Darling In The FRANXX, originally authored by Kentaro Yabuki, is a manga adaptation brought into an anime by Trigger and CloverWorks. It is a sci-fi anime with great character development shown for the pilots as well as involving drama with the side of humor to delve into their lives.
The setting takes place in a futuristic world where humanity has abandoned its cities due to the monsters called Klaxasours being a threat to humanity, and were forced to reside in moving habitats called plantations. And to combat the Klaxasours, young teens called parasites must pilot mechs called FRANXX. Each mech contains one male and one female pilot where the female pilot acts as the pistol while the male pilot handles the controls.
First episode starts off to where we see 02 along with other soldiers flying to plantation 13. Then we get to see the ceremony of male and female pilots together that officially elects them as parasites.
Next we see Hiro all depressed after he failed his pilot tests with his partner as he thinks of leaving the plantation; believing to be useless and just giving up. But later on, he encounters 02 and shows no fear upon first seeing her but is rather intrigued by her (especially with the horns). From this point, it seems that 02 has taken an interest in Hiro but was later escorted out of there as soon as the guards appeared to take her to her intended destination.
Hiro's first encounter with 02
Just when he was about to head out of the plantation, his previous partner gets attacked by a Klaxasour in the shuttle that she was in when departing from the plantation. From there he runs away from the scene to get away until he encounters 02 with Strelizia, her mech.
Seeing as her partner was dead after being dropped from inside the mech, he volunteers to get in Strelizia as despite the failed testing he’s done, he says that he would rather die and become of some use than be entirely useless. And so, once they both get in, 02 kisses Hiro and Strelizia’s true form is shown. And thus they were able to win the battle against the Klaxisour that was attacking the plantation
Hiro's first kiss with 02 and getting in with Strelizia for the first time
First battle in Strelizia with Hiro and 02
In this anime, you get to really see how the relationship between 02 and Hiro develops. Where at first we see 02 being quite flirtatious with Hiro while calling him her darling. Later on Hiro becomes closer with 02 and wants to know her better through the first few episodes. As with the other teammates, it starts off with a lack of trust for 02 as she's different from them (especially with the horns and rumors of killing off her previous partners by draining their life forces). But as the anime progresses, you get to see them really connect with her as they'll get to see how 02 and Hiro work together very well.
Hiro and 02 moments
The narrative element is spot on as not only do we get to listen in on Hiro and 02's perspective, but others as well. This is quite important as for a series that's pretty lengthy so that we get to know everyone from their point of views as well as exploring their past lives.
As to help compliment the narration, cinematic shots with different shots of the surrounding environments as well as individuals with the black bars to add contrast are included. This is so that viewers can truly pay extra attention to the most critical and important things said in the anime.
From episode to episode viewers can truly see how character development is shown for each character. As the relationship between 02 and Hiro become more strongly attached, we get to see how the other characters develop as well. The feeling of love does play a huge role for the pilots. From not being taught of this feeling due to how they grew up, they start out as confused on what to do with those emotions until later on as they progress and be able to portray them appropriately well to those they love.
Not only that, but we do get to have some humor in this anime as well. This is to show the fun times the pilots can have as they grow together with laughter as well as times they act immature. Despite living in a world where humanity must fight for survival, it's the little things that count from which they take enjoyment with.