Ai (アイ, Ai) is a character in DARLING in the FRANXX. She is the daughter of Mitsuru and Kokoro, and the eldest of their four children. She is also the first child to be born to the Parasites.


Ai is a little girl who bears a striking resemblance to her mother. She has long, wavy ashen blonde hair, the same color as her mother's, which she wears in different styles. As a toddler, she wears her hair in small pigtails at the top of her head and by the age of 9, she styles her hair in braids. As a toddler, her facial features resembled Mitsuru when he was a child. She also inherited her father's eye colour (vert paon) and bangs shape, but her eyes are the same shape as Kokoro's.


She seems to have inherited traits of her mother's personality. She is a very cheerful and precocious child. She shares a close relationship with her parents, whom she calls "Mama" and "Papa", and she is adored by the other members of Squad 13. She is also shown to be a curious girl and enjoys hearing stories, as she asks Miku to tell her what her parents were like when they were younger.


Episode 17: Eden

Kokoro, who had been growing curious about pregnancy and childbirth after reading a baby book, made a sudden pass at Mitsuru, who was confused and rebuffed her. The Nines later berated her for her desire to have a child in case she dies in battle. Mitsuru comforted Kokoro and they ended up sleeping together. They then begin spending their nights together and she becomes pregnant.

Episode 22: Stargazers

After suffering from morning sickness, Kokoro finds out she is pregnant. As their memories of each other were forcibly altered, Kokoro and Mitsuru are shocked and scared at having a child at a young age, and both are troubled with the indecision on what they should do. Initially, it is recommended for them to terminate the pregnancy for the sake of their piloting duties. However, the decision to abort or give birth is left up to them. Kokoro is undecided and too consumed with grief to make a choice but Mitsuru decides to take responsibility after realizing how important the baby is to him.

Episode 23: DARLING in the FRANXX

Kokoro struggles to make a decision on abortion or giving birth, as keeping the baby would mean she can no longer be a parasite. However, Mitsuru tells her that he wants her to keep the baby and he will protect them both because the baby has become his reason to live.

Episode 24: Never Let Me Go

Ai as a newborn

After they decide to keep the baby, Kokoro’s pregnancy is monitored while Mitsuru fully supports her, and they grow excited for the birth of their child. At the end of her pregnancy, Kokoro gives birth to their daughter. Mitsuru is overcome with love for his daughter when he first sees her, and it brings him to tears when she holds his finger. Mitsuru names his daughter Ai because it means ‘love’, a word he and Kokoro credit Hiro and Zero Two teaching them about. Everyone else rejoices at her birth and shows her great affection. At one point as a baby, she becomes fussy while Mitsuru holds her and Kokoro watches them while she does laundry.

Ai with her parents

Despite the many challenges the parasites face while trying to cultivate a self-sufficient lifestyle, Ai’s childhood is filled with peace and joy, and she is loved dearly by her parents, especially her father.

When she is a year and a half year old, while playing in the field, Ai looks at Zero Two’s statue and begins saying “Darling”. Kokoro and Mitsuru hear this and alert everyone. They all join hands to send their thoughts to Hiro and Zero Two while the two fight the VIRM. Mitsuru says he and Kokoro chose the name Ai for ‘love’ because it is a word they were never taught but learned from Hiro and Zero Two. Mitsuru further says he found her name from an old book and learned that, based on how Hiro and Zero Two felt about each other, it meant they love each other. While proudly looking at their daughter, Mitsuru and Kokoro say they want Ai to inherit Hiro and Zero Two’s bond. After Hiro and Zero Two sacrifice themselves to destroy the VIRM, Ai comforts her mother who cries.

Over the next eight years, Ai has a younger brother and sister and an unborn third sibling. When she is 9-years-old, she attends her school entrance ceremony with her parents and siblings.



Ai with her mother

Ai’s mother. Prior to becoming pregnant, Kokoro deeply yearned to bear a child to leave behind a mark for the future in case she dies after finding a baby book, but she loses this desire after her memories are altered. Kokoro is distraught by the news because keeping the baby would mean the end of her ability to pilot a FRANXX. However, she gradually comes to love her child and finds a new purpose in life by raising her child. When Ai is born, Kokoro is happy and introduces her daughter to Mitsuru, whom she asks Ai to call ‘papa’. Kokoro loves her daughter very much and often carries her around.


Ai with her father

Ai’s father. Upon learning of Kokoro’s pregnancy, although shocked at first, Mitsuru is less upset than Kokoro but he feels guilty after watching her break down, and doesn’t know what to do. After realizing the importance of being a parent and unwilling to let Kokoro deal with it alone, he develops a deep desire to protect his child and admits he wants her to have the baby, to the point he chooses the baby over remaining a FRANXX pilot. He becomes protective and supportive of her when they decide to keep the baby. When Ai is born, Mitsuru cries out of joy and he is the one who chose her name. He loves his daughter very much and dotes on her.

Squad 13

All the members of the squad are close with Ai. Ichigo, Miku, and Ikuno cried out of happiness and Zorome was visibly excited when she was born. Ai looks up to Miku as her teacher and asks for Miku to tell her stories about her parents when they were younger. She calls Futoshi ‘Uncle Futoshi’, even when Kokoro asks her to call him 'Big brother Futoshi', signifying he remains close with her parents. Nana, who helped deliver her, seems to be fond of her. Although Hiro and Zero Two never met her because they were fighting in space and died when she was a toddler, they cared deeply enough for her to sacrifice themselves to protect her.


Ai was named by her parents for "love" (愛). They wanted her to inherit the loving bond that Zero Two and Hiro had.


DARLING in the FRANXX appearances
Episode 01 Episode 02 Episode 03 Episode 04 Episode 05 Episode 06 Episode 07 Episode 08 Episode 09 Episode 10 Episode 11 Episode 12
Episode 13 Episode 14 Episode 15 Episode 16 Episode 17 Episode 18 Episode 19 Episode 20 Episode 21 Episode 22 Episode 2 24



"Huh? Darling, darling! Papa, 'darling!'"—Episode 24


  • Ai is the first naturally conceived child to be born to parasites.
  • Her name was chosen by her father, who says he found it from an old book that detailed the meaning of love.
    • Her name is also a critical moment because it shows how the parasites have abandoned the code number system.
  • At the time of Ai's birth, Kokoro was 15 years, 7 months old and Mitsuru was one month shy of turning 16 years old. At the time of her conception, Kokoro was 14 years, 10 months old, and Mitsuru was 15 years, 2 months old.
  • Ai seems to have some sort of telepathic abilities, as she was able to hear Zero Two's pleas for her friends to save Hiro from the depth of space without having physical contact with Zero Two's statue and learned the word "darling".
  • In the final MATO chapter, Ai asks Miku about what her parents were like as children, and Miku starts off by describing Mitsuru as cold before he stops her, much to Kokoro’s amusement.


STAMEN Hiro | Goro | Zorome | Futoshi | Mitsuru
PISTIL Zero Two | Ichigo | Miku | Kokoro | Ikuno
OTHER Naomi | Old Woman | 081 | 090 | 245 | 9'α | 9'β | 9'γ | 9'δ | 9'ε | 9'ζ | VIRM
APE Papa | Vice Chairman | Gorilla | Marmoset | Lemur | Baboon | Tarsier
Dr. FRANXX | Hachi | Nana
FRANXX Strelizia | Delphinium | Argentea | Genista | Chlorophytum | Standard | 9 Model
EPISODES 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12
13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24
CHAPTERS 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20
MUSIC KISS OF DEATH | Torikago | Manatsu no Setsuna | Beautiful World
Hitori | CÅGE | Vanquish | Escape | Darling
LOCATIONS Cerasus | Garden | Chrysanthemum | Gran Crevasse | Cosmos