Darling in the Franxx sure was something. By the end of the show, it felt like a whole completely new series from how it started. Franxx is an anime about a post-apocalyptic future where children pilot robots known as FRANXX to fight of these monsters known as Klaxosaurs. It’s a pretty interesting concept and that makes for a good story. Hiro and Zero Two are the protagonists of this story and they are interesting characters as well. Hiro is a boy who wants to pilot a Franxx but is unable to for some reason. Zero Two is a Franxx pilot who is half human half Klaxosaur and everyone is scared of her except Hiro who from the start, is mesmerized by her. The story is there, and it has some pretty solid characters at first glance and there’s also a decent plot, but it just doesn’t play out to its full potential. Much of it is wasted. The first few episodes are good with the story progressing really nice. Hiro meets Zero Two, we get introduced to the other characters, Zero Two and Hiro grow closer and then they’re finally allowed to pilot a Franxx together.
Episode 13 (Young Hiro and 02 ep I think) felt like the peak of this show and had me believe that things were going really well, and they were until the show reached the backstory explanation of how the world these characters are living in came to be. It just felt like lazy writing. I feel like it could have been more interesting instead of "APE just popped out of nowhere and took control over the world" and "The Klaxosaurs just invaded one day and fucked everyone over". What made the show good to me was the lore of the story and the mystery of what occurred in the past. After everything was explained, I felt disappointed. It was lazy and rushed.
Once we reached the final episodes of Franxx, the pacing just became even worse. VIRM just popped out of nowhere, and then the next episode they were in space. The producers could've taken their time to develop this part of the story and it could've even been used for a second season. Characters which at first seemed good became generic quickly. The whole Mitsuru and Kokoro relationship was out of place and did not develop the story at all. I was expecting some nice action, yeah character development is good but what does wanting to have a baby have to do with the damn story. Jesus Christ go get your own anime. Ikuno is a character I would’ve liked to see get some development, but she was pretty much irrelevant the entire series. The story would’ve honestly been the same without her in it. The Nines were also irrelevant and forgettable. I would’ve forgotten about Nana and that other dude if they hadn’t survived to tend.
One good thing I can say is that the action scenes in this show were pretty great. It looked crisp and clean. The music was also good. Kinda felt like some Attack on Titan type tracks. Was this series good? It was okay. It was messy and cliché but despite its issues, it was pretty enjoyable and had some beautiful scenes. I mean my enjoyment went downhill once we hit the second arc of the story, but I enjoyed the first half. Finale was eh. I like nice happy endings, so I didn’t mind it. It was generic though. This anime had so much potential and would’ve honestly been something great if the producers would have just taken their time to develop the story more and make it orderly instead of just rushing and having a big mess.