In the distant future, humanity has been driven to near-extinction by giant beasts known as Klaxosaurs, forcing the surviving humans to take refuge in massive fortress cities called Plantations. Children raised here are trained to pilot giant mechas known as FranXX—the only weapons known to be effective against the Klaxosaurs—in boy-girl pairs. Bred for the sole purpose of piloting these machines, these children know nothing of the outside world and are only able to prove their existence by defending their race.
Hiro, an aspiring FranXX pilot, has lost his motivation and self-confidence after failing an aptitude test. Skipping out on his class' graduation ceremony, Hiro retreats to a forest lake, where he encounters a mysterious girl with two horns growing out of her head. She introduces herself by her codename Zero Two, which is known to belong to an infamous FranXX pilot known as the "Partner Killer." Before Hiro can digest the encounter, the Plantation is rocked by a sudden Klaxosaur attack. Zero Two engages the creature in her FranXX, but it is heavily damaged in the skirmish and crashes near Hiro. Finding her partner dead, Zero Two invites Hiro to pilot the mecha with her, and the duo easily defeats the Klaxosaur in the ensuing fight. With a new partner by his side, Hiro has been given a chance at redemption for his past failures, but at what cost?
Inspired by old familiar mecha, Darling in the FranXX tries to incorporate over-the-top elements of Gurren Laggan and symbolic yet dramatic elements of Evangelion.
Where it doesn't fail to deliver in generic combat, it not only fails to deliver in consistent plot, which it tries to build upon, but adds unnecessary elements of melodrama from characters, which just makes them look unrealistic and unlikable, it adds on extra awkward elements that makes sympathizing with the cast a pain and following the plot a chore.
Perhaps the cartoony mecha style emphasizes on that, but in the end it's a shallow show that foreshadows heavily on plot twists,
but doesn't follow through to them in the end.
If you enjoy "nu"-mecha anime with unnecessary fanservice, no respect to its own world building and plot, and no respect to the viewer - go ahead and give this a go. What might seem to be a popcorn flick at first, simply something fun to watch, ends up being something that simply spits on the viewer in multiple ways and calls it a day.
Hating popular things doesnt make you an interesting person
Story 6 | Art 9 | Sound 8 | Character 6 | Enjoyment 8 | Overall: 7.4
Darling in the Franxx made a huge impact on the first weeks of its airing, having this promising feel, being made by a collaboration between two great animation studios such as Trigger and A-1 Pictures, having an appealing artstyle, creating one of the hypeast characters in recent anime years such as Zero Two and being criticized all over the internet by the way they pilot the Franxx, Darling is one of the hypest anime I have seen.
Darling was on the
spotlight for plenty of weeks, the first episodes were good and was compared to how it felt like other mecha anime such as NGE or Eureka Seven, and I think this was the biggest mistake everyone made, comparing it to completely finished anime that really turn out good in the last episodes is not fair for this anime.
The story is still promising in my opinion, it's a shame that in 12 episodes we haven't seen anything we didn't know in the first couple of episodes, the world building and plot is just slow at this moment, being a 24 episode series make us expect we get it soon or later, so I wouldn't criticize this aspect of the show until it's done but at this time I gotta say that is going way to slow.
My problems are that apparently the main plot is not story itself but the character interactions, how they react to the new things they are experiencing and to be honest it hasn't been well developed either.
The artstyle is fresh, I really like the artstyle of this show, the fighting scenes are just as fresh as expected from trigger, and the glimpses of the world, the backgrounds and details are very appealing, I would say this is the strongest feature of this anime.
Amazing OP, Ending, Good Voice characters(excluding Hiro), but every fighting scenes feels dull, the ost doesn't give you excitement on the fighting scenes, like some other anime does like BNHA or even SAO, Imo the ost is essential in every fighting scene, since it makes the fight feel important, even the new "monsters" presented in which our main characters are having struggles doesn't feel important since they don't have a good ost that matched to the difficulty of the monsters.
As I said before, we haven't been through a lot of development, in 12 episodes we have seen the main cast carrying out problems such as realizing and questioning themselves why were they created, how and what is their purpose aside from protecting the adults, taking in consideration they know nothing about the world they are living, that they don't know how they were created, they haven't experienced feelings such as love or even know what a relationship, the character development has been fair, they experiencing the new emotions is kind of cliche but it has been real at least.
So I had high hopes for this series, somehow it still doesn't turn out how I used to expect this would be, its been too slow, There are some good episodes such as 11 and 12 were the plot and the backstories shines and keep this anime interesting and promising, so i hope that the next episodes are as good as the last ones and are enough to wrap the entire plot of the series, overall I will continue to watch it since I really enjoy it.
To all people ranting that this is not good, Evangelion wasnt a masterpiece by episode 12, it picked up mostly at the last episodes and the movie, so just let franxx be, by the looks of the last episodes I can say that this show can turn out really good and if it doesnt, believe me I will rant along with you
Episode 13 rating : 9/10
amazing plot/character development, really changed the game for me and for a lot of people, I can't wait for next episode, the last 3 episodes have show us a lot of development and made me believe this series would be as good as I expected before, so lets see what the future beholds
Yup, who would have thought that it's one of the most hyped anime to start off 2018 (besides Violet Evergarden). With the standard of 2-cour shows, I cannot stress this enough: The starting screentime somehow starts off misguiding people about what the show is and its plot, but slowly as the series progresses it gets better with more understanding, and that is the result of Darling in the FranXX, the first of Studio Trigger's 2018 collabs (in this case with A-1 Pictures), although most of the staff involved have past experiences from Gainax (which have done well-known mech shows like Evangelion and Gurren Lagann).
post-apocalyptic future where children are made for a sole purpose: bred as boy-girl (stamen-pistil) pairs called Parasites, to pilot mechs known as FranXX to fight off klaxosaurs which are deemed a threat to the growth of humanity. These children are housed in a military city known as Plantation to house their growth and development.
On the day of the graduation, the main MC, Code:016 Hiro, deemed a prodigy but turned failure leaves him the choice of unsuccessfully piloting a FranXX ever and left on his own, and his encounter with Code:002 Zero Two, a girl with two horns on her head and with klaxosaur blood within her, requests Hiro to be her rider, or as the show puts it: "I've found you, my Darling."
The story itself draws inspiration from past shows and directors whom have past experiences with the involved genres this show has, and it does to a T, with Trigger's well-handy work and A-1 Pictures flare.
Characters (According to FranXX pairings):
Code:016 X Code:002 (Hiro and Zero Two): The most dangerous yet capable pair piloting Strelizia, the prodigy and the infamous partner-killer. Hiro, a wimpy-turned-courageous "Darling" MC and Zero Two the fearless MC.
Code:015 X Code:056 (Ichigo and Goro): The childhood duo of Hiro, the former having a crush on Hiro, and Goro, unafraid to support Ichigo when piloting Delphinium, the leader of the FranXX.
Code:390 X Code:666 (Miku and Zorome): The kid-like duo piloting Argentea, Zorome who was once jealous of Hiro, and Miku who is bashful on just about anything.
Code:556 X Code:214 (Kokoro and Futoshi): The proud (asthmatic?) Kokoro, always trying to have an upper-hand at everything, and too proud at his achievements to prove his point (until the FranXX try-out with 002 in Ep 5 left him severely hurt), with the quiet Futoshi sometimes not being able to speak up for herself, but only being able to support her partner in times of need.
Code:196 X Code:326 (Ikuno and Mitsuru): The quiet girl and bombastic boy, Ikuno who's always afraid and on the sidelines while Mitsuru, who like Zorome, goes one step further to prove his points and doesn't give up on his stubborn self, but would like to see more development of this pairing who's piloting Cholophytum.
P.S. On a sidenote (if you haven't yet realized), everything bears resemblance to names of flowers, which is the gist of the naming of this series, a boy-girl XX-pairing chromosome.
Another highly regarded collaboration work of studio Trigger and A-1 Pictures that got me personally hyped for this series. Yet, being a 2-cour and as mentioned, there are traces of Gainax mecha works, Trigger character designs that come from Little Witch Academia, and A-1 Pictures that handle most of the action-based work.
Another thing to note, Studio Khara, a solely 3D arts studio also did the fine handiwork of the drawings we've seen in these starting episodes and the 3D animation to boot may not be nice in terms of action, but it is still a visual treat to the eyes, and really made this work stand out among the others.
Like what was mentioned, this is a work that needs time to get used to, because things aren't quite coherent (especially on a collaboration work) at the beginning (because Trigger and A-1 Pictures are handling their selected handiwork on the specified episodes), but as the situation progresses, the show shines brighter in its steady pacing, which IMO makes this coveted work more of a guilty pleasure. I'm eager to see the direction that it takes, considering that it's a 2-cour and the time resource will be needed to flesh out the potential of the show.
Another 10/10 section for me, as I greatly enjoyed the OST albeit a tame feeling about it. The OP "Kiss of Death" by Mika Nakashima X Hyde really complements the show, introducing the characters and future interactions between the cast, whereas the ED "Torikago" by XX:me (read as Kiss Me which consists of the series' female casts) evokes the sense of their partners and ends the episode off in a striking way.
Though as mentioned with existing problems, this is one of many shows of Winter 2018 that I was eager to watch and see it shine it was, albeit working with the problems that it has, and really wanted more when the episodes came to an end. A visual masterpiece as is, but don't get your hopes too high for this. What is fleshed out now remains a story yet realized, and the progression will determine the expectations had for the series.
Seeing this number of positive reviews on this show made me decide to write an honest review on it. This review is written by a person who was on the Darling in The FranXX hype train before it arrived at the r/anime station, and also by a person who absolutely loves Trigger and their work, from the Gainax beginnings to their "independency".
Darling in the FranXX started out pretty solid, if you ask me. It already introduced a very interesting metaphor in the first 2 minutes, and I was very excited at that point. Then came the naked girl cliche. Ignoring it as an "A1 shenanigan",
I continued the episode and was able to find it a tad bit enjoyable, mostly because of the cool world concept and the interesting-looking characters.
That didn't last long. In the first 6 episodes, those seemingly interesting characters have either done nothing or have been super annoying. I was not expecting side character development in 6 episodes, but this was just unbearable. 02 also got old real fast, making Hiro the only one able to save the show. Turns out Hiro is just budget Kirito therefore shattering all my hopes for the characters part.
But wait! There's more to a show than characters. "Great Art" is indeed true, and I won't even deny that the art is consistent and good, but it's normal. It brings nothing to the table, it's just the standard "good" animation. The music is also unnoticeable. I was expecting better music from Trigger. Have they even worked on this anime?
While I can't say much about the story, since right now many questions remain unanswered, I can say that it doesn't seem to be going anywhere in these 6 episodes. It seems more like they're experimenting with the mechs and the "kyoryuu" battles right now, and sometimes adding a little bit of info.
I am not enjoying this show. I'm having trouble finishing these last episodes and that's a no-no for me.
(Apparently episode 13 was "great". I will try to catch up if I can and may edit this review later on.)
This review is preliminary, but I will be adding to it if 1) I don't drop this, and 2) I notice any improvements. Thank you for reading and please remember that this is my opinion, as someone who enjoys Trigger works.