Ah, the show’s back. Time to freak out at every possible hint that our children won’t survive the story’s conclusion!
— Oh, that’s why the giant hand helped the kids out back in episode 15. When they took the Gran Crevasse, they also took control of something called the Star Entity. They call it that, but it sits underground. Hm.
— So the kids will have to escort to the Star Entity and keep enemies away from it. That sure sounds like something that’s happening in another anime series I’m watching right now. Less vore here, though… I think.
— I love how this lady tells the kids to sacrifice themselves with a smile on her face. Tip-top emotional labor right there.
— All ladies are called Nana, apparently. But of course, the kids want their Nana. I don’t like this Nana’s haircut, so I understand how they feel.
— Oh hey, she’s Double-O-Seven.
— Ichigo worries that a klaxosaur weapon isn’t exactly something she wants to be near. The Sages, however, claim that it’ll be safe, because they’re sticking Strelizia inside Star Entity’s core. B-but that means we won’t get to see Strelizia anymore! Strelizia is bae! I don’t want it inside some giant hand! This is the worst trade deal in the history of trade deals… maybe ever!
— Much care, he says.
— I still really want the kids to rebel now. Nothing good will come of this mission. Why would you ever believe anything that Papa and the Sages tell you anymore? They’ve done nothing but hurt you in recent history. But I guess this is what it means to be a child, isn’t it? You don’t want to disappoint your parents. You want them to be proud of you, especially when they’re counting on you. You just want to please them so that they love you even though they never will. Zero-Two mutters under her breath, but she’ll still go along with the plan. Maybe she’s being swept along with Hiro’s feelings.
— It just feels like the kids are walking towards the edge of a cliff, but they keep telling themselves that they can turn around at any point.
— I want to know what Hiro’s thinking. Does he actually believe that Papa will let him and his friends go? Or is he somewhat skeptic? I really want to know.
— He tells Papa that he won’t let the Sages control his or his friends’ destinies anymore, but without the klaxosaurs, who is left to oppose the bad guys?
— More badass weapons. This time, we have a massive spear to pierce the hea–… nevermind.
— Oh, Mitsuru and Kokoro finally removed those rings from their fingers. Makes sense. The rings don’t mean anything to them anymore. I’m actually surprised that it didn’t happen earlier.
— Lately, Kokoro has been throwing up a lot. That sounds like morning sickness to me, boys! See, the adults might have tampered with her memories, but they didn’t account for her being pregnant. Which is odd. Considering how closely they were observing these kids, they didn’t consider the possibility that Kokoro might have had sex with one of the boys? She was ranting and raving about it.
— They must have re-indoctrinated Kokoro real hard, ’cause she’s hellbent on serving Papa. I wonder if Mitsuru feels the same way.
— We really calling it D-Day, huh?
— Nine Alpha sees that Zero-Two is still with Hiro and the rest of Squad 13, and he’s pissed. In fact, he almost looks like he’s jealous. If that’s how he really feels, he’s done a good job of hiding it up until now.
— He and the rest of his gang meet up with Squad 13 just to talk shit to them. I guess there’s nothing better to do until the mission starts.
— Speaking of the mission…
— Looks like we’re getting another dusty episode.
— The animation looks clean, though. After all, they took an extra week to polish up the last few episodes.
— How often do you think the adults have had to tamper with anyone’s memories? ‘Cause if we’re going by what we’ve seen alone, the success rate is not very high. Just simply muttering Kokoro’s name is enough to cause Mitsuru to lose himself. Kokoro starts losing it too when she says his name. But wait, did they really not say each other’s names until now?
— Meanwhile, Hiro and Zero-Two get to go on a classically long elevator ride. Just par for the course, really.
— The girl doesn’t care what they do afterwards as long as she gets to be with him. This is where most of my emotional investment is located. I just want them to get a happy ending, but those SP episodes keep hinting over and over that the show’s finale will be bittersweet. Ah well.
— Zero-Two starts to bring up the last page of her storybook, but she ultimately decides against it at the last second. I thought they had learned to open up to each other, but maybe not.
— I still think it’s naive for Hiro to think that they’ll make it through this latest ordeal. Now that Papa knows he no longer has a firm grip on these kids, why wouldn’t he sacrifice them? Think about it. Maybe Hiro realizes this. Maybe he thinks that he and his friends will overcome it anyways, but meh…
— They promise to find each other even if they’re torn apart. That reminds me of so many lame endings. Remember Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta? Remember how it ended with the main character going off on an adventure to save his girl? We didn’t get to see whether or not he was successful, though. Rogue Galaxy is a JRPG, but it also ends on a similar note. I hope we don’t get that bullshit here.
— Here comes the Princess of the Klaxosaurs in this big Onyx-looking serpent. Not only that, she wants the bad guys to give their child back. The Star Entity is a child?
— Huh, Dr. Franxx refers to her as 001.
— Not only that, she’s the last surviving klaxo sapiens…
— Dr. Franxx makes one last ditch effort to partner up with the Princess, which is gross. I mean, look at him. He couldn’t give two shits about Karina, but he’s all obsessed over some loli human-klaxosaur hybrid. Not a good look, doctor.
— Unfortunately, since Hiro is the bog standard hero, he’s probably going to end up partnering with the Princess somehow… much to Zero-Two’s chagrin. Yeah, I bet you anything NTR is in our future. That’s all we got at the beginning of the series, so what better way to bookend the anime than having Hiro get stolen away from Zero-Two?
— Look at all those tentacles. I’ve seen enough anime to know what happens next.
— She is going to use Hiro. Like Zero-Two, she doesn’t technically need one, but I guess her fullest potential will be unlocked if she hooks up with our bland protagonist.
— The Princess soon catches up to Strelizia, and Zero-Two is unable to move. When Hiro sees the Princess, he’s reminded of how his girl used to look. I’m still holding out for an a grown-up version of that Zero-Two. I hope she kicks ass in the finale looking like that. But first things first, the Princess is here to mess things up.
— Geez, what is she doing? Humping his tongue with her own?
— The Princess says that Hiro is no ordinary human, but why? What makes him so special? Does he have unique blood running through his veins or something?
— I thought maybe the Sages had planned this, i.e. they wanted the Princess to walk right into an altered Star Entity that will now turn against her — but one of them goes, “The worst has come to pass.” Huh.
— Oh wait, one of them says they’ve taken “measures.”
— The Princess is too dignified to get on all fours.
— There’s still so much that we don’t know about this world and its inhabitants. Only four episodes left after this, though. I hope we don’t get another exposition dump like last week’s flashback extravaganza. Don’t you feel like ten or fifteen years ago, this series would’ve gotten 50 or more episodes?
— The Princess emits a high-pitch noise that suddenly disables everything on the battlefield — everything including the mechas. She then says, “…you ignorant fools who steal the symbol of our bonds that courses the planet’s depths.” Is that magma? Magma is the symbol of the bond between humans and klaxosaurs?
— Yeesh, Zero-Two is in bad shape.
— I guess we’ll just get our exposition right now. According to Dr. Franxx, an ancient species had split into two forms, one of which returned to the planet to become magma energy. The other form, the klaxo sapiens, ate said magma energy in order to evolve. So everything in this world is currently powered by our “brethren.” When a male and a female klaxo sapiens couple up, they turn into klaxosaurs. They weren’t pregnant as I had presumed. Those cores were instead the male partners. Last but not least, FRANXXs are just klaxosaurs that humans can pilot. All that mining we had seen earlier in the series was simply to excavate klaxosaurs. Okay then.
— The Sages are like that brat who takes the ball home if they start losing. They had raised Zero-Two in the hopes that she would allow them to control the Star Entity themselves, but since they can’t have it anymore, they’ll just blow it up along with the rest of the planet. Well, it figures. Humanity has pretty much fucked Earth over. Most of the planet appears to be a dusty wasteland (which makes that random beach episode even more bizarre).
— Papa tells his colleagues that they’ll return to their “original roles.” Don’t know what that is, but the anime’s about to tell us, though. First, a bunch of huge klaxosaurs suddenly emerge from the ground and start firing missiles(?) into space. Spaceships floating up there then start firing back. What on earth is going on? The Princess had referred to her enemies as invaders, but I didn’t think they were literally alien invaders. But now she tells us that VIRM, the true enemy, had come from the deep of space. Her kind managed to fight them off, but they always knew that VIRM would return one day. As such, they retreated to the underground. So then humans came after this big battle against VIRM, right? VIRM disguised themselves as humans in order to manipulate the species into mining magma energy? For now, that’s what I will assume.
— This is Strelizia Apath. Um, I want the old Strelizia back.
— Oh yeah, Dr. Franxx was technically NTR’d as well.
— As expected, Papa had done something to the Star Entity, and now the Princess is in trouble. She can hardly move a muscle, but we don’t exactly know what that pink, sticky substance is. I mean, why didn’t she think of this? Why didn’t she think they would lure her into a trap?
— Two of the Sages suddenly fall apart as this… this thing appears. I guess this is their true form. Not only that, they say that the Star Entity is dangerous to the universe. And as such, it must be destroyed along with the Princess. Strelizia Apath suddenly gets swallowed up as the whole thing readies itself for self-destruction. Afterwards, VIRM will simply absorb the lifeforms of the planet… then what? Fuck off to find another planet to rape and destroy? Sounds like Jenova from Final Fantasy VII, but less scary.
— The episode ends with a heavily-wounded Zero-Two crawling her way to Hiro. Can she survive all that blood loss? Well, there’s four episodes left, and she’ll have to make it all the way to the finish line. Hopefully.
— Man, I don’t know what to think of this VIRM development. I’m just gonna leave it at that and mull things over until next week’s episode.
— That massive spear still hasn’t seen any action. I expect Zero-Two and Hiro to use it against the bad guys anyway. Like I said, as long as those two survive…
— Not only that, the story will have to tie Kokoro’s pregnancy into the finale in some way. Hm.
— So at the very least, we know that Zero-Two, Hiro, Kokoro, and Mitsuru are plot critical. This doesn’t mean that any of them will survive, but they’ll have big roles to play in the episodes to come. Unfortunately, the rest of the kids don’t have much going for them. Ever since Goro confessed his feelings to Ichigo, he hasn’t really done anything. Ichigo is the leader of the squad, but she’s also kinda faded into the background once she got over Hiro. Hm.
— We also have loose ends to tie with Nana, the Nines… but honestly, fuck the Nines.
— Not really, kids. Shows like DARLING in the FRANXX love capping things off with a massive space battle.