Darling in the FranXX – Ep. 8

Okay, I need to be quick with this one since the nor’easter messed my schedule for everything in life and I also simply didn’t like this episode too much.

 

Did Darling in the FranXX seriously pull a “this is my side” episode? I guess it’s not horribly out of place given the show’s theme on gender but I thought this trope died years ago.

Honestly, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes with how most of the cast acting. Most of the boys are like “Girls, am I right guys?” when the girls have a legitimate concern here. And yet most of the girls, for some reason, think bordering the dorm would work. Most of the rooms are already split between the two genders so what good will hogging up the bath really do? Gorou even pointed out the flawed logic behind it by having the boys take over the dining hall although I can’t praise it too much since again, they’re still being pretty arrogant here.

What really rubbed me the wrong way was how the takeaway from this conflict is presented. I like that Hiro insists on giving the girls the respect they deserve but it’s hampered by how he explains that the girls’ “frail bodies” need the boys’ strength to handle the burden of piloting the FranXX. That whole doggy style situation is confusing already. Don’t gender it even more. Kokoro also comes to a similar conclusion but the implication that she’s been reading that stinking book she got last episode also suggests a very gendered standpoint. On paper, I think an episode about the boys and girls learning to respect each other in their field could be great, downright topical even. It’s a shame then that the execution leaves a lot to be desired and even feels dated by today’s standards.

Oh well, at least I have Hiro and Zero Two. Honestly, whenever everyone else is being the worst, I feel that I can bank on these two to carry this show. That chase scene is fun to watch since it becomes less of a boy vs. girl situation and more just Zero Two and Hiro having fun together. Seriously, can this show just keep the spotlight on these two? I don’t mind Ichigo, Gorou, and maybe Kokoro getting screentime but I can do without everyone else.

To be fair, what does ultimately shut everybody up about this conflict is finding out about the previous and deceased Plantation 13 squad. The suspense probably could be better though. I’m sorry Miku, but a class photo is not that scary of an image. Still, I’m glad that these characters are reminded that they are soldiers first and teenagers second. Even with their hormones acting up, that kind of conflict has no place on the battlefield.

So yeah, this episode is a bit of dud which is disappointing since I’ve been enjoying Darling the past few episodes. Here’s hoping, the next episode will be a step in the right direction.

ED 3: “Beautiful World” by XX:me


Thanks for reading!

Darling in the FranXX is officially available on Crunchyroll & Funimation.

For more Darling in the FranXX posts, check out the show’s archive page!

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