Darling In The Franxx Double Review: Robot Spirits Strelitzia And S.H. Figuarts Zero Two

Ollie Barder

Written by, Ollie Barder

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Now with the completion of the Darling in the Franxx series, we have some great new collectibles of both the characters and mecha from the show.

Before I get to that though, it's worth knowing about some of the background to the series and how that ties into the designs of the mecha themselves.

While many thought there was a connection to the Dinosaur Empire from Getter Robo in relation to the Klaxosaurs in the series, when I spoke with Hiroyuki Imaishi about the subject he confirmed that it wasn't intentional.

This being the opposite to Series' such as Gurren Lagann, where the connections to both Getter Robo and Xabungle were entirely intended.

Anyway, that Aside, Darling in the Franxx is one of the more recent shows by Studio Trigger. Harking back to an era of super robots but with a more contemporary twist, it has obvious connections to shows like Diebuster and Gurren Lagann.

In fact, Diebuster, the sequel to Gunbuster, is probably a better place to start in understanding the appeal of Darling in the Franxx. This is because, like Diebuster, Darling in the Franxx employs the mecha design talents of Shigeto Koyama.

Koyama is a fascinating artist and mecha designer and treats mecha in a more anthropomorphic way. In that, instead of being machines in their own right they are closer to actual characters.

You see this exemplified in anime such as Diebuster, Heroman and also Star Driver.

Even if you haven't seen any of these anime, you will know of Koyama's work elsewhere as he has also done designs for big Hollywood animated films such as Big Hero 6, including the much loved Baymax.

The point to take away from this is that Koyama treats his mecha closer to actual characters and it's here we get to meet the Strelitzia.

In many ways the mecha designs in Darling in the Franxx bear obvious similarities to the mecha in Star Driver, however they are far more characterized.

So in the case of the Strelitzia it has an expressive face and almost a soul of its own. Like the other mecha in Darling in the Franxx, the Strelitzia takes its name from a real-world flower.

This in turn follows through to the unique pilot setup, as the pilot is called a stamen, in this case Hiro, and the controls a pistil, who is Zero Two.

It's this control setup that's a bit odd, as Zero Two is on all fours as Hiro pilots from behind.

Moving onto the figures themselves, starting with the Strelitzia this is what you would expect from a modern Robot Spirits release.

The articulation is very thorough and affords a great range of poses. However, due to the top heavy nature of the design it also comes with a stand but in the case of the latter you will also need a Tamashii Act Stage 4 stand to supplement certain parts.

What is remarkable about this toy of the Strelitzia is that the design itself is very lithe and athletic and ten years ago would have been almost impossible to realize as a toy.

So the fact that the Strelitzia is recreated so faithfully, with an amazingly accurate sculpt and intricate detailing, especially for the face, is impressive.

In addition to the base figure of the Strelitzia you also get the Queen Pike and shield, not to mention various additional hands and interchangeable faces.

Then we get to the S.H. Figuarts version of Zero Two. This is equally well done and has great articulation and is also very accurate to the original character's design.

You also get interchangeable hands and faces but the really nice addition is the cockpit setup.

Not only do you get the cockpit base for Zero Two to get into but also an extended helmet as per the anime.

Overall, these are both very nice figures and if you are a fan of Darling in the Franxx you will be very happy with both of them.

Considering how well the Strelitzia has turned out, I only hope that we get more Robot Spirits figures of some of Shigeto Koyama's earlier designs at some point, especially from Diebuster.