I’m all buckled up for this wild ride. The anime birthed from the collaboration between Trigger and A-1 Studios is here. Darling in the Franxx takes place in the post-apocalyptic future where, to our knowledge, humanity live in the mobile fortress Plantation hiding from the Klaxosaurs. So far the show has caught my attention and is currently the top of my list this season.
What we know so far is Plantation cultivates mecha pilots in a location on the fortress called the “birdcage.” Here they know almost nothing except what they’re told and train to pilot mechs called Franxx to combat the Klaxosaurs. The pilots were raised since childhood and are not even given names, they are given a numerical code. A few of the characters made references to the double digits being more prestigious than those with higher numbers, Code:16 Hiro was even called a prodigy which is one reason he was able to say on Plantation when he and his former partner were unable to show any compatibility when piloting. But when Plantation is threatened, Zero Two (Code: 02), the newcomer from a higher level with what seems to be Klaxosaur blood, needed a new pilot for her Franxx and that is where Hiro became the hero of the story.
But seriously, have you seen how the Franxx are piloted?
Yeah. They’re in that cockpit in basically a doggy style position. They have to “connect” with one another in order to pilot. The guys use handles attached to the girls butts to control the Franxx. Each Franxx is named after a flower and the male pilot is called the Stamen and the female is the Pistil, the sex organs of a flower. Piloting a Franxx is literally the biggest metaphor for sex in any anime. What makes it even worse, and I saw it angered some people on twitter, was the sparring match in episode 2 being absolutely littered with innuendos. Am I mad about this? Absolutely not. I’m literally a child and enjoy laughing at innuendos. It’s not for everyone but I am sure there is a reason for all this especially considering Kill La Kill, one of Triggers previous major hits.
Kill La Kill had Senketsu’s transformation being a fairly lewd outfit and Ryuuko at first was always embarrassed or self conscious about it. But a few of the early episodes of Kill La Kill tackled the themes of friendship and being comfortable with yourself as Ryuuko was not able to realize the power of Senketsu until she accepted herself for who she is. There are also other deep themes of fashion, femininity and family that I won’t go into that much, there’s plenty of essays around already discussing it. The themes in Triggers shows are some very real themes but the presentation is always so over the top it’s not easily understood unless you look close enough.
So what do I expect out of Darling in the Franxx? I’m expecting some underlying themes of building meaningful relationships. Ichigo definitely has feelings for Hiro, but because of their upbringing, she probably does not understand why she feels this way especially considering a kiss is really foreign to them. I expect some statement about sex. But most of all, I’m expecting more mecha action. The fights between the Franxx Hiro and Zero Two pilot, Strelitzia, have been some excellent fights but I want to see more of it and a little less drama.
Definitely give this show a shot if you’re a fan of things Trigger and A-1 have done in the past. It airs on Saturdays on Crunchyroll. Let me know what you think in the comments! Are the innuendos too much?