We officially slide into the second cour of Darling in the Franxx on 7 April. Episode 13 is telling the story of a beast and a prince, who found and lost each other.
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Japanese title: まものと王子様
Episode 13 – The Beast and the Prince
As Zero Two is strangling Hiro, he remembers scenes from the past that were erased from his memory. He sees the little girl and follows her to observe her painful treatments. He is the one that named all the children with code names in The Garden, to give them a better feeling. Hiro is a special child and is also being treated like one as he is different from the rest, but because he is different he asks questions that no one wants to answer. After seeing the little girl all alone with a picture book, he tries to escape with her. They escape and wander through the snow. He reads the picture book to her and gains her trust, but they soon get caught. Hiro and Zero Two’s memories get erased and they forget that they have met before.
So, Zero Two trying to kill Hiro inside Strelizia triggered something in him so that he regained parts of his memory that have been erased. We see the horned, red-skinned, and white-haired little girl and finally understood that it was Zero Two in her previous form. She was treated pretty badly by The Garden’s team and Dr. Franxx in order to examine how well her regeneration system works. They made her go through a lot of pain and all the experiments remind me a bit of us treating animals the same way to test cosmetics or medicine. Not to forget the children at The Garden. They also had and still have to undergo tests and get injections in order to get stronger, but many of them leave and never come back. Some of the children lost their emotions and Ichigo was afraid to be different because she shed tears, unlike the rest. She was afraid of what would have happened to her because she wasn’t like the other kids, who didn’t smile or laugh at all. They were shown like emotionless zombies, just things that are being developed for the sake of protecting the papa-tachi from Klaxosaurs. Nobody wanted to have children with emotions. They feared that someone could develop to think freely as Hiro did. He was one of the special children that got treated a bit differently as he always got two candies after his injections. Ichigo was one of these kids, but not as questioning as Hiro. He wanted to know so much and had so many questions, but no adult answered any of his queries, because they didn’t want to feed him with information. In the end, he did do what he wanted after meeting Zero Two. He had the urge to rescue her, to take her away from the bad treatment. He didn’t really care about her being different but was nice to her. He must have realized something when he saw her inside the room protecting her picture book from being taken away. Her sparkling eyes after she got the book back were just adorable and must have triggered something in him to risk an escape.
As Hiro was good at naming his fellow future parasites he also gave Zero Two her name. At first, he was about to call her oni, which is Japanese for ogre or demon, but abruptly stopped, changed his way of thinking and named her Zero Two. Though she didn’t understand his words, she understood the sound of his voice. She even gave him her picture book, after he gave her candy. She was so cute when she ate the candy. At first, I thought that she might just bite the hard candy to pieces, or just swallow it and ask for more, but she was really happy and kind of understood how to eat it. When she showed him the picture book, she got from a mysterious kind person in the past, he read the story to her. The picture book’s title was The Beast and the Prince. It refers to both Hiro and Zero Two. She is the beast and Hiro is the prince. The characters in the book fell in love and lived together for a while, but soon, the beast has to eat the prince in order to survive and to lift the curse which was following her. If she resisted, the curse would kill her instead. But the beast couldn’t hurt her prince. It left him alive but alone and never came back again. They even got married and Hiro explained what marriage was to Zero Two because she was asking for an explanation. This was the first time he used the word ‘darling’,. She understood and didn’t forget about it even until now, because he promised to become Zero Two’s darling.
I got answers to some of my questions from the last episode in this one, like the one of how Hiro could have forgotten what he had promised Mitsuru in this episode. And I was partially right about Hiro’s memory that got erased because he saw something he wasn’t allowed to. He helped Zero Two to escape The Garden and her horrible treatments, got caught and then was forced to forget about her, and the same goes to Zero Two. But even if he wouldn’t have forgotten about their promise, they are both stamens, so not fit to pilot a Franxx in the first place. Then I asked myself why Zero Two wanted to become a human anyways. I think that the picture book showed her this way of thinking, that if they are different species they are not allowed to live together, but if she turned into a human being she would be able to be together with her darling. The picture book’s ending would explain why she was about to kill Hiro at the end of episode 12. She didn’t want to die herself, so she was taking down her prince instead.
My What-Is-Going-On? Moments
Zero Two’s form
We hear that Zero Two changed her appearance into a human-like one, but how did she look before that and how could she change her shape? Is she a monster that can slowly adapt to the world she is in? Like a copycat copying the living things around her in order to survive? Or did someone help her getting a different skin and hair color? If so how?
When Hiro rescued Zero Two and they read the picture book together, he promised her to become her darling in the future. Their memories got erased so that the adults could still use the both of them instead of getting rid of these precious objects. How could Zero Two remember that she was named Zero Two and about the word ‘darling’? In the first episode, she looked down on Plantation 13 from a plane and was sure about finding her darling there. Did she just misuse the word for all of her partners or only for Hiro?
Did you see the mouse family after Zero Two ate one of their fellows? I was so shocked to see this scene that it broke my heart [laugh]. The family was standing there, having blank expressions on their little faces. How and why did the anime show us this scene? R.I.P. mouse.
In the End
Wow, that was an intense episode. I am so sad for Zero Two being treated like an object, but happy that she was rescued by Hiro, even though it was only a short time that they were free. Now that both remembered their past, what will happen next? I hope you enjoyed the first cour and will enjoy the coming episodes too!