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Darling In The Franxx story
Darling in the Franxx takes place in a dystopian post-apocalyptic future where the remains of human civilization have abandoned the surface. Adults and children live in contrasting environments. The adults live in technologically advanced cities within Plantations and are immortal, but procreation and relationships between them have become obsolete and undesirable. Artificially created children, called "parasites," are deprived of individuality and are educated only to pilot Franxx in pairs to defend humanity. The children are kept away from adult society in environments dubbed "bird cages" that mimic those of a bygone era so that they can develop the emotional responses necessary to pilot the Franxxes.
In the early 21st century, the progress of human civilization is accelerated by revolutionary discoveries in mining technology, allowing the extraction of energy from magma for a new, inexpensive, global energy source. The scientists who contributed to this breakthrough form "APE," an organization that will greatly influence world politics and economics with their discoveries. After the discovery of human immortality, a large portion of humanity chose to become immortal despite the side effect of losing their reproductive functions. A cult of personality surrounds Papa, the president of the EPA, whom all humans come to worship as a god. Now governing the remnants of civilization, the EPA leads humanity to abandon the desolate surface of the Earth for the relative safety of mobile fortress cities called Plantations.
Driven to the brink of extinction in a post-apocalyptic world, humanity is constantly threatened by giant creatures called klaxosaurs (叫竜, kyoryū), which are subdivided into at least four categories based on size: "Conrad," "Mohorovičić," "Gutenberg" and "(Super) Lehmann." Driven to the brink of destruction, the parasites are bred to pilot giant mecha called Franxx (フランキス, Furankisu) in boy-girl pairs. A male parasite is called a "stamen", and a female parasite is called a "pistil" (the male and female reproductive parts of a flower, respectively). The parasites are artificially created and have a short life span.
A team of ten parasites is assigned to experimental squad 13 at Plantation 13. One of them, Hiro (Code:016), is a former prodigy pilot candidate who can no longer synchronize with his partner, and both fail to complete the training program. While absent from his team's graduation ceremony, Hiro encounters Zero Two (Code:002), an elite Franxx pilot with klaxosaurus blood, red horns, and a notorious reputation as a "partner killer." Rumor has it that Zero Two's partners are killed after mating with her for the third time. Soon after, a Klaxosaur attack, disrupting Hiro's graduation ceremony and leaving Zero Two's partner, died in battle. Despite the rumors, Hiro volunteers to become his new partner, or as Zero Two calls him, his "darling."