Posted by AidanAK47 on 17 July 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Reviews by AidanAK47

In following anime seasons it can be quite an experience to follow a show as it airs as the hype and rollercoaster of reactions can be entertainment in its own right. In that regard Darling in the Franxx was a hell of a ride as week by week peoples feelings for it ran hot and cold. An odd aspect of this show which I found troublesome is that I was never quite sure how to evaluate it. For example, if you were to ask me if I enjoyed Darling in the Franxx I would have to say yes, week by week it certainly was an enjoyable watch at least up until it’s final four episodes. But at any point of this series if you asked me if I recommended it then that would be met with a solid “Hmm..I wonder”. Because this show is a mess. There are sudden tonal shifts as it jolts from lighthearted comedy to dead serious drama. At times it can be a grim as Evangelion and at others it can be as ludicrous as Kill La Kill. Sometimes it can have a great episode and other times it can have a trainwreck of an episode. Sometimes it decides to take it’s time and others it moves the plot along at lightspeed.

Developments can be forced and others can be decently thought out. Suddenly stakes are raised only to be negated on episode later. Interesting Ideas can be brought to the board only to be thrown aside. It even starts with joking double entendres with stupid fanservice while portraying a tale about child soldiers in a dystopian regime. This is a confused mess of a series that didn’t know where it was going nor what it was trying to accomplish which results in a storyline which feels like it’s reaching for the stars with the right hand while attaching weights with the left. Do I like Darling in the Franxx? Honestly with the bad taste the final few episodes left me which I would be inclined to say no but there was a point where I legitimately thought this series could turn itself around and become something to be remembered.

The story would be familiar to who’s familiar about the Mecha Genre as it is about a bunch of teenagers who pilot giant robots to fight off some unknown monsters. What made Franxx stand out initially was its focus on sexuality with the male and female pairings to control robots and on the dark insinuations of the dystopian society that these children lived in. However as the series continued it eventually scrapped all this and became a derivative of many a Trigger/Gainax anime before it. The characters can be enjoyable and likeable provided the plot doesn’t force them into a hateable position for the sake of drama with the titular character Zero Two acting as poster girl for the series. If there is one thing that likely carried the series in its weaker moments it’s likely this cast of characters as while not particularly deep, they still proved likeable and relatable enough to care about their circumstances.

The opening is alright with the general soundtrack being passable. Animation wise it could be quite impressive with the show forgoing CGI mecha and instead having 2D drawn mecha. The action set pieces can be a spectacle. Ultimately this is a show that some might enjoy up until it’s final few episodes wherein I would find it could leave them disappointed or disgruntled. It’s a series that shouts a lot but says nothing. One which is a rollercoaster of emotions that when it ends makes you question if you really had fun with it. A deeply flawed series which I cannot completely dismiss as garbage yet cannot praise as well. When all is said and done, Darling in the Franxx just left me empty, apathetic as the finale unfolded and I was left watching credits. I would say the best metaphor for this series is that it is like scoffing down junk food. While eating it’s tasty and satisfying but as you run out you find yourself sick of it and feeling the pains of your digestive system. Left wondering why you bothered eating it in the first place.

One Response

  1. Avatar Seriphina says:

    I agree with the massive jolts in informational and dramatic pacing, but personally a show’s characters are what I enjoy most.

    I liked FranXX’s characters, Zero Two and Hiro particularly. The show also didn’t bother beating around with many of the typical anime tropes when it came to characters expressing their earnest emotions, which was nice.

    Those last few episodes though; I agree, they keep me from recommending the show to anyone. I’m keeping a cautious eye on the manga adaptation coming out, as it has already deviated from the anime. Perhaps it will come at the ending from a different angle.

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