Darling in the FRANXX is a peculiar ‘mecha’ anime that is not just robot’s beating up aliens or other robots, it seemingly explores a complex world. Personally I am a massive fan of the Mobile Suit Gundam universe, Gundam IBO and Unicorn being my favourite series around. So when I was told to watch Darling in the FRANXX I was curious, my friend said it was very interesting and I would like it, and here I am a year later on writing about it as I watched it all in one night. (This will Include spoilers. Watch it before reading if you care for the spoilers).
When I first turned the show on the setting was laid out, mocha’s need two pilots, a guy and a girl, both need to be in harmony, one mind. This have me pacific rim kind of feeling but when the I was shown how the pilots connect I was very wrong. The girl rests her front while wearing a head piece that is a dashboard also. Her suit then transforms on thighs to handles for the guy who sits behind her. Instantly my mind thought this was very sexual, with a joke also being made during the show, one character makes a sound with the guy exclaiming “don’t make that sound.” Seemingly it is self aware of the oddness of how the pilots connect. But the story that they tackle aids this connection, these young teens slowly learn about love and what it means to love in this dystopian world. I won’t be focusing on the narrative completely during this but the ideals that are presented and explored.
Comedically the cast learn about “kissing” and have no clue about it but yet they talk about these feelings they have for their partners (co-pilots), each pilot seems to love the other without knowing. Mainly the guy loves the girl. We see this in Goro and Futoshi. Goro at first is presented as the best friend of Hiro, but slowly he explores his memories and feelings, realising that he is love with Ichigo, the trio Goro, Ichigo and Hiro have become very good friends over their time together. I find Goro to be a very real character, as he tells Hiro about his emotions he states “thats taken a weight off my chest.” I tend to find when shows explore love the tend to miss the battles inside ones heart and how heavy it can feel, and to see this in a mecha anime of all places. Even when he admits his feelings to Ichigo he knows she doesn’t love him but he follows real love feelings to always see her happy.
If you have watched the series you will know about the ending going a little crazy but I feel with the story surrounding this curious learning of love and life it works. The praying to bring back Hiro from his falling into darkness, to help Zero Two shows another kind of love, family. Squad 13 have been through everything together up until now and their bond even though they’re lightyears away shall not be broken.
A short series can leave an incredible impact, it doesn’t stay too long, it explores the story and leave the reader fulfilled. The way the world is presented and how we don’t know much about the history until later on causes the audience to keep asking questions, why? How did we get here? I find this holding back of information to cause a deeper connection to the characters, because we find out when they find out, we’re living with them. One of the biggest moments of this exploration into love is the taking of Mitsuru and Kokoro during their wedding, then later on finding out Kokoro is pregnant without any memory of why. The shock, fear and hope this leaves for the world is incredible, we see how even Mitsuru not remembering feels a responsibility to be there, because love transcends everything.
Through dystopian fantasies we can find real emotion, it helps us understand the world around us. Why do we feel certain ways? I find Darling in the FRANXX to dive deep into the emotions while telling an interesting story, there are numerous anime’s and tv series that do this, Tokyo Ghoul is another but yet I can see that they start to stay for too long, they linger. And with that I shall not linger any longer.