This is of two mini reviews I’ll be putting out today. Hopefully. Depending on whether or not I accidentally fall asleep watching anime again. Lol
I’ve actually been meaning to watch this show for a while. It’s been a long time since I’ve been hyped for a mecha anime. And the fact that studio Trigger was behind it gave me high hopes for it being good. All though….A-1 Pictures being attached to it as well sorta dashed them a bit. XD
So, without further ado, here’s my mini review of Darling in the FRANXX!!
Plot Synopsis: The series takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where humanity has been driven to endangerment by giant beasts known as klaxosaurs (叫竜 kyoryū). The remainder of humanity soon establishes a military city known as Plantation, where children are bred to be partnered in boy-girl pairs called Parasites and pilot giant mecha known as Franxx(フランクス Furankusu). One of these children, Hiro, is initially viewed as a prodigy, but after failing one of his tests, his resulting emotional stress leaves him unable to pilot a Franxx, making him lose any desire he had in life. While skipping out on his class’s graduation ceremony, Hiro encounters Zero Two, an infamous Franxx pilot who is a member of a race of humans with klaxosaur blood, leaving her with red horns on her head. After Zero Two’s partner is killed in a klaxosaur attack, she convinces Hiro to become her new partner, or “darling” as she puts it.
First things first, this anime is GORGEOUS to look at. If you’re familiar with Trigger’s work, then you’ll be right at home with the art style. It reminds me a lot of Gurren Lagaan, which shouldn’t be much of a surprise given that Trigger’s basically a Gainax clone. In a good way though. And it’s not just the characters that look a great. The mech suit designs are unique, sleek and totally different from the usual block style found in shows like Gundam or Robotech. They remind me a lot of the Ingrids from Pilot Candidate given that they are modeled after the female form. With one ginormous difference that I’ll cover soon enough.
The character themselves, at least in the first 3 episodes, are a fun bunch to watch. Yeah, they sort of fall into the usual tropes found in most mech shows involving teenagers, but they aren’t as glaring as they usually are. The main character Hiro, for instance, isn’t just your stock, generic MC. He seems that way in the beginning until we get a short glimpse into his life before he came to the “school” for mech pilots, where it’s shown that he had a totally different personality as a kid. Apparently something happened between then and now that made him sort of mopey, and I can’t wait until that is explained to me cause it sounds like a big deal given how Hiro is treated by his “friends”. More on that in the “Ugly Section”.
Our main female lead is an absolute joy to watch, and NOT just because she’s easy on the eyes. If I had to compare her to another character, it would have to be Haruko from FLCL. She is totally self-absorbed, only thinks about doing things her way and is EXTREMELY possessive when it comes to things she’s become fond of. Definitely wish there were more female leads like her in anime today. It’s such a nice change of pace from the stock, bland Mary Sues these days.
One thing that bugged me a lot in these first 3 eps was the lack of world building. I know there’s only so much you can show in the first 3 episodes, but I would’ve at least liked to know exactly HOW this post apocalyptic world came about. We are shown the threat that tore the world a new one some time in the past, but we aren’t told how they came to be or what purpose they have for existing. You know, outside of wanting to wipe all human life off the planet.
Then there’s the organization behind finding pilots for the mechs. Maybe I’m reading too far into things, but I’m not liking this ” Papa” guy. He’s either gonna turn out to be the true villain in the end or end up having some dark secret about how pilots are chosen. Hopefully it’s just my imagination.
Another thing that annoyed me were the opening/ending themes. Not because they particularly bad, though the opening is generic as all heck. It’s that they are in the wrong place!! The ending theme is super lively and makes me want to actually watch the show!! Something the opening does not!! They need to be switched around some how.
Let’s talk about the mech designs. More specifically the cockpits of the mechs.
Actually, I think a picture would explain things better than words.
Where do I even begin with this? First off, I’m down for the whole 2 pilot system thing the show’s going for. It’s similar to Pacific Rim in that both of them have to have some sort of chemistry in order for the mech to move. If they aren’t compatible, it won’t work. It might lead to some forced scenes down the line, but nothing too bad can come of it.
Why are the female pilots put in such an obvious sexual position? Come on, Trigger!! I know you guys did Kill La Kill, but at least THAT anime had an “excuse” for the fanservice! XD On top of that, the innuendos are off the scales even in the first 3 episodes. I’ve actually lost count as to how many they actually made. But, despite all of that, it didn’t bother me all that much. I was too focused on trying to understand the setting of the anime and enjoying the visuals to let that sort of thing distract me from a potentially good anime.
What DID get on my last friggin nerves was….
I’m ALL for having a cocky character that thinks he’s hot stuff and can’t understand why he’s not the leader. BUT THESE TWO JOKERS ARE SOOO FRIGGIN ANNOYING!!! Every single time they are on-screen they are to going out of their way cut Hiro down do his shortcomings as a pilot. The latter of the two, Mitsuru, seems to have some history with Hiro that might explain things somewhat, but Zoromi (the guy in the 1st pic) is just your standard, overconfident douchebag we all hate!!! Never before have I wished death upon an anime character SO FRIGGIN FAST!! I truly hope he is a casualty in this show. If only to not have to deal with him being a jackass to everyone anymore!!
So! With all that being said, Would I recommend Darling in the Franxx?
This show has me wanting to know more about it. I want to know why the world ended up like it has, why the rest of the cats hate Hiro’s guts, and why these monsters are attacking. There are too many unanswered questions and it’s driving me crazy not knowing. If you haven’t already, start watching this show now. You’ll be hooked just like I was.
I’m NEETaku and that was Just…My 2 Cents!!