By Erika Suarez
Episode 4 finally picks up the pace with an accelerating and showy performance. After Zero-two is ordered to save Ichigo’s team once again, Hiro joins her while they rebel against all orders from the APE team.
Mitsuru is alive and not so well, after his experience with Strelizia. He was nearly killed during his ride and was left hospitalized in terror. Mitsuru mentioned that Zero-Two wanted to devour him whole, mentally, as he explains this to Hiro. I don’t have much empathy for the character since he was led up to be an unlikable character with an unpleasing personality. Mitsuru has a lot of pride and refuses to seek help, and we see this when Ikuno, his partner, helps him up as he struggles to find balance walking and angrily reacts to her kind gesture. This part of the episode makes me hate him even more, but we see a slight growth in the character when his rivalry against Hiro fades away and warns him not to Pilot with Zero-two because of his terrifying experience.
Ichigo takes a charging change when she admits her faults to her team as a leader. She steps it up and focuses on her squad to work as a team to avoid being killed for their next mission. From the start, Ichigo never had a good feeling about Zero-Two and distrusted her in piloting with her good friend, Hiro. Not until her squad was sent to fight Klaxosour worms, her views of Zero-Two and Hiro piloting together changed and was quite pleased that they were able to save everyone. Again. I am looking forward to a flashy moment for the trainees because their continuous rescue by Strelizia is dreary.
In the midst of this episode, is Hiro and Zero-Two. For the past three episodes, Hiro has been persistent in riding Strelizia again but isn’t committed to Zero- Two. In numerous scenes, he would hide from her and gasp with fear when she pops up from the boys’ bathing room. Do boys, not like unexpected visits in the showers? Obviously not for Hiro. After this tiring wait, Hiro owns up and confesses his feelings to Zero-Two that was a heart-racing change of pace. A small aspect of the scene that I appreciated was the frame transitioning to widescreen that emphasizes the importance of the scene and that things are about to go down.
The romance that has developed in this series was remarkably well done. It was a joyous and comforting feeling watching Hiro and Zero-Two run through security to get to the Franxx. DARLING in the FRANXX delivers a different kind of love between these characters and I am ready to see the beginnings of their journey. Seeing Strelizia in complete form and in action was amazing as you watch it rip through an entire Klaxosaur worm from inside out and ends with a rain of its inky blue blood running down on Sterilizia.
DARLING in the FRANXX finds it's pace and wonderfully executes a thrilling episode. After the long and anticipated wait, Hiro pilots Sterilizia again and we see a new romance surface. There are still some missing parts to this story that we hope unfolds throughout this series.
DARLING in the FRANXX E.04- “Flip Flap”
Writer/Director: Atsushi Nishigori
Studio: Trigger/ A-1 Pictures