Forum - View topic
REVIEW: DARLING in the FRANXX part 2 BD+DVD


Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
BodaciousSpacePirate
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 17 Apr 2015
Posts: 2715
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:57 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
What the series aims to say about sexuality is trickier to evaluate, in part because reactions to this content tend to be much more personal. The implication that Ikuno might be a lesbian in the first half is more firmly established in one crucial scene between her and Ichigo, and the 9's are more heavily implied to be gender-fluid, with their leader 9'α specifically espousing a rejection of traditional gender roles. Throw in the male/female dynamic being necessary for piloting the Franxx and the revelation that becoming immortal costs humanity its reproductive capabilities, and this can all easily be interpreted as a promotion of traditional gender roles, but the series largely skirts such complicated ambitions in favor of remaining open to interpretation.


I feel as though this contributes in many ways to Franxx's status among Western mecha fans. We've been conditioned to expect any "message" within our high-concept spectacles of light and sound to spring forth verbatim from the mouths of mecha pilots. Whether it's Gurren Lagann, Brain Powerd, or Gundam Seed Destiny, characters will exchange ideologies just as freely as punches, up until a final confrontation where the protagonists' well-placed sword slashes or orbital cannon blasts will definitively put an end to not only the antagonists' lives but also their worldviews and ambitions.

"True peace can only be attained when everyone is told how to live their lives by an infallible supercomputer!" "No, peace is meaningless if there's no free will!" PEW PEW PEW! "You have defeated me in single combat, but perhaps my true defeat came the moment I underestimated the human spirit." That's what we're used to, and over the years we've trained ourselves to try to identify what a show will ultimately "try to say" earlier and earlier in any given coeur.

There's something to be said for a mecha story that has an ideology that makes you feel something. For example, whether or not you personally like the heavy focus on gay and trans robots in The Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye, there's no denying that it brought a ton of people into Transformers fandom who previously wouldn't have been able to tell Ratchet from First Aid (whether or not they stayed in the fandom after that particular series ended is another matter).

Unfortunately, while one might argue that Franxx didn't have bad writing, it seems much harder to argue that it had nuanced writing (or, if it did, that the nuance was particularly artful beyond the odd reference to previous shows' methods of visual storytelling). Considering how much of Western fandom's dialogue about the show ended up being about gender (and, furthermore, whether the show was affirming or rejecting certain contemporary views of gender) I think that the show would have been much better served by a treatment of gender roles that wasn't deliberately open to interpretation. A show doesn't have to leave things "open to interpretation" in order for people to interpret its ideas, and compared to Franxx, I think that the dialogue surrounding Brain Powerd was much more grounded in the show's ideas and what they made viewers think and feel. Even though I strongly disagree with what Brain Powerd had to say about motherhood, I like the show a lot more because it was willing to not only take a stand, but also invite the audience to fully explore the implications of its worldview.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2442
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:58 pm Reply with quote
BodaciousSpacePirate wrote:

Unfortunately, while one might argue that Franxx didn't have bad writing, it seems much harder to argue that it had nuanced writing (or, if it did, that the nuance was particularly artful beyond the odd reference to previous shows' methods of visual storytelling). Considering how much of Western fandom's dialogue about the show ended up being about gender (and, furthermore, whether the show was affirming or rejecting certain contemporary views of gender) I think that the show would have been much better served by a treatment of gender roles that wasn't deliberately open to interpretation.


I'm pretty sure leaving things as open to interpretation as possible was a goal simply because that way it avoid ruffling any feather. If they clearly support one viewpoint in a controversial subject, they might alienate every potential viewer who has a different viewpoint. This isn't like gundam were "maybe war is bad" is a pretty much universally agreed point of view (even warmonger claim that they go to war to end war) or evangelion "shitty dads are shitty", there's still a lot of people on both side of the argument of gender. As anime become more internationalize I'm guessing this will become far more common, since they want there work to sell in market where the majority opinion might be radically opposed.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
pengin senshi
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 22 Dec 2017
Posts: 16
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:11 pm Reply with quote
I usually find myself aligning with Theron on his tastes and reviews, but I can't give FRANXX a B on the second half.

The explanations of the world during the flashback episode basically ruined a lot of what I thought was supposed to be setup in the first half (mainly the "slow" episodes between battles, especially Zorome's). spoiler[The time frame for the world becoming desolate was just too short, and why did the world really trust the masked villains?]

The space stuff felt way out of left field. Maybe unlike in Gurren Lagann spoiler[when the Anti-Spirals show up and they fight in space], the execution was just not handled well and the fight scenes took a huge hit. Maybe if it was at least interesting to look at; at least during the simulcast, the animation took a noticeable dive. spoiler[And I don't buy the 9's redemption arc at all.]

The Jian theme with Zero Two and Hiro dragged too long. It should have finished when they reunited in episode 15. Why was it still a theme when spoiler[they're doing the bombing run? Or better yet, before then when Zero Two decided to merge with Strelizia? I thought they trusted each other now?]

Yeah, I've got even more issues, but that's probably enough. It's frustrating since I completely bought into the series in the first half (I still think episode 1 is all sorts of awesome) and the second half just dropped the ball. spoiler[And Zero Two was way more interesting in the first half than her "domesticated" version in the second... ]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
Posts: 1681
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:01 pm Reply with quote
I don't know that I would agree that Franxx's problem isn't that it didn't take a side on it's themes. If anything, I felt like it's biggest problem was it was overly too preachy about it's message. I thought the first half was better because it was more focused on the characters and world building than the political message. Once the characters started to turn into mouthpieces is when I lost interest. I don't know if the director was trying to say something specifically related to LGBTQIA+ relationships, but it did definitely seem like it was trying to push the idea of reproduction and motherhood as the ultimate end goal for humanity to strive for. I know there was one theory that the show was meant to be a commentary on the Japanese birth rate decline.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Krunky



Joined: 08 Jul 2019
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:16 pm Reply with quote
pengin senshi wrote:
I usually find myself aligning with Theron on his tastes and reviews, but I can't give FRANXX a B on the second half.

He gave Aldnoah/Zero a passing grade in his reviews while everyone else on this site wrote it off as the garbage that it was. My stance on Franxx is that it never should have gotten as much discussion as it did and to no surprise its completely forgotten now.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Krunky



Joined: 08 Jul 2019
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:24 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
BodaciousSpacePirate wrote:

Unfortunately, while one might argue that Franxx didn't have bad writing, it seems much harder to argue that it had nuanced writing (or, if it did, that the nuance was particularly artful beyond the odd reference to previous shows' methods of visual storytelling). Considering how much of Western fandom's dialogue about the show ended up being about gender (and, furthermore, whether the show was affirming or rejecting certain contemporary views of gender) I think that the show would have been much better served by a treatment of gender roles that wasn't deliberately open to interpretation.


I'm pretty sure leaving things as open to interpretation as possible was a goal simply because that way it avoid ruffling any feather. If they clearly support one viewpoint in a controversial subject, they might alienate every potential viewer who has a different viewpoint. This isn't like gundam were "maybe war is bad" is a pretty much universally agreed point of view (even warmonger claim that they go to war to end war) or evangelion "shitty dads are shitty", there's still a lot of people on both side of the argument of gender. As anime become more internationalize I'm guessing this will become far more common, since they want there work to sell in market where the majority opinion might be radically opposed.


This show was made with and for a Japanese view in mind not international. The people behind it obviously did not care about the controversy it had in the west and even admitted that they had no plan beyond the first half and it didn't spark much of any discussion in Japan with most of the comments coming to the conclusion that "this show would have been a lot more interesting had it came out 25 years ago". So Franxx was a show that got most of its attention on the western side when the creators never intended that to be the case and just wanted to make a robot show with romance and cute designs and if there was a statement to be made about gender politics it was only made up entirely amongst westerners.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Key
Moderator


Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 15836
Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:39 pm Reply with quote
Kunt wrote:
My stance on Franxx is that it never should have gotten as much discussion as it did and to no surprise its completely forgotten now.

Not sure what you've been smoking lately, but the series has by no means been "completely forgotten." When I attended Anime Central (one of the country's 3-4 largest 'cons after AX) back in May, the series as a whole, and 02 in particular, were among the most common cosplay choices and there was a lot of series merchandise available - and dealers at 'cons generally don't bring a lot of stuff for a franchise that isn't hot. Saw a fair amount of series merch when I was in Akihabara back in June, too. It's not a megahit, but it is success and hasn't been forgotten.

Now, whether or not that means it's good is another story. I made my argument in the review and stand by it, and you're welcome to disagree.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
Posts: 1681
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:45 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
So Franxx was a show that got most of its attention on the western side when the creators never intended that to be the case and just wanted to make a robot show with romance and cute designs and if there was a statement to be made about gender politics it was only made up entirely amongst westerners.
Nishigori stated in interviews
Quote:
Nishigori: It wasn’t really devised as a social commentary, but a depiction of the current environment that I’ve been in and am feeling. It’s not exactly Japan now, but it’s what I feel living my everyday life looking at the people around me. It’s a world without adults or people to teach morals to others. More of a thought regarding what I see as opposed to what Japan’s society as a whole is.
(https://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-feature/2018/10/05-1/interview-darling-in-the-franxx-creators-talk-franxx-trigger-and-zero-two) So while Nishigori might not have intended it to be an explicit commentary, it's not really the same thing as saying it was entirely devoid of any political message as he states himself it was intended to be an observation of Japanese society. I think this would still fit in with the whole birth rate message fan theory.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
zrnzle500
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 04 Oct 2014
Posts: 3534
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:56 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
BodaciousSpacePirate wrote:

Unfortunately, while one might argue that Franxx didn't have bad writing, it seems much harder to argue that it had nuanced writing (or, if it did, that the nuance was particularly artful beyond the odd reference to previous shows' methods of visual storytelling). Considering how much of Western fandom's dialogue about the show ended up being about gender (and, furthermore, whether the show was affirming or rejecting certain contemporary views of gender) I think that the show would have been much better served by a treatment of gender roles that wasn't deliberately open to interpretation.


I'm pretty sure leaving things as open to interpretation as possible was a goal simply because that way it avoid ruffling any feather. If they clearly support one viewpoint in a controversial subject, they might alienate every potential viewer who has a different viewpoint. This isn't like gundam were "maybe war is bad" is a pretty much universally agreed point of view (even warmonger claim that they go to war to end war) or evangelion "shitty dads are shitty", there's still a lot of people on both side of the argument of gender. As anime become more internationalize I'm guessing this will become far more common, since they want there work to sell in market where the majority opinion might be radically opposed.


While I think having some plausible deniability about what they are saying with a work could mitigate some feather ruffling, I don't know that you can avoid ruffling any feathers when dealing with a controversial subject, as evinced by, well, this show. Leaving it up to interpretation means people will interpret things as they see it based on what they have seen so far, and some will interpret it in ways that they find...extremely off-putting, even if that wasn't what the creator's were necessarily trying to say. That interpretation can spread through their circle(s) and those with the opposing view will come to defend that view (again whether the show's creators were actually taking that position or not). And you get much the same controversy as if they had actually taken such a position. Now with more nuanced writing you might have a better chance at pulling it off, but even I would agree that that is..not really the show's strong suit.

Overall, I'd say I'm fairly aligned with Theron on this show, both in terms of the review and otherwise. At Otakon a week and a half ago, 02 cosplay was still very common (maybe even a little more than last year actually) and she was still very common in the artist alley, like last year.


Last edited by zrnzle500 on Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SilverTalon01



Joined: 02 Apr 2012
Posts: 2036
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:40 pm Reply with quote
zrnzle500 wrote:
While I think having some plausible deniability about what they are saying with a work could mitigate some feather ruffling, I don't know that you can avoid ruffling any feathers when dealing with a controversial subject, as evinced by, well, this show. Leaving it up to interpretation means people will interpret things as they see it based on what they have seen so far, and some will interpret it in ways that they find...extremely off-putting, even if that wasn't what the creator's were necessarily trying to say. That interpretation can spread through their circle(s) and those with the opposing view will come to defend that view (again whether the show's creators were actually taking that position or not). And you get much the same controversy as if they had actually taken such a position. Now with more nuanced writing you might have a better chance at pulling it off, but even I would agree that that is..not really the show's strong suit.


Sure, but people tend to see what they want to see. In this case that meant people wanting something to upset them found it. Personally, I prefer to think about what the creator might be trying to say than to be beaten over the head senseless with their message. The only way there is no interpretation is if they directly hit you with the message stated very clearly with no wiggle room, and I think that is a poor direction for a creative medium to go in.

I agree with you that leaving things open to interpretation doesn't entirely eliminate people being off-put by a series, but firmly picking a side in a controversial subject then beating the viewer over the head with it to make the creator's stance crystal clear seems likely to put off a lot more viewers. Not only is it potentially off-putting to people on the other side but also people who just don't want to be beaten to death with someone's agenda.

You mention the writing, but is this kind of stuff really something writers can know ahead of time whether or not they can pull it off? I'm not saying this excuses the final product for falling short, but I think it justifies their decision to try.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Wyvern



Joined: 01 Sep 2004
Posts: 1061
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:56 pm Reply with quote
Outside of various Mystery Science Theater 3000 movies and maybe The Room, I don't think I've seen a story fall apart quite as spectacularly as the one in Franxx did. The second half really gives the impression that the writers has no idea what the resolution to the plotlines they were setting up in the first half were, and when forced to come up with an answer, they just tried to make EVERY possibility canon, as if to distract viewers from the lack of concrete answers through sheer volume of plotlines.

Why did the world end up this way? Why are humans kept pacified and weak in giant dome cities? Why are the rulers of humanity so obsessed with gender roles? Because SPACE ALIENS! Space aliens whose goals don't connect in any meaningful way to these questions! Also, one of the kids is gay, just kidding, now he's marrying a girl! One of the kids has an eating disorder, never mind, let's never mention it again! At least 02 is cool and mysterious...never mind, we've decided to remove all her personality traits beside "loves Hiro."

Oh, and in case this wasn't enough of a trainwreck, we get an ending that implies (perhaps by accident, but still) that the aliens are just going to come back and destroy society again, rendering the entire adventure a complete waste of time! But at least Hiro got himself a giant space waifu.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ali07



Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 3252
Location: Victoria, Australia
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:07 pm Reply with quote
Wyvern wrote:
Outside of various Mystery Science Theater 3000 movies and maybe The Room, I don't think I've seen a story fall apart quite as spectacularly as the one in Franxx did. The second half really gives the impression that the writers has no idea what the resolution to the plotlines they were setting up in the first half were, and when forced to come up with an answer, they just tried to make EVERY possibility canon, as if to distract viewers from the lack of concrete answers through sheer volume of plotlines.

That's exactly how I felt at the end of this series.

First half I was teetering between liking the series, and "wanting" to like the series. Curiosity got the better of me during the 2nd half, which led me to finish watching it.

And, I partly agree with what someone earlier said, in the series being forgotten. Mostly because, I feel like the only thing that is going to be remembered about this series are the character designs for Zero Two and Ichigo.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Krunky



Joined: 08 Jul 2019
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:21 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:

Not sure what you've been smoking lately, but the series has by no means been "completely forgotten."

It has. Its not a topic of discussion anymore especially when people will still talk about series from last year like Gridman , Goblin Slayer and Zombieland Saga. It won no awards either and even on ANN's reader poll it ranked 20th and got no recognition. People were largely done with the show before the year's end.

Quote:
When I attended Anime Central (one of the country's 3-4 largest 'cons after AX) back in May, the series as a whole, and 02 in particular, were among the most common cosplay choices and there was a lot of series merchandise available - and dealers at 'cons generally don't bring a lot of stuff for a franchise that isn't hot.

So what? Using cosplay as a guage of interest of series doesn't prove anything especially when its largely design aesthetic than popularity as a whole. I saw Fairy Gone cosplay too I guess that means Fairy Gone is popular by your dumb logic

Quote:
Saw a fair amount of series merch when I was in Akihabara back in June, too. It's not a megahit, but it is success and hasn't been forgotten.

A lot of it were stuff from last year, nothing new either. Compared to Gridman which got a plethora of stuff announced at wonfest and keeps on growing Franxx got next to nothing.

Quote:
Now, whether or not that means it's good is another story. I made my argument in the review and stand by it, and you're welcome to disagree.

Nah it was bad, I just appreciate the fallout of it because the fans were so hellbent on making the show more than it was but after it got out that everyone who shat on it was right and the director admitted that he was just making shit up as he went along they grew silent and nobody really wants anything to do with the show anymore much like a certain show you also gave a positive review to years back named Aldnoah Zero,
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
zrnzle500
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 04 Oct 2014
Posts: 3534
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:22 pm Reply with quote
SilverTalon01 wrote:
Sure, but people tend to see what they want to see. In this case that meant people wanting something to upset them found it. Personally, I prefer to think about what the creator might be trying to say than to be beaten over the head senseless with their message. The only way there is no interpretation is if they directly hit you with the message stated very clearly with no wiggle room, and I think that is a poor direction for a creative medium to go in.

I agree with you that leaving things open to interpretation doesn't entirely eliminate people being off-put by a series, but firmly picking a side in a controversial subject then beating the viewer over the head with it to make the creator's stance crystal clear seems likely to put off a lot more viewers. Not only is it potentially off-putting to people on the other side but also people who just don't want to be beaten to death with someone's agenda.

You mention the writing, but is this kind of stuff really something writers can know ahead of time whether or not they can pull it off? I'm not saying this excuses the final product for falling short, but I think it justifies their decision to try.


I'm not necessarily saying things need to be absolutely clear with no room for interpretation (I'd say leaving room for interpretation is often desirable), just that leaving things up to interpretation is not a panacea. I don't think any creator could or even should know that they can pull it off ahead of time, especially when it comes to controversial subjects. I do think, with some consideration, creators can set the window for interpretation to exclude some rather extreme positions that they definitely do not want to be seen as espousing. But this would require the creators to set out to get the viewers/readers to think about the subject, and to build the story towards those questions, even if they want to let them come to their own conclusions - rather than just not intending to make social commentary. I don't think this is a guarantee either, but I think taking care with what you are and are not saying on a controversial subject gives the best shot at not ending up causing a flame war, even if you are letting the viewers come to their own conclusions.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Krunky



Joined: 08 Jul 2019
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:24 pm Reply with quote
Cardcaptor Takato wrote:
Quote:
So Franxx was a show that got most of its attention on the western side when the creators never intended that to be the case and just wanted to make a robot show with romance and cute designs and if there was a statement to be made about gender politics it was only made up entirely amongst westerners.
Nishigori stated in interviews
Quote:
Nishigori: It wasn’t really devised as a social commentary, but a depiction of the current environment that I’ve been in and am feeling. It’s not exactly Japan now, but it’s what I feel living my everyday life looking at the people around me. It’s a world without adults or people to teach morals to others. More of a thought regarding what I see as opposed to what Japan’s society as a whole is.
(https://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-feature/2018/10/05-1/interview-darling-in-the-franxx-creators-talk-franxx-trigger-and-zero-two) So while Nishigori might not have intended it to be an explicit commentary, it's not really the same thing as saying it was entirely devoid of any political message as he states himself it was intended to be an observation of Japanese society. I think this would still fit in with the whole birth rate message fan theory.


Except what he's saying has nothing to do with gender politics which is what made the show so controversy. It was suppose to be a statement with Japanese audience in mind who get what he was going for but westerners didn't understand it and focused on stuff that didn't matter or wasn't what the show was preach but at the surface it was nothing more than a silly robot show.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group