「ダーリン・イン・ザ・フランクス」 (Daarin in za Furankusu)
“Darling in the FranXX”

Well talk about an episode of (non-)surprises. Hiro almost losing it to the blue infection and pulling back in the nick of time? Check. Ichigo dropping from the Hiro love shock at the worst possible moment? Got that too. Superfluous secondary characters dying like flies in the name of super serious story developments? Err—we’re working on it ok! I’d give Franxx a break, when you’re throwing up pulpy mecha goodness this hard, a few mistakes can certainly be forgiven.

While everyone and their dilapidated cat knew what was going to happen this week, the results were still arguably surprising. Death for example was noticeably absent even in the face of all the teasers, with our new Franxx crew suffering immensely while still somehow surviving in the face of certain defeat. I’m not sure yet if Franxx will remain a tease throughout when it comes to its characters, but leaving these guys alive at the opportune moment does suggest this show isn’t going to use genre clichés just for the sake of it; for all its genericities, Franxx has a soul of originality quietly bubbling under the surface. Take Ichigo’s brief moment of breakdown, you’d typically expect the poor girl to lead to someone (and I’m not naming any names) perishing under the face of some well-executed skullf*cking, yet she somehow manages to pull herself together and give our featured duo the opening they need to show which monster does the thrusting here. For every par the course moment Franxx delivers, something else pops up which defies all expectations.

Probably the biggest eye opener in this regard was what happened to Hiro. We all knew he was going to suffer for example, and yet the kid not only survived in his original state, but seemingly pulled back before reaching the brink. It truly begs the question just what’s wrong with our lead parasite, for while noticeably stricken with a unique, yet mostly unknown ailment (*cough* klaxosaur DNA), he can seemingly control the state of infection when the moment calls for it. I’m guessing this ability won’t last forever—plot reasons demand it—but it does beg the question just what Franxx’s ultimate screw over will be. If the special specimen can thrive under the gentle guidance of some top quality rear end, how will later enemies push this aspect beyond the breaking point? Nothing good lasts forever obviously, but if Hiro can thwart the three riding rule no problem, what exactly will be the sticking point here? Will it be Zero Two? A distraught Ichigo? Hell Zorome the Great? For every answer Franxx provides another question or three arises, and while we are certainly still in early days plot-wise, a monster of the week setup can only last for so long. One way or another, we will need hints of the greater mystery before things get too complacent.

Thankfully, however, Franxx likely will not leave us hanging for long. We already have talk of Hiro helping Zero Two live for her wish (which most definitely involves freedom in some form) and one well-placed Zero Two-esque blondie dropping yet another naming scheme with Nine Iota that indicates we’ve only scratched the surface of the parasite rabbit hole. For everything our makeshift parasite squad has come through so far, it’s just the start of what will definitely prove to be one vicious and bloodstained ride. We may not have seen bloody death or plot-rupturing twist as of yet, but if Franxx continues along the same path, you can bet your sister the real fun has yet to begin.

After all, something tells me Zero Two isn’t even close to reaching her final monstrous form just yet.


  1. A lot happened this episode, but my attention was completely captured by the filler squad: Who is their strategist? becasuse their plan to fight the klaxosaurs made zero sense. You have a pack of klaxo running at you, with only 5 FRANXX in the vanguard and 4+1 (strelizia was supposed to wait) in the back, and the best plan you can come up with is to fight one klaxo at time with 5 FRANXX? You know, realistically the rest of he pack would just pass over them while they are focused on killing one. Weren’t they supposed to be veterans?

    I know it may seem trivial but as a war strategy lover it TRIGGERs (eheh) me.

    1. Yes, I had the same thought. It looks like taking very many on was above their ability. So nailing them one at a time far away and catching up to nail another makes sense except the producers kept making it look like there was very little space left before the target. This playing with distance scale where it looks like there is not enough room left but the hero’s maneuver over way more space than that is often an anime error but this time it was a big error. Sort of like Director worries if the enemy does not look close the tension will not be hight enough but then the Director does something that takes a lot more time than space allows.

      1. Yes that could be the case. The problem is not that it takes 5 of them to kill one klaxo, but the fact that would mean letting a lot of them pass (remember the klaxo are attacking in pack, not alone), basically leaving almost all the klaxosaurs to the rear-guard (who are all newbies except Zero Two, no less). I think that’s just bad writing. I mean if that’s how veteran soldiers fight, the human race would have gone extinct lol.

      2. @Youkai

        who are all newbies except Zero Two, no less.

        Remember that Strelizia outside of its Stampede Mode, follows the same rules as every other FranXX and the Stamen remains the pilot which is in control. And Hiro a novice too. The biggest difference is that Hiro actually cares and uses his free time to train, while all other P13 parasites don’t even bother to train and they also spend his time talking shit about Hiro and doing futile things. They just do nothing improve the situation.

        Remember also that every time she went berserk after devouring her Stamen and enter Stampede Mode piloting Strelizia alone, we saw her ass getting kicked as demonstrated in episodes 1 and 6.

    2. I’d just chalk it up to artistic license in this case, it’s piss poor planning for dealing with multiple enemies, but the results look neat. Might also come down to multiple Franxx being needed to just kill a single klaxosaur, which leads to a whole host of other, more serious problems (ex. the number of combat ready Franxx).

      1. They were put together quickly by Dr.FranXX order and it’s implied they were never ready like P26. They have training and their sortie down to the Magma reserves was supposed to be part of that, but their lack of experience shows. They’re slowly improving in that they know the team is important and supporting each other as of 6 and it’ll probably progress like that.

      2. Hiro actually cares and uses his free time to train. The rest are lazy and don’t care. Plus I dont really know how a Pistil is supposed to train since pistil works basically as a control unit for the internal systems and controls the flight/propulsion/balance/force systems.

      3. Well, the Female pilot can “train” to get used to his partner. But this needs to two of them. But to help boosting, they can also gain trust or bonds outside of the Cockpit, like Goro and Ichigo done it.. If you haven an good friend, that you trust to some degree. I bet you would let him dive deep into your “private” secrets and now he keeps his mouth shut, right?

        This, is my line of gain trust and deeper Mind dive levels..

      4. Well, the images i use here, are hidden in “Ar Tonelico” and this Mind Dive they use to extract more powerful Song Magic out of their mind.. The trust there was rated with Layers.. 1-5 Where 5, is nearly soul buddy

        If someone are interested what images i mean, should do some research on Youtube about the diving. I think this could be an good add to this anime

      5. Theres something to running from the reality of it: to train is to acknowledge the gravity of your responsibility.

        Additionally, for all of Ichigo’s imagined failings, she is actually bad at inspiring duty in her charges.

  2. What a feast for the senses. We had establishing shots that almost might have come from Now and Then, Here and There, a giant gunmen, the chatter of the NERV command centre, Strelizia in its mass production EVA form, third impact light-wings, even a kabaneri in the making as Hiro manages to fight off the blue “infection” at the last moment, and then to top it all off, just two words that tell us no matter what we thought we understood about this world and its structure, we actually know squat.

    Plus of course lots of girl butts in varying states of undress. What’s not to like?

    1. Damn, I forgot to mention the Muv-Luv Beta reference as well. At least now I’ve had time to check the Now and Then connection too and find that the person storyboarding FranXX was a key animator on Now and Then.

      1. He might. He’s ways too much of a bro. Not only isn’t he bothered by Ichigo fawning over Hiro, he actually berates Hiro for not tapping that ass Goro gets to watch during the ride.

        The world is not good enough for him.

    1. @Pancakes
      Man in “dominant” sexual position = bad.
      Woman in “dominant” sexual position = good.

      Casual fans arguing about Mecha and watching Mecha for non-genre elements and degenerate fetishes really lack a self awareness for how inane and hypocritical they are.

      1. The klaxsour are people, the franxx are built from klaxsour parts, and the children have klaxsour blood/dna to interface with the franxx. Franxx is probably slang for Franks/Frankenstein.

  3. Franxx as a series interests me and does not at the same time, it’s a weird feeling, all the normal cliches are happening but they have small twist to them, still i watch it weekly

    1. The trope twisting is honestly what keeps me glued to this show. You expect certain things to happen, but they either don’t or wind up being in a slightly different form from normal. Death is probably the biggest case right now, we’re all waiting for someone to perish with baited breath, and yet the show keeps teasing us. It’s honestly aggravating, but in a good way lol.

  4. @Pancakes

    and one well-placed Zero Two-esque blondie dropping yet another naming scheme with Nine Iota that indicates we’ve only scratched the surface of the parasite rabbit hole.

    Nine Iota – 9 10 – 910 = 016 upside down and reversed. It’s Hiro.
    In the system of Greek numerals, iota has a value of 10. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iota ) 9 ”10” https://i.imgur.com/rNgLnvC.jpg
    – nine iota
    – 9 10
    – 910
    – 016
    910 = 016 upside down and reversed.
    Doesn’t make sense if it was aimed towards Oni, because she was standing way off from the rest of the group, while Hiro was the one who was being swarmed by everyone. Similarly, Hiro hasn’t had a successful partner before. Similarly, Oni has already had her fair share of success in combat while this is Hiro’s first time(s) doing so. It makes as much, if not more sense for it to be aimed towards Hiro.

    1. Welp I’m dumb, thanks for pointing that out! The extent of my Greek is limited to the Greek alphabet sadly 😛

      If actually aimed at Hiro it makes the comment all the more interesting because it supports the idea he is not unique and that there are others like him out there. Really begs the question then what happened to land Hiro on a backwater plantation if he was originally destined for “greater” things.

  5. Zero two’s wish is to have someone as a companion, they pretty much laid it out in the beginning of episode 1.

    As for Hiro’s sudden reversal I mentioned it last episode. Zero Two is too emotional, and pretty much consumes, or smothers with her emotions. In Hiro’s case she gave too much (as explained by Hiro’s opposite blood reaction to riding with her), ao as soon as Hiro stabilized the relationship by wanting to give to her everything stabilizes. Simple yin yang balance.

    Moving forward they’re probably going to focus on integrating Zero Two into the group. We already saw the irregulars calling out to Zero Two this episode and they’ll definitely build up that since of comradery going forward. I’m also guessing eventually they’re all going to run away since they live in the “bird cage”.

    1. @weasl

      We already saw the irregulars calling out to ”Nine Iota” this episode. blockquote>
      Please fix it.

      Weren’t paying attention were you?
      I don’t know why this is even a question. Of course they are talking about Hiro. The commander of the Nines was clearly referring to Hiro talking to all his friends and the P26 team members.

      The Nines are ranked/named with consecutive Greek letters/numerals. Either Hiro is 910 (016 reversed) or blond one (the commander of the Nines, presumably) is considering Hiro as future Nine Iota (9 ”10” – the 10th member of the 9s).

      1. No clue why you directed that at me. I was talking about the irregulars not the new children calling her Nine Iota. Basically in the middle of the fight the irregulars start calling out to both Hiro and Zero Two.

  6. Good that Goro back Ichigo up in the time of need. So Goro can become very close to Ichigo, and Hiro can definitely become her “brother” in emotional terms. She can make her own peace in letting him go. Hiro want to fly, and with Zerotwo he is capable to do it. Be of use for the Squad, haven an purpose to “life” and feels alive. Even all perhaps know that this poison can kill him slowly.

    it’s like smoking, we all know that is can kill peoples, but there are still ones that do it anyway, also like Drinking to much

    Yes, let’s see if the next Episode has some time of jump forward or it connects after the fight. Where ZeroTwo begin to interact with Squad13, or Father want to tear them appard and tale ZeroTwo and Hiro to the real front lines. Until know she was more in the backyards searing for her possible partner and finally found him. What will be their next step? is there an War of the Cities? MuLuv in the end forgot about the Enemys of Mankind and they turn against each other, so in the End mankind lost because they kill each other, so they do not needed the Enemy for that.. But let’s see. This anime is from Trigger and A-1, if they think they need to walk this path, so be it. But i cry hidden in the corner. Also, if there is an War against Cities or even country’s, then Earth resources are really that thin. Survive of the strongest? Battle royal? But when the lonely winner, looks back he find himself alone on an waste Earth and the Monsters attacking him alone…

    But lets see. we have watched the end of the “introduction” arc, and lets see, how they switch the gears. because this anime is set with 24 Episodes (and perhaps with an open end)

    1. You know, i read in some Interview. That Star Trek Discovery was build around an knowing beginning and ending. So the end of Season 1 was already “set in stone” and they fill the Series between all of this..

      So i mean, perhaps FranXX here still do not haven an ending set in Stone… and also i mean, perhaps there are more seasons. but this is really far in the future

  7. Lots to love this episode, but also a few things I was disappointed in. I feel like they didn’t do a very good job of animating 002 being hurt and trying to fight while Hiro was making his big mental resolution. The overall quality of the animation dropped a bit there, but mostly I feel like they could’ve approached it/shown it in a better way, too. It could have been something really powerful, I get what they were going for but didn’t feel nearly as strong of a connection to that scene as when 002 first pulled Hiro into the cockpit and I feel like it was meant to have that sort of impact on us as viewers.

    1. Trigger was never really one for jaw dropping animation, but I felt the scene was good enough for the intention IMO, it showed a hurt and frustrated Zero Two acting out of rage at an enemy she could not beat alone. It certainly could have been better, but a good chunk of the show’s budget is likely intended for later fights.

  8. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone suggest this yet(sorry if I’m late to the party) and it didn’t click until I read your post, Pancakes, but with the way Hiro literally pulled himself together I’m starting to suspect whatever is happening to him (while also remembering it’s the reverse of what’s happened to everyone else) is very much tied to why the pilots are called “parasites”. His recovery sure reminded me of a few “infection recovery” scenes I’ve seen, so maybe piloting a Franxx requires an extra passenger? Then the energy from the male and female version work in concert to move the Franxx, and how each kid adapts to their invisible friend could even effect who can pair up with who.

    So, assuming that’s true, then is it Hiro or his blue buddy that is special?

    1. Now that’s an interesting idea. If true I’d imagine it’s the infection which is special, with Hiro’s “specialness” arising from the good compatibility he has with his invisible passenger (given the other male parasites are relatively tepid). Plus it would give a good explanation for what happens when a parasite breaks down like with Mina’s earlier flash of horns or Zero Two’s unilateral piloting. If the parasites strain/lose their connection with their passengers for example, the passenger is free to assume control of the body and whatever that entails after, at least until the parasite can resume control—if possible.

      Damn now I kind of hope the truth is along these lines, it’s a neat idea.

  9. Episode was pretty decent. However, I really hope they explain what happened with Hiro that allowed him to just suddenly recover and power up. Not really a big fan of moments where MY WILLPOWER IS SO STRONG I CAN OVERCOME THE IMPOSSIBLE. I know that this shouldn’t be the case in this show but yeh.

  10. There were so many cliches and technical flubs with animation and execution that generally would destroy an episode like this, but this series carries itself with such an engaging charisma to it that I entirely ignored those issues because this was so enjoyable to watch.

    The character building prowess this show exhibits, from what I’ve experience, is truly top notch so far. I love the dynamic of the oddballs and their passion really cuts through to me. Hiro has been the least interesting to me thus far (not in the worst way, he just was really cliche), but this episode just was so properly dramatic that it highlighted and grew characters in ways that has me so curious as to what comes next. I’m really glad nobody died from that group, they still can be useful to immersion for the show.

    Hiro’s sudden recovery didn’t surprise or upset me. The show has gone out of its way to articulate that these partners absolutely must have chemistry. The better the chemistry the better the fighter(s). 002 being half human and klaxosaur only suggests to me that the conditions of chemistry have to be the utmost ideal to compensate for the fact that her emotional intensity is amplified as a result of her genetic composition. Her monster-like qualities and blood allow this to make sense to me. It’s all or nothing; you can be on her team, but you simply cannot keep up if you aren’t entirely resigned to matching every ounce of her intensity. Couple that with her DNA and the fact that Franxx require chemistry due to the unity aspect of its design and of course she’ll eat you alive.
    It’s like sex, don’t get in bed with the nympho if you aren’t qualified, prepared, and equally as excited to go on for 37 rounds non-stop of dirty sticky nasty. That being said, this only speaks to make me believe that 002 isn’t nearly as special as she was introduced to be. Rather, her uniqueness (via genes, intensity, and nature) serves the purpose of explaining what makes Hiro special. Any stamen can ride with 002, few stamen can endure. Meanwhile, Hiro cannot pilot with anyone of his choosing.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing exactly why Hiro cannot ride with others and whether or not 002 is the only one for him. Because right now the realms of sexuality these two represent are so interesting to me:
    002 is the trope who views sex as an insatiable recreational activity due to having plateaued whereas Hiro is the demisexual, it can’t just be anyone.
    Sorry, kinda just typed to high hell ^_^

  11. https://randomc.net/image/Darling%20in%20the%20Franxx/Darling%20in%20the%20Franxx%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2007.jpg https://randomc.net/image/Darling%20in%20the%20Franxx/Darling%20in%20the%20Franxx%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2024.jpg
    https://randomc.net/image/Darling%20in%20the%20Franxx/Darling%20in%20the%20Franxx%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2029.jpg https://randomc.net/image/Darling%20in%20the%20Franxx/Darling%20in%20the%20Franxx%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2041.jpg
    These two definitely have the most special spots in my heart <3 dang, two sad girls and also, two best girls in the series. Ichigo has Goro with her, but Z02…shes simply breaking my kokoro seeing how alone she is even with Hiro. This is Ano Natsu ver.EVA02 man XD this episode is so SADDDD

    onion warrior
    1. -”The Jockey and her mare” is the best metaphor to describe the relationship between the Stamen boy and the Pistil girl.

      -Pistil girls are mares who need a jockey to ride and tame them.

      -Zero Two is a wild mare like Alexander’s horse and Hiro a skilled jockey like Alexander.

      It is no use having a great wild mare, if you do not have a great jockey to ride and tame her.

  12. Random thought:
    I was thinking perhaps the klaxosuars are a “byproduct” of dicovering magma energy?
    Peaceful subterranean creatures which lived on magma till humans disrupt their food supply.
    As theres less magma, the klaxosaurs start to go near human civilisation to get their food.
    Clash occur and the creatures are too strong, thus human experimented on the creatures to create their weapons.
    Maybe Dr Franx (and friends) discovered magma which consequencely deprive the klaxosaurs, then they experimented on klaxosaurs to fight against them. Its like the humans tempered with nature and caused their downfall.


    Hachi hasn’t seen it before, so its not their plan?
    Nevertheless the humans are observing.
    Now I somehow got reminded about those Noise things in Symphogear.

    Seeing the “original work: code 000” made me think what if the whole story is told by code 000 or is code 000 the Papa?
    Thinking too much, probably just a fancy in-theme name for the IRL planning committee or something.

    I wonder will we see opposite technology like instead of a trusting boy-girl couple, theres a solo type or a same-sex type or a master-slave type?
    Probably as the antagonist.
    Wonder how epic the series will become, how they will fit the cross arms standing on batteship pose to this anime.

    The red one always appear at the ‘right’ time 😛
    Ichigo gives up?
    All thats let is to be a good leader.
    Bottle up those feelings once more.

    Goro is not happy.
    Perhaps Goro can become a rival to Hiro in the second half?
    There needs to be a second powerful Franxx or do they evolve?
    Goro wanting to make Ichigo happy till he gets obsessed and end up hurting Ichigo to make Hiro feel for Ichigo. Then in the end Ichigo realize how much Goro cares about her and truely open up to Goro.
    Then perhaps open the full power of their Franxx and they do a man-to-man friendly duel with Strelizia.
    The speculation juices are flowing 😛

    The techno-organic feel of the klaxosaur, it it their original look?
    Read that some commenters think they could be humans before.
    Could they be more organic creatures before perhaps human tempering?
    Hope they won’t leave things hanging like Aldnoah Zero.

    What if a Franxx is a repurposed de-cored Klaxosaur corpse that needs the girl’s soul and the boy’s control to reanimate?

    I wonder how a drastic change will occur towards the second half.
    Klaxosaur gain sentience? Humans mass-produce Zero Two types?
    The truth splits humanity? – two opposing human factions and the klaxosaurs.

    It feels like its Zero Two doing the boy work instead.

    So they have seen it before?
    Or is this size class thing a generic thing?

    Franxx!! Combine!!
    Franxx Megazord, go!
    lol 😛

    The klaxosaur has a sad face…
    That shapeshifting wackiness.

    Ichigo went out like the other commenters predicted.

    Will people come congratulate Hiro in his dreamscape? Too early for that 😛
    Got the Utena feels again.

    Hiro is everything for himself.

    Its like the EVA beast mode!

    Cue some Kill la Kill come-back music!
    Franxx transform not shapeshift.

    Hiro needs another checkup 😛
    Its like he accepted something that rejected him.

    Pretty boy appears!
    Nine iota?
    The ninth of the Nines?
    Hiro? Zero Two?

    1. https://randomc.net/image/Darling%20in%20the%20Franxx/Darling%20in%20the%20Franxx%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2033.jpg

      -”The Jockey and her mare” is the best metaphor to describe the relationship between the Stamen boy and the Pistil girl.

      -Pistil girls are mares who need a jockey to ride and tame them.

      -Zero Two is a wild mare like Alexander’s horse and Hiro a skilled jockey like Alexander.

      It is no use having a great wild mare, if you do not have a great jockey to ride and tame her.

    1. Maybe she never had to fight this hard before?
      Perhaps the Klaxosaurs sensed something brewing and decided to send their best Gutenberg class over?

      24 episodes, this one marks one quarter.
      The ‘Hiro becomes a pilot’ arc.

      Perhaps next 6, theres the Nines pretty boys.
      A look into the APE organization, leading to a truth and a drastic change at the halfway mark?

      1. @iron2000
        So it looks like we’ll have a training arc.

        Maiden mode Strelitzia cannot be piloted by 02 alone, since she was struggling even to keep Strelitzia standing after Hiro passed out.

  13. The pretty boys…
    I thought the Nines are at the frontlines?
    Hope far away is the frontline?
    Are they Nines in the first place?

    Maybe the next episode will start/include a world view explanation?
    A calm start for the next arc.

    I wonder are they people who understand Klaxosuars, who side with them?

    In Gurren Lagann, they have the Beastmen then it blew up into Spirals vs Anti-Spirals.
    Will we see something like that here?

    Hiro going Nines is like Luluco going Trigger-chan 😛

    By the way, is this anime more Trigger or A1 Pictures?


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