I’m 10 episodes in, and I don’t understand. I thought there was supposed to be something outrageous about Darling in the FranXX? Didn’t it get attention for something like this?
I suppose stuff like that just doesn’t phase a 1st class seasoned veteran anime aficionado like myself.
Anyways, I know what you are thinking: “Yomu, why not just watch to episode 12 and then write about the first half?” The problem is that I’ll run the risk of never actually writing my final thoughts on the anime. So the sooner I write something, the better I think. I might require the last 14 episodes in order to get that post done, you just never know really.
Remember Madoka? I did an episode 1 first impressions and predictions, and where are my final thoughts? Nowhere. Yomu failed to deliver his final thoughts on Madoka, because he promised to watch the movies first and that never actually happened. Madoka final thoughts are stuck in limbo. Sorry everyone.
And on that note let’s talk about Darling in the FranXX, because to be honest I just want to write something anime related. I’ll even throw up some fancy headers for this one.
Can I still say “initial impressions” 10 episodes in? My impressions have actually changed since the first few episodes..
Initial Initial Impressions
So initially for the very first couple of episodes of Darling in the FranXX, I feel like my expectations had a negative impact on my impressions. Again. I have to stop doing this somehow. I went in thinking that Darling in the FranXX did something revolutionary, or something special, to get all of the attention it got. Because well, it received quite a bit of attention while it was airing. And while I am an expert spoiler avoider, just the sheer amount of attention it received made me believe (or hope) that Darling in the FranXX had thought outside of the box. At least a little bit.
I don’t ask for anime to go crazy with their creativity, but I appreciate when they make an effort. And that’s why I was excited for Darling in the FranXX.
The first few episodes just didn’t show me any of that though. It was some pretty standard mecha stuff. The mechs themselves have a gimmick, just like they usually do in mecha anime. This time the gimmick is that both a boy and a girl are required to pilot the mech, in a interesting position. But a gimmick is a gimmick, so far I don’t see anything extraordinary about this.
And other than the introduction of a different mecha gimmick, the rest was super standard. Super dangerous threat is defeated at the last moment by a super mech piloted by the beloved protagonist JUST when he thought he would never pilot a mech again. Standard stuff. Zero-Two is a cool character though.
Now we are back here, 10 episodes in, for my initial impressions.
I do like that the mech gimmick creates the opportunity to develop the different pairs of characters. It’s sort of happening. 10 episodes in? Not too much, but they get along better at least. It’s a slow development, both for the pairs and for the entire team overall. Why is it always children that have to pilot mechs in these types of anime anyways?
I’m most interested in the smart guy and glasses girl pairing, because they seem to have the biggest differences of the entire crew. That being said, I feel like I can sort of predict where it’s going for them, so maybe I’m not as interested as I thought I was when I wrote that sentence. Glasses girl doesn’t like boys, so she probably had some sort of traumatic experience that involves them or something like this. Her issues will come to the forefront and smart guy will somehow help her get through it, and their bond will deepen (at least as mech partners). We’ve already seen smart guy go through his own share of trouble when he tried to co-pilot with Zero-Two, so I’m not sure if we will see any more drama from him specifically.
Speaking of Zero-Two, I like her character. It’s not 100% original, but I enjoy it here. She is that “outsider” character that comes from “outside the tribe”, and has some important knowledge that the “tribe” does not. The fact that she has Klaxisaur blood is just another way to demonstrate that she is an outsider from the rest of our dynamic pilot duos. Her blood may come into play later as some sort of technicality as to why her mech is so strong, but I think she has firmly been established as the “other”. And only our protagonist is truly interested in pursuing the “other” at the moment – asking her questions like what she thinks about certain things, or why she said certain things.
She plays the part perfectly too. Everyone is excited to serve as mech pilots, and visit the city, and do whatever they are told. Zero-Two is the disturbance to their happy lives. She dislikes the city, she doesn’t care about protecting it or the people that live there. She is very cynical about these things, and has flirted with the idea of just running away. All of this of course is foreshadowing some sort of deep corruption within the organization they serve.
Speaking of which, there was something else that tipped me off to the fact that Papa and his organization were corrupt. And that was the Klaxisaurs themselves. When the initial antagonist of an anime is seemingly mindless creatures, there is almost always a hidden antagonist that has not yet been revealed. It’s not like the entire anime will be killing Klaxisaurs and having fun protecting the shelter – because that would be boring. And we’ve all seen this formula so many times, where the initial threat becomes overshadowed by the real threat. Mindless creatures just don’t make for an entertaining antagonist for very long, and now that we’ve been introduced to the characters, setting, mechs, the real enemy can soon be revealed to us.
And of course when that kid got lost in the city and we learn that adults are literally just junkies that sit around doing nothing all day, that’s when we get that final confirmation – these kids are living in a dystopia.
And so that’s where I stand so far on Darling in the FranXX: it’s a very standard mecha anime. I’m not a huge fan of mecha, but I’ve seen enough to understand the direction we are headed in here. And I am still enjoying Darling in the FranXX. While it’s unfortunate that the anime didn’t introduce anything that creative or unconventional to the genre, I’ll still enjoy it to it’s conclusion.
I’ll try to also write another post with my final thoughts (sorry Madoka).
If only so I can say “I knew it!!”.
(Or maybe a “I was wrong..” post if somehow my calculations were off here).
Until next time!
Thanks for reading.