I'm pretty calm, cool and collected in this forum, but I have to admit that this series started by pissing me off, and episode 14 brought me right back to that after the series had started to become really enjoyable. I see nothing but Evangelion parallels everywhere in the first chunk of episodes. A young boy who doesn't believe in himself considers running away, however, after watching someone be hurt, decides to try to fight anyways. After getting into this massive organic machine, it becomes more human, and goes berserk, with the young boy losing consciousness. That's not all, there are mirrored shots everywhere in the first like 6 episodes, and the entire series just feels like a massive ripoff of a million things that came before it at first, but then it starts getting more original.
This is first shown when the children are allowed into the city inside their Plantation, which looks to be a beautiful mix of the best parts of both New York City and Tokyo from the outside, but as code 666 discovers (I don't remember that little shit's name), the city is much more cold and clinical than it looks from the outside. People don't interact with each other unless they absolutely need to, the polar opposite of what Parasites do, and the entire city feels cold and empty, disconnected and dead. I wouldn't be surprised if the kind old woman Little Shit met was his mother. It's stated that humans stopped having children, but this makes no damn sense, seeing as how the Kindergarten is still full of kids. It's likely that partners have children, who are taken to the Kindergarten, and taught that humans don't have kids anymore, to discourage them from doing so, and lifting this restriction once they become adults and live in the cities inside the Plantations.
Dr. Franxx is a super interesting character, I really hope we get more of him as the series goes on. He seems like this kindly old man on the outside, but this is shown to be not true at all in episode 13 when you see that he
is the main one behind the "experimentation" and study of 002.
He seems almost Gendo Ikari-like, but much more social and with a mask that hides his true personality. It's quite strange that Zero Two is so docile around him in episode 1, considering what he did, although this makes me wonder if her memories were altered
The faux beach episode made me nearly drop the series until it was revealed to be a front for serious world-building when
Stingy from Lazytown finds the remains of a city.
I really love all the character interactions here, they feel very Neon Genesis-like, in that everyone is separate and unsure how to feel genuine emotions in this post apocalyptic world, but they become closer over time.
I know Big Chungus is meant to be a comic relief character (haha he fat boy haha), but I nearly teared up when his partner decided to try riding with Stingy from Lazytown. Seeing him in genuine pain was really sad, he's just this big lovable goof, he doesn't deserve this, she broke a promise.
Now to talk about episode 13 and 14. Oh boy.
Smol Zero Two was way too cute. The character designers and animators really nailed that fusion of human and Oni, she feels very animalistic in her original Oni form. I really enjoyed how the flashback worked, I usually hate flashbacks in fiction, but this was done well and explained in-universe. My only issue is that if Hiro was diving into Zero Two's mind, why did he see his memories as well? Unless they were transferred to her for some reason, this makes no goddamn sense. I feel like the episode ended perfectly, and was a great opportunity to open episode 14 with characters all talking seriously with each other and Hiro and Zero Two getting closer. In hindsight, I'm SO glad this wasn't done. It's exactly what we expected for a week, seeing exactly that would've been like "oh shit rad", but completely subverting our expectations AND pissing us off by making Ichigo this selfish child caused so much more powerful emotions in so many people than a regular reunion episode. It puts us in Hiro's position, makes us feel his frustration. I really want to see where the writers go with this, how Hiro and Ichigo and Zero Two and everyone else grows and learns from these events.
Sex becomes the solution and not the fundamental problem. And as aesthetic icing on the critical cake -- it blazes forth in an accelerationist afterburn of magnificent visuals that cement its brilliant commentary and prop it erect against the backdrop of otaku-incel-wish-fufillment trash. It's the Jungian antidote to the Freudian disease of Otakudom.
Yamakan was right in part -- anime is being saved, just not by him. Darling in the Franxx is saving anime.
Japan: Crazy low birthrates, antisocial, very cold and professional
FranXX Earth: Humans supposedly just don't have children anymore, once children become adults they live in an enormous city where they barely interact with each other, entirety of Human society feels empty and mechanical, no one needs anyone else anymore
I've reached a point where I just generally don't give a fuck anymore. In a good way.