Darling in the FranXX - Episode 3 Review
While this week’s installment of Darling in the FranXX is generic with unengaging fight scenes, its direction turned out quite interesting.
Episode three begins with a flashback showing Hiro and Ichigo as children. The two have known each other for a long time, and we’re told that Hiro was once considered the leader of the group of Parasites. Unfortunately, he quickly lost his position when he was unable to pilot a Franxx. Suddenly, a new Klaxosaur appears as the plantation gets ready to send its Parasites to battle. Zero Two wants to ride the Franxx with Hiro, but he isn’t allowed inside. The mysterious chief of the operation sends Mitsuru instead.
The writer uses Mitsuru to show that Hiro is the only one who can pilot a Franxx with Zero Two. There’s severe doubt across the plantation of Hiro’s reliability, and the easiest way for the writers to show he wasn’t just lucky is to have someone else try riding with Zero Two. It’s quite a cheap and predictable resolution, especially considering how much time is wasted on this plot point.
Intriguingly, the director illustrates quite a few strange things in this episode. It almost feels like a student film where the creator wants to experiment with as many shots and cuts as possible. For example, there’s a scene where Hiro and Zero Two step into a giant city. While the two have a conversation about the nature of the lifeless metropolis, the screen widens. Additionally, there’s a scene where the focus is placed on a box around certain areas of the screen. Everything around that box is pitch black as it focuses on a specific moment. There’s no reason for these shots, but they’re fascinating.
Yet, Darling in the FranXX remains generic with uninteresting themes and characters. It’s a simple story about a mysterious force that the characters have to fight against while piloting robots. The cast hasn’t been given a chance to do anything, but so far, their only purpose is to drive the plot forward instead of acting like actual characters.
It doesn’t help the show’s quality that the fight scenes are rather boring. There’s little to no tension, and even though the visuals are flashy, they don’t shine during combat. The fights are also hindered by the uninspired soundtrack. The battles outside of episode one have lacked drama, consequence, and were very predictable.
It’s unfortunate that the series continues to go downhill. The unsurprising and familiar plot weighs Darling in the Franxx down, and it doesn’t help that the show has a hard time handling tension.
|Solid Visuals||Overwhelmingly Generic|
|Intriguing Directing||Unengaging Fight Scenes|