「キミの棘、ボクのしるし」 (Kimi no Toge, Boku no Shirushi)
“Your Thorn, My Badge”
For a calm before the storm episode Franxx sure doesn’t let off the gas. From character development to plot-based tidbits we got everything as the show gleaned, teased, and outright flaunted the goods before our very eyes. Third wheeling? Check. Ominous transformations? Have that too. Zorome chewing on phallic shaped foods? As if you’d thought we would forget. Darling, Franxx has it all.
As I’ve been harping on from the start, Franxx will be all about the character interactions of which we got a literal face full of this week. Ichigo and Gorou are the parasites du jour of course, exhibiting not just the emotional challenges we can expect moving forward, but the first solidification of relationships. Ichigo for better or worse has “officially” given up trying to get with Zero Two’s new strap-on chew toy, but as we all know, that’s a lie—this girl is hopelessly in love and cannot even figure out how to describe it. As Gorou has an inkling of interest in Ichigo himself this pain and jealously will become a problem later on once the brown stuff hits the fan (particularly with Hiro) as you can firmly bet one (or more) of these poor kids are going to wind up losers. Zero Two’s now permanent presence upends an already strained situation, and with more than one already showcasing the classic signs of implosion, it won’t be long before we see what happens when teenage emotion meets life and death struggle. I’d start feeling happy for Zorome and Futoshi right now, they’re the only ones even close to winning at this compatibility game.
What makes these character struggles all the more important are the ominous details simultaneously being dropped. We now know for example that this squad of parasites truly are unique both in form and function, possessing completely unique Franxx mechas and starkly differing in person from fellow parasites. This just isn’t some ragtag collection of rear line misfits anymore, these parasites were clearly grouped together and isolated for a purpose. Whether due to Hiro’s abilities specifically or something else is currently unclear, but the fact none know what happens to parasites after they reach adulthood is a big tell: these guys are meant to enthusiastically go out in a blaze of glory in pursuit of the greater good. The snag with that of course is that Zero Two shreds this objective with her sultry presence, turning Hiro from controllable lab rat into a truly unknown factor and preventing the adults in the room from having even the slightest bit of influence over the situation. That “third time is the charm” ride limit and that unsightly cancerous growth? Clearly dangerous given the adults recognize the risk, but thanks to a bit of domed intercourse, an onrushing horde, and best girl shenanigans, few can argue against benching the team’s most valuable asset. Obviously some characters and audience both know what’s going to happen in principle next time of course—enough hints have been dropped left and right—but the results and who it specifically impacts make the wait all the more agonizing. One way or another we are going to get some answers, and someone will more than likely pay the price in the process.
Start placing those bets boys and girls, things (and girls) are about to get wild.