Darling in the FranXX – Ep. 17

Darling in the FranXX has developed a bit of a backlog of story threads it needs to addressed but give credit where its due, it finally got to one of them. Remember that book Kokoro found that’s all about how to make babies? It plays a big role in this episode as Kokoro tries to escalate her relationship with Mitsuru all while the Nines (who very conveniently stop by) discover her apparently taboo interest.

I was wondering why exactly Kokoro wanted to be a mother. Lord knows that this show could’ve easily had her say that she thinks giving birth is a role that she must fulfill as a woman. I was kind of afraid that was the direction this episode was taking what with all the talk about gender (more on that later). Ultimately, I thought Kokoro’s reason was less of a landmine and more interesting. As a parasite, Kokoro is treated as expendable and replaceable. If she’d die, some new kid from the Garden will take her place and she’ll be forgotten. If she survives the war, she’ll just become another one of the faceless adults in the society she once protected. Kokoro wants a child to change her path; to lead a life outside of the one written for her and to have a legacy she could actually leave in the world.

Naturally, Kokoro faces a lot of societal opposition, both from the Nines as well as Hachi and Nana (who very conveniently come back) and these exchanges give us a big revelation about the humanity presented in Darling. Parasites are the only ones who keep their reproductive abilities (at least until they become adults) as they are what allows them to pilot the FranXX and fight the Klaxosaurs. Beyond that defensive need, society has seemingly discarded that aspect of humanity.

This revelation does beg the question as to why society gave up on procreation and “evolved” out of it as claimed by Nine Alpha. For that matter, how exactly have any of the kids we’ve been following in this show created? I guess the simple answer is that the society is just off kilter and they use some laboratory mumbo jumble to make kids but that feels a bit cheap to me.

I do, however, buy the idea that the society presented in Darling wants to do away with male and female distinctions. The robes the adults wear make it really hard to tell if they are a man or a woman and not needing to procreate means less emphasis on male and female body parts. Going back to Episode 10, I find it a little odd that the lady Zorome meets would use words such as “men” and “women” if she lives in a world where humanity wants to be genderless. Then again, perhaps those are just “old” labels, much like how marriage is considered an “old” custom that people just follow because of tradition. I kind of have a bone to pick with the script strictly using the word “gender” to associate with both societal perceptions and biology but that’s really just a small potato in the grand scheme of things.

Since Kokoro wants a child, one would expect that this would tie into her relationship with Mitsuru. And sure enough, while she may have all sorts of reasons behind her wish, she still wants to get kinky with her co-pilot (beyond piloting the FranXX, of course). I’m not surprised that Mitsuru ends up reciprocating those feelings though I was stunned to see him and Koro spending the night together at the end of the episode. And let’s be real here: they definitely banged. Unless they just happen to sleep naked in general, I think it’s safe to assume. The timing is a bit unfortunate though since the Nines proceed to inform APE about Kokoro’s little secret. Chances are that things won’t be going well for our two lovebirds.

Naturally, this isn’t Darling in the FranXX without bringing up more mysteries. Let’s just quickly go through all of them:

  • Hiro is apparently growing horns akin to Zero Two’s.
  • Zero Two’s convinced that the whole “kill all the klaxosaurs and become human” was a lie by APE which begs the question how her appearance even changed in the first place.
  • Nana’s most likely a former parasite who went through some sort of memory wiping.
  • The higher ups at APE are not actually humans…apparently
  • That mysterious girl is apparently the princess of the Klaxosaurs.
  • Klaxosaurs created humans. Yeah, dinosaur mumble jumbo created us. Go figure.

To be fair, this stuff is interesting. I’m particularly curious about the increased attention given to Nana (especially since Alpha caused whatever she’s going through, “puberty”). Still, this list just keeps getting longer, huh?

Oh well, at least I have Zero Two wearing a floral headband. Bless this girl.

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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