「永遠の街」 (Eien no Machi)
“The City of Eternity”
Ignoring all the outrage yet another episode of action-less Franxx is bound to induce, this week arguably gave us the most important episode to date. Even more than prior character development and the few tidbits of ominous teasers we received some very meaty information this time around as the world of adults was opened up and the future of Plantation 13’s parasites was laid bare. Sure we may not know exactly what’s to come yet (it’s a running theme at this stage), but there’s no denying now whatever it is, it’s going to be bad. Really bad.
Without a doubt revealing the adult world was necessary at some point considering Franxx’s plot, but colour me surprised Zorome would be the trailblazer. OK, not really surprised. Curiosity and an overeager attitude have a way of eking out the little things, and there’s no denying Zorome was the perfect fit for the task. There were a lot of details in the latter half here, from the utter lack of adults up and about to the not so subtle showing of a pacemaker/artificial heart and what is almost certainly a virtual world interface. I had a nagging suspicion at the start of Franxx that humanity might in fact be dead/malformed (from the continuous presence of the upper face coverings), but now there’s the chance we are looking at a more insidious Wall-E scenario, where humanity is kept “safe” in plantations and only the bare minimum are kept conscious for the sake of critical functions. Our nameless (or numberless) woman certainly supports the idea, between a “partner” kept on ice, that overt trade of a new pacemaker/heart for turning Zorome back in, and the heavy hint towards actual children no longer existing. It’s obvious she was Zorome’s caretaker for example, and with it the knowledge that whatever happened then cannot linger in the memories. Zorome and the rest were made for an explicit purpose and no amount of compassion can change their fates. If anything it will only interfere with what’s to come.
As for the fate of parasites no effort was spared in highlighting just how damning it will be. The infected children and pitiful children comments are enough of a wakeup call for anyone still in the dark (which you shouldn’t be by now), but that blunt refusal to shake Zorome’s hand for me really sent the message home. Whoever/whatever these adults are, they all view parasites as wrong, as diseases necessary to combat a far more worrisome threat. A simple touch is apparently enough to ruin and/or end lives (notice how Nana and Hachi never touch their charges either), and none are under any illusion as to the fate of these children. For one reason or another no parasite reaches adulthood, period. Zero Two apparently knows this best, as that brooding attitude hid one hell of a physical change that firmly support those hypotheses of irreversible mutation and loss of humanity lying in our parasites’ futures. From her privileged access Zero Two knows the fate awaiting her, and no amount of shiny trinkets and honeyed words can assuage an ailment clearly establishing a time limit for anyone who pilots a Franxx. We likely won’t know exactly what happens when that time runs out for a while yet, but it’s not that hard to guess now. One way or another I think our time in the kiddie pool is over.
From here on out, however, it’s anyone’s best guess just what happens next. With the entirety of Plantation 13’s parasite squad (not just Hiro) supposedly meant to escort Zero Two to the Grand Crevasse we have an endpoint for this ride, but the reason for it (and how we get there) remains just as elusive as Franxx’s constant teasing of suffering and death. Every answer provided only gives rise to more questions, with the only remedy being (as per the best in binge watching fashion) to stick around for more. Whether you consider this approach insufferable or not, it’s hard denying Franxx has sunk its teeth in hard. All we can do now is see if the truth was worth the price of admission.