Hiro has reclaimed his memories, he has found his resolved, and vowed to Zero Two that they will set themselves free and explore the outside world…. but will the rest of the squad get involved with the plan?
This week we able to see the the Nines in action, and much to my surprise they too have a unique set that sets them apart from the others. Unlike the other squads, some of the boys are in the front and and the girls are at the back. An interesting change of design. We were also able to see having been on the front-lines are used to witnessing their fellow allies sacrificing their lives by blowing themselves up, and it had gotten to the point they seen it so often it doesn’t surprise them anymore, but they are certainly not fond of the method either.
Lastly, there is another incredibly important detail that cannot be missed: Squad 26, in particular their captain 090. He and other pilots’ hair went from colored to grey. This makes me wonder if regardless of Parasites usually dying on the battlefield or due to frail health, Parasites might simply have a shorter life-span altogether…
NOTICE: Next week will be a Recap/Special, so because there will be no new episode next week, I will also be taking a break and will be back for Episode 16 on May 5th!
— LiveChart.me (@LiveChart_me) April 21, 2018