Darling in the Franxx
The Jian, also known as “the bird that shares wings,” only possesses one wing. Unless a male and female pair lean on each other and act as one, they’re incapable of flight. They’re imperfect, incomplete creatures.
But, for some reason, their way of life, struck me as profoundly beautiful. It was beautiful, I felt.”- Hiro
Darling in Franxx was a favorite of mine this year, but it didn’t start that way exactly. I had heard about this collaboration between A-1 (now Cloverworks) and Trigger several months before the release and was excited to see what this would yield.
I won’t go into me writing a synopsis of the show, so here’s a link to Wikipedia:
At first, I liked the concept, the art, the basic feel of the show. However, after the first six or so episodes, I was feeling very unsure where the series was going to go. I felt like the store kind of floundered a bit.
Where it turned around for me was after that. When they start to explore the dynamic between the main group of kids the show follows. I know this runs contrary to many other people’s feeling on the show, but that’s where it kicked in for me.
The reason it set in for me I guess, was the themes of belonging and connectedness that underlie the show. From Zero-Two’s attempt to connect to Hiro and the group, the brief marriage, to the group’s sense of self sufficiency and belonging. They were normal needs that young teens were left to negotiate in the absence of real adult guidance.
As the show progresses you find out more about Zero-Two and Hiro’s past and more about the battle that they are fighting with the Klaxosaurs. The pacing steps up and becomes better than the slower muddled pace (for me) than the beginning. Some episodes being handled really well with the sense of excitement and suspense. My younger son and I got really into speculating what was going to happen next.
The ending was a little protracted, but I definitely like it. Especially the final scene.
Would I recommend this show? Yes. I liked it. The story, while a little oddly paced at times, is enjoyable (and another variation on the Red and Blue Oni story) and has some nice emotional moments.
The animation is good and you can see the influence from both studios at times.
The cross is very Studio Trigger!
The OP was great. Enough said.
Attention Parents: There is some mild violence, mostly of a cartoon nature. There are themes of adolescent sexuality (I mean… the whole Franxx piloting system is sexualized).
Despite some of the criticism out there for the show, I liked it and was a favorite of mine this year if for nothing else, but because I like the romantic notion of everyone having their “darling”.