Darling in the FranXX – 16 – How The Mood Has Changed

The Gran Crevasse is now under human control, but at the cost of about 40% of their parasites. Plantation 13 has been devastated, and Mistilteinn is without reliable sources of clean water, food, and electricity. Squad 13 has been ordered to stand by, and they’ve stood by for a month with nary a word from Nana or Hachi and only weekly deliveries of rations.

Despite all that, the group has never been closer. The squad went through the wringer and came out with bonds stronger than ever. The decision to collectively forgive and embrace Zero Two has also led to her pitching in and working diligently to do her part to help everyone out in the tougher times where their every domestic need is no longer taken care of.

The lack of sorties means Goro is a bit restless, while when Michiru asks Kokoro to cut his hair (during which time he works through his angst rather nicely), Kokoro gives him a kiss, and is wordlessly rebuffed.

There are also signs that the parasites might not be long for this world. Ikuno suffers from headaches and fever, and while bathing, Zero Two discovers white hairs among Miku’s red locks. Still, Hiro is having fun, and would love to live the way they’re living forever; sentiments Zero Two shares.

The two also spearhead a different kind of operation: one that will ensure the squad’s survival even if the food rations end. The squad catches their own fish, prepare them, and eat them on their own, a huge step towards independence for the once-coddled parasites.

While they’re engaging in this operation, Ichigo comments about how the mood of the squad has changed, how she likes the change, and how she admits she initially misjudged Zero Two as being fundamentally “different” from the rest of them; and now believes that not to be true.

In another case of the parasites perhaps not being quite as well as they could be, Zorome calls Futoshi out on his recent habit of not eating, or throwing up what he does eat. Zorome tears up while pleading with his comrade to eat if he wants to survive.

The squad may sometimes butt up against each other in these lean and trying times when they’re not sure when their next meal or drink will come, but Hiro maintains that this is all a good thing for them. He feels like this is “where they truly belong”, because there should be, and is, more to their lives than piloting FranXX and fighting Klaxosaurs.

Later that night, while drawing beautiful illustrations drawn from her memory of the picture book she had—her first “pretty thing”, Zero Two admits to having learned that being human is about more than looking human, and that Hiro’s humanity was the kind she truly wanted.

Their bliss is short-lived, as expected; Zero Two senses…something off in the distance—someone who looks for all the world like some kind of humanoid Klaxosaur pilot, like her, no doubt come to sour what had been such a pleasant and tranquil mood.

Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

One thought on “Darling in the FranXX – 16 – How The Mood Has Changed”

  1. Oh, Zero Two is finally experiencing what life as a normal girl really is. I guess this one is about to go down the tragic route soon. With them using the “Beast Princess and the Boy” storybook as a metaphor for her narrative, I’m guessing that she is actually the twin of that Klaxosaur princess that the APE council is talking about.

    As for the situation that the children found themselves in, it;’s obviously something that Dr. Franxx wanted to happen. I guess the man now understands that making them more independent in thought will actually make them more effective. Letting them learn how to survive on their own will teach them how to let go of their blind obedience to Papa and make them value their lives more, which will come in handy for combat, instead of them charging aimlessly because they know they are going to die and be replaced anyway.

    Interestingly, Dr. Franxx tells Nana that she also went through such a development before when she asks him why he’s putting the kids through this. This could imply that both Nana and Hachi were former Franxx test or candidate pilots. One thing that would support this is the fact that the two of them oddly share the same naming scheme as the kids (Nana is possibly Code:007 and Hachi is Code:008).

    This does lead to one gripe I have about the series’ storytelling though. The series teases the adults as having far larger roles to play in the story, but so far it has done little to delve into whatever role that is. The APE council, I understand because of the “mystery” element. But Dr. Franxx, Nana, and Hachi feel like they should have more presence in the narrative and not be in the same “mystery” character level as APE.

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