「人ならざるモノたち」 (Hito Narazaru Mono-tachi)
Never say waiting doesn’t pay off (at times). Having gone the gambit from leisurely buildup to one-two punches in backstory shockers and audience prodding (Kokoro I’m looking at you), Franxx apparently isn’t done by finally delving into its veiled history through the one character hardly touched upon: the good doctor himself. While this glorified infodump may not have the same overall effect as the likes of darling love and marriage ceremonies, there’s no denying Franxx’s endgame is here at last.
Given the voluminous debates and hypotheses bouncing around of late much of the information revealed this week isn’t (well, shouldn’t be) really surprising, but is eye opening nonetheless. As expected magma energy is the cause du jour for all of Franxx’s key issues, from the desolate, post-apocalyptic landscape of Earth to APE’s monopolistic stranglehold over political power and the appearance of the klaxosaurs. Particularly shocking though is how the energy serves both as humanity’s source of immortality and the elimination of its reproductive capacity. It’s well acknowledged in fiction that immortality could easily wind up dehumanizing by taking away the drive propelling humanity forward—i.e. the inevitability of death and our yearn for recognition and remembrance—but pairing it with sterility adds on a particularly invidious consequence that’s arguably a perfect cost for the reward. If you can live forever what’s the need to reproduce? Kids are meant to carry on our legacies (both genetic and social) after all, why bother with them among other things if death is obsolete? In a way Dr. Franxx (Werner Frank) had the same thought, rejecting magma-based immortality to keep a hold of his scientific drive required to see through his dream of witnessing post-humanity. The doctor obviously is no good guy even now, but his own goals and physical—i.e. cyborg-ized—separation from APE and immortal humanity ensure when the going gets tough, he’s unlikely to side with those threatening that passion.
Where things get tough of course rests in APE and their long-term objectives. This story component, besides how the klaxosaurs specifically factor into humanity’s origins, is likely the last major reveal left, as all we know right now is that APE seeks to discard their physical bodies and do so (probably) off the back of klaxosaur biology. The best bet (at least for me) is in some sort of godhood and higher “power” given immortality already exists and APE’s interest in Werner’s work—not to mention the construction of the aptly named Hringhorni—although the exact form is anyone’s guess considering we know very little about the klaxosaurs’ true abilities and Zero Two’s role as key remains agonizingly hidden. These guys have been after something specific since the beginning, and no one, not even the good doctor himself, apparently has any clue as to what it could be. I expect we will discover it within a week or two to continue the string of shocking reveals (because teasing), but until then this aspect is arguably the most important bit of info to mull over.
For our parasite squad though, finding out the answer may prove costly. While I doubt anyone takes seriously APE’s claims of permanently removing Kokoro’s and Mitsuru’s memories and replacing them (how else are we to get that happy reunion?), there’s no denying the death flags are waving wildly in the breeze thanks to that little discussion with Papa. Allowed to be free after completing their mission? If free means death maybe, there’s no way in hell APE would let a bunch of parasites walk away for nothing, particularly when we have yet to see the parasite-Nines slugfest being hinted at the past few weeks. That meeting does prove the anticipated though, that these parasites will never turn into adults as Zorome dearly hoped, that they will be discarded as soon as their task is fulfilled, and that no one but themselves can possibly save them from their situation. With this episode the battle lines have finally been drawn, and with all parasites confirmed reproductively capable (besides being clones), the future of Franxx’s humanity is probably simpler than we know.
Kokoro being pregnant? It’s more likely than you think.