The Flower Language of the Darling in the Franxx Women

Whether working directly with the language of flowers through naming schemes of the series’ mechs or framing its narrative with floral genetics and reproductionDarling in the Franxx has never hidden its floral influences. It’s also not a subtle show, so when the entirety of Episode 8 is framed by Kokoro talking specifically about floriography — the flowers used for the robot names have always been present in the Plantation 13 gardens — the series is effectively painting a gigantic arrow that says “pay attention” pointed at flowers used within the show.

This is punctuated by an ending sequence that resembles Kiznaiver‘s, assigning a flower to each of the women in Darling in the Franxx. There are a lot of similarities between Kiznaiver and Darling in the Franxx — I’m personally inclined towards Kiznaiver since I think people generally have more trouble fumbling through empathy towards each other than sex — floriography being one of them. Where Kiznaiver used flowers as another frame of reference, dropping hints at the individual pasts of its female characters, Darling in the Franxx uses them unsubtly as possible, going as far to include this small shot at the beginning of this latest ending sequence, again telling us to pay attention.



Revisiting Flower Language in Kiznaiver

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After the first few episodes of Kiznaiver, I wrote a piece detailing the flower language used by the series’ ending sequence where each female cast member was paired up with a specific flower. These flowers were chosen very specifically for each cast member, sometimes foreshadowing their backstory or role within the series.

Now that Kiznaiver has ended, I wanted to return to the series’ use of flowers in addition to reexamining the flowers, and the young women, portrayed in the ending sequence.


Nothinglings: emotional connections in Space Patrol Luluco and Kiznaiver

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Hiroyuki Imaishi’s Studio Trigger have made a large name for themselves with admittedly few series produced — Space Patrol Luluco as a five-year anniversary celebration seemed a bit excessive — creating their own strong fanbase and distinct style rooted in Imaishi’s oeuvre and the studio’s first major project: Kill la Kill. Trigger’s Kiznaiver and Space Patrol Luluco easily invite comparisons, with the studio sometimes overshadowing both projects in the same way that series composer Mari Okada is brought up as a point of comparison between Kiznaiver and Mayoiga — her two series of the spring season.

Despite their different directors — Imaishi heads up Luluco while Kiznaiver is Hiroshi Kobayashi’s series debut as a director — the two properties find common ground in the way they address emotional connections with others.



Kiznaiver Episodic Blogging for Crunchyroll

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I’m not usually one for overt blog updates; however, this news is fairly big and I’m really excited about it. It also affects actual content here. Going forward I will be one of Crunchyroll’s weekly featured writers. The series I have been called upon to blog about is Kiznaiver, which is great since I’ve had a lot to say about this series thus far.

This in no way means that I’ll stop writing about Kiznaiver on this blog — sometimes I just have a great deal to say — but I will be prioritizing episodic posts for them. You can find my first post (on the series’ seventh episode) here.

Thank you.


Butterfly in Reverse: Kiznaiver’s Emotional Development

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“You see us as you want to see us – in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…

…and an athlete…

..and a basket case…

…a princess…

…and a criminal…

Does that answer your question?”

-closing narration of The Breakfast Club

John Hughes’ high school movie classic The Breakfast Club is oft-considered quintessential movie viewing, with countless pieces of media referencing or parodying the iconic story of five teens stuck in Saturday detention. By opening up to each other throughout the day, they reach across their varying social stereotypes and school cliques. While it’s doubtful that their fleeting friendships, and romantic entanglements, will result in anything long-term, they leave with a deeper understanding of each other and people in general.

On the surface, it would seem like Kiznaiver aims for a similar outcome. The expressionless Noriko Sonozaki introduces her Kizna System charges as the new seven deadly sins repurposed as common anime archetypes — imbecile, cunning normal, annoyingly self-righteous, high and mighty, eccentric headcase, musclehead thug, immoral. They are tasked with forming emotional bonds through their forced physical connection and closeness. It’s this very slickness of Kiznaiver and Sonozaki’s Kizna System that casts an artificial sheen over the series itself, making the hominess of The Breakfast Club an even more interesting point of comparison.