Well I THOUGHT Violet Evergarden was going to expand the story now, have some unpleasant wartime experiences rise and and bite her, but episode 6 gives us just another stand-alone featuring an emotionally messed-up young man that is shown the way forward from an AI. It’s not all that good a story, either. We’re told why Leon is like this, but I for one had no emotional connection with him at all. At least Violet got to figure out what loneliness is. And so Leon the boy moves on, while Violet, emotionally, cannot. I was more interested in the comet, and the legends they were transcribing of all the doom and horror might be some kind of foreshadowing, but I’ve said that before in this series and nothing seems to change …
Darling in the FranXX 6, on the other hand, gives us what could potentially have been a disastrous mission for our Squad 13, and for Squad 26 as well, since everyone in the show has an issue of some kind or another. And stuff indeed goes wrong, but it only does so because there were more Klaxosaurs than expected, including a gigantic “Gutenberg-class” variety that can morph into all sorts of shapes and do it on a huge scale. Well, also our heroes are still new at this. That everyone succeeds, mostly, might have come partly because Squad 13 now has a chip in their shoulders about being considered dead weight, and they can also see the other squad’s excellent teamwork and don’t want to be left behind. The only personal issues that interfere comes from Ichigo, who not only thinks Hiro is dead and also that she failed somehow. Really, she has to get her act together if she’s going to continue to lead this team.
But the good guys win with no casualties, but that’s not even close to the main story. It hits me with hindsight that Hiro’s reasons for fighting, at least the ones he spouts this episode, have to do with defending his people, and how he’s raised to do nothing else. It’s only when he supposedly dies that he says the right lines, the ones he’d been repeating before now: he wants to ride Strelizia with 02, and nothing else matters. This realization comes after an amazing, intense series of events where it looks like he and 02 ought to be crushed by now, followed by a dream sequence where he’s preparing to say goodbye to the world, until he wakes up, sees 02 still desperately fighting, … and the turnaround when they reconnect is huge fun to watch.
But why did he get to this point in the first place? Why did he keep himself from the truth like he did? It’s interesting that when he got inspired again, his physical ailments faded away and he became completely healthy again, as if lying about his true motives was the thing making him sick. It makes you wonder about the other pilots, the ones whom 02 supposedly “killed.” Is fighting out of duty or obligation what actually killed them? I guess we’ll get more answers soon, maybe even next week. Anyway, a supposedly disastrous situation is managed triumphantly for everybody.
Finally, Hakumei to Mikochi, where for two episodes there are no brushes with death. Instead we watch the eager assistant Hakumei do anything she can to help his weasel (in a good, furry way) boss Iwashi and his trade organization rebuild a stone wall … and she helps. With other shows this would be turned into a major point of a person’s life, but here they just build the wall and drink. Next episode Hakumei (Mikochi is pretty much a bystander these days) gets her hair cut and they take Iwashi out for a day in town … and that’s about it. You know, I like shows where nothing much happens but everything’s good anyway, but I can’t help but feel the show is in a rut. Maybe the wonder of their world is wearing a bit thin. I’m not asking for crises or those brushes with death … maybe we’ve been spending too much time with Hakumei on her job.