What a crazy time it is to be an anime fan! First Black Panther standout hit Michael B. Jordan is discovered to be a fan of the animation medium, with years-old tweets unearthed talking about Naruto and now, perhaps one of the most prolific reality TV stars has recently revealed that they too, were at least inspired by anime.
On 28 February 2018, Kim Mardashian West revealed on Twitter that anime was “legit my [her] inspo” for a recent pink hair-styling. A few days later, she finally revealed the source of this inspiration to her 108 million Instagram followers: Zero Two from the currently airing anime DARLING in the FRANXX.
This revelation has unfortunately inspired a new spate of “gate keeping”; other social network users seeking to “prove” a supposed “nerd cred”. This first manifested as people suggesting Kim Kardashian West’s husband, Kanye West, “made” her watch legacy favourites like Akira (as opposed to just watching it herself?), but really, we should all be overjoyed that someone as successful and with such a huge audiences appreciates the same, perhaps once-niche, hobby that we do.
Speaking as someone who works on marketing campaigns for anime, the DARLING in the FRANXX brand has now been exposed to her native 108M Instagram followers, as well as the readers of every site writing about this (like we are). That is an incredible amount of exposure that I could only dream of in my day job; not even the big name anime influencers come close.
A current personal favourite of mine, DARLING in the FRANXX is currently simulcasting on Crunchyroll. A science fiction mecha co-production between A-1 Pictures (Sword Art Online and Studio Trigger Kill la Kill. Crunchyroll describes the anime’s story as follows:
The distant future: Humanity established the mobile fort city, Plantation, upon the ruined wasteland. Within the city were pilot quarters, Mistilteinn, otherwise known as the “Birdcage.” That is where the children live… Their only mission in life was the fight. Their enemies are the mysterious giant organisms known as Klaxosaurs. The children operate robots known as FRANXX in order to face these still unseen enemies. Among them was a boy who was once called a child prodigy: Code number 016, Hiro. One day, a mysterious girl called Zero Two appears in front of Hiro. “I’ve found you, my Darling.