Darling in the Franxx aired its 18th episode on 19 May 2018. I am glad that there are still six episodes left because I really like the development even though some happenings are heartbreaking.
In order to watch Darling in the Franxx legally and with English subtitles please visit Crunchyroll! You can find the link and streaming options for all airing anime here: Spring 2018 Anime: Legal Streaming List
Japanese title: 桜の花が咲く頃に
Episode 18 – When the Sakura Blooms
Mitsuru and Kokoro spend the night together. Hachi informs Squad 13 that they are going to move into a parasite camp with other squads. Hiro suggests celebrating Kokoro and Mitsuru’s wedding ceremony before leaving Mistilteinn and teaches the others the meaning of a wedding. Hand in hand, they prepare a wonderful wedding to create their last memories in this peaceful place. Futoshi even wants to play the role of the priest to congratulate the couple with all his heart. In the meanwhile, as Ichigo is worried about Ikuno she tries to ask her about the sudden burst of temper the last time the Nines appeared. Ikuno reveals that she slapped one of the Nines because she was thinking exactly the same, that it is annoying to need both genders in order to pilot the Franxx. Ikuno then confesses her love to Ichigo.
The children hold the wedding ceremony the best they can but get interrupted by the Nines and armed men who bark into their ceremony to abduct the couple, right after exchanging rings. Squad 13 including Zero Two try to prevent them from taking the couple away, but can’t stop them. Preparations for leaving Mistilteinn are complete and a ship takes them to a camp where they meet Kokoro and Mitsuru again, but in a slightly different shape.
Terms and Lingo
This is a word that the Nines and Dr. Franxx used in the last episode too: The word ‘indoctrinate’ simply means to teach someone. From the 19th century on it has a bad connotation and is mostly used to describe ‘brainwashing’. Therefore, to ‘re-indoctrinate’ means to brainwash the parasites again.
At first, I thought that Futoshi would be against the wedding, but him playing the role of the priest came out of nowhere. Futoshi is a great character and you can feel that he truly loves Kokoro because he gave up on her and was even showing his support. But how did he get the idea of what the person on Zero Two’s picture, the priest, is doing during the ceremony? Or did he not really know anything?
I loved how the whole group showed their support and prepared a lovely atmosphere, a gorgeous dress, and bouquet for Kokoro. She was so beautiful. I fell in love with her hair and dress and also the super cute smiles on her and Mitsuru’s faces were adorable. It is a shame that their perfect wedding was disturbed by the Nines. Even Zero Two looked stunning in Kokoro’s uniform. Why did the papa-tachi even bother to stop Kokoro and Mitsuru from getting married? They wanted to stop them so badly that they let the Nines go there with an army to abduct the happy and about-to-get-married couple in order to erase their memories. The question is why would they do something like that? The kids were waiting for contact, order, for their ‘warm’ words that they have not been forgotten or abandoned, but there was no sign of them. Now that two of Squad 13’s parasites were getting married, they panicked and erased their memories. They should have erased all parasites’ memories just in case, because the others will remember the day and help the couple to remember too.
The kids knew that they would have to fight again using Franxx units. They were ready to go back, even if their life at Mistelteinn has been nice and for the first time totally free, but the plant was dying so they had no other chance but to move forward. Nana and Hachi were watching the kids’ daily lives but didn’t leak their ‘abnormalities’ to APE’s upper section because of Dr. Franxx’s advice or order. The Nines then appeared, discovered the little book Kokoro found in the city and disclosed their funds to papa. Therefore the Nines are responsible for this sudden attack. I wonder what they receive for their great loyalty from the APE organization. I am a bit sad that Hachi didn’t do anything to protect the couple or the children from the sudden attack, though I know that he wouldn’t have been able to even lift his little finger in his current state. Not much later we dive into Hachi’s past. We see him and Nana being parasites but operating the Franxx with different partners, when suddenly Nana’s partner dies after a fight. She looked so happy and equipped with all her emotions then. So my guess would be that the parasites way before Hiro and his comrades still had feelings and because they weren’t able to control these, the papa-tachi ordered to brainwash them. No feelings equal no problems in controlling warriors. Knowing too much about the ‘real’ life would be a hindrance in sacrificing their own lives for the adults if there were a beloved person to whom the parasites would want to safely return to. Or the other way, losing their partner could cause a mental breakdown which would destroy the parasite and make him or her useless.
My What-Is-Going-On? Moments
Weak Zero Two
Zero Two is pretty strong when using Strelizia and she was also stronger than Squad 13 members when they didn’t allow her to meet the wounded Hiro. But when she tried to help Kokoro and Mitsuru the Nines were in her way and a lot stronger than I thought they would be.
Kokoro and Mitsuru’s rings
Why would someone try to delete memories without getting rid of all possible objects that would help the person to remember something? How could the person in charge forget to take Mitsuru’s hand-made rings from the couple? When Zero Two was about to get her memories erased, she knew that someone would take her picture book so she ate the pages to remember even the slightest bit of her and her darling’s past. One explanation could be that the person in charge knew nothing about weddings and the rings’ meanings. He or she only acted according to orders from above and just erased their memories. I am sure that their strong feelings which Kokoro and Mitsuru had for each other will bring back all the memories they had together in the next two episodes.
So I was right about Ikuno loving Ichigo. She finally confessed her feelings that she was jealous of the boys being around her beloved Ichigo. She revealed that she was watching Ichigo ever since Ichigo gave Ikuno her current name and even noticed the second hairpin which she received from Goro! How in the world would she have known that this was a different pin than before? For me, they looked the same and I didn’t really observe any change in her hairstyle. Did you, guys? I only had eyes for Mitsuru’s cutely styled and Kokoro’s sudden and drastic hair changes. At first, I was a bit afraid of how Ichigo would react and that it might destroy Ikuno, make her unable to fight anymore, but it went pretty well.
In the End
This episode could have been so cute and perfect if Kokoro and Mitsuru’s wedding hasn’t been disturbed. What do Zero Two’s nightmare about her late partners and the giant hand trying to kill her mean? And how are APE members planning to restore their ‘bodies’? Let’s check out the next episode and find answers to our questions!