Thoughts & Feelings Column: Darling in the FRANXX – Episode Nine

Hola, dear readers! I’m running terribly behind because of my classes. Who knew working full time while taking design courses would so darn time consuming? (hint: I did- I knew that going in, and I’m still mildly surprised)

Please bear with me while I catch back up… only to likely fall behind a little again as the end of the semester rages on. I had planned on releasing episodes nine and ten together, but I am tired and can’t focus any longer today. Episode ten’s review will pop up tomorrow along with the Cardcaptor Sakura set.

Thank you for your continued support!


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Though we aren’t beginning the big Klax face-off just yet, we are building important relationships to be broken and tatters when the time comes to fight to death at the end of the arc. There is also a significant focus on Papa and APE through episodes nine and ten, which means our dissension in the ranks may begin shortly.

Episode nine focuses on Goro and his feelings for Ichigo. It’s a great evolutionarily episode that doesn’t spend time on Goro hating Hiro for being the target of Ichigo’s affection for so many years because Goro is just that good a dude.

The show beings with a sort of Christmas where the kids receive a ton a gifts from Papa. It would be sweet that Papa purchased these gifts for the kids, if it wasn’t an obvious ploy to make the children subservient. The letter included in the gifts, read by Papa’s biggest fan, stamps this idea in red with a generic message calling the children noble and strong. It’s more than likely this treatment is given to all parasites.

In the background of the spectacle is Zero Two staring off in the middle distance, seeing through the facade, though as this ramps up I am curious what the real intent behind APE and Papa are. Zero Two knows something, but her unwillingness to share makes me nervous for our dear children who are happy just to get a stuffed animal once a year.

1Feeling bad, Hiro gives Zero Two a mirror in an effort to share the happiness with is partner. Ichigo and Goro watch the exchange between the two cursed lovers, and it’s here that Goro begins to fully realize that each time Ichigo notices Hiro- it hurts him.

We are treated to the first of a few flashbacks. In this one, Goro remembers when he, Ichigo and Hiro are all children at the same time of year. Hiro gives a clip to Ichigo that Goro was planning on giving her, but decides not to after seeing Hiro give his gift. It’s sad to see Goro’s second-best behavior begin at such a young age.

Later, Goro confesses that he loves Ichigo to Hiro. He understands that he knows everything about her, likely through the neural link they undergo, but his feelings for Ichigo will never match her feelings for Hiro.

Nice guy Goro is happy with the status quo, even if it’s not in his favor.

The kids leave the next day to fight a very large Klaosaur with atmospheric powers including pressurization and electricity. The monster looks like a giant brain, and it’s quite the behemoth.

Zorome and Miku get cocky and try to attack the Klax’s core directly. Goro and Ichigo run to save the pair, and end up getting in a very large explosion. Goro was able to evacuate Ichigo, but this left Goro alone in the FRANXX, absorbed in the monster. It was selfish and terribly self-sacrificing of Goro.

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Inside the Klax, Goro is left alone as the rest of Squad 12 were forced to retreat. Ichigo awakes and is upset that Goro’s suicidal behavior. She yells as Goro for always putting himself second and never relying on her, and after the fee cuts we see Goro struggling with his breathing.

Squad 13 is told they have once more chance to save Goro before they are forced to put down the Klax, with Goro hanging in suspense. Luckily, Zero Two saw an exhaust port of sorts at the top of the Klax that she believes could be a way into the monster. Ichigo takes this information and runs with it- hope powering her through to save Goro while trusting in 02. It’s a great bit of development here for Ichigo and Zero Two, especially since cooperation between the two is all I’ve wanted since the show began.

The life support systems in the FRANXX are failing because Goro is siphoning power for self-destruction. Just as enough power is save and transferred to the excess fuel reserve, Goro prepares for death and regret for never telling Ichigo how he feels.

3Ichigo’s drop into the Klax is successful, and as she falls into the Klax, Goro remembers Ichigo always being there for him and saving him at every turn. It’s more than fitting when we see the girl burst into the FRANXX with a weak smile, ready to save Goro’s life again. Just in time, Ichigo and Goro break out of the Klax, leaving a fuel bomb behind. They were a few meters away from the Plantation and Goro’s certain death.

At the end of the episode, Goro finally gives Ichigo the hair clip ten years late and confesses his love to her. He doesn’t want to regret anything any longer, and resolves to speak his feelings going forward.

Goro’s release is great, and since Ichigo wholly cares for Goro back- I’m sure it’s going to make for some great neural links in the future. Stronger bonds make stronger fighters, but at the end of the day, it feels good to finally see Goro happy.

I’m looking forward to this section of character-centric episodes, and I’m dying for the Kokoro one. The creators establishing a strong cast will help us really care for these kids as we march to their impeding doom at the will of a group of very secretive adults with silly monkey masks.

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Read about episode ten!

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