Darling in the FranXX – 08

In another episode not about the FranXX but the flawed and confused boys and girls who pilot them, the effects of everyone in a squad hitting puberty at once comes to a head (no pun intended) when the latest Klaxosaur attack uses blue goo to eat away at the pistils’ suits, causing the stamens to ogle their partially naked bodies.

The girls are hurt, mortified, and furious, especially the fact the boys kept their condition a secret as long as they did (even if it was in the middle of battle). Led by the fiery Miku, a tape line divides the dorm in two: the girls on one side, the boys on the other, and n’er the twain shall meet.

Led by the fiery Zorome, the boys don’t take this perceived shabby treatment lightly, and proceed to take advantage of every loophole Miku and the girls didn’t think of, from flaunting their own half-naked bodies after taking a dip in the lake, to claiming the dining hall (and all the food in it) for themselves.

Meanwhile, those not so enthusiastic about the gender war, like Kokoro and Mitsuru, actually find common ground in their love of the greenhouse as a place of tranquil solitude (and where Kokoro hopes to read her baby book). The one neutral party is Zero Two, who the girls eventually confront to take a side. Perhaps charmed that they came to her, she agrees to join them.

However, as usual Two goes her own path in how to best antagonize the boys, using the other girls as bait by getting the boys to accidentally barge in on them in the bath, then stealing everyone’s clothes.

Hiro gets wise, but he’s absolutely no match against Two in a foot chase that leads them to the roof, where she releases the basket of clothes into the wind. Hiro can’t help but laugh at the situation, which Zero Two agrees is a lot of fun, while hoping Hiro can think of her as a little more “human” for taking part in the war.

Despite being ordered by Dr. FranXX only to observe and report, Nana and Hachi tell both sides to knock it the ef off; after all, they need their parasites in a position to sortie at any given moment, and that just isn’t possible with all the consternation floating around.

Zero Two tells the girls they’d better stop half-assing things and say what they want to say to who they want to say it, because it’s very likely none of them will be alive much longer, considering their occupations. Both girls and boys alike start to feel bad for the other side (which is good, because they’re thinking of how the other side feels and bears rather than just themselves).

The one holdout is Miku, who runs away and hides in an off-limits dorm. There, she discovers among a vase of dead lilacs, a photo of the previous Squad 13, all of whom must’ve been wiped out. When the others join forces to find her, Miku is a wreck, but the photo and empty dorm room are a powerful, sobering message: if you don’t get to know each other, they have no chance of surviving.

With that, the two sides formally make up, with Miku rather adorably revising her stance, telling Zorome he can ogle “a little bit” as long as he doesn’t go so far. Apologies and handshakes are exchanged, and the squad recombines…but not before cleaning up the empty dorm where there predecessors lived and placing a vase of fresh lilacs by the window, a flower signifying friendship, fond memories, and youth, all of which were on full display this week.

I actually enjoyed these two past episodes in which the battle with the Klaxosaurs was either absent or pushed to the side; I’d much rather watch the members of Squad 13 continue to learn more about one another, become friends, and perhaps more…which is likely Dr. FranXX’s intention with the test squad, after all. That they’re all starting to realize they are boys and girls at once was certainly no coincidence.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

2 thoughts on “Darling in the FranXX – 08”

  1. This episode is flat out silly, but it really works. It kinda reminds me of the likes of Fafner in the Azure or Gundam IBO, where they nicely the pilots’ slice of life moments nicely weave into the mecha battles and larger story.

    And there is so many interesting bits here.Like Zero Two actually having some fun, which really hammers the weariness that she expressed in episode 6 about having to fight klaxosaurs continuously. I also like how that reveal of the previous squad’s history is not treated as a shocking reveal but as a sombering one. Oh, and at least Dr. Franxx is aware of the flaws of the parasite program: that of treating the kids like expendable machine parts. I just wonder how much he is willing to give give the kids a normal teenage life before they get wheeled off to the battlefield again.

    1. In a 12-episode series this might have been an indulgence (though there could be one episode that combines this one and last week’s) but works just fine in a two-cour run.

      Part of growing up consists of both dealing with and sometimes blowing past boundaries, both physical and emotional. The dorm with all of the “KEEP OUT” tape was seemingly untouched by the current Squad 13 parasites until Miku needed a place to hide and be alone. That suggests they never had a reason or curiosity about it until then.

      If Dr. Franxx really didn’t want them to learn about the hard truth of the previous Squad 13, he would have surely had the dorm cleaned and all evidence removed. Instead, he gave the parasites the option to find the evidence so that they can learn something from it.

      Specifically, they can’t keep being at each other’s throats in petty disputes if they want to survive. The only way to move past those disputes is to try to understand or at least empathize with each other’s feelings. In other words, to grow up. If that was Dr. F’s pan, it worked swimmingly.

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