How I stumbled upon DARLING in the FRANXX is quite easy. Twitter was buzzing about it, I saw clips and screenshots of a girl with horns, I got curious and so decided to check it out. Turns out, I really like it a lot.
To give a quick synopsis of the Anime:
The distant future: Humanity established the mobile fort city, Plantation, upon the ruined wasteland. Within the city were pilot quarters, Mistilteinn, otherwise known as the “Birdcage.” That is where the children live… Their only mission in life was the fight. Their enemies are the mysterious giant organisms known as Kyoryu. The children operate robots known as FRANXX in order to face these still unseen enemies. Among them was a boy who was once called a child prodigy: Code number 016, Hiro. One day, a mysterious girl called Zero Two appears in front of Hiro. “I’ve found you, my Darling.”
It’s essentially Pacific Rift meets Anime and I dig it a lot. The main protagonist Hiro aka Code 017, seems like the timid type of character at first but you’ll learn quickly enough that that’s not the case. In the first episode, we learned that himself and Naomi failed to become drivers or parasite for FRANXX and had to be sent away. Hiro had the opportunity to stay but chose not to as he felt that there’s no place left for him.
In typical anime fashion, he ends up in the right place to meet Zero Two, a human-klaxosaur hybrid. From there we learn that those two are compatible and awaken a FRANXX. Now I’m still learning all of these terminology like APE and what they mean, but for now, that’s all we got. Specifically the term “Parasite”, it’d be interesting to learn why these kids are called that, as opposed to pilots or drivers. Also, who is this “Papa” and what is his role in all this?
The anime reminded me a lot of Kill la Kill in terms of the animation and visual art style. It’s sharp, well polished but still provides a sense of vibrancy and exuberant to it. The pacing was a little fast in my opinion but that’s just a minor complaint. Everything else is great. I also liked how the incorporated the Jian mythology to explain the need of two people piloting a FranXX.
Now let’s talk about Zero Two. I like her already, she seems like a total badass and isn’t one to be shy or embarrassed over most things. In fact she’s the complete opposite of Hiro. It’d be very interesting to learn more about her and how she ended up becoming a hybrid in the first place. I’m also curious about the world itself. We were just thrown into this world without a brief summary about it. I want learn more about the klaxosaurs and where they came from. So many questions, yet so little answers.
I also found how they piloted the FranXX to be hilarious. I was pondering why all the FranXX were females in nature but after seeing that, it takes the term “riding” to a whole new level.
Overall, I’m intrigued by this anime and will continue to watch it. TRIGGER x A-1 Pictures are doing an amazing job with the animation and I can’t wait to so just how far they’re gonna take it.