The story is set in the distant future. The world is ruined, and humanity establishes mobile fort cities called “plantations”. Pilots produced inside Plantation live in Mistilteinn, also known as the “birdcage.” Children living there know nothing of the outside world or the freedom of the sky. Their enemies are mysterious giant life forms known as Klaxosaur, and the children pilot machines called Franxx to face off against them. For the children who pilot those machines that is their sole reason to prove their own existence into that desolating future not knowing if they will see the day of tomorrow. The World is one of the strong points in this show and its containing elements are explained at a steady pace in each episode with the purpose of making the viewer to understand how its mechanics, principles and laws work and interact with the story and characters.
To get the viewer familiar with the characters in the first couple of episodes the anime displays their ordinary lives and activities in those “birdcages” and the specific bonds that are formed between them. If we take each character apart we will notice that Zero Two steals the spotlight each time she appears on screen leaving the other characters in a con of shadow…..To compensate for that huge gap the anime focuses on the bonds between them and how will influence their further development into that world. The anime allocates time in each episode to dive into each character and display their reasons for piloting the Franxx and depending on your own interpretation you may hate them or love them. There are some heartwarming moments that enforce the bond between our characters that myself I just fell in love with them. Another thing I must mention is how beautiful and smart the visual metaphors are used when each character is telling us his own experience as a Franxx pilot and what made him the person that he is today. These are the “marvelous slice of life moments” that made me love and appreciate Darling in the FranXX.
Our characters as they dive further into the that world filled with destruction where each day is a battle for survival discover and learn different emotions that they aren’t familiar with it such as love, bond, affection, compassion and family. Those emotions become their new sole reason of existence replacing the old one in which their lives were at stake each day. Their fight is not over yet but this time is not a fight for the selfish adults but for their own future and to create a place filled with smiles and warmth a place called HOME. The bonds that are formed between the characters, their experience principles that they form for themselves during the fights with the Klaxosaurs become the foundation for their development and growth as characters across this show.
Everything else and all things inbetween:
The show starts off with a visual metaphor to captivate the attention of the viewers which later will become a narrative monologue metaphor part of the story and main plot of Darling in the FranXX. The visual vocabulary is rich and attractive having an important role for telling us the long forgotten bond between Zero Two and Hiro which is the main attraction of this anime. The visuals, story and audio together manage to take the viewer through different stages of emotions and connect them to each character’s experience. The op song is damn good especially the one for the second half were the visual metaphors are damn juicy for the audience who enjoys this kind of stuff.