Darling In The Franxx: This Burned Me Out!

Let’s jump back to 2019. I wasn’t new to model building, but I also wasn’t experienced with it.

One day while scrolling for new model kits to buy, I came across this:

Photos by Goodsmile

Pretty right? It’s the MODEROID Strelitzia model kit by Goodsmile. I loved the design. It was an adorable mecha unit design. Strelitzia is from an Anime called Darling In The Franxx.

So I preordered it and waited. In the meantime, I watched the anime (we’ll touch back on this one later on).

After a month or so, it finally arrived! I was ecstatic!

When people ask me “Hey, what’s the one kit you hated building?”.

This. This one. It came with about 14 runners and the ability to break my heart.

The assembly was difficult for me. Nothing wanted to stay in place. Not a big deal, I used cement to keep the parts in place. For example, the hair does not stay in place. Then things started to break. The neck parts broke in about 4 different places. Two of which were broken when I opened the kit. It seemed like nothing that I did wanted to work with this kit. Posing was also difficult due to the clunky proportions of the design.

I just remember getting so frustrated with this build that I got massive burnout. I didn’t build anything for like four months. No haro, no nothing.

I just slide this build on the very top of a shelf in the back and that’s where it’ll stay. A little spot of shame.

Then came the anime…

Darling In The Franxx is an action mecha romance anime that was released in 2018. It consists of one season and twenty-four episodes. It was brought to us by the studio Trigger and Cloverworks. Sound familiar? Trigger’s the studio that gave us Gurren Lagann and Panty & Stocking. Cloverworks gave us Kill La Kill.

I had high hopes in the beginning. I really did.

The anime, however, was a mess that often felt more like a parody of mecha anime than it did an actual show.

It starts on another post-apocalyptic earth with humanity in constant threat of Kaijuu called the Klaxousaurs. It’s up to hormonal teen pilots to save the day, led by a shadow organization called APE.

The main character is a boy named Hiro, who fails at co-piloting with any of the girls he’s paired with until he meets the mysterious slightly unhinged Zero Two. Zero Two is also a hybrid of both human and Klaxousaur. They shortly become a couple and of course, that makes the other characters annoyed. The relationship often feels inconsistent and frustrating.

The show does nothing to hide its sexual innuendos. The male pilots are called stamens and the female pilots are called pistils. The pistils are positioned in the mech ass up into the lap of the stamens. The female characters are sexualized in a nature that is typical for most animes. There are two attempted sexual assaults in the series, which both are somewhat discussed.


The pacing in this show is wild. It starts off being well paced for the first ten episodes felt semi-paced but it goes off the rails after that. It tried to fit so much into one season of anime that it ran into inconsistencies and rushes. It probably would have done better in two split seasons. Worldbuilding is often the weakest part of this show. The introduction to the main baddies, in the last five episodes, being aliens was a head whip. The viewer doesn’t get quite enough time to comprehend the concept.

Not that I completely hated everything about Darling. Some of the ideas could have been fascinating to see done correctly. I loved the unit designs. They’re adorable and the concepts are interesting. The fight scenes never felt recycled, each is its own unique scene. 

They’re just so silly, I love it!

 It did touch on the topic of reproduction when the pilots themselves have no idea what reproduction is. They aren’t taught it and it’s not allowed to be discussed (a rule from the adults). There’s a scene when the teens are out in the city and find books on sexuality and pregnancy that start to raise questions. A few of the teens start to go through that normal hormonal sexual development.

It’s also a very heterosexual-focused series that does touch on LGBTQ themes. One example happens to be Ikuno being rejected by Ichigo and cycling through self-hatred and contempt for herself. She’s one of my favorite characters due to her resistance in a setting that would have probably killed her if it was discovered. Ikuno survives and ends up being a very important character after the final events.

Zero Two’s character is also one that feels androgynous. Yes, she appears feminine but her biology from her being a hybrid allows her to pilot as a stamen or pistils. Zero two cannot have children but does mention she would want a family. The clones of Zero Two, called the nines, are similar. Would they all be considered intersex? Some choose to present as male and some choose to present as female.

Can’t be a mecha anime without a sassy blonde bitch as a antagonist

This series is one that I have such a frustrating love-hate relationship with. I love the concepts but everything else felt weak. I sometimes felt like someone watched Neon Genesis Evangelion and other mecha anime only to copy it for a school assignment that’s due in the morning. From destroying cores and fighting monsters, it does feel like it rips from NGE a bit.

I really wish that they had spent more time on plot planning and doing a second season. Hopefully, there’ll be more model kits from the franchise in the future. If the Strelitzia is the only one I’ll ever build then it’ll just be sad. Maybe we’ll get more media involving this series but I doubt it for now.

I hope you found this post enjoyable. Have any questions or opinions? If so share them in the comments.

Happy Tuesday everyone!


2 thoughts on “Darling In The Franxx: This Burned Me Out!

  1. Did you know, the Franxx anime was SO bad, it inspired a New York Times bestseller (Iron Widow) about fixing the mecha system? The author is a big Yu Gi Oh fan so there’s some of that in the book, too.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s