「ダーリン・イン・ザ・フランキス」 (Daarin in za Furankisu)
“Darling in the Franxx”
When the pretty explosions start monopolizing the screen and the battle for survival reaches its crescendo, you know it’s the endgame. With Franxx ready to send spring off in style we got the culmination of many weeks of hints, teases, and foreshadowing as battles were fought, futures secured, and happy endings set up (more or less) for what is sure to be a finale pulling out all the stops. For once we may not have been surprised by any juicy backstory details, but Franxx is still plenty good with what it already has.
The big thing this week of course was the reuniting of Hiro with Zero Two and the reveal (that wasn’t really a reveal) that Zero Two is still alive and well, albeit with a growth spurt. A bloody big growth spurt. Snu snu jokes are going to be all the rage with this one (among other things *Pancakes dirty mind intensifies*), but as a switch up from the usual endgame shenanigans I’m not faulting the refreshing ingenuity. Darling and cutie pie are back together, they have some sort of means to end the
Wall-E psionic gestalt consciousness threat, and whether as giant laser firing cyborgs promise to return home in one piece once the saving the world stuff is done. You don’t get more Trigger than this.
Of course such (potential) resolutions were not without their sacrifices as we finally—finally—got our first real death of the show with the Nines leader Alpha. Barring hilarity of many doujin writers furiously putting pen to paper over a new creative wellspring, this was a death which honestly felt hollow and several episodes too late. The Nines were a hyped source of conflict for many weeks, only to quickly 180 and become allies with nary a Franxx showdown to show for it. Quite hard to blame anyone who doesn’t feel much with their sudden choice of duty this time around. Hachi or Nana for me for example would arguably have hit the feels harder, and that’s with similar levels of development for them throughout the show. While a death for the sake of darling love was always going to be a necessity at some point, I cannot help but think Franxx lost a good source of shock and tension with this setup, giving too many characters plot armour who may have otherwise better served as the sacrificial vanguard (*looks at Mitsuru and Gorou*). No matter the sanctity of happy endings and cute lovey dovey, there were certainly better ways to make the moment felt.
Barring any issues with happy ending setups though, there still remains the potential for something to upset Franxx’s conclusion. It’s not a bad bet Hiro and/or Zero Two wind up being permanently attached to the new Strelizia at minimum for example, particularly if their intended bombing winds up backfiring in some manner (and Zero Two’s petrification isn’t reversible). With the main theme being choice of path and securing one’s future there’s no reason our titular duo must live to see it, especially given both have already broken fate and found their own happiness in the arms (well, implanted cables) of each other. We won’t know until next week, but calculated time skip or not (and there will be one in one form or another), our parasite crew have already found a future and you can bet plenty of baby caretaking and family bonding will be on feature to send this show off in style.
Well, unless the darling duo loses to the pleasures of utopian bliss of course (we know how that went before), but I think we all know the ending Franxx is aiming for. It’s just a question of if the final reward will be worth the trip.