Love Across Time and Space – ‘Darling in the FranXX’ Episode 24 (Finale) Review

Love Across Time and Space – An Anime QandA Review of ‘Darling in the FranXX’ Episode 24 (Finale)

What’s the show? Darling in the FranXX, Episode 24.

Well here we are, the end of Darling in the FranXX… this is kind of a hard one to talk about.

Oh? How so? It’s always hard to talk about a season finale of something this big… no not just season but series, this is a pretty definitive ending—all things considered. Also… I’m going to have to talk about some of the criticisms I saw of the show on Twitter, because well… I have some ~opinions~ on what’s been levelled against this finale.

Oh boy… one of those reviews, huh? I’m going to try and keep the ranting to a minimum okay? I know nobody likes to read a rant, if you want to know my brief and concise thoughts on the finale though, here they are: it was great, pretty much what I wanted and more or less what I expected.


Fair enough, so should we talk about what happened in the episode first? Okay, so giant Zero Two and Hiro inside her are floating through deep space, having a grand ol’ time reading each other’s thoughts and periodically blowing up enemy alien spaceships. Meanwhile on Earth, some time has passed and the gang is getting ready for the birth of Kokoro‘s baby. The episode cuts back and forth between deep space and Earth, with the passing of time increasing each cut.

I legit cried a lot at this scene.

How much time we talking? At first days, then weeks, then months, then a couple of years. In space; they reach the alien hub, but Hiro succumbs to the negative influence of the VIRM. Back on Earth, Kokoro’s and Mitsuru’s baby Ai (whose a toddler now) is touching the petrified Zero Two statue and begins saying “Darling” despite never having learnt that world. The gang surmise that Zero Two is trying to reach out to them for help. So they all hold hands and send their thoughts and prayers to space… and yeah on paper that sounds incredibly lame…

He’s kind of handsome… I mean, where dem titties at!

You said it, not me! Anyway, the power of friendship knows no bounds and Hiro hears their voices and comes back out of the void—or wherever he was—and he and Zero Two ‘connect’ once more and defeat the evil aliens with the bomb the klaxosaurs provided. Boom! The aliens are defeated but of course in such a blast there’s no surviving it for our two young lovers. And their souls drift through space…

Wow, didn’t expect them to kill the two main characters of the show! It was kind of the only way they could go about it without it seeming contrived, and yet there’s still people out there who thought this ending was “convenient”.

Group photo!

Oh boy… here we go, rant mode enabled… No, I’m not going to rant, I’m just going to say that in-universe this ending made sense. Having statue version Zero Two on Earth being able to hear everyone was established—in so far that there was a connection between Zero Two’s mind in Strelizia and her body on Earth, we saw her flesh body take damage Earth-side while it was being attacked in space. Also, of course Hiro’s going to here it, he’s inside her! The two have been sharing a brain for years at this point!

Easy with the exclamation marks chief. If that’s all people are saying then what’s the big deal? That’s people who already didn’t care for the show complaining some more about an ending they don’t care about. There’s more.

Of course it’s a Sakura tree, of course!

Okay, go on. So back to the episode itself, we have a time-lapse of the tree that sprouted from the crumbled Zero Two statue (just go with it) hundreds of years pass as the tree grows large and new cities grow larger behind it. It’s an honestly gorgeous scene that had me shedding a few tears! Then as the drifting souls of Hiro and Zero Two return to Earth we see two familiar looking small children meet each other under the tree.

Love finds a way.

Okay? And… And I think that’s a beautiful way to end this series, with the same message of hope for the future that was always an undercurrent (and later—the entire plot) of the series. Some people had issue with this idea of “souls” or “reincarnation” as being too cheesy or too ~mystical~ but most Japanese ideologies concerning the idea of the soul revolve around some kind of reincarnation mythos. This isn’t religious symbolism suddenly appearing in a science-oriented show, this is more rooted in Japanese culture—the way nearly every Slice of Life series has characters visiting a shrine for New Years, it’s not an explicitly religious tradition like if a character in a Western show went to church, it’s just a part of life. That’s not to say everyone in Japan believes in reincarnation but there’s something hopeful about the idea of a soul living beyond its physical limitations and something sweetly romantic about two souls finding one another again in a different time.

“Kiss me now!”

Hmm, sounds like you’ve just got an opinion that happens to be different from other people’s, doesn’t make yours any more valid… I, uh… well yeah, fine! Where do you get off being the voice of reason?

That’s literally my job here. Right.

So was there anything else you wanted to add? The more I think about this ending the sadder it is—on a very small scale though, because ultimately it’s a happy ending, the world continues, no more bad aliens, things are more or less ‘good’. But I can’t help but think about the Plantation 13 gang waiting for Hiro and Zero Two to return home for the rest of their lives, and then dying of old age—not really knowing what happened. I mean I’m sure they made their peace with the assumption that they perished, but still, I feel sad for Ichigo.

I mean I guess Goro is a good consolation prize…

Uh-huh, well when you’re done feeling sad, want to wrap up this review? Cracking the whip today, aren’t we? I’ll save my overall feelings for the show as a whole for an inevitable (but probably long way off) full-season review. Speaking strictly on the finale though, I’m more or less happy with what we got! I knew we’d have something of a time-skip in this episode but I never thought it would be as long into the future as it was here! Also, small thing but I’m glad Ikuno got a girlfriend in the form of the returned Naomi, it was subtle and I wish they’d shared an on-screen kiss but it made me happy nonetheless! All in all, while ridiculous at times and borderline nonsensical, I thoroughly enjoyed the finale of Darling in the FranXX.

This is what I was waiting the whole series for! Representation matters!

Previous Darling in the FranXX Reviews:

Episode 1-15 Review
Episode 16-20 Review
Episode 21 Review
Episode 22 Review
Episode 23 Review

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Author: Cactus Matt

I love anime and more recently manga too. What else do I need to write here?

5 thoughts on “Love Across Time and Space – ‘Darling in the FranXX’ Episode 24 (Finale) Review”

  1. I’m surprised that people are criticizing the whole reincarnation thing as convenient or abandoning science. If we’re being honest, here, none of the science in the entire series is ironclad in any way. I thought the ending was fine as well… and ultimately for the best. There were a lot of interesting themes at play here, but I never felt that the crew in charge could really implement/balance them effectively. In another place and time with a different group at the helm, this may have been a great series. Unfortunately, this incarnation was just okay for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked the ending fine. People are gonna whinge no matter what, and teh intarwebz gives them a loud voice (he said on said intarwebz completely unironically). I love the idea of people saying “that’s now how reincarnation works!” or “that’s not how souls work!” As if they’d know? Someone’s an expert on souls? They’ve seen it? Maybe it IS just that ‘convenient’ that after umpteen hundred years they were reincarnated together. I mean, give the show something! But then these are people who aren’t inclined to give a show they didn’t like, and for the most part they hate-watched so they could mock it talking about people being in love and having children. Psh, who’d ever want to do that!?!?!?!

    As for my thoughts on the show, I shed a few tears, because I’ll cry pretty easily. But there were touches I really liked, just like you. Ikuno and Naomi being together was good. I give that McKayla Maroney squinched-up face to the people who complain about Ichigo not being with Ikuno after they also thought that Ichigo was the most horrible person ever a few episodes ago. You want that person to be with Ikuno? Why? Heck, even Goro was like “I love you Ichigo, but I need a break, gonna go on a long trip, see you when I get back.” And the thought crossed my mind that “man, growing food is going pretty well for them” but what’s the show if it doesn’t? “They all starved in 6 months. The End.” Hey, good ending there. So yeah, it was a ‘convenient’ ending, but whaddaya want? To punish the characters? I think this is actually what a lot of people want, because they feel like they ‘deserve’ retribution for hate-watching it. Those people need to learn to just not watch things.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The reincarnation thing isn’t the biggest issue, though I don’t really like that as a happy ending because realistically the two kids are two new people who just happen to have the other’s souls (or so it is implied) and really shouldn’t be dealing with the baggage of a past life, but hardly the worst way to end a show.
    I have a lot of issues with Franxx, but the one good thing it did was end the story. It is very hard to argue with the conclusion we got given where the story was at the end of episode 23. Realistically, that was probably the best ending we could have gotten at that point. That said, I also know some people really loved the show so I guess it’s just one of those shows that everyone will have to make up their own mind about.

    Liked by 2 people

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