I just watched Darling in the FranXX episode 14 (Punishment and Confession). Since the episode aired, I’ve been seeing memes blaming Ichigo for the train wreck at the end. Some of them are really funny, but here’s the thing.
I don’t agree with them.
Before you read any farther, I should probably mention that this is one of those rare posts where I’m considerably less positive than I usually am. This show has me thoroughly pissed off and I’m going to tell you why. So, here’s your chance to bail!
Why don’t I blame Ichigo for stopping Hiro from going to Zero Two when she was leaving? Because Ichigo spoke to Hiro from the maelstrom of emotions in her heart. She loves him dearly. She was terrified for his safety. She had every objective reason to be afraid of Zero Two and what she would do to him. Ichigo didn’t see the memories that Hiro saw in the last episode. She only saw Zero Two’s burn marks around Hiro’s neck.
But Hiro did see those memories. Which is why I hold him utterly responsible. He deserted Zero Two in her moment of greatest need. No, worse: he betrayed her in that moment.
Did you watch this week’s episode? Do you remember the scene I’m talking about (18:37)? After the two of them fought to find one another, Hiro finally finds Zero Two back in his hospital room. Squad 13 had tried to stop her and then agreed to supervise her visit, and she thought they’d set her up. So, she disabled them. She didn’t kill them, and she certainly could have. But the woman who had been betrayed by almost everyone she’d every known — everyone except one small boy who took a rifle butt in the face to protect her — used restraint even though they were trying to keep her from her darling.
How does Hiro react? Does he rush to her side? Does he try to comfort her — he, who knows who she is better than anyone else on the freaking planet? Who’s the only one to have never betrayed her?
Hiro, who told her in previous episodes that he loved her even if she was a monster? Who licked her wounds when they were fleeing oppressors? Who saw her first pretty thing and who beheld on of the most adorable smiles ever? Who witnessed the torture she endured? What does that Hiro do?
He calls her a monster.
She begs him to talk to her, just like he said he had wanted to. Zero Two, a woman who has an indomitable will and spirit, is almost weeping with her desire to just talk to him!
And he calls her a monster.
Parts of this show disturb me — like how these kids are exploited. Parts of it really annoy me, like how we’re seeing the little dramas within squad 13 when what I really want to see is this cruel and disgusting world get what’s coming to it because of how it treats these kids.
But this is the first time I’ve been furious with a character for such an act of cruelty. If he had any courage — if he had meant even a little of what he’d said when he said he loved all of her just as she was — he would have done four things. He would have confirmed his friends were still alive. He would have called for medics. He should have taken Zero Two to someplace where they could be alone.
And he should have talked to her.
Instead, he called her a monster. Hiro had been the only one who hadn’t betrayed her. He had been the only one she could trust. And he put an emotional knife right through her heart.
Well, I think I know who the real monster is here. And it ain’t Zero Two.