‘Darling In The Frankxx’ Might Be This Year’s Surprise Mecha Hit

Masayoshi Tanaka, Trigger, A-1 Pictures, AniplexWikipedia / Fair Use

Darling in the Frankxx may be the perfect series to binge watch for mecha anime fans in 2018. The post-apocalyptic sci-fi series will be out by the end of the month. Hype for the anime seems to be growing as the release date nears.

According to Crunchyroll, Darling in the Frankxx is a collaborative project between two great anime studios — Trigger and A-1 Pictures. The two studios have gathered the best of the best from their pool of animators, designers, and other experts to create the series.

Visuals

The majority of the people working on the project seem to be former employees of GAINAX. For instance, Hideaki Anno helped animate the mecha for the anime. Anime fans will know that after Hideaki left GAINAX, he started Studio Khara, which animated the Eva suits in the Evangelion reboot movies. Since then, Studio Khara has specialized in 2D animation.

Hideaki was in charge of animating the mechs in 2D drawings. He collaborated with Ryuta Undo — the head of A-1 Pictures’ 3D team — to fully animate the mechs in Darling in the Franxx. With the help of Hideaki and Ryuta, Hiroyuki Imaishi, from Gurren Lagann, directed the fight scenes for the anime.

Another former GAINAX employee, Atsushi Nishigori, is the director of the anime. Atsushi was the character designer for Gurren Lagann. So, he and Hiroyuki have worked together before.

Masayoshi Tanaka (from Your Name) and Shigeto Koyama (the designer of Baymax) designed the characters and mechs, respectively. The characters and mechs will undoubtedly be flawless with the likes of Masayoshi and Shigeto working on them.

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Plot

With the star team in play, the overall visuals of Darling in the Franxx will be a sight to see. The one aspect that can make or break the anime is the storyline.

According to the Christian Post, the anime follows Hiro, a child genius who specializes in mechs called Franxx. The Verge further explained that Franxx function much like the Jaegers in Pacific Rim and needed two pilots to control them. Hiro has not found anyone he is compatible with until he meets Zero Two, a girl who sprouts two horns on her head.

The world Trigger and A-1 Pictures created in Darling in the Franxx is similar to the world in another popular anime, Attack on Titan. Just like Hajime Isayama’s anime, Darling in the Franxx takes place in a post-apocalyptic world in which the human race is forced to live in a city (called the Plantation) to hide from giant monsters. The one difference between Hajime’s anime and Darling in the Franxx is that the Plantation is mobile, unlike the walled city in Attack on Titan.

Hiro and other children like him are produced inside the Plantation. The term “produced” eludes to the idea that Hiro may be a manufactured person, one who is made for a particular purpose. Based on the little information known so far about the anime, children like Hiro are specifically created to control Frankxx and protect the Plantation from monsters in the outside world.

Fan Reactions

Darling in the Frankxx has already attracted a lot of attention, partly due to the people involved with the project. However, a significant majority of anime fans have noticed that this new mecha anime closely resembles another mecha classic, namely Evangelion.

“I’m getting Evangelion, and Elfen Lied vibes from this PV. Anyone else?” wrote Animaniac12 in the r/Anime subreddit.

“Looks very Evangelioncommented yumcake in a different r/Anime thread about the series’ trailer.

Based on the people who have worked on the project and what is known of the plot, Darling in the Frankxx does seem to be inspired by Evangelion. If this is the case, anime fans better hold onto their seats and prepare to have their minds blown.