Episode 15 – “Jian”
Episode fifteen finally answers the question eating away at the AniMessenger’s soul–“What is the Gran Crevasse?” The answer? A slithering hell-hole of cobalt/blue klaxxo-debauchery.
Our nymphomaniacal show embarks on a quest to loosen up its gender roles via its new FranXX pairings. Right off the bat we witness Plantation 9’s Female Stamen/Male Pistil duo, though same-sex partnerships remain enigmatic–a potentially redemptive inclusion, especially after the shameful treatment of Ichigo/Ikuno (and the gradual desecration of our blue-haired side-girl in general).
The departure from Plantation 13 towards the Mighty Vag, wait, “Gran Crevasse” tosses viewers a much-needed oxygen mask. The glimpse into APE’s decision-making process and the experiences of the non-13 children/monsters raise the dystopian stakes. The episode simultaneously humanizes Dr. FranXX and dehumanizes the APE-men who sit in their poorly designed throne room and order the decimation of entire population centers. Clearly, these oligarchs have never watched anime before–wait a couple minutes and the OP FranXX will slice that Mega-Guten-Lehmen-Burgerhausen-Saurus down to size.
Goro once again agrees to Hiro’s cuckolding, allowing the Jian to ride Ichigo all the way to Zero Two, promptly switch saddles, and mount The Horned One instead. Meanwhile, Ichigo enters Hiro’s brainworld–a land of floating Zero Two GIFs: his Darling bleeding everywhere, taking Hiro’s virginity, etc. Ichigo, eternally slow-on-the-uptake, sheds tears as she realizes that, yes, in fact Hiro likes Zero Two more than her.
DarliFra’s never looked better. The klaxxosaur swarms, FranXX beatdowns, Hiro’s training unit gambit, Delphinium’s showdown with beast mode Strelizia, and Hiro’s kaleidoscopic reunion with his Darling crank up the visual fidelity, snapping the show out of its subdued aesthetic groove. Delphinium’s odd hairstyle and Strelizia’s red-faced-power-up-Mk. 2-mode successfully adrenalize viewers. Add in some well-timed musical interludes and the show’s kinetic energy sends the audience happily floating down the AniFlash river.
Successes aside, the A1/Trigger staff rush Hiro and Zero Two’s latest reunion. Within the course of twenty minutes Hiro storms the battlefield then hitches a ride into his lover’s cockpit to snap Zero Two out of the beastly stupor she’s fostered for several episodes. To resolve their much-hyped dysfunction, Hiro simply grabs her by the horns and performs a Vulcan mind-meld. When administered correctly, the tusk-voodoo will de-beast even the stubbornest mongrels–anti-climactic to the nth degree.
While Jian and Jianette’s passionate rendezvous warms The AniMessenger’s stone cold heart, its melodramatic application cools it down again. Instead of relying on real-time character dynamics to repair their relationship, DarliFra dips back into Zero Two’s book-eating past. Regardless, a gradual, complicated negotiation of feelings and intentions between the premier pair would have left more of an impression than the two’s ecstatic glossing over of past mistakes and frantic declaration of love.
Now that the Darling couple have acknowledged that A) Hiro’s not fodder and B) Zero Two’s not a monster, we can all move on with our lives. The writers, saving us from any true conflict between our protagonist couple, must now fill the remaining nine episodes with mundane, marital bliss. Of course, DarliFra repeatedly defies expectations (both positively and negatively), so a reviewer can only hold his breath and brace himself for the inevitable and voluptuous FranXX carnage to come.
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.