In Episode 11 of Darling in the Franxx, which aired on 24 March, we’ve seen some partners changing, but the focus stayed on Mitsuru.
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Japanese title: パートナーシャッフル
Episode 11 – Partner Shuffle
Squad 13 is getting better and better at defeating Klaxosaurs and have been asked to guard S-Planning’s facility. Mitsuru collapses during a battle, and after he recovered, Nana and Hachi come up with the idea of Parasites switching partners. Nana asks the children if someone would like to try out a partner change. Ikuno wants to partner up with Ichigo and Kokoro volunteers to ride with Mitsuru. With this act, Kokoro hurts Futoshi’s feelings and breaks the promise to always be his partner. A new Gutenberg-class Klaxosaur appears not far from the S-Planning facility. Kokoro and Mitsuru pilot Genista and Ikuno rides Chlorophytum with Futoshi. The giant Klaxosaur is made by little ones, and in order to destroy the core, Genista’s specialty is in demand, but as Mitsuru is still absent-minded because Hiro forgot the promise he made with Mitsuru, his connection with Kokoro does not hold. Kokoro tries to cheer him up, but fails and tries to control Genista by herself. He stops her from doing so and they get back on the track and defeat the monster. Mitsuru even promises Futoshi to protect Kokoro from now on.
Stampede Mode: The stampede mode is the mode when the Pistils ride their Franxx alone without the help of Stamen. This is the Franxx’s runaway mode, where it changes its appearance. We saw a graphic of the Franxx’s body on a monitor, where only one half was active.
In this episode, we learn about Mitsuru’s past and find out why he is always so cold to his colleges. Before he got the Elixirs injection to upgrade his performance skills, he asked Hiro to promise him to ride a Franxx with him. After he survived his injection, which has a survival rate of only 15 percent, he went to Hiro to remind him of their promise, but Hiro didn’t seem to be fully available. It was like his mind was absent. He had an empty look in his eyes and his behavior was also different from before. Something must have happened to Hiro after Mitsuru left for the injection. Someone must have programmed Hiro or must have done something to him. We didn’t see how he behaved later on, but only during this one moment. From that disappointing moment on, Mitsuru has been depicting Hiro and does not really interact with the others. I bet that Hiro doesn’t even remember that Mitsuru asked him after he came back, the same way he didn’t have a clue that Ichigo liked him and that Goro liked Ichigo. He does seem a bit clueless at times.
Then, we’ve got the partner shuffle of Hachi and Nana. I was quite shocked to see Ikuno asking to ride with Ichigo. They couldn’t connect, but Ikuno was serious about this idea and seemed annoyed, or rather angry that it didn’t work out and that Ichigo didn’t take it serious enough. I would have never come up with the idea of a Franxx being controlled by two Pistils, as it already was kind of a rule to have pairs of Stamens and Pistils. Therefore I wasn’t surprised that it didn’t work. I was more pleased to see Kokoro riding Genista with Mitsuru and that she made him smile. I dislike the fact that she broke her promise with Futoshi. How could she break his heart that way? She shouldn’t have promised anything beforehand, but maybe she promised so because she didn’t know that she would have been able to change her partner. Kokoro must have been interested in Mitsuru from the moment he saved her from the falling bookshelf or even before. As they’ve often met inside the greenhouse she might have fallen for Mitsuru’s mysterious character. The way Kokoro ‘played’ with Futoshi was not really nice, but I am glad that she found herself a new Stamen, that is going to protect her the way that Futoshi did. Mitsuru even told Futoshi, that he is going to take care of her. Ikuno, on the other hand, conveys the impression that she is compatible with any Stamen, but Mitsuru, or is it Futoshi that is kind, open-minded and gives his best to be the perfect partner?
By the way, Zero Two seemed so cold these last two episodes, like she has got something on her mind she can’t tell anyone, which makes her not as appealing as in other episodes.
My What-Is-Going-On? Moments
Different Hiro: Did Mitsuru not notice a change in Hiro’s behavior before getting all angry at him? If they were so close, how could he not see the different Hiro in front of him and not ask about the promise?
Elixir Injection: Are those people crazy, letting little kids have an injection to power up in order to be able to ride a Franxx? I mean the survival rate is only 15%!! These kids’ lives really don’t matter in this world ruled by adults. But why didn’t they just disclose sick kids, like Mitsuru from this project and took someone else into Plantation 13’s Parasite group? Why even bother and hazard the consequences of one unhealthy boy?
Little Klaxosaurs: Okay, so this time we’ve had little Klaxosaurs becoming one big monster in order to protect the core, but which core are they protecting, if there are so many of them? Can there even be one core? Was there a big Klaxosau in the middle, surrounded by the smaller ones? That also doesn’t make sense if by defeating the big one you kill the smaller ones too.
In the End
It was a very interesting episode that revealed Mitsuru’s past, the trigger to his behavior, and some partner swapping teams. Is Mitsuru going to change completely and what is wrong with Zero Two? We will hopefully get the answers in the upcoming episode on 31 March 2018!