I find it interesring that the series emphasized that Dr. Franxx is an atheist (he said it twice, whenever someone likened his actions to playing God.) In real life cutting edge Scientists tend to be atheists, and the trope dates back to Frankenstein. But “Darling in the Franxx” just made it an explicit point that atheists think differently and don’t follow the same morals as theists, and it’s fitting that the doctor alone questioned and resisted the desire for immortality, and intends to fight the totalitarian ideologies which became rooted in religion. (All parasites worship and love an ominipresent papa from birth just like modern monotheists love and follow God, and the council literally lives up in the sky and they even pray to papa in the story. ) Atheists are just better at freethinking, and aside from any nature loving mysticism involving the klauxosaurs, this is an anti-theist anime (set in a sci-fi universe.) Outgrowing papa is a right of passage in becoming an independent actor, aka “an adult.” The anime has so far taken the position that, “there can be no peace on Earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven.”
Anti-theism aside, the episode would have been better if they hadn’t explained everything and gone with the fantasy, because some of the attempts at explanations were so far-fetched. You really think in 2025 that the media, government and population wouldn’t demand to see the faces under the masks of the most powerful people on Earth? Now they had better have a good scientific explanation for why an unknown ancient species could hide underground for so long, and then be awakened to come out of the Earth like Godzilla when humanity went too far. As it is, it’s too close to the old Japanese trope of a mystical primordial force appearing to save a desecrated Gaia, and fits uneasily in a sci-fi universe where atheist doctors protect deviants who can one day defy and destroy twisted cults of personality who cloak themselves in religion.