With the upcoming release of Pacific Rim Uprising, I started to wonder if there was an anime show that closely resembled it. The idea of giant monsters and giant robots started off in Japan, so I was expecting something that resembled the story line, even if in a small way. Imagine my surprise when I found DARLING in the FRANXX, a new anime that resembles Pacific Rim in quite a few ways.
What It Means to Connect
In the future young children, always boy and girl pairs, use Franxx, giant mecha, to fight off the giant monsters called klaxosaurs. Hiro was going to be the best pilots, called Parasites, to ever control these machines. But a breakdown has left him unable to be a pilot, and his life has grown very uncertain. Enter Zero Too, a half human- half klaxosaur pilot, who has red horns on her head and a reputation of getting her partners killed. Hiro joins her, and these two will try to bring out the best in each other while trying not to get killed.
There are similarities not only to Pacific Rim, but also to Neon Genesis Evangelion. The kid pilots seem to be a little more suited, mentally at least, for the task of defending the rest of the human population. Hiro is interesting because he is not some ordinary person who suddenly becomes the One, he was the chosen one until he couldn’t pass a test. This character arch is intriguing as we watch to see if Hiro will be what everyone thought he would be, or slip and fall again. Zero Too is a perfect foil. A great pilot, she has the misfortune of killing her partners. She likes Hiro because he was not thrown by her red horns. The fact that she is part klaxosaur is intriguing, as who exactly her parents are is a big mystery.
The other members compose the rest of the supporting cast. Some view Hiro as not as deserving of his position. Others do not trust Zero Too, and at lest one has a crush on our male hero. The team have to work because the enemy are the huge monsters that want to destroy the last of humanity. The klaxosaurs look like a cross between dragons and dinosaurs. A blue neon light emits from them and they are usually bigger then the mechs sent to destroy them. There seems to be nowhere these creatures can not go. In one episode, the team has to venture underneath the city to defeat one hiding there. They are not looking at the humans as food, rather then are smaller so they must be destroyed. The FRANXX look more alive then other anime mechs. They seem to take on traits of those piloting them.
As the show moves on, one of the things that must be addressed is a few of the mysteries surrounding the series. How did Zero Too become part klaxosaur? She is different enough that other characters remark on her difference, but she is trusted enough to be a pilot. How long has this war been going on? From what we see, it must have been going on long enough for cities to be defended and a training school for the pilots to be established. Why can only children work the FRANXXS? And is there a way to destroy all the monsters?
Your Thorn, My Badge
The series is commissioned for a twenty five episodes order. It just started airing on Crunchyroll back in January so you can catch up on the story before the new episodes come out. The show is awesome with great battle scenes and some interesting characters. If you like Pacific Rim and wanted to know more about the universe, DARLING in the FRANXX is the show for you.