DARLING in the FRANXX ★★★★

Batshit insanity.

A homage to/remix of all things Gainax/Trigger/Khara, executed with such a bizarre level of confidence that you can't help but appreciate everything the show wants to be. Starts out like a modern, poppier Gunbuster; ends as a far more baffling and thematically obtuse Diebuster. Makes stops in the realms of Evangelion, FLCL, Gurren Lagann, and even Utena on the way. Is this intentional? Of course. Does it work? ...Well, that's open to debate.

But, like I said before, it's the confidence (and utter lack of self-awareness) that sells the production. The artwork is consistently beautiful, the directing is far better than any show of this type deserves, and every member of the cast is way more memorable than they have any right to be. By the time that twist hits around the three-quarter mark, you're so along for the ride that its randomness barely even matters.

Go in with an open mind. Watch this with the same mindset you would bring into Samurai Flamenco. Whether you're sold on the story or not, you won't regret seeing it.

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