The second half of Darling In The Franxx is odd to put it lightly. It starts at a high point but soon succumbs to some of the studio’s familiar tropes. Is it still worth checking out?
It started with a kiss from the mysterious girl that called him…darling. In a battle against deadly beasts known as klaxosaurs, only the children, classified as parasites, are humanity’s hope in this dying world. Fighting in mechanized suits known as FRANXX, parasites are grouped up in male and female pairs to face the monstrous creatures. Hiro, Code 016, was once a prodigy FRANXX pilot. But right when he gives up the fight, he meets Zero Two, the girl with the horns, and finds a new reason to keep going. But working with Zero Two has its own troubles. Known as the partner killer, no one has survived more than three battles with her. Still, she’s determined to prove that Hiro is her match—her darling. Will the pair become the saviors of this desolate world, or is there something more dangerous than klaxosaurs awaiting them?
The second half of the series opens up with one of the best episodes of the entire show. The episode titled “The Beast and The Prince” showcases the hidden story of how Hiro and Zero Two first met. It is extremely touching and heartfelt to watch. Unfortunately, the series is a bit of a bumpy ride from there.
The series marches towards its ending with a disjointed sense of escalation which has to lead to a divide with how much enjoyment the audience experiences. Extreme revelations come at a breakneck pace and don’t let up from there. By the final episode, the series does reach an enjoyable conclusion but at the same time, you can’t help but wonder if a more fluid outcome could have been reached. Also, some of the more extreme elements (such as where the later designs for the giant robots) are both peculiar and seem to come out of nowhere. Still, the series doesn’t skimp on making sure to provide plenty of giant mecha action to satisfy those who enjoy robots fighting giant monsters.
This is one of those few instances where the production quality for the series doesn’t decline over the show’s run. These episodes look just as good as those in the first collection. Also despite how odd of a concept it is (it really needs to be seen to be appreciated), Strelizia’s True Apus form is a unique and interesting concept. Also, the escalating battles are an impressive sight to behold and should not be overlooked just because the series makes some strange choices with its storytelling.
The second half doesn’t have as many enjoyable extras as the first half (especially compared to the premium version which came with the picture book). This release features some recap episodes and a bit commentary which will be enjoyed more for hardcore fans.
Darling in the Franxx: Part Two delivers an ending which left many divided. A lot of emotion, giant robot combat, and character growth are presented but the series also employs some strange tropes which were hard to overlook. With the hype and negativity from the initial run over and done, this series deserves a second watch with fresh eyes. Take the time to see for yourself how the relationship of Zero Two and her darling plays out.
Darling in the Franxx: Part Two is available from Funimation.