15 Best Anime Like Darling in the Franxx To Watch Right Now

Darling in the FranXX is a phenomenon that changed the landscape of the mecha anime. Although it isn’t anything extraordinary, the emotional aspect surprised many mecha enthusiasts.

To some, it is a parody of Neon Genesis Evangelion, while to some, it is a romance anime that touched their hearts. To some, Darling in the FranXX is a mere shadow of these studios’ (A-1 Pictures, Studio Trigger & CloverWorks) well-known works, while to some, the music and the art direction added to their overall experience.

You either like Darling in the FranXX or dislike it; whatever the case may be, you can’t deny that this anime brought a refreshing change in the overcrowded mecha genre.

And, if you are looking for something similar to Darling in the FranXX, I have created a list of anime that excel in animation, storytelling, and character development.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the 15 best anime like Darling in the FranXX.

Romance Anime Like Darling in the FranXX

#15 Kiznaiver

#15 Kiznaiver - Anime Like Darling in the Franxx

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 12
Studio: Trigger

Katsuhira Agata is a punching bag for the bullies due to his inability to feel the pain. Chidori Takashiro, his close friend, doesn’t know why and how it happened but decides to be with him regardless.

One day Katsuhira, Chidori, and four other students from the same class at Sugomori High School were kidnapped.

These teenagers soon find out the city they live in is part of a colossal experiment known as the Kizuna system, and they are the guinea pigs. As if that wasn’t enough, they got informed about the surgeries performed without their consent as part of the experiment.

Known as Kiznaivers, these teenagers are connected through pain and will equally share the pain experienced by one of them. Each of them has to share their deepest, darkest secrets to get through the missions provided to them.

An emotional trainwreck awaits.

Similarities to Darling in the FranXX:

In both Darling in the FranXX and Kiznaiver, teenagers had to go through experiments for the betterment of humanity in the former and society in the latter.

These sci-fi anime showcase teenage melodrama, which is an integral part of the storylines. From love triangles and polygons to complexities in relationships between two individuals, these anime delve much deeper into the psyche of teenagers.

Both these anime were animated by Studio Trigger, although Darling in the FranXX was co-animated with A-1 Pictures and CloverWorks. So, if you find a resemblance of art from time to time, it’s not just a coincidence.

#14 WorldEnd: What do you do at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us?

#14 WorldEnd What do you do at the end of the world Are you busy Will you save us - Anime Like Darling in the Franxx

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 12
Studio: Satelight, C2C

Willem Kmetsch sets out for a battle, leaving his precious family behind. Little did he know he would spend 500 years in a slumber frozen in ice even after winning that battle.

After waking up from that slumber, Willem realizes that humanity has been wiped out and he is the sole survivor of the extinct species. The world is now dominated by ‘beasts’ – creatures who emerged during his slumber.

To get by, Willem takes on odd jobs, and one day he gets an offer to be a caretaker of special weapons with handsome pay. Upon accepting the offer and reaching there, he discovers that the special weapons are actually Leprechauns, who look exactly like humans.

Resembling the kids he left behind nearly five centuries ago, Willem takes care of them as his own children and worries about them as a fatherly figure.

Similarities to Darling in the FranXX:

In both these post-apocalyptic sci-fi anime, humanity is on the brink of extinction, although in SukaSuka (nickname for WorldEnd), there is only one survivor.

Klaxosaurs in Darling in the FranXX and Beasts in SukaSuka are both creatures who are the reason behind humanity’s dire situation.

Besides the romance plot in both these anime, another striking similarity is young ones – teenagers in Darling in the FranXX and children in SukaSuka — are used as weapons.

Post-Apocalyptic Anime Like Darling in the FranXX

#13 Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

#13 Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress - Anime Like Darling in the Franxx

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 12
Studio: Wit Studio

After getting affected by a mysterious virus, the majority of humanity has turned into Kabane – flesh-eating monsters. Mankind has isolated itself inside fortified walls. The only way to get inside these walls is through trains armored heavily enough to kill these monsters. 

Ikoma is one of the builders of these trains, who also help in servicing when needed. He claims to have made a weapon to pierce the steel-coated heart of a Kabane. He is raring to fight against these beasts, whose one bite can transform a human into Kabane.

Ikoma’s wish gets granted sooner than he expected.

Similarities to Darling in the FranXX:

Both the female protagonists, Zero Two and Mumei, are hybrid humans. In these anime, humanity is desperate to protect itself from the threat of extinction.

The protagonists fight against the monsters to protect the ones they care about. Another thing these two anime have in common is the surprising revelations they have throughout the storyline.

There are more similarities, but they would become spoilers.

#12 Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign

#12 Seraph of the End Vampire Reign - Anime Like Darling in the Franxx

Number of seasons: 2
Number of episodes: 24
Studio: Wit Studio

A sudden outbreak of a mysterious virus has wiped out humanity, except children aged 13 or younger. The vampires have come out from hiding, ready to dominate the world. However, they have promised to protect the last hope for humanity in exchange for blood.

Yuuichirou Hyakuya and Mikaela Hyakuya are among the survivors under the control of vampires. When Yuuichiro plans to escape from the vampires, all the other children from the orphanage tag along.

Little did he know, disaster awaited him, and Yuuichiro would become the sole survivor. A revenge-seeking Yuuichiro joins the Japanese Imperial Demon Army to achieve the power to exterminate all the vampires from the face of the earth.

Similarities to Darling in the FranXX:

Both Darling in the FranXX and Seraph of the End, are set in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity is fighting to survive against a different species.

The main characters in both these anime are teenagers who lead the battle for the survival of mankind.

#11 Attack on Titan

#11 Attack on Titan - Anime Like Darling in the Franxx

Number of seasons: 4
Number of episodes: 87
Studio: Wit Studio, MAPPA

Humans have built gigantic walls to protect themselves from the flesh-loving gigantic monsters. To protect humanity from going extinct, they have also created Survey Corps, a military unit – whose sole purpose is to take down these humanoid creatures.

After a century of calm, the wall gets breached by the colossal titans, and numerous other titans infiltrate to put the remaining humanity into chaos and despair. Amidst the bloodshed, a young boy named Eren Yeager loses his mother and decides to remove the very existence of these flesh-loving beasts by enlisting into the survey corps.

He is accompanied by his childhood friend Armin Arlert and adopted sister, Mikasa Ackerman – and together, they plan to attack titans.

Similarities to Darling in the FranXX:

In both these anime, teenagers have taken the helm to fight against the monsters, protecting humanity from the brink of extinction. They use specialized weapons to fight the monsters in these action dramas.

Just like Darling in the FranXX, humans have sheltered themselves inside gigantic walls in Attack on Titan. The teenagers unravel the mystery of the world and the darkest of secrets – in both anime.

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Sci-Fi Mystery Anime Like Darling in the FranXX

#10 Chrome Shelled Regios

#10 Chrome Shelled Regios - Anime Like Darling in the Franxx

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 24
Studio: Zexcs

Humanity is forced to live in Regios – spacious mobile cities – to protect themselves from nano-mechanical beasts called Filth Monsters. To further defend themselves, they have learned to wield DITE by harnessing Kei, a special power.

Layfon Alseif has just transferred to the Academy City of Zuellni to forget his violent past. His past caught the attention of the student council president and the captain of Platoon 17. And he was soon recruited by the captain, Nina Antalk.

But the past always catches up with you, and so it does with Layfon. What troubles await him?

Similarities to Darling in the FranXX:

In both anime, humanity is forced to live inside mobile cities due to the beasts – Klaxosaurs in Darling in the FranXX and Filth Monsters in Chrome Shelled Regios.

These two sci-fi anime take place in a post-apocalyptic world where teenagers are the protagonists.

#9 The Promised Neverland

#9 The Promised Neverland - Anime Like Darling in the Franxx

Number of seasons: 2
Number of episodes: 23
Studio: CloverWorks

Orphans are the inhabitants of the Grace Field House. Taken care of by Isabella, whom the orphans lovingly nicknamed “mama.” The orphans can do as they please in their free time, except crossing the designated fences surrounding the orphanage.

Within every couple of months, an orphan gets adopted. But unfortunately, no one gets to hear back from them. On one such occasion, when an orphan got adopted, the three of the oldest siblings of the orphanage – Ray, Norman, and Emma discover something ominous. Something that made them question the reality of the orphanage and their lives.

Similarities to Darling in the FranXX:

Just like Darling in the FranXX, the children in The Promised Neverland are brainwashed about the outside world and live in a place with boundaries. In both sci-fi anime, the children devise a plan to escape from the confinement.

With the progression of the story, these anime reveal the dark and ugly reality of the outside world, which these children were unfamiliar with. They go on to find an enemy stronger than they imagined and prepare to fight against them to gain freedom.

#8 Astra Lost in Space

#8 Astra Lost in Space - Anime Like Darling in the Franxx

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 12
Studio: Lerche

In 2063, space travel has become a cakewalk for humanity. During an excursion, when a group of teenagers landed on their campsite, things went south when a sphere of light appeared out of nowhere and sucked them into outer space.

Fortunately, they found an abandoned ship to regroup, but unfortunately, they were thousand light years away from their home planet.

Following these, this group comprising nine teenagers, devises a plan to return to their planet. But along the way, they discover some unbelievable secrets about their home planet.

Similarities to Darling in the FranXX:

In both anime, a group of teenagers discovers secrets about their world. They work together to find out the answer to their questions regarding these life-changing secrets.

Both Astra Lost in Space and Darling in the FranXX have sci-fi elements. Astra Lost in Space is the more dramatized version of Darling in the FranXX, where the well-written characters are the highlight.

#7 From the New World

#7 From the New World - Anime Like Darling in the Franxx

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 25
Studio: A-1 Pictures

Saki Ibarai is the last one to awaken her psychic powers. After joining her friends at the Sage Academy – a school for the psychics – in Kamisu 66th district, she notices how the numbers of students don’t add up. This suspicion of hers becomes even stronger when one of her friends – unable to use her psychic powers properly – disappears into thin air.

Following this, she started to question everything she had known – the tainted cats taking away the incapable ones, getting attacked by a fiend upon crossing the holy barrier, among other things that have confined them within the boundary. Soon enough, these kids discover the atrocities carried out in this society.

Similarities to Darling in the FranXX:

Both From the New World and Darling in the FranXX are set in a post-apocalyptic world, where children are kept isolated from the outer world as well as from the secrets that would crumble down the respective societies.

In both these sci-fi dramas, the children find a way to stop the atrocities and evil plots that are taking place behind the scenes.

Last but not least, romance and complicated relationships are a huge part of these two anime. However, From the New World showcases romance in ways you wouldn’t have expected.

Mecha Anime Like Darling in the FranXX

#6 Cross Ange: Rondo of Angel and Dragon

#6 Cross Ange Rondo of Angel and Dragon - Anime Like Darling in the Franxx

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 25
Studio: Sunrise

War has come to a halt thanks to Mana, an innovative technology that can help bend the light. Mana is said to be the ultimate evolution of humanity.

Unfortunately, those who cannot wield the Mana are looked down upon to the extent that a baby born without the ability to wield it isn’t even considered a human.

In the Misurugi Empire, the ones with the blessing of Mana are celebrated, unlike the Norma – the outcasts. The princess of the empire, Angelise Ikaruga Misurugi, wants the extermination of the Norma, but on her sixteenth birthday, it is revealed that she is a Norma herself.

Amidst the uproar, Angelise finds herself in a remote military base named Arzenal. A place where the Norma(s) get treated as waste material. Besides that, they get trained to pilot robots known as “Paramail ” to fight against beasts known as Dragons.

Similarities to Darling in the FranXX:

In both anime, robots fight against monsters to protect humanity. Humans pilot these robots – Norma in Cross Ange and Parasites in Darling in the FranXX.

Discrimination is showcased in these mecha anime, although Cross Ange takes it a level or two further. In these two action sci-fi anime, the true face of evil gets revealed as the story progresses.

#5 RahXephon

#5 RahXephon - Anime Like Darling in the Franxx

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 26
Studio: Bones

Ayato Kamina was leading a normal life as a high school student until Tokyo got invaded by fighter jets. While trying to escape from the center of the warzone, he encounters Haruka Shitow, an agent of TERRA — a government organization.

She tells Ayato about the reality he lives in. The truth is he lives in a time bubble – where time runs six times slower than usual – created by humanoids from another dimension known as Mulians.

The Mulians want to take over the real Tokyo. To stop that, TERRA has been trying to break the barrier of the time bubble ever since. Unable to grasp the revelation, Ayato runs away and comes across Reika Mishima, one of his classmates, who takes him to a shrine where a giant egg resides.

Suddenly when Reika starts to sing, Ayato is connected to the being inside the egg, known as RahXephon – a humanoid mecha. From getting pursued by Haruko to join TERRA to stop the Mulians, memories surfacing up out of the blue, to finding his real identity amongst all this, Ayato finds himself in absolute chaos.

Similarities to Darling in the FranXX:

Firstly, in both these sci-fi mecha anime, there are teenagers who pilot giant robots to fight extraterrestrial beings. Secrecy of the reality of the world is another similarity between these anime.

There is romance in both Darling in the FranXX and RahXephon.

#4 Eureka Seven

#4 Eureka Seven - Anime Like Darling in the Franxx

Number of seasons: 2
Number of episodes: 74
Studio: Bones

Renton Thurston is the son of a hero who sacrificed his life to save the world. Despite that, he is an outcast who wants to break free from the boring town of Bellfrost.

His dream is to join the mercenary group of Holland Novak – a ref boarder pro at riding the Trapar wave-particle – whom Renton admires the most.

However, his dream comes true when a member of the mercenary group Gekkostate crashlands into Renton’s garage. She asks Renton and his grandfather to repair Nirvash type Zero – a robot capable of riding the Trapar wave particles.

Before he knew it, one incident after another, Renton became a co-pilot to Nirvash type Zero and joined Gekkostate.

Can Renton come back alive from the challenges ahead?

Similarities to Darling in the FranXX:

Remember the opening dialogue of Darling in the FranXX, where it talked about a bird called Jian?

If you don’t know, Jian is a mythical creature in Chinese mythology. It is a bird with only one wing. And to fly, a male and female pair must lean on each other.

Similarly, the protagonists of Eureka Seven, Renton and Eureka depend on each other and grow in love as the story progresses, just like Darling in the FranXX. In these mecha anime, two pilots run the giant robots to unleash their true power.

Both male protagonists, Hiro and Renton, fall in love with the female protagonists, Zero Two and Eureka – who are hybrid humans.

#3 86

#3 86 - Anime Like Darling in the Franxx

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 23
Studio: A-1 Pictures

The Republic of San Magnolia and the Giadian Empire are at war, but the Republican army is dominating with no casualties – this is what the general public is told.

With 85 districts, the republic seems a very peaceful state from within. But in reality, there’s the 86th district that fights for the republics using robots – which mostly ends up taking their lives.

Vladelina is the major of the military of the republicans, which commands the 86th district. However, she is the only one who values those lives in the 86th district.

When she gets appointed to supervise an infamous squadron from the 86th district, she gets to experience the reality after coming across that squad’s captain – Shinei Nouzen, nicknamed Reaper. He is also known to retire any supervisor he comes across, sometimes leading them to their death.

Similarities to Darling in the FranXX:

In both these sci-fi anime, teenagers get pushed to the frontline of a war. These teenagers are trained to pilot robots. Adults sit back and relax peacefully in a haven while the teenagers fight for their life.

Discrimination is a major part of the storyline. In Darling in the FranXX and 86, the male protagonists come across females who change their life. In these anime, the teenagers unravel mysteries that they shouldn’t have.

In both these mecha anime, the enemy isn’t human.

#2 Gurren Lagann

#2 Gurren Lagann - Anime Like Darling in the Franxx

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 27
Studio: Gainax

Simon and Kamina were born in an underground village hidden from the surface. The inhabitants don’t believe there’s a surface above, unlike Kamina, the sole believer who claims to have watched the sky when he was a child.

While Simon’s daily job is to dig deeper to expand the underground village, on the other hand, Kamina is always looking for ways to break open the enclosed ceiling to see the sky.

One day while digging, Simon comes across an ignition key to an ancient mecha head. With the help of mecha head and Yoko Littner – a girl they encountered during the battle – the duo defended their village against a threat and finally broke through the ceiling.

Following this, they discover ‘beastmen’ — humanoid creatures responsible for the near extinction of humanity. And the giant robot that attacked their village is called ‘gunmen’ – piloted by these beastmen.

One thing after the other, and it soon reveals to be a mystery that goes beyond space and time.

Similarities to Darling in the FranXX:

In Darling in the FranXX and Gurren Lagann, humanity is under attack by alien beings.

Similarly, in both mecha anime, human-piloted robots are used to protect humanity. Both protagonists, Hiro and Simon, fall in love with individuals who share the blood of the antagonists.

In both anime, the war goes from within the planet to beyond the universe.

#1 Neon Genesis Evangelion

#1 Neon Genesis Evangelion - Anime Like Darling in the Franxx

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 26
Studio: Gainax, Tatsunoko Production

Humanity is on the brink of extinction due to the great cataclysm nearly two decades ago. To put that final nail in the coffin, the extraterrestrial beings called Angels have appeared again in Tokyo-3, the city known as the fortress against the attacks of angels.

When no military weaponry is working against the angels, NERV, an organization led by Gendou Ikari, takes command. NERV uses its giant humanoid robots named Evangelion(s) to fight against the angels.

Due to a shortage of pilots to run Evangelion, Gendou summoned his son Shinji Ikari, a teenage boy whom he abandoned in childhood. Hesitant at the beginning, Shinji eventually agrees to pilot the Evangelion Unit 01 to protect the city from angels.

But how long can he endure the psychological trauma from piloting Unit 01?

Similarities to Darling in the FranXX:

There are reasons some might say Darling in the FranXX is like many other mecha anime inspired by Neon Genesis Evangelion.

In both these anime, humanity’s back is against the wall due to the attack from otherworldly beings. In Darling in the FranXX and Neon Genesis Evangelion, humanoid robots – piloted by teenagers – are used to defend against monsters.

Both protagonists, Shinji and Hiro, are mentally depressed and physically inept as pilots of the humanoid robots (at the beginning). 

These two Sci-Fi Mecha anime have another thing in common, a love triangle – although Neon Genesis Evangelion dives a bit deeper into the complexities of relationships.

All Anime Like Darling in the FranXX Recommendations

Here is the table of the best 15 anime like Darling in the FranXX, along with the honorable mentions that didn’t make it onto the list but are worth your time.

And, for the indecisive ones like me, you can use the AverageBeing Picks for a better idea of where to start after diving into the list of anime like Darling in the FranXX.

AnimeEpisodesSeasonsAverageBeing Picks
Neon Genesis Evangelion261Above Average
Gurren Lagann271Above Average
86231Above Average
Eureka Seven742Average
Cross Ange: Rondo of Angel and Dragon251Below Average
From the New World251Above Average
Astra Lost in Space121Above Average
The Promised Neverland232Average
Chrome Shelled Regios241Below Average
Attack on Titan874Above Average
Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign242Average
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress121Below Average
WorldEnd: What do you do at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us?121Average
Bokura no241Average
Kill La Kill241Above Average
Heroic Age261Average
Knights of Sidonia242Average
Star Driver251Below Average
Guilty Crown221Average
Waiting in the Summer121Average
God Eater131Below Average
Black Bullet131Below Average
Buddy Complex131Below Average
Blue Submarine No. 641Below Average

With that, I present to you the best anime like Darling in the FranXX. The anime mentioned in the list are not only diverse but have their own identities and will only raise your expectations.

I hope you find at least half a dozen of anime to add to your watchlist and enjoy them at your convenience. If you have any feedback, suggestion, or correction regarding the article, feel free to reach out to averagebeing.com ‘s Instagram handle.