Miss my review last week? You can find it here!
Another week, another round of episodes of the Winter anime season. Last week I was impressed with the debut of Studio TRIGGER’s Darling in the FRANXX, and was excited to see how the story continued this week.
After today’s episode I definitely have some…feelings.
Last week we got some general understanding of how the FRANXX machines worked: piloted by male/female pairs, and largely students of what appear to be high-school age. Adults are busy managing the school and future pilots, and the elders appear to belong to a ruling class that is briefly spotted during this episode.
If you missed last week, our protagonist, Hiro, essentially feels worthless because he became unable to pilot (the real comedy of this is understood by the end of the episode). After an enemy appears suddenly, Hiro is welcomed into the cockpit of mysterious rebel 002 (or Zero Two). Together, they activate the powerful FRANXX Sterilizia and dispatch their foe.
If you were wondering what happened inside of the cockpit, more of the details surrounding piloting emerge in this episode, and it’s…well…
Now, we’re talking about the studio that did Kill la Kill, so it’s not like modesty is something at the top of their list of concerns, but I have to say that this episode really laid it on thick with the innuendo.
Piloting the FRANXX involves the boy and girl in this erm…position, and the girls spend a couple of minutes describing the uncomfortable & odd feeling when they “connect” with their partner. During an early mock drill, there’s even a shot of the girls adjusting as the guys “connect” – and I have to admit that I literally laughed out loud.
Hiro is obsessed with “piloting” again, and getting back into Sterilizia with Zero Two. Indeed, the allure of “piloting” would have most boys Hiro’s age clamoring for another opportunity. The feeling appears to be mutual, as the couple exhibits the same issues of public displays of affection that you often find in classrooms.
Her position with the government makes things a bit more difficult, however, and so Hiro’s piloting abilities are tested by pairing him with squad leader and “hardcore crushing on him” companion Ichigo.
The mock battle starts off well, with Ichigo and Hiro “connecting” and squaring off against loud mouth and token annoying guy Zorome – but this only lasts about 30 seconds *rimshot*.
Hiro loses his connection with Ichigo, who seeks validation and does her best to coach him back into a “connection” with her. He recalls his kiss with Zero Two, and so the two share a reluctant kiss, to no avail. Zorome wails on the pair as they struggle to get the FRANXX operational, until finally Ichigo pilots the FRANXX herself to end the match by slamming their opponents into a nearby wall. In the darkness of the cockpit, Hiro apologizes while Ichigo laments her inability to draw out Hiro’s potential, capping off the episode with a taunt charged with emotion:
So…yeah. Let’s ride this train all the way into the station shall we? Hiro essentially has erectile dysfunction, but with robots. That is, until, he finds the right partner with Zero Two and rediscovers his worth.
Studio TRIGGER likes to push the boundaries when it comes to fan service, and Darling in the FRANXX is no exception. I’m sensing some hints of Kiznaiver in this as well, with “connected” pairs establishing deeper bonds and unlocking their true power.
The animation was solid, as usual. I appreciate the varied designs in the various FRANXX machines, and look forward to seeing them in action. The character dynamics are interesting, especially the tension between Ichigo and Zero Two. Hiro and Zorome’s rivalry is a yawn so far, with the loud-mouth being achingly predictable. Then again, it’s good to have a punchable face in the crowd.
I’m wondering where Darling in the FRANXX will take us next, and I’m definitely still on board – it’s just that the innuendo was a lot to deal with this episode. I’m hoping that I will be able to adjust in time and “connect” with this series…time will tell.
Episode 3 is up – and so is my latest review!
You can watch Darling in the FRANXX on Crunchyroll. New episodes every Saturday morning!
Darling in the FRANXX - Episode 2
- FRANXX design remains interesting - curious to see more action
- Enjoying some of the character tension and dynamics so far
- The innuendo is laid on super thick - at times beyond the point of comedy
- Seriously, the innuendo is bad.