Miss my previous review? You can find it here!
After a brief hiatus last week, I’m back with a double-header of Darling in the FRANXX!
Episode 8 – Boys x Girls
While Squad 13 is knee-deep in battle with a unique Klaxosaur that utilizes a unique form of acid in its attacks, the girls find their suits…uh…compromised during the battle.
The problem is, they don’t realize it until the battle is over, and are pissed that the boys didn’t mention anything about their exposure. The boys maintain that they wanted to focus on completing the mission (ha ha – sure) and so a war is ignited between the two factions of the house, including the comedy archetype “split the house down the middle with tape” followed by the inevitable “one half gets the food and the other half gets the bathroom” scenarios.
Episode 8 is a lot of filler, but it’s substantive filler, if that makes any sense. The dynamic between the various kids within the squad is fleshed out, and we also get to see a different side of Zero Two as the girls do their best to get her on their side.
The comedic drama between the kids aside, there is an odd element surrounding the adults in the show. At one point they seem bewildered that all of the kids appear to be “hitting puberty at the same time”.
Uh…what? You put a bunch of teen co-eds into a house, throw them into life-threatening situations on a daily basis, and you’re confused that they bicker? The echo from my facepalm could likely be heard from space.
That being said, I enjoyed this episode. Sure we didn’t get a lot of high-octane action or intriguing lore reveals, but the character development was refreshing, and the story was fun and light.
Episode 9 – Triangle Bomb
Things get a bit heavier in episode 9 as Goro comes to terms with his feelings for Ichigo. The episode opens with the kids all getting gifts from Papa in an annual tradition that seems like an odd combination of joint birthdays and Christmas. Zero Two is confused by it, but the affirmation from Papa combined with their simple gifts helps to lift the spirits of the test squad.
We get some flashbacks of young Goro planning on giving Ichigo a hair-clip, only to get beaten to the punch by Hiro.
Still, with Zero Two in the picture now, and Goro realizing that he can’t hide his feelings forever, he appears to be on the cusp of declaring his feelings for her when they go to battle against another unique Klaxosaur.
The beast nearly takes out Zorome and Miku before Goro and Ichigo leap in and knock them out of the way. Just before the Klaxosaur gets a chance to unleash a devastating explosion, Goro ejects Ichigo from the FRANXX and resigns himself to his fate.
Back at the base, the adults plan on bombarding the Klaxosaur until it detonates itself, even though that would certainly kill Goro in the process. The kids all protest just as Ichigo awakens and demands she be given the chance to rescue him. Miku and Ichigo then go head-to-head as the “leader” is called out for her lack of resolve.
Just when it seems like they’re out of options, Zero Two mentions that there appeared to be an entrance on the top of the Klaxosaur that someone could infiltrate.
A daring plan is executed that has Ichigo swim her way through mysterious fluid back to the FRANXX, and deliver a devastating attack from within before they make their escape.
As Ichigo is swimming towards Goro and the Delphinium, she reflects on how she has feelings for Goro as well. That he’s “special” to her, much like Hiro is…but in different ways.
Meanwhile, in the cockpit of the Delphinium, Goro prepares to self-destruct the FRANXX and take out the Klaxosaur. He reflects on his own regrets, namely not telling Ichigo about his feelings sooner.
As if on cue, Ichigo appears before him! Re-assuring him that he doesn’t have to fight alone, Ichigo helps him to escape after dropping off their backup fuel supply to detonate and take out their troublesome enemy.
After their hard-won victory, Goro does something unimaginable and actually tells Ichigo how he feels!
Of course, Ichigo isn’t sure how to process this information, but the two agree that their relationship is a special one. Time will tell how the love triangle shakes out in the end…but in the meantime the Goro x Ichigo ship is sailing stronger than ever.
Overall, a strong pair of episodes from Darling in the FRANXX. Since the show will be running through the Spring season, it’s alright that the show takes it a bit slow from time to time. Death flags still appear to be flying high and proud, though I’m not sure if it’s some twisted red herring or honestly preparing our hearts to be crushed.
I’m interested to see how this first season comes to a climax – perhaps we’ll learn more about Papa? Or the mysterious kid who commented on Zero Two’s ability to make new friends? So many questions…still plenty of time for answers.
Episodes 10-12 wrapped up the season, and I have a few things to say about it. Check out my review/recap here!