Darling in the Franxx
Anime has no respect for child labour laws. Darling in the Franxx takes a leaf from the Eva playbook, in that it employs youngsters to pilot giant mechs. The adolescents use these bots to protect Plantations (mobile human settlements) against attacks from subterranean beings known as Klaxosaurs. Voltron has taught us that it takes multiple folks to control a robot and the same is true in this twenty-four episode series. Just like in Pacific Rim, a pair of people is required to operate the titular Franxx. Specifically, the machines are steered by a boy and a girl. Why? Cos it’s the perfect excuse to ship characters together!
I enjoyed Darling in the Franxx quite a bit, even if the last few episodes got a bit chaotic and weird. The action scenes are enjoyable to watch, providing that you can get over the unconventional mech designs. Robots with cartoony facial features look weird to me… and this is coming from someone who grew up watching the Gobots! Just like Evangelion, this isn’t a basic mech show were the heroes simply beat a monster of the week. As the plot progresses expect some twists and for conspiracies to unravel. There’s a bit of romance too, between protagonists Hiro and his horned co-pilot Zero Two. She’s a literal man-eater, who has a reputation of devouring partners after three missions.
RATING: FOUR AND A HALF HORNY WAIFUS
Lostorage conflated WIXOSS
The fourth instalment of a J.C. Staff production concocted to promote a children’s card game. Just like its predecessors, Conflated features high school students who duel each other by commanding diminutive ladies (called LRIGs) with the aid of a deck. Poker has got nothing on this high stakes game. The penalty for defeat is amnesia and in severe cases losers may even get erased from existence. New to this series is the ability to summon two LRIGs onto the field. Another rule worth mentioning is that the vanquished must surrender their LRIG to their opponent. Kind of like marbles then, only that instead of handing over a glass sphere upon defeat you have to give up a cute waifu.
In terms of story Conflated is arguably the weakest entry in the WIXOSS franchise. The script rehashes ideas from past seasons and lacks the big WTF surprises we have come to expect from the series. All that said I still enjoyed the anime. It was neat seeing the heroines of seasons one and three interact with each other. The finale also does a fine job of wrapping up a show that started its life way back in 2014. Recommended to fans of Madoka Magica, as both shows share some narrative similarities. Also might appeal to former Yu-Gi-Oh viewers who seek something with more depth and less crazy hairstyles.
RATING: THREE AND A HALF TRAP CARDS
What more information on these shows? If so check out…
Anime Q and A’s assessment of the first fifteen Darling in the Franxx episodes.
Jon Spencer’s retrospective of the WIXOSS series.