Darling In The Franxx Manga is a Japanese series which is a set in a dystopian future where youth are artificially created and indoctrinated solely to defend the remnants of civilization. The story follows a squad of ten pilots, particularly focusing on the partnership between Hiro, a former prodigy, and Zero Two, a hybrid human and elite pilot who aspires to become entirely human.
The animation began international distribution simultaneously upon its domestic release. The streaming service Crunchyroll internationally simulcast the series, with Aniplus Asia simulcasting the series in Southeast Asia. Service partner Funimation began the dubbed release of the series on February 1, 2018.
Darling In The Franxx manga anime adaptation takes place in dystopian post-apocalyptic future where the remnants of human civilization have abandoned the surface. Adults and children exist in contrasting environments from each other. Adults live in technologically-advanced cities within Plantations and are immortal, but procreation and relationships among them have become obsolete and undesirable.
Artificially-created children, termed “parasites”, are deprived of individuality and are educated only for piloting Franxx in pairs to defend humanity. The children are kept in isolation from adult society in environments nicknamed “birdcages”, which emulate that of a bygone era, so that they can develop the emotional responses required to pilot Franxx.
In the early 21st century, the progress of human civilization was accelerated by ground-breaking discoveries in mining technology, allowing extraction of magma energy for a new low-cost, all-encompassing energy source. Scientists contributing to the breakthrough form “APE”, an organization that would gain a large influence on world politics and the global economy as a result of their discoveries.
After discovering human immortality, much of mankind opted to become immortal despite the side effect of losing their reproductive functions. A cult of personality surrounds Papa, the chairman of the APE which all humans come to worship akin to a god. Now governing the remnants of civilization, APE leads humanity to abandon Earth’s now desolate surface for the relative safety of mobile fortress-cities known as Plantations.
Darling In The Franxx Manga adaptation made me cry multiple times. That’s never happened to me before while watching a TV show. This anime portrays characters with more emotional depth, realism, and accurate relationships than any live action show I’ve seen. None of the characters are cardboard cutouts where a character should be like in so many other anime, even the ones that seem like they have no depth at first are fully realized by the end.
Many criticize the latter episodes as being poorly executed and taking the story in a different direction, I found them to be decent and tie things up nicely. The anime is a self contained story with a beginning middle and end, and while I wish the latter episodes had been made into a full season to flesh out the plot and allow time to digest the twists that happen, I have no serious criticisms other than certain latter plot points being rushed, and a few things that happen throughout the show being vague or slightly redundant.
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Darling In The Franxx Manga action is pretty good, above average but serves as more of a backdrop to allow further development of the characters, don’t expect the best mecha fight scenes of all time.