DARLING in the FRANXX Episode 17

/SCREAMING: THAT’S MY OTP!!!!!!!

AHHHHHHHHHHHH MY EMOTIONS!!!!!!!!! Honestly this episode was super stressful for me, and I was holding my breath from start to finish. I just couldn’t breathe! Oh god I’m dizzy now…

Ever since they established Kokoro’s interest in childbirth, I always knew it would only be a matter of time before Kokoro would initiate trying to have a baby. After having accidentally encountered the preview on social media, I was in particular very nervous of how they were going to execute it, my primary concern being with it being consensual on Mitsuru’s end. So I was especially pleased to see how he didn’t let Kokoro take complete control, and stopped her because he was frightened and uncomfortable. But instead of slapping her hand away and getting angry at her or running off like some others may have done, he calmly asks her what brought about this behaviour.

This is what I love about Mitsuru’s character. He is a sensible guy who knows Kokoro well enough that there is a reason for her actions. So rather than running away, he asks her about it, and in turn she opens up why she acted that way. Better yet, thanks to Hiro sharing some wisdom on feelings and love, Mitsuru came to realize his own feelings, and acknowledged he loves Kokoro. There were several times after that when he wanted to speak up on her behalf with the Alpha was ridiculing her and the concept of experiencing emotions and so on, but Ikuno (litterally) beat him to the punch (YOU GO GIRL!). Mitsuru doesn’t stop there though. With Kokoro having been taken to speak with Hachi and Nana, he waited for her in the gardens. But when she didn’t show, he went out to look for her and eventually found her weeping in her room.

After what Alpha said, along with Nana and Hachi, Kokoro didn’t know what to believe anymore. She is told that reproduction is a taboo subject, and is criticized for it. She even feels remorseful and apologizes for forcing her feelings onto Mitsuru, for having only thought of herself of her own curiosity getting the better of her. So it was it was incredibly important for Mitsuru to reassures her she didn’t force him into anything (rather he made sure to stop her before she could), expresses how he wants her to depend on him more, and he wants to make her happy. By doing so, it provided Kokoro a sense of safe haven, where she was allowed to question the ways things are, to think about the future, and question if it is truly such a bad thing to create new life.

SOBS* PROTECT THEM AT ALL COST!

This is why I loved this scene to death, it was so beautifully done, I was crying the whole time! It is the first time where Mitsuru is the one taking the initiative, and lays himself bare to her to she could feel comfortable doing the same to him. I don’t know what is a more profound confession of love than the way he kissed her and held her in his arms after the two made love.

And what makes it even more powerful, is the fact the two them are well aware they have a tough road ahead, and I’m scared for both of them.

It is kind of funny to me though how these two actually ended up making love before Zero Two and Hiro did. Of course to be fair, besides for the sake of making love as a way to be closer to one another, they did it to fulfill Kokoro’s wish to try to have a baby. The only thing we need to be concerned about now though, is whether or not this is a death wish. Now they they aren’t virgins anymore, will this have any affect on their ability to pilot the FRANXX? Nana argued that (potentially, only) the children’s bodies have reproductive organs for the sake of piloting the FRANXX. There is also the matter how Dr. Franxx revealed that this experiment did in fact have something to do with the development of humanity’s original reproductive instincts, and the progress that Kokoro has made has gone far beyond his expectation. However now his experiments has been jeopardized with the Nines showing up, and forcing it to end earlier than he wanted it to. Supposedly, this particular test was going to be the final one.

Speaking of Nana though, Kokoro triggered something when she challenged her about why do they have emotions then.
There was a flashback, her memories have cleared been altered or suppressed, potentially of the days when she was a Parasite herself. That memory wasn’t her alone, it appears her partner is besides her. I wonder if it were Hachi or someone else? Alpha described this as part of the “relapsing into puberty”, and commented how she and Hachi undergone an emotional indoctrination, and how they should have her replaced with a new “Nana.”

And if that wasn’t enough to brew the mystery even more, we hear from the Klaxosaur Princess herself that APE’s higher-ups are “wannabe humans”, and later learn from APE themselves that they are the Klaxosaur’s creations. Meaning whoever is underneath there, despite their claims, they are not truly Human. Even though she knocked off the mask, we didn’t see a face. It was all dark. On top of that, they weren’t expecting her to be able to communicate words directly to the brain.

I am so curious! What are the Klaxosaurs really?, Interestingly, she actually possesses a mix of both Klaxosaur and Human traits, best described as a “hybrid” of a sort. So what are those golden fetuses within the cores? Why and how does the Klaxosaurs possess such incredible technology? And who are APE, and why do they speak of doing everything in the name of humanity when they are identified as “wannabe humans”? Why is “Birth” is a Taboo Subject and what does Papa want it to be kept a secret? So are so many questions on my mind!

So let’s take a moment to touch on the Nines. This Special Forces units have been given special privilege to be able to report to Papa in person at the flying fortress. I am curious to find out why Papa has given this particular group such rights, especially since they are more or less serving as his loyal watch-dogs, checking in on groups and sniffing out trouble. But we have heard from Alpha and seen previous fights that this group is not like the rest. In fact Alpha says associates the Nines to be alike to Zero Two, which isn’t completely out of the question since we have seen those bizarre glowing orange horns while they are piloting the FRANXX.

But Alpha in particular, knows that Dr. Franxx is running some sort of tests, meaning Papa is sure to know as well. How Dr. Franxx will proceed from this point on will be interesting since I doubt Papa will sit idle now that Alpha is delivering the report how Squad 13 is undoubtedly a troublesome group that needs to be kept an eye on closely, or to be dealt with immediately.

Under Papa’s orders, Alpha and the Nines dropped in to check in on Squad 13 since they are the only ones who have yet to join the gathering of all remaining squads. The group is shocked by their arrival, having believed Papa had abandoned them, and so there was quite a bit of mixed response at their receptions. Alpha dropped a number of points on how “Humans” are supposed to behave, such as Humans casting away their ability to reproduce, to be ruled by emotions because it serves no purpose in life. Ikuno was sure to give him a piece of her mind by backhanding him, calling him out on that shit. If it wren’t for Goro and the others, she probably would’ve hit him again- though I am not sure if he would have let her since I don’t think he expected her to lash out like that. Actually when you think about it, everything the Parasites have been trained to behave and act, are being conditioned to be anything but human— which is ironic considering Papa and adults like to consider themselves as such. It seems they have either completely forgotten or never understood what it actually means to be Human. And perhaps, maybe this may be the center piece of Dr. Franxx’s experiment since Squad 13 is nothing like the rest.

In the end, find it kind of ironic how it’s Kokoro who courageously opens up to everyone, front of the Nines of all people about the things they are not supposed to talk about. She shared how she wants to have a baby, leave a mark before she leaves this world, discusses how there is more to life than being a pilot, and how birth is part of the cycle of life since the ancient times. She does all of this, yet Hiro has yet to usher a word about the things he was able to recall through Zero Two’s memories. Their squad has been proven to be relatively open-minded, even if it means questioning the status quo, so it’s shocks me how it doesn’t seem to be a priority right now. Instead he is just enjoying their peaceful days with Zero Two.

But there is an important change Hiro is undergoing, and that is evolving into a the same species as Zero Two. He has a pair of blue horns steadily but surely growing on his forehead, but are currently hidden by his bangs. As expected, Hiro doesn’t mind it, in fact he is happy that is he becoming the same as her. Seeing the blue horns made me realize they have yet to be explain why Zero Two was red to begin with, when we have seen all the Klaxosaurs appear blue, including the Klaxosaur Princess herself. I would also like to note how it was interesting to hear from Zero Two that she doesn’t believe she is capable of reproduction, and envies them for being able to do so.

GAH! Nothing is more ominous than Ikuno narrating how everything eventually comes to an end, and the camera pans on Kokoro of all people. PROTECT THEM! I JUST WANT MY BABIES TO HAVE A HAPPY ENDING!  ; A ; I JUST WANT THEM ALL TO BE OKAY DAMN IT!!!! This is not good for my heart… Shit is sure to get real next week. Who knows how Papa is going to respond to the Nines’ report. I’m scared for everyone.

EXTRA:
SLOW-MO SLAP FOR EVERYONE!!!
(Let’s be honest, we’re all watching this scene on loop LOL)

Eva

Blogging Anime since Summer 2009, & Founder of AngryAnimeBitches Anime Blog

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7 Responses

  1. SpitFire says:

    Agh,

    While I loved the interactions between Mitsuru and Kokoro this episode, I thought it happened way too quickly. Expediting the relationship of these two could mean lots of things. But seeing all the foreshadowing at the opening and the couple doing a “heinous” crime at the end, I fear for the safety of these two characters.

    At the end, I hope they win… even if one them, or even both of them die. I just hope their aspirations and existence would not be vain. Cause really, a bittersweet ending is most often what audiences remember the most.

    And by the way, I pity 9 alpha. He thinks procreation, love, family, and gender identity are disgusting. These “special” forces are nothing more than perfect military puppets of their masters who are incapable of intellectually broadening there perspective and thus take info as if they are being spoon fed.

    • Eva says:

      I absolutely agree. It happened a lot sooner than anticipated. It would have been better to allow bit more of a natural development to get to the phase (which is why it would have made a bit more sense for Zero Two and Hiro to have done it first) and delay it a bit longer, but maybe there just wasn’t enough time so it had to be now or never. shrugs Nevertheless, I am worried about them. I just want everyone to have a happy ending. but the little Snitch is going to mess everything up since he’s reporting everything to Papa.

      I really just want the group to GTFO out and start rebelling. The sooner they act to save themselves, the better. I am just afraid they will act too late. I wish our two pairs could elope together, but we can’t have the others left behind. My two primary concerns in regards to “rebelling against Papa” are Miku and Zorome since they are surprisingly still attached to Papa.

      The Nines have be conditioned to behave the way they are, so they are pitiful, especially to perceive as Squad 13’s behaviour has abnormal. I don’t think there’s any hope for them.

      • SpitFire says:

        Great point, It would be awesome if the creators would be able to pull of a masterful final quarter to this show. Franxx definitely has that potential. It dosen’t make me reflect on something deeply philosophical like Shinsekai Yori, but it does remind me of Code Geass in it’s overall entertainment value. I guess when you brought up the word “rebelling” I suddenly remembered my viewing experience with Geass.

        Who knows, perhaps the real humans(good guys) are the Klaxosaurs.

        • Eva says:

          It’s hard to say who is good and who is bad, for all we know– both could be bad in their own rights. The real question comes down to what makes “APE” part of the Klaxosaurs’ creations, and why does APE believe they are Humans, when the Princess deems them as “wannabes”? There is still so many mysteries to unravel!

  2. zztop says:

    Amidst all the mech fights and character drama, you actually realize the story hasn’t answered the biggest question of worldbuilding, ie. what’s up with the world of Franxx and the klaxosaurs. Likely they’re keeping the reveal for the final episodes.

    • Eva says:

      They definitely left those questions out on purpose, most likely heavily tied to the Klaxosaur Princess (since it looks like she has a FRANXX of her own, and according the the credits is she 001). I am also have some suspicions that Dr. Franxx may have ties with her… Be it from the past or the present.

  3. Alex says:

    I liked the part where a nine whistled after Alpha got slapped.

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