Darling in the FranXX Episode 23 – Anime QandA Review

What’s the show? Darling in the FranXX, Episode 23.

So in recent episode the show has gotten a bit ~weird~ at least in regards to what you call the “window dressing” namely the actual setting and plot of the show. Do things continue on this trajectory? This is the weirdest, dumbest episode of this show and has pretty much confirmed it into legendary status in my opinion!

So you like it even when you admit it’s “dumb”? Things can be good and dumb, those two things aren’t mutually exclusive. Michael Bay movies are dumb but they’re… okay bad example. But when I say dumb I don’t mean in the sense that it’s unintelligent, I mean the sense that it’s absurd and unintelligible and I can’t believe what I’m seeing.

Is it something in particular or throughout the episode? It’s a single thing—albeit massive—that happens at the end of the episode.

Way to some it up succinctly!

Well let’s save that for the end of the review and talk about the rest of the episode first, yeah? Fine~ so the gang go to space to battle the bad aliens with the help of the Klaxosaur’s space fleet and it’s kind of an unintelligible mess of action and lasers and explosions and not going to lie but this is exactly the reason I don’t usually ever watch Mech anime. Obviously I know they’re not all like this but my eyes kind of glaze over when I see big robots fighting, but I at least had the benefit of being invested in the characters here as well as the fact some of it looked pretty nice!

Pretty darn cool.

If it was just space battles though wouldn’t that be kind of boring for you? There’s plenty other stuff to enjoy about this episode, the scenes back on Earth with Kokoro looking after the catatonic Zero Two were very touching and exactly the kind of thing I was hoping for—as were the later scenes between Kokoro and Mitsuru… I just want them to be happy together!

I legit cried.

Any other scenes you liked? Yes, the scenes with Nana and Hachi were nice, I wouldn’t have been especially aggrieved if Hachi had died in that explosion but I guess the writer’s want a mother and father figure to look after the Plantation 13 kiddies… urge to rant about heteronormative agendas rising.

Settle down… nobody wants to read about that. Quick, uh, so what’s the ridiculous thing that happened at the end of the episode that made you so enthused? Oh! Right! It’s amazing; when it happened I was like, you marvellous stupid sons of bitches!

I can see why he chose to be with her, the horns really suit him… oh and also they’re soulmates.

What happens?! So the whole point of Hiro and co. going to space was to rescue Zero Two’s mind who is trapped in the Strelizia Apath (or whatever they were calling it in the subtitles of this episode), they get Hiro to the ship, which is absurdly massive by the way, it’s practically the size of a space station… Hiro enters the cockpit and enters Zero Two’s mind, they argue for a bit—she wants him to stay away and keep his humanity, he wants to be with her no matter what—it goes back and forth until finally she gives in and… well just feast your eyes on this glorious gif:

Subarashii!

What… what happened? This is her final form! (Probably) Strelizia True Apus! Basically giant sexy robot turns into a giant, fleshy woman in armor in space and it’s ridiculous and doesn’t make any sense and I love it and I want to marry it.

That’s… I don’t even know what to say? I know right, I felt so many emotions, mostly laughter though.

“Sup, I’m huge now”

I don’t think that was the intended reaction though? So? I hate the idea that people are so rigid about expectations and what a show should be that they can’t accept and enjoy something ludicrous and so damn pretty. But whatever, people will probably hate this episode and I’ll be the sole idiot proclaiming how much fun this final transformation is. Whatever, I don’t want to get rant-y, I just want to enjoy myself, end of review!

Calm down, and let’s finish this properly and professionally. Watch the gif a few more times to centre yourself. *deep breaths* I’m fine, I’m fine. So after the transformation Strelizia True Apas fires her lasers destroying all the enemies but the job’s not over yet! Hiro tells his fellow FranXX pilots that he and Zero Two have to go through a wormhole that’s just appeared and deliver a bomb to the main enemy alien military fleet in order to wipe them out for good and stop the threat of them returning to Earth—much to the tearful objections of his friends. But there’s no stopping Hiro and Zero Two, they’re a team and it’s their destiny.

Yes it looks like a wedding dress, don’t @ me.

So are you looking forward to the final episode? Oh hell yeah, getting to see the ridiculous and beautiful Strelizia True Apas in action against an entire army of aliens is hopefully going to be amazing… or amazingly over the top. Also, not so secretly hoping for a ‘they all lived happily ever after’ ending for everyone. Only time will tell though if I get my wish!


Previous Darling in the FranXX Reviews:

Episode 1-15 Review
Episode 16-20 Review
Episode 21 Review
Episode 22 Review


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5 comments

  1. It certainly was ridiculously over the top. I dunno about the whole “Let’s go fight them at their home world” part I care for, seems like a lot of scope creep for the show. But there she goes in her wedding dress. 🙂

    I would not be surprised if you didn’t get what you want, i.e. Strelizia Apus vs the whole VIRM armada. We’ll see what they do with the show, but I’m thinking it comes back to Earth and just futzes around there for the whole episode.

    BTW, if you like shows that just get sublimely ridiculous like this, I’d recommend giving Cross Ange a try. It’s definitely not the easiest show to watch but boy did I enjoy it for the same sort of reasons you seem to enjoy this episode.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s definitely mixed. It does some exploitative things that are gratuitous, and others that feel gratuitous but are a necessary part of the show’s message. It’s not shy about the parable it’s telling, and it’s not shy about showing the inhumanity of the majority. But out of this comes a ton of those moments where you’re almost shouting “Yes!!!!” at the screen and pumping your fist in celebration. I think it’s a great show. Other people think it’s exploitative trash, but I think the parts like that are more truth-telling than solely prurient.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Right next to SOA this is the other show that I dropped because of my hiatus. And just like SOA I have heard so many different opinions on it. I’ve seen a little bit more episodes of this series and quite frankly I kind of enjoyed it. Also I don’t really mind ridiculous and over the top, so I reckon that I am going to enjoy it enough 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have no idea how the show’ll manage to make sense of everything that has happened and wrap everything in a satisfying way. I guess if you try to emulate Gainax, you eventually end up with a Gainax ending. Still, I can’t deny that the transformation made 02 look more beautiful than ever.

    Liked by 1 person

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