Episode 3 subtly dives into more details while keeping its steady pace of universe building and character development. Things get a little faster with the introduction of their very first actual mission. Of which, realities and gravity of all the characters’ situations are tasted.
The episode starts out with a flashback and some subtle education on their living conditions.
Apparently every bubble hub/city community is called a Plantation. Within the Plantation houses a city where everyone lives unless your one of the kids being reared to pilot the mechas. These kids are housed in separate facilities and forbidden from other sections of the Plantation, such as the actual city. All the candidates are grouped into Gardens and then sub divided into Nests.
Our story covers a certain Nest where MC and company grow up, get paired, and become what they call Parasites that pilot the big mechas to defend the Plantation from threats. Of course minus Hiro our MC who hasn’t officially received that Parasite title yet.
The episode then goes into some character and relationship development. It Shows off how Ichigo is hot bothered by Hiro’s situation. Frustrated about previous episode’s events and jealous of her romantic rival. It also highlighted Zero Two’s attachment to Hiro. She casually showing Hiro around restricted level areas by waltzing together past security check points, boasting her all access pass. The audience only ever seeing her smile when Hiro is with her. Intentions and motives yet unknown.
Which lead to some dramatic/romantic dialogue and interesting cinema letterboxing.
It’s interesting that they used letter boxing here. Obvious that the director specifically wanted it there. The scene started out full screen, then did a letter box transition effect into letterbox mode. But only lasting a short moment during Zero Two’s suggestion of kidnapping Hiro or elopement. While a heavy wind blows her hair all around to great dramatic effect. Then the scene returns to fullscreen normal. Sure the letterbox enhanced the dramatics of the scene, but was it really necessary? Maybe if it was during a climax situation, then it would make better sense. We will see if this was a one off type of thing or if they’ll use it regularly.
The episode continues with the introduction of their first mission. And with their first introduction, comes the first real educational briefing about their FranXX units and their enemy, the Klaxosaurs.
The only few new information obtained during this time is that the FranXX units have special unique “Magma” weapons that are powerful enough to defeat the Klaxosaurs. So far we’ve seen them as mostly bladed melee weapons. But one unit has one in the shape of an awkward revolver. Or it might just very well be only the bayonet on it.
The other information we got during this briefing was teased from the first episode. Where the only way to truely defeat a Klaxosaur is via crushing it’s core. They didn’t say what exactly happens when you don’t though. It always has to be complicated in anime right?
Things happen during their mission and it gets a little hairy due to the group’s inexperience and personal conflicts. Having your mind 100% on the task at hand and in crystal clear clarity seems to be an absolute must to keeping a FranXX going. Not being distracted by adolescent problems. It’s a matter of life and death after all.
Then the call is made in this emergent situation to deploy Strelizia, Zero Two’s FranXX. But not with Hiro at the helm. Of course Zero Two protests the decision, only wanting to ride with her Darling. Regulations however, since Hiro isn’t officially a Parasite. One would say to hell with regulations right? But Hiro frustratingly asks Zero Two to abide and allow one of his other a-hole friends to pilot with her. She complies.
Strelizia then drops in, eliminating all the Klaxosaurs in dramatic fashion. It was only until after the mission that they realized what they are getting into, especially Hiro and with Zero Two.
It begs the question within this male female piloting system of who really is in control? From what we’ve seen so far, the female is mainly a medium and controller interface for the FranXX mech. Which is why the units are of female design based on the female itself. And that the male and female mind link and sync so the male can control. But during some instances so far in the show, the female has some ability to overwrite and take control herself. They also shown that both the male and female positions can take damage from mental strain.
None of the finer details of this system has really been explained yet but given that the show is a 24 episode run, there isn’t really a rush.
We’ll just have to see the aftermath in episode 4.