The Bonkurasu Brigade

What makes them tick: Darling in the Franxx episode 14 character discussion

When the episode aired and everyone watched, by the end of it, everyone seemed to hate on Ichigo because of her actions.

However, ever thought what truly made her act the way she did?

Ever thought why Hiro did what he did? Or even 02?

Heavy spoilers ahead.

Let’s start with Ichigo.

Her love towards Hiro has always been present throughout the series, and it shows. She’s always protective of him, and making decisions based off her affection. So when 02 went over her limit, turning Hiro into a monster, hurting him physically (the strangle marks on his neck), Ichigo took it upon herself to take all measures to prevent that – and that’s to prevent 02 and Hiro from meeting ever again.

Thus, she used her position as the squad leader to influence everyone around her that 02 is no good for the squad, preventing her from participating in the upcoming joint mission, pulled Hiro back and confessed to him as he tried to chase after 02 at the end. The rest of the squad were influenced by her based off the harm and potential saurification of Hiro via contact with 02, but eventually gave in when they rationalize that there’s no harm to be made from simply talking to each other.


Hiro’s sense of self-worth stems from the idolization of himself from others since he was small. He felt the need to lead by example, to be a leader. When his ability as a candidate to pilot a Franxx was robbed away from him due to the incident with 02 (licking her wounds) as a child, his self-worth went downhill. The appearance of 02 gave back his sense of self-worth, and no matter how one looks at it, is essential for a person’s well-being. So to him, 02 is a physical representation of his self-worth in a way. Telling her constantly to speak her mind to him not only makes him want to understand her more (his leadership trait developed from childhood), but also to put himself at ease (to validate his self-worth).

When he realized that 02 was part of his childhood as well, and the promise he made to her, it dug deeper – way deeper. No amount of physical abuse could stop him, as he would have probably ended his own life if his self-worth aka 02 was taken away from him. Hence he escaped from his ward to see 02. Talking about the childhood experience with 02 validates this very self-worth he has currently. Turning into a monster? Who cares. Saurification? Pain? All these don’t matter to him anymore. Not when being a useless stamen torments him at every moment.


02 is very similar to Hiro in that sense. Hiro is the reflection of her self-worth – her Darling is her entirety, it makes everything worth living for. And to do so, she has been told that killing monsters could turn her human, giving her the glimmer of hope to be able to find her Darling one day. The flashback and recollection of her memories made her realize that her Darling has always been with her for quite some time now, and that there’s no longer any justification to fuel her bloodlust towards killing monsters. Validating her emotions and feelings towards her Darling, Hiro, would put her at ease.

However, the existing squad hinders her actions, and she also feels extremely guilty for causing physical harm to Hiro. Her guilt to turn Hiro into a monster also kicks in, as she knows first hand how being a monster is – ostracized, vilified, scorned. She doesn’t want him to experience all of these, so she took it upon herself to curb her violent nature and storm right into Hiro’s ward. Ichigo’s constant agitation towards 02 eventually breaks 02 down, and that violent breakdown had consequences – at that very moment, allowing Hiro to vilify her. 02 accepted her fate to be scorned, and felt it’s for the best that she will remain alone forever, a cog within humanity’s machinations.

To put it simply, Ichigo’s love is selfish.
It hinders Hiro’s pursuit of self-worth.

Hiro’s pursuit of self-worth is selfish.
It invalidates Ichigo’s love for him and putting his squad at risk.

02’s pursuit of her Darling to validate her self-worth is selfish.
Her violent actions cause harm to the people around her.

There’s no right or wrong here. All of them acted what they thought was right given the circumstances at that very moment.

1 comment

1 Comment so far

  1. Glenn Cain April 16th, 2018 11:39 am

    sounds like anyone’s workplace.

    it wasn’t that hard to watch. It’s just another day in the “office”.

    the first thing i would change, though, is that anime face on the meccha. i can’t take it. its plain lazy.

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