Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

12 June 2018: In defense of DARLING in the FRANXX

Look, it ain't that bad, okay.

Depending on which corner of the anime fandom you find yourself, I imagine you're either on the side that doesn't believe DARLING in the FRANXX needs defending, or in the camp that doesn't believe it deserves defending. My basic perspective on the show is that it is not capital-G Good, nor is it part of the "bad but has good parts in it" category, but rather that it is a flawed result of some efforts that I genuinely appreciate.

002 and Hiro
Not exactly the most romantic couple you'll ever see.

Some of these things that DARLING in the FRANXX tries, though, are best not taken too seriously. There is a definitely hammy quality to its drama and the lessons about humanity that it conveys through stylistic and narrative assaults that oftentimes invoke Evangelion. I'm not suggesting it was trying to rip it off, mind you, or even suggesting that it was attempting to become the next Eva for a new generation of anime fans. Rather I'm simply mentioning that I noticed occasional bits which seemed to draw inspiration from it, which is certainly understandable considering Studio Trigger's Gainax heritage.

Miku and Zorome
Somehow the couple with the least amount of drama.

Ultimately, DARLING in the FRANXX at least made an effort to restore some of the longer, more involved stories that became less common when multi-cours shows became more rare. I think it would benefit by taking greater risks, as those moments of restraint are probably also why the show's regular attempts at being sexy come across instead as being pervy or silly. I did appreciate some of the misdirection, but it's too bad DARLING in the FRANXX wasn't more outlandish. I was still interested throughout the series, even during the parts when some viewers would have preferred single-cours pacing, but I think we mostly got what we came for. I am hoping DARLING in the FRANXX has a big, uh, climax, though.

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