By Erika Suarez
After a momentous and elevating battle with Strelizia, Hiro regains his position as stamen after his successful battle. He's cheery and content, but his life is hanging by a loose thread as he keeps a secret that is eating him away. The tension grows when Zero Two moves in with Plantation 13 and making Ichigo feel uneasy about the change and results in torn heartache.
Zero Two carelessly breaks the rules of the house when she settles in and gets some time to spend with her Darling (Hiro). Making everyone utterly uncomfortable, Zero Two feeds Hiro a honeyed bread at the boys' breakfast table while everyone gathers to pray.
The discomfort temporarily eases when Zorome complains about wanting the same girl treatment as Hiro and Miku become infuriated with him for being so influenced, it's very cute because she's actually jealous. The horned girl is free-spirited, and sometimes it is overindulging in the most crucial moments. Episode 5 introduces her grim side when we discover she was at fault for the members that were killed during a battle with Plantation 26. She was reckless during the battle and caused some of the members to die. She gives no remorse for what happened, and to make matters worse; she doesn't remember this tragic event. She is a peculiar character with an unfiltered personality. We see how possessive she is with Hiro and she makes it very clear to Ichigo that he belongs to her and only her. It makes her the deranged girlfriend in this situation, and Ichigo is the long-time friend with unspoken feelings that didn't get the guy she wanted.
Hiro's fate is uncertain, but he certainly fooled everyone into believing his health didn't take a toll after riding Strelizia the second time. The purple infection growing in his chest is killing him slowly and making him weaker, and it seems certain that his next ride will get him killed. The outcome is the least of his worries, instead focuses on his training for the next battle. It's heartbreaking to see Goro look the other way in this devastating situation. His friend is dying, but he doesn't know the right thing to do. The anticipation is killing me and wonder how all of this will play out.
Mitsuru is feeling unhinged lately. We see him hiding in a greenhouse taking pills and sweating profusely. It shows that his recovery isn't doing so well, and he might even be traumatized by his experience riding Strelizia. His jealousy for Hiro remains the same and questions why he couldn't successfully pilot the Franxx just as Hiro.
Ichigo does an incredibly good job of pulling herself together, but there is a limit to how much she can take. The droplets of water perfectly present her breaking point when she confronts Zero Two and attempts to put her "in line" and urging her not to hurt Hiro. Evidently, the red horned pistol shrugs and shows no interest in Hiro's awaiting death in the next battle. Ichigo gives her a nice slap in the face for saying cruel things and Zero Two's true nature releases when her headband falls from her hair and giving her red glowing eyes without them. We transition to Ichigo walking through rain and sorrow and breaks down crying in front of her partner Goro. This particular scene floods you in drama and we see how the parasites are experiencing such emotions for the first time. While Ichigo is crying for Hiro, Goro feels empathy for her and they stay still and uncertain from these unexperienced feelings.
Finally, there is explaining done for the "kissing" operation. When the kissing commences, there is an exchange of magma made from one plantation to another. Plantation 13 and 26 are unsure for this procedure because there is no trust from Plantation 26 because Strelizia is ordered to participate in the battle. I sense a really ugly battle coming and I'm not entirely sure if I'm ready. There was a noticeable difference between the two teams, that is the level of maturity and how old they look. It could be the number of their plantation refers to their age or I might just be overthinking it, but Plantation 26 does look a lot older, knowledgeable, and mature.
Episode 5 delivers a deeper tone and loading us into a drama that is almost unbearable. Ichigo and Goro experience new emotions that is difficult for them to understand and Hiro's life is running thin when Goro discovers a purple lump growing on his chest. Zero Two is aware of his health and is strangely content with Hiro's decision to continuing to be her stamen. I'm eager to see how Hiro will turn out when he pilots the Franxx again.
DARLING in the FRANXX E.05- “Your Thorn, My Badge”
Writer/ Director: Atsushi Nishigori
Studio: Trigger/ A-1 Pictures