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Darling in the FranXX

  • AKA: DARLING in the FRANXX, ダーリン・イン・ザ・フランキス
  • Aired: 01/13/2018
  • Episodes: 24

The story is set in the distant future. The land is ruined, and humanity establishes the mobile fort city Plantation. Pilots produced inside Plantation live in Mistilteinn, also know as the "birdcage." Children live there knowing nothing of the outside world or the freedom of the sky. Their lives consist of battling to carry out missions. Their enemies are mysterious giant lifeforms known as Kyouryuu, and the children pilot robots called Franxx to face off against them. For the children, riding the Franxx proves their existence.

A boy named Hiro is called Code:016, and he was once known as a prodigy. However, he has fallen behind, and his existence seems unnecessary. Not piloting a Franxx is the same as ceasing to exist. One day, a mysterious girl known as "Zero Two" appears before him. Two horns grow out of her head.

Source: MyAnimeList

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awesomedude20

· Edited by awesomedude20

  

Darling in the FranXX.

I was hype as hell for this anime, WAY before anyone else had even begun paying attention to it. And honestly, for the vast majority of the anime, I really enjoyed it. It was well written, with an interesting setting and characters, and the action was exactly up to par with Trigger quality.

And then the last 5 episodes attacked.

Spoilers past here, btw.

Summar-Oh it's right up there, nevermind.

Story: 6/10
Initially, this anime absolutely lived up to my expectations. It had an interesting world with a diverse cast of characters, and coupled with its crazy over the top action scenes and great art design, I was quite hooked. I wanted to see what this world had to offer, and what the main characters would go through to reach whatever the end point of this anime was. Unfortunately however, for whatever sillystrange reason, the director seemed to have been hit by a bus and thrown off a cliff suddenly, because the last 5 episodes were an absolute trainwreck, so monumental that it broke almost the entire show. If we ignore these last 5 episodes, I'd give the story a solid 8, maybe 8.5! But the ending hurt the show so irreparably, I can only drop it down to a 6. In MAL lingo, this means "fine." The only reason the score isn't lower than a 6, is because I can't ignore the good stuff the show did either. The ending soured the total experience, but it does have some good moments. Episode 19 was an entirely unneeded flashback episode. The show had, up to that point, been doing great with its "show don't tell" methods, and then suddenly, BAM, flashback episode. It revealed dumb motives and reasonings for a lot of things in the show, and wasn't the least bit creative about it, not to mention forming plotholes and yadda yadda, it wasn't good. But it wasn't a dealbreaker. The dealbreaker happens when they suddenly junk the big looming bad guys and airdrop in ALIENS that want to TAKE OVER THE WORLD for REASONS! And the bad guys you've been fighting this whole time are actually HUMANS and they'll help you fight the ALIENS NOW! And then they throw out a ton of character development just to make 002 have some new conflict. "Oh no, you need to stay human, you can't be with me!" That came out of nowhere, and was just a terrible decision. The resolution of the story was more or less a big compilation of badly-done nods to famous mecha series, and overall just fell flat on its face. It referenced Gunbuster and Diebuster, Evangelion, and Gurren Lagann, maybe some others, and it did NONE of them as well as the originals did. I would also just quickly like to point out that the show made Red Strelizia a thing, and it never showed up again, nor did anyone ever talk about it again. If we had to look at just the last 5 episodes of story, I'd give it a 2/10.

Characters: 6.5/10

It still went downhill with the last 5 episodes, but less-so than other chunks of this review. Initially, the characters were quite good. Some of the side characters were unfortunately left in the dust as far as development goes, but some got a TON of development. The main duo of Hiro and 002 was good up until the finale, where due to many many circumstances, I just stopped giving a damn about them. The good side characters however, were much more enjoyable to watch. The entire scenario of them surviving on Earth was quite good, and how they rebuilt their lives during the last 5 episodes. That was the sole thing that kept me tied to the show at that point, excluding finishing it out of obligation because "I've seen this much, might as well." The side romance was nice to watch, and was the only thing I actually truly enjoyed watching out of the last chunk. Many side characters were left in the dust though unfortunately, some either getting one episode of development, or none at all, and some of them being forced into being important at one point or another. The development of characters overall was not a smooth ride, at all, though it wasn't rough for any particular character. They were just ALL developed at different levels and were eventually left nowhere near eachother.

Art & Animation: 7/10

The art and animation overall went from very passable, to REALLY good. It's odd since it seemed like some episodes looked MUCH nicer than others did, but overall, the art was quite pleasing on the ol' eyeballs. The fight animation was top notch, well choreographed, and just generally HYPE. As expected of Studio Trigger. "But awesomedude, you're praising it an awful lot for just giving it a 7.5!" Well that's because the last 5 episodes struck a second time. They went to space. Want to know what that means? You get to use ALL of the animation shortcuts! Not to mention they even replaced all the variously coloured and unique FranXX we've gotten to know throughout the show with the generic grey and orange ones that the non-special people use, complete with all of them having the exact same lackluster boring halberd weapon. What little action they got, was extremely choppy, and even during a few moments, entirely CGI. The show had otherwise never used CGI for its mechs before, so this was rather out of place. But space action isn't complete without lasers, right! Well, all they did was shoot into the distance and have purple circles appear. That's it. It's even worse when BigStrelizia fired its horn laser and then we watch as the camera zooms WAY out and we can watch all SORTS of tiny, tiny, tiny circles appear around the laser. It does this a number of times, and it isn't even limited to the horn laser. Lots of things do it. It got INCREDIBLY lazy during the last 5 episodes, and it severely impacted what made the previous action scenes of the show so entertaining. The finale of the show was also just Gurren Lagann done really really badly, with a touch of Gunbuster. The one moment that could have, and should have looked excellent, they also threw out the window. There was ONE moment, where Strelizia burst out in a radiant golden form and it looked great and was well animated, but that lasted all of 5 seconds, before they blew up a planet and it was literally a bunch of slowly expanding .png images rotating on top of eachother. Look closely, that's all it was. Once again, the last 5 episodes chunked the total score pretty hard, if we exclude the last 5 episodes I'd put the score at a 9/10, and if we only look at the last 5 episodes, a 3/10.

Music & Sound: 8/10

The musical score was very good, and had a very unique feel to it. I'd say I'd even be tempted to download it, but I probably won't just out of laziness. The music fit the scenes well, there was an appropriate track for every occasion, and overall I have no quarrels with it. All of this extends to the use of sound effects and voice acting as well. The characters were acted very well across the board, though Goro sounded rather funny in the last or second last episode, I forget which.

Effectiveness: 3/10

The effectiveness section always raises some eyebrows at first, but really it just looks at whether a show did what it was trying to do well or not. And FranXX, being what it was, is a show that tried to lead up to an epic climax after slowly building up its world and characters. But gosh darn, I gotta say, it's really tough to give a good score when the culmination of an entire show's worth of effort leads to an extremely lackluster homage to mecha series that all did their various things 10x better, eventually leaving me not giving a singular crap about the two most important characters. Not to mention, the show had a bit of an identity crisis throughout. Does it want to be a pure hype action show? A character driven drama? A space opera? Who knows, it was a mixed bag, and that wasn't exactly a good thing. A lot of people called issue with the show's many blatant sexual tones, but this was, believe it or not, actually a strong point. They all tied in with the themes of the show, and some were even quite smart, like putting an X and a Y on the uniforms of the female and male students respectively. X and Y chromosomes. Get it. Google it if you don't.

Overall: 6/10

I can't give FranXX a lower score, because I can't just forget that I DID really enjoy the first majority. But the ending ruined the entire show for me either way, simply leaving a bitter taste behind as I wonder how a show could possibly fall apart so quickly, and why it happened. It had great music and (mostly) great animation, and overall passed as an action show for a while, but it tried to go too deep, and it when it left, well, go watch Made in Abyss, it's not pretty what happens when you try to get out of going too deep. Overall, I don't think I'd ever recommend this anime to anyone, there are simply better alternatives. And if they've already seen those alternatives, it'll be tough to wrench any enjoyment out of this one with the state of the ending. Its tough to turn people away though, as the first 18 episodes are genuinely pretty great, with a few iffy episodes amidst, but not a big problem. If you're a fan of romance anime, there are better romance anime. If you're a fan of action anime, this one could serve you some fun until the finale. If you're a fan of mecha anime, maybe the same reason as action, but if you've seen Gurren Lagann, don't expect this to win.

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CasseyFujiwara

  

This anime is not bad at all, totally one of the best anime I've watched so far, it had everything an anime fan would need, A great story, great characters and good fight scenes, the artwork is finely drawn and the story is greatly written, also great performance by Haruka Tomatsu. Though we can say that this anime is somehow inspired by other mecha anime such as Evangelion, though it has its own originality. All that I can say is that it's good

9.5/10

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