I had the opportunity this week to rewatch Darling in the FranXX in binge mode. I found that the pacing of the show worked better knowing more of where it was heading, which I suppose points to a flaw in its presentation; but it's not one I'm too concerned about - Evangelion comes over in somewhat the same way. I also found that some of the weaknesses remained, mostly in the area of unexplained inconsistencies in the children's knowledge of and reactions to sexuality - why are they embarrassed about things they have no knowledge of, for instance? Again, in the context of the whole show (so far) these are not fatal flaws.
Then I let my mind float free, trying to find meanings for various features and events, and this mish-mash is what I came up with. Feel free to laugh or groan at some of my theories - they really are straight off the top of my head.
We are shown a world which we can view as dystopian, though those in charge of it apparently do not. It has features similar to those of various classic scifi stories - an elder race with a long life which requires technological support (The Machine Stops, Back to Methuselah); the division of humanity into categories for different purposes (Brave New World); pleasure available on tap, dissociated from any actual experience (ibid); unloading of personality data to a machine for preservation (too many examples to name, but in anime I suggest the little-known Zegapain).
Going a step beyond that, I see an enemy which is in fact a mutation or other variant of humanity itself, like the Angels in Evangelion or the Mu in RahXephon (blue blood, too, in that case). So, I think the Klaxosaurs are in fact variant humans, perhaps the result of experiments in widening the scope of humanity which went wrong or out of control. The Klaxosaur Princess being about to communicate with the APE is a strong indication of this in my mind, as is the appearance of apparently humanoid embryos (shades of Sandalphon there).
Saurification is the process which got out of control, and Dr FranXX is trying to find a way to gain its benefits while preventing the excesses which led to the Klaxosaurs themselves. The children are his experimental pool, but only a few have responded usefully to his attempts to invoke controlled saurification, or to reverse the process to a stable point. Hiro/016 (who was an "interesting subject" from early on) is his test case for the first, and Zero-Two for the second. Coming towards the aim from opposite directions, the hope is that their coming together as a couple will define the stable point and be the springboard for the real new future of humanity. How they, as the new Adam and Eve, will give rise to the future race is unclear, though the statement that Zero-Two cannot become pregnant looks like a Chekhov's Gun to me.
I imagine the, regretfully, the Klaxosaurs - as an evolutionary dead-end, and a dangerous one - will need to be defeated and destroyed, as the Angels were in Evangelion. How the adults will be treated (left to die off naturally in a mindless isolation perhaps) I cannot foresee. Also whether the success of the treatment of Hiro and Zero-Two can be invoked to provide a future for the other children is also unclear to me - but it's a distinct possibility.
Now the elephants in the room, which I have not accounted for.
What are the Nines? Zero-Two is apparently one of them, though they show no apparent similarity to her. I guess that in some way she is the one specimen which took to whatever procedure was used on her, just as Hiro was among the children - but beyond that I have nothing.
What is Code 000? It has not been mentioned, but the code is shown right there at the start of every OP. Is the combination of Hiro and Zero-Two the Code zero of a new future? - but why use a code number in the same form as those for the children (except the Nines, who appear to have different designations).
The APE's new device (I can't find its name) which is "nearly ready". Is this another level of super-FranXX, above Strelizia? If so, who will pilot it? Hiro and Zero-Two already have Strelizia, and it would be weak story telling to simply transfer them into a new machine at this point (even in TTGL there is continuity from one generation to the next).
I dare say today's episode will junk a good proportion of this speculation - but that helps make it fun!
"Being human, having your health; that's what's important." (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?" (from: The Eccentric Family )Avatar: "It was yourself you ran away from" - episode 16. (details); Past avatars.
Can't wait for 3.0+1.0
? - try Afterwards...
Evangelion fanfic (discussion