First thing first before i jump to my review i will gives a heads up that i only watch the anime and i haven't read the manga adaptation. Now for the review for Darling in The FranXX, this anime to sum it up is a mecha anime that if i have to compare it, i compare it with neon genesis. For the reason that it's not about a mecha war between two or more opposing army, rather that they fighting against some "natural" enemy like in NGE(Neon Genesis Evangelion). so far as in the episode 9 what i can say is this. If you looking for glorious mecha battle then maybe this is not the anime for you. but if you interested in following the progress or the story of a character, i might recommend this for you.
Here is the detailed argument for each element of the anime:
The reason that i give the rating quite low is because, even if the development of interaction between the character (mainly Hiro, Zero Two, Ichigo and Goro) is quite good and emotional. but the mecha part is kinda fell short. with the over complicated controls (the sometimes provide some fanservice) and mechanism that taking some inspiration from pacific rim that the two pilot is some sort connected to each other when piloting the mech. And for the Story itself you can see that it heavily inspired by NGE that they fighting some entity but at the same time fall in the grey morality line.
To be fair Darling in The FranXX have a good art and design. From the landscape you can get the atmosphere of a wasteland that being an evidence that humanity is struggling to survived and being overrun by the enemy. And for the mech and the character, if i have to describe it with one word that is "colorful". From my point of view for the mech they going with an unique and inconvenient approach. but all in all they did a pretty good job in art department.
Sadly when the art and design provided a good atmosphere for the anime, i hasn't been complemented by the sound department. Throughout my experience watching Darling in The FranXX, sometimes for me it's quite hard to be captivated by the scenes even if those were a dramatic, emotional, or an epic moment. just because the BGM fail to make you truly immersed in the scene. And for the OP and ED theme song is also not that enjoyable.
The Character design and development are good but it only shine with the 4 main protagonist that i mention in the story section. Their personality and interaction are kinda relatable. But for the other they kinda fall in a generic archetype I.E the silent one, the kind hearted one, the noisy one. For that reason i not gave it a higher rating. But hey their journey is still a long one so maybe there will be a chance for a further character development for those guys. Because even if under their name they have the main character tag, but for me only those 4 that deserved to bear that tag.
Even if the story is hard to follow and to make sense out of it, adding with a quite disappointing sound that failed to deliver. i still enjoyed it because of the lighthearted moment and the interesting development of interaction between the character keep me want to know what will happen in the next episode.
Darling in The FranXX for me is still an enjoyable anime to watch for me. Even if it lacking in some aspect.
To conclude my review in Darling in The FranXX. To put in short words, this is a more lighthearted and easy in the eye of NGE with a hard to follow story, a great art, a good group of character that you still can enjoy quite well. I will say that you should give this anime a chance, it got potential and still a long way to go.