What are the children infected with in Darling in the Franxx?

Short Answer: Dr. Franxx created artificial fertile children to pilot his newly-designed mecha called Franxx, but since children showed less compatibility and aptitude with Franxx, he ended up infecting them with regular doses of yellow blood cells to increase their piloting abilities. Eventually, it became a process to administer all children with frequent yellow blood cell doses from a young age so they could develop sustainable compatibility with Franxx by the time they grow up.

Yellow blood cells increased the capacities of children, but it also affected their personalities, and mental growth as most children became emotionless upon taking these blood cells. People have various theories about these special blood cells like they are some sort of cancer cells or bacteria. With that said, Let’s explore the origin and life of children to discover more about these cells.

Children Background

In Darling in the Franxx, the term “Children” is used to address the humans that came into being when Dr. Franxx used the DNA of adults to create artificial fertile humans. Dr. Franxx created children to pilot Franxx as Parasites and defend humanity from Klaxosaurs as the adults cannot pilot Franxx because of infertility. Children’s existence itself can be regarded as a singularity, given that humanity hasn’t conceived a single new birth after achieving immortality.

“CHILDREN are usually obedient, docile and rational. They only live to fulfil their mission: fight the Klaxosaur and protect the ADULTS. Not these kids. Too many times, they don’t know what to do with their emotions and get carried away. That’s definitely not CHILD-like.”

Nana talking about Squad 13

Adults subjected children to their newly formed nurturing system that would train them and educate them about their duty as the protectors of humanity. Moreover, adults raise them in a highly monitored environment to prevent them from discovering humanity’s past and how they reproduce, as it will only make them vulnerable to emotions. The fact that they weren’t even aware of their own sexuality further proves that adults left them in the dark about these things. Since adults depicted that sooner or later, children will learn the truth, they created a tragic cycle by deploying children of specific age to frontlines where they usually don’t survive and die before knowing the reality of their existence.

How the lives of Children differ from the adults

Although children and adults live in the same world, their lifestyles and existence significantly differ as adults live in giant futuristic plantations with all facilities while children fight against deadly Klaxosaurs despite knowing they might not be able to see the next day. Moreover, adults hold authority over everything, and children have to depend on adults, even for the basic necessities. Children are obliged to live under several restrictions as fear of abandonment scares them, given that they have spent their entire life on orders, and without them, they are highly likely to suffer. It is worth noting that children have retained some emotions while adults have completely lost them, causing a big difference in their respective lives.

“Everything comes to an end. The only difference is whether it comes sooner or later. And even though we sense the end is near, we spend another day, idling in the cradle of our lives.”

Ikuno about life

Looking on the bright side, Children’s lives are somehow beautiful as the true joy of life is that it ends, but adults don’t have this luxury because they are immortal and are dependent on machines to survive. Although children don’t have freedom, they still have a chance to gain freedom, while adults cannot leave their plantations as they are vulnerable to the outside environment. In a way, one could say that the lives of children are way better than adults despite the fact that children’s lives are fragile but perhaps it is for the best.

Do the adults fear Children?

Ever since humanity achieved immortality, their very lives changed to the point they lost their emotions, senses, and everything that makes them human, as they ended up depending on machines to get pleasure. According to Dr. Franxx, adults have forgotten about the world and Klaxosaurs, but they are aware of children’s existence as they contributed their DNA for their creation. Normal adults don’t fear children as they have lost their emotions. Moreover, they consider them contaminated with a virus, like the time Zorome entered an adult house, and the lady sprayed the whole area with a disinfectant, as shown in episode 10 of Darling in the Franxx.

“The birdcage is still here. And so are we. The people we were supposed to protect aren’t there anymore and our wings are still being repaired, but we believe that the ten of us will all be able to fly again soon. Until then, we’ll make it through on our own.”

Futoshi after Squad 13 is left to fend for themselves

On the other hand, the adults, especially those belonging to the APE organization, fear children as they literally call them “Parasites,” which means they want children to remain dependent on them for every need or else they will leave and adults would be left alone to fight Klaxosaurs. The fact that adults took measures to prevent children from learning the reality of humanity further proves that they are afraid of them as children are likely to fight back against their caged-like system.

Are the Children infected with something?

Dr. Franxx discovered that only fertile children are not enough to pilot Franxx as they cannot utilize its full potential but injecting children with yellow blood cell doses can increase their para capacity and aptitude, which in turn would help them develop a more sustainable connection with Franxx. Upon witnessing the results of Yellow Blood Cells, adults begin injecting children with these cells from a very young age, and the dosage continues to increase with age. Apart from advantages, these cells not only affected the nature of children but made them vulnerable to diseases like fever. Moreover, adults presented children with an elixir injection (Concentrated Yellow Blood Cells) that could increase their aptitude, but it only had a 15% success rate. Among all children, only Mitsuru is known to survive after taking an elixir injection, as shown in episode 14 of Darling in the Franxx.

I’m going to get an injection. If I don’t, I won’t be able to stay.

Mitsuru to Hiro about taking an elixir injection

Yellow Blood Cells are intriguing in the way that they aren’t a type of cancer but a transferable type of disease as the cells can adapt and survive in another body. In the first place, adults extracted these cells from the bodies of humans affected by radiation, and probably the radiation gave rise to these cells. Since adults who underwent immortality operations are vulnerable to these cells, they deemed children contaminated as they carry these cells.

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Our Final Thoughts

In the end, I can’t help but despise the adults for forcing children into fighting Klaxosaurs while they rest in protected plantations. They overlook the fact that they are also human and treat them like disposable warfare tools. However, the most unforgivable crime of adults was infecting children with Yellow Blood Cells, as these cells not only rob these children of emotions but also hinder them from growing up and embracing a future. Even though children had short lives, it was far better than the so-called immortal life of adults.

Thank you for reading!

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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

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