Darling In The FranXX: Episode V – Your Thorn, My Badge (Thoughts & Review)

Although there was not any action in this weeks episode, we were still treated to a lot of character background and a ton of new information to think on. So let us dive right into it.

The underlying theme for this episode was something that I caught on to from the moment it started. Emotion, self-reflection and what it means to be human. All of these are heavily presented in this go around. After the events of last week, Hiro and the rest of the group are being honored officially, seeing as to how their last ceremony was interrupted by a Klaxosaur attack. Parasites from the previously mentioned Plantation #13 were introduced and present in this episode as well, due to fact that Both #26 and #13 Plantations were in the process of ‘KISSING’ or sharing magma.

The children looked on and debated what ‘KISSING’ actually meant. One even going as far as to ask “Do the adults kiss”. That instantly made me realize exactly what direction the episode was going to go in, we were going to be treated to a bunch of self discovery, mentally and sexually, with some of these characters. Which is something I have enjoyed about this series. We are seeing these kids or ‘Parasites’ as they are called completely learn and grow up with each episode. A lot of that is due to 02’s presence. With her strong sexual presence and personality, it would only make sense that these kids would question and learn about their own sexual agencies as well. I commend Trigger Studios for handling that aspect of their characters growth this well.

Speaking of 02, I was very interested to see how Hiro was doing after is second ride with the pink haired force of nature. If you have been following the series up until now, you would have heard that no one has survived three rides with 02. All of her partners have died after that number. Even though Hiro is off the charts in terms of compatibility with 02, I could not help but wonder if he was starting to feel any of the effects of piloting Sterlizia. For the beginning segments of the episode Hiro seemed fine, there was one instance when Goro went to wake him up and felt that his skin was burning up. But Hiro insisted that he was alright and from what I saw he was. Showing no signs of fatigue or illness like Mitsuru was still showing.

It was not until midway into the episode that Goro found Hiro on the floor of their room, writhing in pain and clutching his chest.

There was this strange, blue substance growing or attaching itself to Hiro’s chest. But what exactly is it? If you have ever seen a picture of what a heart truly looks like, then you can see how similar it is to that. But why is it there? Did 02 place that on Hiro during their ride, or does it have something to do with her Klaxosaur blood? The most that I could do was take note of what the substance looked like, what it was doing to Hiro and just purely speculate. I am very excited and interested to learn about what will happen to Hiro after the third ride coming next episode. In the end, Hiro asked Goro to keep quiet about what he saw, to tell no one, even Ichigo. Not being able to tell Ichigo seemed to hurt Goro more than anything else, which caught my eye.

The conversation the parasites of #13 had with those of #26 was very interesting to hear. It would seem that no other Parasites but #13’s have different models of FranXX’s like they do. Every other Plantation uses the same, bland models. There are also no other Parasites that have become ‘Adults’ as well. Which was something I found very shocking. What happens to them once they reach a certain age? Are they killed? Something else that I found very neat and cool was that our main group of Parasites are the only ones that use nicknames instead of codenames. Which shows how different and unique this group actually is.

The best segment of the episode came at the end. Ichigo met with 02 in the middle of the night to tell her that she is team captain and while 02 is staying here, she will follow her orders. I find 02’s character so cute and fascinating because during that entire conversation she was yawning and tuning Ichigo out. It was not until Hiro was mentioned that she actually started listening. 02 said something very interesting during that part of the conversation. Ichigo told her to take care of Hiro and to not put too much weight on him. Basically telling her to do all of the work and to not drain him of everything he has. 02 replied saying that if he dies then he simply was not cut out to be with her and that he would not amount to much if that was case. That statement showed how cruel in inhuman she can be. Yes, just last week she showed a glimpse of love and emotion towards Hiro. I believe that she does feel something for him but she also does not really understand love just like the rest of them. She is clearly fully in tune with her sexuality and her body but she lacks something that the others have. It could possibly be blamed on her not actually being human. Which was the exact thing that Ichigo said as she slapped 02 for being so cold about Hiro, the boy that she loves.

I love what Trigger and A-1 did with this segment. After being accused of not being human, 02’s eyes begin to glow bright red, asking the blue haired girl what does being human even mean. She was like a beast in the night, trapped in a young girls body. You could see the blood lust in those eyes, just begging for Ichigo to make the wrong move again. For the past few episodes I have taken note of how 02 reacts when people bring up her humanity or her beastly blood. She is very sensitive and self-conscious about the fact that she is not like everyone else. That kind of raw vulnerability makes me belive that deep down, she just wants to be accepted for who is she, just like any normal human would. Which is why she is ultimately attracted to Hiro. He likes her for who she is, beast and all. He is not afraid of her and I believe that is why she loves him. Yes, I think that 02 loves Hiro, in her own misguided and uneducated way. There is a high chance that Trigger will flesh out the character of 02 a lot more as she continues to grow and learn about humanity. I am very excited to see what direction she goes in the coming episodes.

The scene that unfolded next was very important for Ichigo’s character. Goro finds her coming back from the woods, drenched from the rainfall and she just erupts with emotion as she talks about Hiro. She cannot understand the pain and ache that she is now experiencing. Why does it hurt so much to see Hiro with 02, why does it hurt so much that she could not be good enough for him? Hiro, the boy who gave her the name Ichigo, the boy she has spent her entire life with. The one person who knows better than she knows herself. She just cannot understand why all of it hurts the way that it does.

As Goro tries to comfort her, he stops. Something is stirring inside of him as well. The emotion that Ichigo is feeling is love, the deepest kind of love. The sight of Hiro and 02 together is something that she cannot bear because she loves Hiro that much. Goro is feeling empathy for his partner. He knows that there is nothing he can say or do to help her but he feels her pain anyway. Trigger and A-1 did an amazing job with this segment. These kids are finally getting in touch with their emotions and learning so much about themselves and the people that they are becoming. I felt for Ichigo and this made me love her character even more than I already did. With these emotions breaking the walls built up by the adults watching over them, I am very excited to see how they will shape the narrative of the story from here on out.

The episode ends with Hiro finding 02 in the place where they first met. 02 exposes the substance on Hiro’s chest and says that it is beautiful.

She too knows that her darling is in danger of dying if he rides with her again, even though he is compatible with her. So she asks him if he is afraid to continue riding with her, essentially giving him an exit from the relationship they are building. But Hiro hardens his resolve and says that he wants to stay with her, he cannot be with anyone else, making 02 extremely happy as she laughs and dances in fog covering the lake.

One other important thing I noticed from this episode was when Hiro was in the bathroom. He watched as a spider trapped a butterfly in its web and killed it.

Hiro could be considered the butterfly, who was once beautiful and free. Able to fly high, full of life. 02 could be considered the spider trapping its prey in its web and slowly draining the life out of its victim. Clearly this was a hint of events to come. We can already see how 02 is affecting Hiro, slowly but surely. Draining the life out of him. But will Hiro be another head on her list of dead partners or will he overcome his limits and surprise the hell out of everyone? I cannot tell you all how excited I am to see what happens.

This weeks episode was extremely well done by both studios. We were able to connect and feel for these characters so much more than were able to before. They are starting to feel like real people now and that will only add to this dynamic series in the best of ways. 

That is going to do it for this week, I hope everyone is enjoying the series as much as I am and I hope you all are excited for next week. Until then, I will catch you all later!

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