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

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I would first like to say that I do enjoy these episodes with the kids enjoying their slow life as the world literally dies around them, but I am very concerned about the amount of time we are spending on this section. It feels like we should be moving more quickly since the ending should be ramping up soon. All of the content does feel needed so that we fully care for the all the characters, but I wonder if we couldn’t have sped any of this up in any way before now.

2Again, we see Zero Two spending time filing her horns down to size, and since we haven’t seen her care for them this much before, I am assuming they are growing at an alarming rate now. Maybe her connection with the Klax is causing an accelerated growth after the Grand Crevasse is opened.

The Nines then arrive on the scene to check on Squad 13 on Papa’s alleged orders. Alpha, the yellow Nine, imparts on them that Papa was worried, and though this seems to make some of the kids feel better, I think we all know that this just isn’t accurate. The Nines are here for some reason, and Zero Two calls out Alpha asking them to leave. Nothing happens here for the good of the party, and Zero Two’s rebukes to the Nine’s presence are ignored.

Before all the bad stuff happens this episode, we get two pieces of interesting information: first the parasite squads and their FRANXX are all being gathered in one place. Squad 13 is the last squad to not be at this summit, and based on the information we have here, they were not going to go. I know that our kids our special, but what kind of pull do their caretakers have to exempt them from such an obvious troop rounding? It can’t be just Zero Two’s influence this time.

5The second is Hiro’s intensifying saurification. As he and Zero Two flirt in her bedroom, she pulls up his bangs to reveal tiny head nubs that are the start of some horns. It seems that APE no longer cares that Hiro is becoming a Klax-hybrid, and they plan on letting him literally become a second Zero Two. It’s very possible that Dr. Franxx is protecting action against Hiro (and likely the rest of the squad) because he wishes to continue his experiments. Despite knowing all this as a viewer, Zero Two and Hiro flirting together with their little horns is just plain adorable and sweet.

So, the bad stuff.

7Kokoro and the Green Nine bump into each other in the hallway, causing Kokoro to drop her Childbirth book. Green picks it up and takes it directly to Alpha and there rest. As Alpha looks through it, everyone has a bit of a dour look, and Alpha even says that this is information that Papa hasn’t told the masses. The Nines do know this information, and have known this information for some time (if not forever).

In the background of the Nine’s realization, Kokoro and Mitsuru talk together, and as young people often do, Kokoro begins to make a move on Mitsuru in the hopes of getting pregnant. It seems extreme, but pregnancy is the only form of hope Kokoro has now. Mitsuru refuses to have sex, a thing he would need her help accomplishing anyway, and runs away – but not before Zorome sees the scene. Though Zorome misunderstands it as being cutesy like Zero Two and Hiro and not procreative-sexual in nature, he only tells the rest of the squad that the two are a couple now.

While Zorome is theoretically telling everyone Mitsuru and Kokoro’s business, Mitsuru confides in Hiro who tells Mitsu that he probably loves Kokoro which is why he wants to understand her. This epiphany causes Mitsuru to become noticeably softer as he agrees that he loves Kokoro, hoping to tell her later (I’m sure) that he cares for her and to make up his previous mistake.

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When Hiro and Mitsuru arrive back at the mansion-house, the kids are all gathered in the living room where Zorome has spilled the beans to the group. Everyone is terribly supportive of Misturu and Kokoro- except the Nines. Alpha interrupts the group’s celebration of new love by brandishing the baby book Kokoro lost. Much to her horror, he asks if anyone has seen the book before, knowing the answer. Alpha grows very serious and questions why and how Kokoro got this book since it wouldn’t have had access to it in any library parasites can visit.

Kokoro admits that she wants to make a baby despite it being a banned activity. She asks why having a child is so terrible since this is how people have procreated in the past, but all the Nines look more and more upset with every one of her preachings about living for more then piloting the FRANXX. Alpha loses his cool and calls her disgusting and gender a pain, only existing as a piloting tool, and then in the heat of the moment, Ikuno slaps Alpha in defense of her friends. Having a comeback for Ikuno’s slap, Alpha beings a tirade about emotion being tossed out in humanity, as well as gender.

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Nana and Hachi return right tin the middle of the argument which ends with Kokoro being dragged into a private room of sorts to be chastised as she stares at her hands. Hachi tells her that he and Nana were under orders to not talk to the kids, but they were being monitored the entire time. They say and knew what Kokoro was trying to do with Misturu. As the argument begins anew with Kokoro wanting to bear children, Nana says that humans only have their reproductive organs as children to pilot the FRANXX. however, when asked about why humans still have emotion, Nana begins to feel dizzy and lightheaded. Kokoro is sent away.

11After the scolding, Nana admits to Hachi that the kids have been making her feel more and more irate lately. Alpha pops into the room after hearing this confession and asks if Nana is hitting puberty again. He says that they already underwent emotional indoctrination as parasites, so there shouldn’t be any emotion left over now, and if this was the case with her hitting puberty again- they really should have just replaced her with a new Nana.

So, what Alpha is implying here is cloning, which we already had a clue of when we met the woman Zorome met who in the city who shared his number moniker. I’m more curious about the emotion indoctrination and the removal of reproductive organs in children as they reach puberty since Nana, as she is now, has undergone both. While I’m not sure the extent of the reproductive removal, we do know that APE uses memory loss to help keep their kids prim and proper, so that’s likely how the emotion indoctrination works, too.

Hachi turns around behind Nana’s back and informs Dr. Franxx that Nana is now useless. Dr. Franxx says that Nana was at least helpful in helping him understand how humanity’s resurgent reproductive systems is adapting and causing a resurgence past his expectations.

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Moving on, we see two APE leaders traveling down a giant elevator in to the Gran Crevasse where they arrive to speak to what I have to assume is on the “keys” Papa was referring to. They tell this girl, the Princess of the Klaxosaurs, that the battle is over and she should give up. Before any headway can be made; however, one of the APEs launches to attack the girl. The snake monster behind her kills both of the APE people before the Klax Princess dubs the empty clothes human wannabes… the people that were apparently killed were not in the clothing at all.

We are then bummed back to Squad 13 who are all talking about babies. Hiro announces that he believes they can do something even if they were never told about that thing by Papa, and Zero Two admits she is jealous of humans being able to act how they wish and decide their own futures. Zero Two’s assumption is terribly misplaced, however, since these kids have no real control in their own lives- they are at the beck and call of their leader, Papa, just like she is.

14In another room, Mitrusu and Kokoro make up in a very teenage way: they totally have sex. It’s subtle and not on even close to seen on screen (they are still children, of course), but these kids totally had sex. Woops.

The final scenes of the episode take place in Earth’s orbit. Yup. Space.

Papa and some of the APE people talk about he Klaxosaur Princess not yielding and having to try on Zero Two. He also tells these people that he will destroy the princess with her own kind just before the group of Nines arrive in an elevator to tell Papa the wonderful news that Squad 13 has gone rogue.

Based off this encounter, my thoughts are that Papa a few of the APE leaders are foreign invaders (aliens) that have They Live’d their ways into being people and are now fighting the last remnants of the human population they were unable to control: the Klax. I was already pretty invested in the idea of a dictator who caused some of machine species to become sentient, but this alien idea is even more in my wheelhouse. I’m now more excited than ever to get these kids back in their robots and for them to meet what lurks beneath the Gran Crevasse. 

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Read about episode eighteen!

3 thoughts on “Thoughts & Feelings Column: Darling in the FRANXX – Episode Seventeen

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