Mamerto Adan is a feature writer who is back in college once again. Science is one of his favorite topics.
We all know that an anime is doing great if it managed its character well. With that said, fans would either adore a character, or hate it to the bone. And when it happens, it means they cared for them whether in a bad or good way.
In mecha anime, especially in Real Robot genre, the challenge is making the audience love both the mecha, and the protagonist that controls it. That was the magic of the original Gundam, although I could say that Amuro getting slapped by Bright counts as the most memorable moment in mech anime history. In mid 90s, Neon Genesis Evangelion made it clear how a well-presented character could earn an anime its place among the legends. And it also showed that you don’t need a likeable character to gain a fandom. I mean stop crying Shinji and get into the darn robot!
And now, we have another mecha anime, and instantly the girls and boys of Darling in the Franxx became the talk of the town. We all know how we wished that a girl like Zero One exists, but a couple of lasses successfully got under the skins of some fans. The issue with Kokoro deserved a separate article, but I think the reason for the fan’s ire on her lies on the fact that they could relate on her Stamen Futoshi. Physically, he is an accurate representation of an everyman, and a lot of people weren’t too happy when Kokoro chose the edgy (but more good looking) Mitsuru over the nice-guy Futoshi.
Then, there is Ichigo. And she now counts as one of the most hated girls in mecha anime. But I kind of wonder if she really deserved the hate she is getting.
There Are a Lot of Mecha B****es Out There
When in comes to anime guys, there are many ways to be hated. Sure, being evil is one thing, but acting immature, overemotional, indecisive, moody, violent, crybaby, and many more will earn a character extra heat from the fans. Shinn Asuka from Gundam Seed Destiny and Shinji Ikari from the Evangelion series were good examples. And amazingly, they could be more hated than the actual antagonist of the show.
And being hated is not exclusive to the male character.
Girls could also earn the revulsions of the fans. Flay Allster from Gundam Seed is a girl you don’t want to date in real life. This girl is evil. Her manipulative nature damaged Kira Yamato more than all the beam rifles combined in SEED. And I won’t dig deep on why fans stayed clear of Nina Einstein from Code Geass. Let’s leave it to your imaginations.
And how about Ichigo, the loathed girl in Darling? We listed below the possible reasons why she is hated, just to check if she deserved it.
So Overprotective, it Hurts!
We all love a caring girlfriend. Nothing could be better than a girl comforting you after a stressful day. But things get too awkward when a girl became too caring, up to a point where she smothered the people around her.
To be fair, Ichigo was just worried for Hiro. Understandably, she had feelings for him in the beginning and the two were good friends. Hence, it was normal for her to be worried when the person she cared the most will fly with a partner killer with bestial nature. The problem here is that being too worried for Hiro clouded her judgement. So clouded, that she let her messed-up impression of Zero Two gets the best of her, thus causing chaos to the couple.
And her possessiveness then leads to another trait that made fans dislike her.
Girls hated jealous guys, and guys hated jealous girls. Simply, everyone hated a jealous person. But again, Ichigo wasn’t afraid to express her love for Hiro, and obviously she hated competitions. True, Zero Two loves to cling to Hiro, and some fans saw her as being nearly a Yandere. But that was nothing compared to how Ichigo behaved. We all knew how being overly possessive will lead to jealousy, and instead to resorting to fair competition, Ichigo plotted to ruin Hiro and Zero Two’s relationship instead.
The Forced Kiss
I might be exaggerating here, but again no one likes a forced advance whether you are a guy or a girl. There is nothing romantic here, only plain old harassment by an obsessive individual. And in one episode of Darling, we see Ichigo grappling Hiro shortly after Zero Two was taken away. She then pulled Hiro and tried kissing the surprised lad as Goro watched in a distance
From the looks it, what Ichigo did wasn’t helpful. Our boy was broken here, and Ichigo kissing him only worsened the problem. Being the one who stopped Hiro from going after Zero Two, it gave the impression that Ichigo is gloating on Hiro’s loss. The worst part of it is its impact to Goro.
She is Too Busy With Hero to Notice Goro.
Ichigo killed two birds with one stone that day. The other one watches as she kissed the hapless Hiro. Early in the show, Goro made it clear that he had feelings for Ichigo. In many ways, Goro is a better guy than Hiro, so much so that fans thought that he is too good for Ichigo. But with her focus on ruining Hiro and Zero Two’s relationship, Goro was woefully friendzoned. Thankfully though when Ichigo came to her sense, she eventually learned to love Goro in the end.
Personal Attacks on Zero Two
Initially, bestial was the only way to describe Zero Two. Yet, that never gave anyone the rights to personally attack the girl, considering what she went through. Zero Two was often accused of treating Hiro as garbage by Ichigo, though seeing the original Zero Two, she did have a point. But to hurl insults and resort to physical assault is another story. Zero Two wasn’t human to begin with, she is a half human creature with Klaxosaurus traits. It wasn’t her fault to come out as that, and she suffered discrimination because of it. The last thing an abused and sad lass wants to hear is a half human insult, courtesy of Ichigo. And to add injury to insult, Ichigo once slapped Zero Two with everyone’s back turned.
Now, Zero Two wasn’t exactly an innocent victim, and she once tried to choke Ichigo. Though we got to admit that it was satisfying to watch.
But, did She Deserved the Hate?
Overall, Ichigo tended to be selfish and manipulative. But at least she is not as worst as other certified mecha b***h. Through deeper reflection, Ichigo is just a flawed person. All she wants is to protect Hiro, though youthful immaturity and jealousy clouded her judgements. At least, she never plotted to emotionally torture the main character with her girlish charm, just what Flay Alster did. And surely, Ichigo is not the type that will mess up the table and willing to commit mass murder through blind rage, like Nina Einstein. Ichigo is nasty, but not malicious. So, when asked if she deserved the hate, the answer is both yes and no. At least she managed to fix herself in the end, though she is now in par with the likes of Shinji Ikari in the mecha world.
But aside from Ichigo, we also have Kokoro. But that’s another story.