“Shooting Star Moratorium” and “Boys x Girls”
Saturdays at 12:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll
It’s beachtime for everyone!… even though the only environments we’ve ever seen are deserts. Afterwards, contrived substance Klaxosaur causes sexual tension between the sexes. Fun….
It’s a beach episode. The fuck else is there to say? It’s not even a particularly novel one. In the year of our lord 2018, I figured even subversions of beach episodes was a tired cliche at this point, no less playing it completely straight. There are some potentially interesting character bits later but realistically none of it is going to amount to enough to make our cast of characters interesting. Dr. Franxx giving a foreboding warning to Hiro to not get too emotionally close with Zero-Two is a meaningless plot development because all it’ll really serve is a convenient callback whenever Hiro eventually finds himself in the contrived situation Dr. Franxx was talking about. Throw in some cryptic world building about the state of the rest of the world and I guess the concept of relationships being forbidden knowledge and none of it isn’t really anything we haven’t already seen.
Hell the most confusing thing of all is that apparently humanity is in such dire straits it must live in oppressive mobile city domes but apparently still has enough clean arable land that it can send its child soldiers out on trips to the beach? Having to constantly stay on the move makes some degree of sense considering the threat involved but if Earth is looking as okay as it did in this episode, I can’t help but wonder whats really going on. Related to that, really the only thing this episode has going for it is some top notch art direction and scene layout. The part where the kids are exploring the decayed ruins of the old world is some really nice set dressing. Say what you will about any of the show’s other aspects, but you can’t deny it’s probably one of the best looking of this season. It’s just such a goddamn shame it gets wasted on a show that constantly flip flops between almost-good and plain boring.
Eva did the “teenagers can’t handle their feelings” episode in a way that I think any show that tries to follow up on its game would have to bring something pretty novel to the table in order to surpass it. This episode was not that something. The completely trite, needlessly lewd opener is just the tip of the assberg, as our heroines inexplicably grow shame over the last twenty-four hours. Not only is this completely incoherent with last week’s beach episode, it makes no sense in relation with their connection as pilots. They often treat the pairing in a FRANXX like a relationship, and have talked about how these kids know nothing of actual physical intimacy. How is it, then that they are so bothered by seeing each other naked?
If it’s supposed to be some kind of commentary on the sexual nature of man, it’s a very poor one. For one, the boys act as if their control the FRANXX is some metaphor for male/female relations, but in the short battle in the beginning, we clearly see the girls able to control the robot’s actions on their own. So which is it? This show could be making such a smarter commentary about how a relationship is a union of persons, their wills coming together, rather than one “controlling” the other in any respect, but it can’t even keep its own messaging straight. I think I understand the conceit of Zero Two’s effort: she wants to understand more of what it means to be human, a pretty classic alien girl trope. I think it would have worked a lot better if it was more a continuation of her sentiment to Hiro that he repeats in the beginning: This is an opportunity for the group to come to realize themselves and each other as sexual beings. This comes with boundaries, but since they are also in relationship this necessitates greater intimacy. The entire message becomes so off-point after that scene that I can’t even tell what this show is trying to say anymore.
Finally, we get this overwrought mess of an ending, where the crew “realizes” what I thought was perfectly common knowledge among them. The very first episode of the show talked about how getting sent out of the squad is basically a death sentence, so why would the kids think that their predecessors did not similarly die pointlessly? It’s like each episode of this show was written by a different person only getting to see a single scene from the one prior, as each new development seems to trample on any kind of world building or characterization we accomplished in previous episodes. We talked from the beginning about how the writer of this show is a complete hack, and he is certainly flaunting his hack credentials now. As Lion has started up this week, I’m going to be transferring coverage totally to Gee, may God have mercy on his soul.
I don’t want to watch this show anymore.