Series Review: Darling in the FranXX – Episode 10

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Episode 10 – “The City of Eternity”

DarliFra resumes the tour of its ensemble cast, this time highlighting Zorome, the baby-brained brat. Code Name 666–a moniker chosen by Papa for the hellish torment his loud-mouthed antics inflict on even the most resilient minds. Following the lead of 666’s opening monologue, this reviewer “lets out a loud scream” at the thought of twenty straight minutes with the ahoge-headed punk.

1
*prints image and tapes it over dartboard*

The animation takes backwards baby steps episode-by-episode as the klaxxosaurs fall victim to shounen power creep–their inclusion in the show nothing more than a mecha Team Rocket encounter–a simple lunge of the shaft into the core now more than enough to induce blue vomit geysers.

1
Grave threat to humanity or comic relief?

The APE men reiterate their goal of leading Zero Two to the Grand Vagina. The re-revelation underpins Zero Two’s brooding for the majority of the episode as she senses Papa’s hand upon her destiny and chafes at the idea of tests and Crevasses and whatnot.

0
“Five weeks without honey-loaf. Five. Weeks.”

Skip forward to Plantation Parliament HQ–the land of impractical headgear designs and fake rewards. Papa patronizes the 13s and gives them glorified gold stars (and sick unreturned-handshake burns) which leads to a blood-surge in Zorome’s gerbil-cerebrum. As an added bonus, the Overlords let their child-slaves go for a stroll around the dystopia.

2.png
Headsock Guard #1: “Please excuse me if it looks like I’m pointing my head in the direction of your chest. I can see nothing.”

Despite Papa and the APE’s micromanaging every aspect of the Parasites’ day, Zorome escapes from the pack, wanders off, and enters the home of an “adult.” He proceeds to absorb a wealth of information he should not know–like the fact that “adult” humans have devolved into artificially preserved, chemical-gobbling, soulless husks.

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Zorome: “Excuse me, miss, could you please take that headsock off so we can–Ack! Put it back on! Put it back on!”

Zorome’s encounter with the old lady steers the show further away from its nascent sex metaphors. The Parasites’ quest now firmly revolves around unpacking heterosexual, gender normative relationships, deepening the chasm between the first four episodes and the rest of the series. The writers hint at interesting developments (the inner-working of the “adult world” and the ominous end of the Parasites’ life) without imbuing the episode itself with substantive developments.

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Old Lady: “Here’s my partner. Jealous?”

DarliFra goes Full Dystopia–a change from the slice-of-life path it frequently treads, but a lukewarm one. Viewers can find prophecies of drug-dependent, old age-hating societies in which “adults” breed children in laboratories and control their sexual development in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World–a better formulated and more coherent narrative than Nishigori’s. DarliFra‘s writers only offer flash-in-the-pan attempts at depth and clunky pacing–clipped spurts of action punctuated by either contrived sci-fi themes or sentimental schlock.

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Zorome: “What’s with the creepy grin?” Old Lady: “Oh, he’s fed a constant stream of Zero Two fanservice through those VR goggles.”

Unfortunately, the writers decide against killing Zorome off at the end of the episode. Nevertheless, a sense of relief washes over this reviewer from the realization that the bottom-most character’s twenty minutes of fame has passed. Yet a specter of dread chases it away: Nishigori confirms his intention to drag us through a flavor-of-the-week character study–a tedious documentary mini-series featuring Miku, Kokoro, Ikuno, Mitsuru, and Futoshi. After that? Obligatory mech upgrades? Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Crevasse? The possibilities are endless.

Rating: C-

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Zero Two: “Where did I put that fang file?”

And, please remember:

~ Don’t Shoot the Messenger

 

 

All screenshots and promotional images are the property of A1 Pictures, Trigger, and Funimation. The AniMessenger does not claim ownership.
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4 comments

  1. I don’t know whether or not I like the direction this show is going…
    I just caught up, btw-
    To me, it’s an improvement from the most recent episodes, but eh! Everyone knew it was some sort of dystopia from episode 1… so I kind of wish they would stop acting so coy about it.
    It doesn’t seem that creative of a dystopia so far… and after all this smoke and mirrors, I’m still hoping that I’m wrong!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re definitely right–DarliFra’s overarching problem is its changing genres practically every episode. We’re in dystopia-mode now, but it could snap back to slice-of-life next episode. The whole “character study” angle they’ve been taking with Goro and now Zorome doesn’t seem to be ending soon and it’s to the show’s detriment in terms of thematic consistency. Sorry for the rant! Thanks for reading ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought I was the only one disappointed by the show’s inconsistency. I’m sticking around because I trust Trigger to do some crazy shit, but Franxx is boring as both a mech show and a teen drama.

    Liked by 1 person

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