FRANXX units are bio-mechanical weapons created by Dr. FRANXX to combat against Klaxosaurs and are piloted by children in boy-girl pairs (the male pilot is referred to as the Stamen and female as the Pistil).
FRANXX units usually consist of a single design in black and white armor. Units of an elite squad, such as the 9’s, have more prominent designs in white armor to distinguish their status as an elite group that words directly under APE. Units of Squad 13 are considered unique because they are the only ones to have designs that befit their pistils’ appearances because Squad 13 is considered an experimental team hastily arranged by Dr. FRANXX. All FRANXX possess a variety of weapons in their systems and on their person. These weapons are charged with magma energy, which tends to put them at a disadvantage as magma energy attracts klaxosaurs.
In the worst case scenario of being captured, the FRANXX have an escape system in which the stamen/pistil presses an emergency button to eject his/hers partner (who is protected inside an escape capsule) from the unit. However, there is no system designed for both to escape simultaneously. The only options for the sole pilot to end a mission is stampede mode for the pistil or self-destruction for the stamen.
According to Hiro, the FRANXX units possess chemical compounds similar to the Klaxosaurs. The explanation to this is revealed by Dr. FRANXX, who explains the units were created from klaxosaur skeletal remains.
The FRANXX are designed to appear more feminine, which according to Dr. FRANXX, was to make the synchronization more comfortable for the Pistil. However, Dr. FRANXX later reveals this is due to the FRANXX being byproducts of Klaxosaurs, in which the klaxosaur body has female chromosomes. They are tall and are twice the size of Conrad-Class Klaxosaurs. In Squad 13's case, they tend to have physical similarities to the flowers in which they were named after.
Following the emergence of Klaxosaurs in 2037, Dr. FRANXX led the idea and construction of the FRANXX units as a defence arsenal against them on behalf of humanity. The units were built with skeletal remains of Klaxosaurs that were excavated from underneath Earth’s surface in a drilling process called S-Planning. The FRANXX units are powered up by magma energy and reserves are stored within its power system to prolong themselves in battle. The FRANXX program dragged on for years and, by the time it finally reached the prototype phase, several startup rituals resulted in failures to successfully pilot them and numerous volunteers lost their lives. In 2042, Dr. FRANXX discovered the units required fertile male and female pairs as pilots. Because humanity lost its ability to procreate in exchange for immortality, there was a need for new children. This was resolved through Dr. FRANXX’s cloning research and children were born. These children, referred to as Parasites, spend their entire childhood in the Garden to be raised for the sole purpose of becoming pilots for the FRANXX and were frequently injected with doses of yellow blood cells to serve as a conduit for the FRANXX.
Prior to boarding the FRANXX units, the parasites must undress, put on special undergarments, and a parasite suit. To connect with the FRANXX, the male and female pairs must not harbour and/or exhibit stress and maintain a calm, composed state of mind. They are required to establish a strong network of trust between them and communicate verbally. Upon successful synchronization, the Pistil will mentally take over the unit while the Stamen will handle the control manuals. The first synchronization tends to give the Pistil a brief painful reaction but often times there is no effect as long as the Pistil remains composed and mentally prepared. Every damage inflicted in the unit will be shared with the Pistil while the Stamen feels none of it. When the paracapacity is low, only the Pistil feels the effects. Upon connecting, the parasites’ minds ‘connect’ with each other, allowing them to see the other’s emotions and memories in an extrasensory level. The surrounding environment and the faces of the parasites in the units can be projected onto the walls via communication monitors. The facial expressions of the FRANXX capture the emotions of the Pistil, such as being happy, excited, sad or angry.
The FRANXX are must require a paracapacity level above a minimum of 50% or else a synchronization between the pilots is impossible to be achieved. A FRANXX can be operated by a Pistil in a process called Stampede Mode, which causes their X factor to rapidly rise and make the unit take on a beastly appearance. However, this is a dangerous tactic, as it causes extreme pain to the Pistil and negatively impacts her health if it continues for a long period of time. While the parasites do find piloting a FRANXX to be fulfilling, as it is their purpose in life, they experience hardships later in life due to the physical and mental effects of it. The effects vary from a parasite experiencing fevers to developing gray hair. For a Pistil, her ability to pilot can be hindered during pregnancy, as it could interfere with the paracapacity between her and the Stamen. Piloting during pregnancy is also banned because any damage the FRANXX receives will be inflicted on the pistil, and therefore, puts the fetus at risk of complications or miscarriage. It could cause detrimental damage to the unborn baby as it lacks the yellow blood cells used as a conduit for the FRANXX. As such, a pistil is temporarily discharged from duty until she makes a choice between giving birth or terminating the pregnancy. Kokoro is the only pistil to have piloted a FRANXX while pregnant and, despite the risks, the unborn baby miraculously survived and was born perfectly healthy.
Typically, frequent piloting a FRANXX will cause the lifespan of the parasite pilots to rapidly drain and they will die after a certain period of time. 090 from Squad 26 developed a whole head of gray hair in just half a year as a result of his accelerated ageing process but was killed in combat. Miku begins sporting strands of gray hair after half a year of piloting. Ikuno‘s health severely weakened during the battle against VIRM when she overexerted herself, causing her to age into an elderly woman by the time she reached her mid-twenties. Strelizia is notoriously infamous for the reputation of Zero Two never being able to have a partner who rides with her more than three times, as she subconsciously devours her partners.
The FRANXX of Squad 13 not only are the sole units to have their own individual and unique designs but also have specific colors that the pilots wear to distinguish their connection to the FRANXX and their own personalities. As seen below:
- Strelizia: red, which symbolizes passion, danger, and excitement. This reflects Zero Two’s dark past as the ‘Partner Killer’, her rebellious attitude and the intense love she and Hiro share.
- Delphinium: blue, which symbolizes loyalty, leadership, and trust. This reflects Ichigo’s status as Squad 13’s leader, her dedication to the team’s survival and welfare, and her close friendship with Goro.
- Argentea: pink, which symbolizes immaturity, playful, and cute. This reflects Zorome’s immaturely and his childish tantrums with Miku, and Miku’s need to appear and behave cutely.
- Genista: green, which symbolizes fertility, growth, and dependability. This reflects Kokoro’s dream to become a mother and her close relationship with Futoshi, who wants to protect her but learns to put her happiness over his own, and later Mitsuru, who learns to lean on others and shares Kokoro’s perspective on the future.
- Chlorophytum: purple, which symbolizes mystery, sensitivity, and moodiness. The reflects Ikuno’s secret regarding her sexuality, Mitsuru’s issue with trusting others and Futoshi’s dedication to doing his best despite his sensitivity.
After the galactic battle against VIRM and the unanimous end of the war with the Klaxosaurs, there was no use of the FRANXX any longer. The mechanical parts of the units were used in building materials as part of the parasites’ attempt to cultivate a new self-sufficient lifestyle, such as windmills, houses, and transportation units. The FRANXX of Squad 13, however, were preserved and positioned as monuments in the parasites’ new community.
- All the FRANXX units of Squad 13 are named after flowers.
- Contrary to the others, Genista and Chlorophytum do not resemble their flower namesakes.
- The word FRANXX is derived from the real name of its creator: Werner Frank (Dr. FRANXX) and the double XX is the normal complement of female sex chromosomes (as the FRANXX are the byproducts of female klaxosaurs).
- The color accent on Naomi’s parasite suit is yellow, which implies the original FRANXX unit she and Hiro would have piloted would have been yellow. This color symbolizes joy and warmth but also, deception and cowardice, which reflects Hiro’s initial tendency to run away from himself.