「戦う人形」 (Tatakau ningyou)
There’s two things we can probably surmise about Franxx at this point. One, the running sex joke is set to keep on chugging full throttle, and two, the show enjoys (and I mean joyously revels in) teasing us with its story breadcrumbs. We are still arguably in buildup stage at this point, but Franxx certainly is wasting little time in sinking its teeth in. Oh boy is it ever.
Last week should have made it abundantly clear, but character relationships and their personal drives will be the key area to pay attention to. Besides those pesky adults outright alluding to it (more on them later), we even have brief discussion on parasite rankings reinforcing the theme. The lower the number the better a parasite one is for example, although such rankings are also seemingly dependent on partner compatibility. You fail meshing with your partner, well say goodbye to that ranking of yours, and with it most likely your life. Sure it’s not overtly stated (yet), but you really expect these kids to keep on ticking once their usefulness expires? The career track ain’t that easy, especially when partner choice is non-negotiable. Some like Zorome and Miku will likely learn to love and understand each other, but as Mitsuru and Ikuno show, there will definitely be some pairs who draw the short end of the stick.
Where the importance of flawless connection is particularly noticeable, however, is in regards to Zero Two. If three piloting examples are anything to go by, the girl can pair with anyone and everyone
with a penis, but only a few can actually bring out her latent abilities as evidenced by Mitsuru’s (un)surprising wounding/death. If this is true it would certainly be unique compared to the other pistils (and Zero Two is one as her combat suit indicates, sorry dominatrix lovers), but that’s not all. The staff and leadership for example appear almost scared of her, putting on an aura of authority when necessary, but definitely (at least in Nana’s case) intimidated when actually having to stand up to Zero Two. I would bet the reason for this is why Hiro isn’t allowed to officially pair with Zero Two, and why Hiro even went through the mock battle last week: the parasite leadership is determined to keep these two apart at any cost, even if it means the loss of other life. Why is anyone’s guess at this stage (especially with Hiro’s special specimen status a complete black box), but if Hiro is the only one who can bring out Zero Two’s full abilities, well, it’s not hard to deduce from there. If you cannot control the weapon you only put it together when absolutely necessary, and so far such a situation hasn’t arisen. Pretty easy to tell where this show is going next, even without Zero Two’s sly foreshadowing.
With our parasite crew soundly defeated in their first real engagement and the question of Mitsuru’s physical wellbeing left up in the air, next time should prove to be a wonderful bit of teenage angst-fuelled drama. Ichigo back to Hiro protection state, Ikuno blaming herself for Mitsuru, Gorou questioning Ichigo’s mindset, all the while Zero Two rubs the upstart’s poor choice in everyone’s face? Oh yes baby sign me up. Franxx may only be three episodes in, but I’ll be damned if it hasn’t hit full stride. One way or another, this show is going to prove to be a blast.