Anime title: Darling in the FranXX
Genres: Action, Drama, Mecha, Romance, Sci-Fi
In the distant future, humans shelter themselves against the klaxosaurs in huge cities called Plantations. Children are raised to pilot giant robots called FranXX in boy-girl pairs, in order to fight the klaxosaurs. Because these children were raised for the sole purpose of piloting the FranXX, they lack knowledge of the outside world. Hiro is a boy who aspires to pilot a FranXX. However, he lost his motivation after failing an aptitude test. He withdraws into a lake in the forest, where he encounters a girl with two horns protruding out of her head. The girl introduces herself as “Zero Two” and is rumored by some to be the “Partner Killer”. As Hiro tries to process the encounter, the Plantation is attacked by a klaxosaur. Zero Two fights the klaxosaur in her FranXX but it takes heavy damage and lands near Hiro. Finding her partner to be dead, Zero Two invites Hiro to pilot the FranXX with her and they easily defeat the klaxosaur. Hiro renews his motivation for a chance at redeeming his past failures, but what would this cost him?
I loved the buildup in the first half and in the middle of the show. I thought that the show was slightly messy around episode 20 but the revelations which came after that made up for it well enough. I liked the interactions between the characters. I felt that some characters should have been given more background, though. I liked Zero Two’s growth throughout the series. I enjoyed the opening theme, especially the opening theme music video in the second half of the show. I felt that how the characters progressively find out more about themselves and the world they live in, while having little to no knowledge about things, gave rise to interesting perspectives and lines of thought. This is probably the biggest hook of the show for me, as it left me speculating and theorising after most of the episodes. I really liked the sci-fi elements in this show, though the mecha aspect could probably have been done better. The ending was satisfying enough, though I felt that Darling in the Franxx could have finished better and reached greater heights if they had better followed up on the buildup in the first half and the middle. Overall, it’s been a very good but not great show for me.
I would recommend Darling in the Franxx to fans of romance and sci-fi, and fans who seek to be or tend to be easily emotionally attached to shows. The activation method of the robots can turn off some viewers, though.