Updated January 15, 2019: Added the announcement that the manga will provide an alternate ending.
Anime fans are hoping that animation Trigger will bring back fan-favorite character Zero-Two for Darling In The FranXX Season 2. Based on the way Episode 24 ended that prospect may seem unlikely, but is it possible that the second season of DarliFra could be similar to the second act of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann?
Keep in mind that studio Trigger was founded by former Gainax employees Hiroyuki Imaishi and Masahiko Ohtsuka. Hiroyuki was the director for Gurren Lagann and now director and storyboard writer for the Darling In The FranXX anime. Besides meaning that certain characters were doomed from the outset, audiences ended up watching another Gainax ending that left open some sort of sequel hook.
Warning: The following includes spoilers related to Gurren Lagann and the final episode of the Darling in The FranXX anime.
After all, the ending of the first act of Gurren Lagann ended with the major mind screw that Lordgenome was purposefully keeping humanity’s population low in order to protect them from being wiped out by an alien race called the Anti-Spirals. The second act had a time gap that resulted in Simon rebuilding Earth’s forces into a formidable force that takes the fight into the universe. Lordgenome is an enemy who becomes a friend in the struggle against the Anti-Spirals.
Similarly, in nearing the ending, Darling In The FranXX has revealed the existence of the VIRM, an alien hive mind with no physical bodies that are responsible for the current situation. Similar to Star Trek’s Borg, they’ve assimilated lifeforms from all over the universe.
The war against the VIRM has been ongoing for eons and the Klaxo sapiens are the remnants of an ancient Earth civilization that evolved into the biological weapons the Klaxosaurs. The Klaxo sapiens fought off VIRM’s vanguard, went underground to prepare for VIRM’s return, and built the weapon called the Star Entity. In the process of becoming stronger weapons, Klaxo sapiens lost their humanity and became real monsters with the exception of 001.
Therefore, it could be argued that Episode 24 set up the conditions for Darling In The FranXX Season 2. Presumably, just like the Anti-Spirals, the VIRM are vowing to attack again. Sworn enemies turn out to be friends. Hiro and Zero-Two’s “death” was just a way of giving way to new life since their souls were reincarnated as children who meet again. Kokoro has her child and the surviving parasites begin rebuilding the world. Earth will prepare for a second invasion.
The alternative is that the defense against the invasion of the VIRM is concluded in only three episodes and VIRM’s threat to return one day is an empty sequel tease. The story definitely seems like it’s one designed to be self-contained in a single season. The ending to the war was tragic, but the Earth is being rebuilt in the end. However, the backstory is still open-ended enough to allow a second season or a Darling In The FranXX movie since the VIRM threat still yet lingers throughout the galaxy.
“I wonder how many will survive in the end?” director Atsushi Nishigori said in an interview. “No, I know, but it pains me.”
This article provides everything that is known about Darling In The FranXX Season 2 and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.
Darling In The FranXX manga provides an alternate ending
Many popular light novels and manga will inspire anime adaptations and the same is true in reverse. The DarliFra anime is an original story by studio Trigger and now that story has inspired a Darling In The FranXX manga adaptation by mangaka Kentaro Yabuki (known for To Love-Ru and more). The manga goes out of its way to advertise that it’s uncensored, so, yes, that does mean it graphically features Ichigo and Zero-Two without any clothing in explicit detail.
Warning: the manga is way more sexually explicit in comparison to the anime. Pic credit: Jump Comics
The Darling In The FranXX manga was originally sticking quite closely to the anime’s story although there were some gradual changes. Chapter 28 lined up with the beginning Episode 7 and Chapter 32 with Episode 8. The manga’s story then introduced the Nines and the attack on the Grand Crevasse.
But any similarities all ended with Chapter 37. Starting with that chapter, Kentaro announced that he intended on changing the manga’s story so that it diverged quite significantly from the anime.
Chapter 37 represents a turning point since Kentaro intends on taking the “ultimate what-if route” for the manga. He says the only reason the manga is continuing past the anime’s airing is because the manga will present an alternate story. Already, fans are abuzz since the manga could potentially change the entire ending to the anime’s story.
As of October 2018, the series is up to DarliFra Volume 3 in hardcover tankobon format. Volume 4 will release in Japan on February 4, 2019. An English translation has not yet been licensed by any international book publisher, although unofficial fan projects are already translating chapters from Volume 4.
Hiromi Wakabayash Answers The Best Girl Question: Zero-Two Or Ichigo?
Creative director/producer Hiromi Wakabayashi of anime studio Trigger has worked on a variety of popular anime, including Gurren Lagann, Kill la Kill, Little Witch Academia, and Panty & Stocking In Garterbelt. During a 2018 Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session, he explained his job.
“I function as a creative producer while leading the PR team for Studio Trigger,” he said. “This is exclusive for myself, but my work varies from directing the key visual, trailers, magazine/web ad, and quality control/direction for merchandise. I pretty much oversee anything related to [the] branding of our title.”
In the past, he’s been involved in creating female anime characters that have a “very sort of aggressive, forwards sexuality,” including Panty Anarchy, Yoko Littner, Satsuki Kiryuuin and Lalaco. The inspiration for Darling In The FranXX‘s Zero-Two’s anime design came from director Atsushi Nishigori and character designer Masayoshi Tanaka. He also explained why Zero-Two behaves so aggressively toward Hiro.
“I cannot speak for all of our titles, but I can say with confidence that Panty and Lalaco are heavily influenced by my preference,” he said. “I like to think that their openness to sexuality can be perceived as a symbol of freedom.”
The inspiration for Zero-Two’s anime design came from director Atsushi Nishigori and character designer Masayoshi Tanaka. When fans on Reddit demanded that the DarliFra director answer whether he prefers Zero-Two or Ichigo as best girl, he chose Zero-Two but he also believes that “she’s however not a waifu material. I guess I’m attracted to her charismatic personality.”
Darling In The FranXX Season 2 Release Date
As of the last update, studio Trigger or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the Darling In The FranXX Season 2 release date. Nor has the production of a sequel been announced.
Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information. In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when, or if, the DarliFra Season 2 premiere date will occur in the future.
From a financial perspective, the Blu-Ray sales of Volume 1 did well in its first week in Japan, selling 6,186 copies. However, streaming revenue has become an important factor in the anime industry in recent years, so it’s quite notable that Darling In The FranXX was picked up by Hulu in addition to Crunchyroll and Funimation.
Unfortunately, studio Trigger is not exactly known for making anime sequels. The closest was Little Witch Academia, which was a remake of a short film. The video game Little Witch Academia: Chamber Of Time was arguably a quasi-sequel since Trigger handled the cutscene animations for the story. Trigger employees have also openly discussed their hope for creating Little Switch Academia Season 2, including the potential for spin-offs.
So far, the same can’t be said for Darling In The FranXX Season 2. No one at Trigger has even hinted at the possibility of a second season for DarliFra. While the ending of Darling In The FranXX Episode 24 teases a future threat to the safety of the reborn main characters, we’ll just have to watch and see whether a sequel is announced. Stay tuned!