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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Darling in the FranXX Episode 23 – Anime QandA Review

Darling in the FranXX Episode 23 Anime QandA Review

What’s the show? Darling in the FranXX, Episode 23.

So in recent episode the show has gotten a bit ~weird~ at least in regards to what you call the “window dressing” namely the actual setting and plot of the show. Do things continue on this trajectory? This is the weirdest, dumbest episode of this show and has pretty much confirmed it into legendary status in my opinion!

So you like it even when you admit it’s “dumb”? Things can be good and dumb, those two things aren’t mutually exclusive. Michael Bay movies are dumb but they’re… okay bad example. But when I say dumb I don’t mean in the sense that it’s unintelligent, I mean the sense that it’s absurd and unintelligible and I can’t believe what I’m seeing.

Is it something in particular or throughout the episode? It’s a single thing—albeit massive—that happens at the end of the episode.

Way to some it up succinctly!

Well let’s save that for the end of the review and talk about the rest of the episode first, yeah? Fine~ so the gang go to space to battle the bad aliens with the help of the Klaxosaur’s space fleet and it’s kind of an unintelligible mess of action and lasers and explosions and not going to lie but this is exactly the reason I don’t usually ever watch Mech anime. Obviously I know they’re not all like this but my eyes kind of glaze over when I see big robots fighting, but I at least had the benefit of being invested in the characters here as well as the fact some of it looked pretty nice!

Pretty darn cool.

If it was just space battles though wouldn’t that be kind of boring for you? There’s plenty other stuff to enjoy about this episode, the scenes back on Earth with Kokoro looking after the catatonic Zero Two were very touching and exactly the kind of thing I was hoping for—as were the later scenes between Kokoro and Mitsuru… I just want them to be happy together!

I legit cried.

Any other scenes you liked? Yes, the scenes with Nana and Hachi were nice, I wouldn’t have been especially aggrieved if Hachi had died in that explosion but I guess the writer’s want a mother and father figure to look after the Plantation 13 kiddies… urge to rant about heteronormative agendas rising.

Settle down… nobody wants to read about that. Quick, uh, so what’s the ridiculous thing that happened at the end of the episode that made you so enthused? Oh! Right! It’s amazing; when it happened I was like, you marvellous stupid sons of bitches!

I can see why he chose to be with her, the horns really suit him… oh and also they’re soulmates.

What happens?! So the whole point of Hiro and co. going to space was to rescue Zero Two’s mind who is trapped in the Strelizia Apath (or whatever they were calling it in the subtitles of this episode), they get Hiro to the ship, which is absurdly massive by the way, it’s practically the size of a space station… Hiro enters the cockpit and enters Zero Two’s mind, they argue for a bit—she wants him to stay away and keep his humanity, he wants to be with her no matter what—it goes back and forth until finally she gives in and… well just feast your eyes on this glorious gif:


What… what happened? This is her final form! (Probably) Strelizia True Apus! Basically giant sexy robot turns into a giant, fleshy woman in armor in space and it’s ridiculous and doesn’t make any sense and I love it and I want to marry it.

That’s… I don’t even know what to say? I know right, I felt so many emotions, mostly laughter though.

“Sup, I’m huge now”

I don’t think that was the intended reaction though? So? I hate the idea that people are so rigid about expectations and what a show should be that they can’t accept and enjoy something ludicrous and so damn pretty. But whatever, people will probably hate this episode and I’ll be the sole idiot proclaiming how much fun this final transformation is. Whatever, I don’t want to get rant-y, I just want to enjoy myself, end of review!

Calm down, and let’s finish this properly and professionally. Watch the gif a few more times to centre yourself. *deep breaths* I’m fine, I’m fine. So after the transformation Strelizia True Apas fires her lasers destroying all the enemies but the job’s not over yet! Hiro tells his fellow FranXX pilots that he and Zero Two have to go through a wormhole that’s just appeared and deliver a bomb to the main enemy alien military fleet in order to wipe them out for good and stop the threat of them returning to Earth—much to the tearful objections of his friends. But there’s no stopping Hiro and Zero Two, they’re a team and it’s their destiny.

Yes it looks like a wedding dress, don’t @ me.

So are you looking forward to the final episode? Oh hell yeah, getting to see the ridiculous and beautiful Strelizia True Apas in action against an entire army of aliens is hopefully going to be amazing… or amazingly over the top. Also, not so secretly hoping for a ‘they all lived happily ever after’ ending for everyone. Only time will tell though if I get my wish!

Previous Darling in the FranXX Reviews:

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

If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!



Men Love Their Cockpits – A 20 Question Review of Space Battleship Tiramisu

Men Love Their Cockpits – A 20 Question Review of Space Battleship Tiramisu

What’s the show? Space Battleship Tiramisu (2018).

And what’s it about? I don’t know if you know this about me but I’m a bit of a clean freak. But only about some things, and only once I’ve noticed that they’re untidy… but once I do notice you bet I’m going to obsess about it until I’m able to clean it or put it back the way it’s supposed to be!

Uh… okay, what’s that got to do with this show? Everything! Space Battleship Tiramisu is about one man’s unending efforts to keep his cockpit clean—it’s his sanctuary, his home—and if anything gets in the way of his ~ideal~ he loses his damn mind!

Right. And who is this obsessive man? Subaru Ichinose, a top mech pilot who on more than one occasion strips down to his birthday suit in pursuit of zen in his cockpit.

Don’t piss him off!

Wait, why is he naked?! I think the more important question is, why aren’t we all naked…

No but seriously. Well in the first episode it’s because his shirt was on inside out and back-to-front and it was causing him such distress that he ripped the clothes from his body so as not to feel like he was suffocating!

Okay then… sounds like Subaru has some issues…I wouldn’t go that far, I find his unique brand of obsessiveness and reactionary behaviour kind of relatable. Like in the final episode of the first season where he’s applying a clear protective cover to his brand new helmet and is trying his hardest to get it on the curved surface perfectly only to lose his shit when he gets distracted and ends up with three air bubbles under the protective coating! I feel his pain!

Wait, isn’t this a series about mech’s in space? It’s a series with mech’s set in space but no this show’s just about Subaru dealing with everyday struggles—some relatable, some completely and utterly ludicrous like when he starts having a conversation with a rogue pubic-hair that’s floating ‘round his cockpit.

And what language did you expect it to speak? Pubeish?

That sounds… kinda stupid. Some of it is, yeah. And some of it’s pretty clever, it’s pretty much a lucky dip of what kind of comedy you’re going to get on any given episode—but since the episodes are only ten minutes each it never feels like you’re wasting your time by watching a ‘lesser’ episode.

And are there many “lesser” episodes? I’d say it’s about 70/30 in favour of ‘good and funny’ episodes, though even the least of the lesser ones still manage a chuckle or two.

Is there any plot to speak of? Not so much as plot as there is character development, either to do with his estranged brother who shows up round the midway point—and who turns out is just as ‘obsessive’ about things as Subaru. Also I know this’ll be controversial because a few fellow reviewers were annoyed by this but I loved the fact that the show ~almost~ had a semblance of a serious plot going on in the middle episodes only for it to be thrown away for the sake of a bunch of silly jokes. I wouldn’t expect anything less from this show!

The eyepatch is just for looks.

And what about the other characters? There’s the other inhabitants of the Tiramisu like the brash and appropriately named ‘Vulgar’, the buxom beauty ‘Ligier’, matronly and interfering ‘Shigeruko’ and of course the evil robot who tries to frame Subaru for stealing it’s wallet only for Subaru to switch the robot’s settings from ‘evil’ to ‘motorbike’ and then mount its head in his cockpit to act as a sort of GPS navigation system.

…What? You heard me…

Not to disparage this clearly perfectly sane anime, but it does kind of seem like its approach to comedy is a bit “throw everything at it and see what sticks.”Absolutely—and while that’s invariably going to turn off a lot of people I was fine with it. Though I’m not going to pretend like it’s some sort of comedic masterpiece, there’s a few key things they could have tweaked to make it better.

Oh yeah, mister smarty writer guy? Like what? In my opinion the best episodes were the first episode and the thirteenth episode (season finale). They were much more focused on the minutiae of everyday life and the stress that can be caused by seemingly insignificant things going wrong—and the comedy that results for the viewer. If they’d focused solely on that style of comedy we could have had the anime equivalent of Seinfeld in space!

There’s always a line when you’re busting for the toilet!

‘A show about nothing—in space’? Pretty much!

But now? Nada. (editors note: that’s a deep cut Seinfeld reference right there!)

Wait a minute… you don’t have an editor! Shhh~

So is there anything else you wanted to talk about regarding this show? For a short anime it sure does have a great OP and ED song! Both were under a minute so they were ineligible for my Top 10 list’s for the season but they both were worthy of a sport, very catchy songs and both of them sung by the voice actor for Subaru! “BREAK THROUGH!”

Surprisingly not a scene from a yaoi anime.

Right, so final score and recommendation for Space Battleship Tiramisu? The best thing to do when approaching this show is don’t expect anything because week-to-week the comedy can be so varied both in quality and quantity—that aside the short run-time at least makes it so that even the weakest episode passes before you have the time to dwell on it too much. Subaru makes for an endearing, charismatic and appropriately bonkers lead character and not only does the season end on a interesting cliff-hanger, a second season is scheduled for Fall 2018 so the wait won’t even be that long! By no means perfect, but still perfectly good fun; 75 out of 100.

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The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These Episode 2 & 3 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These Episode 2 & 3.

What’s the show? The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These, Episode 2 & 3.

Oh right, the vaguely homoerotic space battle show? That’s the one.

So didn’t have enough to talk about during episode 2 for a seperate post. Yeah, episode 2 was kind of ‘more of the same just from the opposite side’s perspective’ which didn’t make for terribly compelling viewing or reviewing. The space battles still looked great and Yang Wen-Li who’s our protagonist on the Free Galaxy Alliance side is an interesting and well written character. But other than that not much to talk about.

Episode 3 is different then? Oh yeah. Like I was at first a bit concerned when the episode started going into flashbacks for Siegfried Kircheis’ childhood, I was like “does this epic space battle anime really have time for trips down memory lane” but episode 3 is genuinely great, we finally have a proper plot that was only vaguely hinted at previously.

What is it? Reinhard von Lohengramm, the blonde haired space captain who’s heading up half the space fleet of the autocratic ‘Galactic Empire’ had his older sister sold to the Kaiser when he was just a boy. Being that he lives under an autocracy there’s not much he can do to save his sister from allotment in life… short of rising through the ranks of the military and becoming leader of the Galactic Empire himself!

Wow! That’s… certainly ambitious! I’ll say, I mean as much as the large scale space battles were an impressive sight to behold, I’m far more interested in watching how Reinhard intends to succeed a dictator and became ruler of this powerful galactic wide empire!

Cool, so…uh… how about the err… homoerotic elements? Does it really matter if there are or there aren’t any such scenes? It shouldn’t matter what sexuality the protagonist(s) is or isn’t?

Yeah but some people may be watching the show for that specifically? Nothing but the occasional longing look and coyly titled head.

Right, so we’re a quarter of the way through this season? Do you think there’s any chance of it wrapping up neatly by episode 12? It’s hard to say, like the pace does feel oddly slow for a show that seemingly wants to do so much. I’ve heard word (which is to say I read it one someone else’s blog) that the story is going to continue after the 12 episodes and be concluded in two movies, which if true is slightly annoying as it’ll be a lot harder to get hold of these movies as I very much doubt Crunchyroll will bother to put them up on their streaming service but who knows, maybe the end of episode 12 will be satisfying enough of a conclusion. Or maybe it’ll crash and burn like so many spaceships in this pointless intergalactic war. Either way, I’m still going to watch to the end, just out of curiosity.

Space Battleship Tiramisu Episode 1 & 2 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for Space Battleship Tiramisu Episode 1 & 2.

What’s the show? Space Battleship Tiramisu, Episode 1 & 2.

Mmm, sounds tasty. Bahahaha…

What? Well I mean this show is tasty, depending on what you’re into that is…

Oh no… what did I just walk into? Our protagonist spends a lot of episode 1 in the ~nude~ it’s quite the spectacle!

Why am I getting Darling in the FranXX flashbacks?

I’m definitely not into that. Oh come on, don’t be such a wet blanket. It’s fun!

Is it then? Well I mean yeah, it’s a comedy, but the nudity, well… let me put it this way, if you’re into men—that is to say handsome naked ones—you’ll enjoy this show for that, and if you’re not, well I think it’s handled in a way that makes it funny. Which is basically my way of saying, even if you’re not into naked dudes you should watch this show.

Subaru just can’t catch a break!

Uh-huh… So what’s it actually about? Subaru is a top mech pilot, who loves his cockpit. It’s his sanctuary from everything about the rest of the world (or rather the space station he lives on) that riles him up and rubs him the wrong way, from obnoxious fellow pilots and their critical opinions on his eating habits to the matronly mechanic interfering with the ‘aesthetic’ of his precious cockpit.

I’m still not really sure what this show is about… It’s like a character comedy, and at 7 minutes per episode it never overstays its welcome, at least not yet anyway.


Oh so that’s why you waited to the second episode to review the show? Indeed, I can only write about what their is sufficient material to write about. Hence why other short anime of this season will be compiled like this, except the 3 and 4 minute one’s will probably have to wait a couple more eps before I cover them in blog form, but rest assured they will be covered!

Dude, nobody cares. I know, I like to write like I’m talking to an audience of thousands! Rather than the reality—an audience of tens.

He’s that kind of guy.

Nobody likes a sad sack… Fine, I’ll be in my cockpit.

Man, that’s a funny word. And this show knows it! In fact there’s something strangely knowing about this show, like it’s acutely aware of how amusing it is, it’s got an ego which is strangely magnetic and also a little off-putting. Like the first episode is undoubtedly funny but the second episode is less so, but it’s still so confident in the fact that it is a comedy that it keeps it so inherently watchable.

Cabbage is the enemy!

Fair enough, so does this short comedy come recommended? Yeah, I mean if you’re into this kind of thing, which you’ll probably figure out very quickly. It’s by no means perfect, or even excellent, it’s just consistently good with flashes of brilliance but at the reduced running time and thanks to its unpredictability, I’ll be looking forward to each instalment.

The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These Episode 1 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA Review for The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: The New Thesis – Encounter Episode 1.

What’s the show? The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These Episode 1.

Quite the mouthful. Heh!

Did I say something funny? Oh, no just kind of apt, this show’s got a serious homoerotic streak between the protagonist Reinhard von Lohengramm and his second-in-charge Siegfried Kircheis. And I don’t know if it’s intentional but it’s how do I put this delicately…

Just spit it out. Haha!

Some quality dialogue there.

Oh my god you’re so immature… Listen, I’m all for homoeroticism, believe it or not. Just because I’m usually into cute girls doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the importance of a little male same sex relations but it’s just… it feels so damn silly here! And not because it’s OTT, quite the contrary, it’s so stuffy and repressed that I don’t even know who the target audience for it is. Maybe because it’s based on an older anime that came from a time when it wasn’t so cool to be open with these things. Or maybe it’s just because the setting is so grand and slick and its framed against epic space battles and intergalactic diplomacy that it kind of feels like they’re holding back as not to further narrow down their audience but in doing so they’re really just making an unfulfilling product.

Anime blue balls? Sure, if you want to be crude about it…

And perhaps later I can show you my stamp collection.

Hey, who’s the one who was laughing at my innuendo just a few questions ago?! You admit it then!

Ugh—so you mentioned ‘epic space battles’. Care to elaborate? Yeah, I mean it’s probably the most impressive thing about this show, the 3D CGI animation is flawlessly integrated into the 2D and the battles have the kind of scope and scale that I don’t think I’ve ever seen in a TV series. It’s just a shame the rest of the story is so dull and the characters (so far) are playing it so low key that there feels like everybody’s just phoning it in. That and the story is kind of boring.

It looks better in motion, trust me.

Well that’s a shame. It is! It feels like there’s a lot of promise and a lot of talent behind the scenes but it’s not very well executed, to the point I have to wonder why should I bother continuing. But it’s not offensive enough to give it up just yet, maybe it will improve, and maybe the relationship between the two men will go beyond “flirting” “words”, but until then it will continue to be dull.

That kind of captain’s chair says a lot about a person.

Since when are you rooting for more man on man action? Hehehehe ‘rooting’.

No but seriously! I don’t know, I guess when there’s so little else to focus in on in a show like this you want it to do something daring. I mean at least it would be doing something.

A bit phallic perhaps? Or do I just have a dirty mind?

Fair enough, so do you recommend this show? Umm, not really? The space battles are excellent but that’s not nearly enough to make it worth watching unless you are for some reason really into these characters. I’ll keep watching though, because even though it may be dull at least it doesn’t offend me or make me angry. Maybe that seems like a silly reason to continue a show but the very least I’ll have some cool space battles to look at.

It really is a good looking anime.