Episode 9 – “Triangle Bomb”
“By following your gaze, your forecasts are always simple and accurate,” Goro narrates while leering at Ichigo through a window. Can anyone verify the validity of this statement? Does gazing at an attractive body ensure the gazer’s relationship success? Unwittingly, the writers’ focus on Goro’s “male gaze” submits the episode to analysis via Laura Mulvey’s “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” If any member of the audience still questions the staffs’ opinion of their female cast–Goro’s “forecasting” clears it up.
Papa Present Day, essentially a combined birthday party, further demonstrates APE’s control over the Parasites–their brainwashing, patronizing, and micromanaging of the children’s routines to keep them docile. The Supreme Leader, in his letter, labels the group a “ray of hope”–praise enough to send Zorome’s toddler-brain into the 11th dimension of bliss.
Meanwhile, Hiro acquires a bird metaphor book before giving his Darling her first present ever. She may have received truckloads of gifts in the past had her STDs not rotted her ex-Stamens from the inside out in three excruciating days of pain. Putting the past behind her, Zero Two accepts Hiro’s gift–a mirror. Now the horned one can better practice her “iris-reddening” ability in preparation for the next round of Ichigo verbal abuse.
The main thrust of the episode consists of Goro’s flashbacks in which he recalls his cuckolding at the hands of Hiro the Magnanimous. Goro “loves” Ichigo, despite his previous admission that he doesn’t know the meaning of the terms “affection” or “kiss.” In light of the great pains the writers take to demonstrate the Parasites’ complete ignorance of any form of intimacy, Goro’s confident declaration makes little sense. The director juxtaposes, through flashbacks, real modes of affection against the strictures imposed by Papa. Yet the primary goal remains clear–the manufacturing of love polygons.
We make an abrupt shift to a klaxxosaur battle. At last, the focus shifts away from that Papa-forsaken harem house. The land of bikinis and boredom now deservedly rests in the background. The animators concoct a mildly interesting klaxxosaur design–still cobalt/blue, but shaped like a jellyfishy hot air balloon. Goro risks his life and gets swallowed by the klaxxosaur in order to save Ichigo. His sacrifice renders him immobile (FranXX can’t operate without their Pistil). The scenario sets up the first bit of real conflict since the “three-day death knell” incident from earlier episodes.
The Ichigo-to-the-rescue scene allows for touching moments and character development, though one can’t help but balk at the fairy tale resolution: Ichigo holds her breath and traverses a massive stretch of water (which conveniently has no adverse effects on her exposed skin) just before Goro pulls the self-destruct switch. And thus the viewers, once again, learn the value of teamwork and reciprocal relationships. Thanks, DarliFra!
Goro’s concluding remark, “What’s the forecast for tomorrow? Right now you’re impossible to forecast,” reflects the show’s wayward direction. One thing we know–the Goro-Ichigo-Hiro-Zero Two labyrinth will not crumble with this episode. The audience has not yet, as the title suggests, witnessed the “bombing” of the “triangle.” If anything, Ichigo’s doglike loyalty to Hiro will only aggravate the sting of Goro’s unrequited love.
No prophet could forecast DarliFra‘s next narrative move. While the vacation from Fanservice Land establishes a welcome change of pace, the show continues to favor sentimentality over world-building–resembling a soap opera rather than a sci-fi epic. Will the show continue as Temptation Island: FranXX Edition or will it return to its Eva roots? Regardless of Nishigori’s decision, one must pray that Papa keeps His Parasites far, far away from the beach.
And, please remember: