Darling in the Franxx: Papa and APE: Everything you need to know

Darling in the Franxx features the peculiar character of Papa, which is not explained well as even after watching the whole series, so it wouldn’t come off as strange if you couldn’t fully understand the psyche of Papa and his organization called APE on your first watch of the show. Papa first comes off as the savior of humanity with parasites literally worshiping him, but later, we get to know a sinister truth about his real identity that causes much confusion among the audience. Moreover, Papa’s influence on other characters is another intriguing thing as each character seems to take a leap of faith after witnessing the tragedy created by none other than their beloved Papa. With that said, Let’s talk about Papa and the APE organization in detail to clear up everything.

Who is Papa in Darling in the Franxx?

Papa is the founder of the APE organization that introduced revolutionary technology and a new energy resource called Magma Energy to win over the hearts of humanity. He wears a robe and a mask as it is the formal outfit of all significant APE members. He is the one who recruited Dr. Franxx and gave him resources to continue his illegal experiments as he found them interesting and worth watching. Gradually, Papa made a positive image in front of all humans to the point they began to entrust everything to him, their money, faith, and even souls, as he granted their pipe dream of immortality. Furthermore, Papa continued to develop the APE organization and forbade individuals from having children, believing that they were no longer required now that they had acquired immortality. Later, Papa instructed Dr. Franxx to create artificial children called Parasites as disposable soldiers so they could fight against Klaxosaurs on their behalf. He manipulated the children in a way that they began to worship him and even decided to sacrifice their life just to earn their Papa’s praise.

“My children, you have had the good fortune to be chosen as parasites. Your great predecessors defended out cities and our people, and they splendidly took flight as our representatives. Turn your life into a blaze of glory and shed every last drop of blood you have. I pray that you will become a shining ray of hope for humanity.”

Papa to Parasites

It is amazing that a single person managed to control the entire humanity, but considering the cunning and rational nature of Papa, it is no wonder he brainwashed humanity and used their greed as a weapon against them to gain control of the world. I can’t help but wonder how it is easy to manipulate others just by using their weakness as a weapon, and Papa is one of the few humans who cracked this code and conquered each person’s soul and body.

Is Papa Evil in Darling in the Franxx?

Initially, Papa appeared to work for the survival and prosperity of humanity and children, as he always made sure adults living on plantations lived peacefully and parasites were given gifts on several occasions, but unfortunately, all of this was a ruse, as Papa turned out to be the greatest enemy of humanity and all lifeforms as shown in episode 20 of Darling in the Franxx. Papa revealed himself as the leader of an extraterrestrial alien race called VIRM that works to unite all life forms as a single consciousness without any physical bodies.

Moreover, Papa believes that he works for the salvation of all life forms; therefore, he forces his ideals on others without thinking about their feelings and decisions. It is important to note that even before revealing his real identity Papa was cruel to rebel humans, especially Parasites, as he subjected them to insane torture if they happened to disobey him like he ordered Dr. Franxx to remove Zero Two memories with Hiro causing Zero Two to undergo unimaginable torture as shown in episode 13 of Darling in the Franxx.

“It’s what you get for forgetting you’re children. Erase those memories. They’re noise.”

Papa to Zero Two and Hiro

Like the rest of the APEs, Papa is aware of his wrongdoings, but he is unconcerned about them since he believes that humans must pay the price for evolution and that all of these heinous acts will lead to a better tomorrow. Parasites refused to accept this kind of self-imposed goodness and decided to fight against Papa with a spirit that the previous generation of adults failed to develop.

What is APE?

In the twenty-first century, a mysterious organization known as APE approached humanity with the promise of a bright future free of sorrow and hardships, and humanity fell for the hook and opted to give their entire lives to APE. The organization first started small with only seven members called Seven Sages, who laid the foundation of APE with Papa being its chairman. With each passing day, more people come to embrace APE’s acts and beliefs, and their authority and influence over people grow to the point where they become the ultimate organization leading all of humanity with its superior technology.

Talking about their first accomplishment, they extracted a cheap, yet powerful energy resource called Magma Energy from the Earth’s core that boosted the advancements in the field of science and technology, and eventually, they presented humanity with immortality operations that offered individuals with eternal life just by subjecting them through a surgery involving the implantation of a heart-like device powered by Magma Energy. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that from this point onward, the real demise of humanity started as they lost their reproductive abilities in exchange for immortality, but they failed to recognize this loss as APE brainwashed them.

Later, APE endorsed Dr. Franxx to produce mechas powerful enough to fight against the incoming attacks from Klaxosaurs. This need led to the artificial creation of children called Parasites, who became able to pilot these mechas called Franxx by taking doses of yellow-blood cells.

Who are the APE members?

As I have mentioned before, seven members known as Seven Sages initiated the APE organization, and later more people joined them. The founding members go by their assigned names based on primates, except for Papa and Vice-Chairman, like Gorilla, Marmoset, Baboon, Lemur, and Tarsier, Vice Chairman, while the chairman names himself Papa. Together, they are the APE organization founders who introduced advanced technology and ideas to humanity. Later, APE recruited Dr. Franxx as they found his research and experiments interesting. They gave him significant funds and authority as an APE member so he could continue producing their desired results.

Dr. Franxx’s contributions to the APE organization are worth mentioning as he created the Franxx and other powerful weapons by studying the working of Klaxosaurs. All APE members have gone through immortality operations; therefore, they have existed for countless years. Talking about the APE members, Gorilla is an African man whose age is more than a century, while other members are even older than him. All APE members are males except Marmoset, the only female among the founding members. It is important to note that all APE members are heartless as they consider Parasites and other humans disposable tools.

Like Parasites, Some APE members Gorilla, Marmoset, and Baboon weren’t aware of the fact that VIRM was using them as mere pawns to achieve their real objective of conquering Earth and all lifeforms. After revealing their true identities, Papa and other infiltrators absorbed their souls, turning their bodies into stones, as shown in episode 20 of Darling in the Franxx.

What is APE’s goal?

APE arrived to provide technological breakthroughs and, in turn, to alleviate the suffering of humanity on the Earth. They first introduced Magma Energy and began its extraction to use it as a primary energy source for all upcoming technology, and eventually, it led them to produce gadgets powered by Magma Energy that provided humans with immortality at the cost of their reproductive abilities. Later, they developed powerful weapons to fight against Klaxosaur as APE announced them the enemy of humanity and Earth itself. Given APE’s conduct, it’s logical to say that their goal was to evolve humanity and the very way of living on Earth.

The real issue began when Papa and other founding members revealed themselves as members of VIRM, the true adversary of humanity and all lifeforms, who took joy in forcing lifeforms to abandon their physical bodies. It is important to note that human APE members like Gorilla and Marmoset wanted to revolutionize humanity’s way of living, but they weren’t aware that APE wanted them to leave their physical bodies and join them as a single consciousness.

“We will absorb all lifeforms on this planet, and we’ll take you to eternal paradise.”

VIRM to Humanity

In short, Papa and other VIRM members built the APE organization with the goal of conquering planet earth and the weapons of Klaxosaurs, which they failed to acquire in their last battle against Klaxo Sapiens, as shown in episode 21 of Darling in the Franxx.

Is APE a part of VIRM?

It is indeed true that Papa created the APE organization as a way to execute the will of VIRM on humans and Earth, but as you already know that some members of APE are humans ignorant of the fact that Papa is the leader of VIRM, so it is safe to say that the whole APE organization is not a part of VIRM, but only Papa and some other members (Lemur, Tarsier, Vice Chairman) are a part of VIRM. Looking back on history, we get to know that some agents of VIRM remained on Earth after battling Klaxo Sapiens and disguised themselves as humans while planning to take over the planet’s resources and authority only to use it against Klaxo Sapiens in future wars.

Their first step towards gaining authority and influence was to create the APE organization, and for that purpose, they enlisted some humans with high authority and brainwashed them into following their ideals and eventually, the APE organization came into being and gradually became the supreme power controlling the lives of people and the planet itself.

APE members’ affiliation with VIRM remained a secret till the final climax of the series. Papa and other members revealed their true identity after taking the powerful weapon built from the mass of Klaxosaurs called Hringhorni and initiating exploding protocols on Star Entity to destroy the planet earth in one go.

Who is the real villain in Darling in the Franxx?

It is frustrating to acknowledge that we are left in the dark for most of the series about the real villain in Darling in the Franxx as we believed Klaxosaurs to be the real enemy but later we discovered that an alien race called VIRM is the real villain as they invaded and Earth in the past in hopes of conquering the advance technology and resources on Earth, but fortunately, Klaxo Sapiens fought them with their lives on the line and eventually drove them out.

However, VIRM turned out to be far greater than Klaxo Sapiens in number as they have devoured countless planets and lifeforms. Klaxo Sapiens went underground to wait for VIRM’s inevitable return, unknown of the fact that some agents of VIRM survived and submerged within the human society to make use of humans as tools to defeat the evolved Klaxo Sapiens called Klaxosaurs. The leader of VIRM created the APE organization and became known as Papa, and the rest is just history.

“This is VIRM’s Will.”

VIRM after initiating the destruction of Earth

Although it came as a surprise that an otherworldly race is the main villain in Darling in the Franxx, we all know how interesting the series became right after the debut of VIRM. The fact that humans have been betrayed and Klaxosaurs are actually their allies are some of the aspects that created an intense hype and curiosity among the viewer in the final episodes of Darling in the Franxx.

You May Also Like: Darling in the Franxx: Season 2

Darling in the Franxx left an everlasting impression on the audience, causing them to wonder how interesting and entertaining it would be for Darling in the Franxx to have a Season 2. Considering the success of Darling in the Franxx Season 1 and some elements left in the finale, it is possible for Darling in the Franxx to return with a Season 2.

If you want to check out more insights about Darling in the Franxx Season 2, click here to read our article “Darling in the Franxx Season 2: All You Need To Know.

Our Final Thoughts

In the end, Papa betrayed humanity and even tricked them into believing that Klaxosaurs were their enemy while they were the defenders of planet earth. I can’t help but pity the humans that gave their everything to APE just to have eternal life, and it is frustrating they risked the existence of humanity in exchange for a life that is a slave to machines. Moreover, children who didn’t even have parents continued struggling against the doomed fate of humanity, unlike the adults who gave in to their desires and dragged humanity into all this mess. The existence of VIRM serves as a stark reminder of how frail and vulnerable humans are in real life.

Thank you for reading!

If you made it this far, you are the best!

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out our other articles for more Gundam and Mecha related fun!


Hi! I'm Demby and I've been a fan of Mecha since I was a little boy. Now I enjoy writing about all things mecha to answer questions that you guys have. I hope you enjoy my articles. :D

Recent Posts