Thoughts on Darling in the FranXX after episode 18

The best part of this show is how the ending song always starts just a bit ahead of the credits.

Thoughout the first fifteen episodes, I just kept thinking, “how can anybody stand this trash?” The show’s sci-fi/mecha/post-apocalyptic setting is so dull and uninspired. It’s like I’m watching Gurren Lagann except all the antagonists are mindless and mute.

Why are they fighting? Who are they fighting? It’s so ~*mysterious*~, right? Well…. not at all. Instead of intrigue, all I feel is boredom. I can’t muster any interest in the battle scenes because they don’t really affect the overall storyline or world. It’s just fighting aliens that attack for no reason.

Given the battles and setting are bad, I’d expect the characters to pull some more weight. Eureka Seven took a long time to get going, but the characters ended up showing great depth and eventually felt like family. In the very similar Darling in the FranXX, the characters are no more than static archetypes until episode 16 or so.

When the gang started living by themselves, it was as though finally, after fifteen episodes of meaningless battles, the show finally realized the true worth was in showing interactions between the characters. The brief 2-3 episodes of character growth out in Walden made me think that maybe some of the mindless praise on reddit had some bearing. Unfortunately, I once again got shafted by the Nines showing up and punching me in the face with the battle mecha shit that’s only making the series bad.

In the best case scenario, the rest of the episodes tie together the Klaxosaur conflict with a lot of screentime focused on the characters rather than on the battles. But even if the final 1/4 of this show manages to be stellar, I’ve already spent 18 episodes waiting for an exciting fight or character growth, only to be presented with a terrible attempt at mixing the two.

Update: God damn, episode 19 is a total wreck. Why even bother trying to explain the back story at this point if you’re not even gonna try making it interesting? The worst part is seeing all the people on reddit saying how they’re now vindicated for saying it’s a deep, meaningful show. Maybe it looks that way if you’re ten years old and haven’t watched any anime, movie, or any sort of media before Darling in the FranXX.

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