- "Our sole reason to exist is to become FRANXX and fight. We were born only for that purpose, raised only for that purpose. But to me, the failure of the group, that's something I can't forgive. With nowhere I can feel like I belong... that's when I met you."—Hiro
Alone and Lonesome is the first episode of DARLING in the FRANXX.
In the distant future, human beings built moving fortress cities called "Plantations" on the devastated Earth and enjoyed civilization. In one such plantation, "Cerasus," the day before a ceremony for parasites. Code 016 "Hiro", one of the parasite candidates, failed the final test and was disappointed. Hiro goes into the forest, without going to the briefing session of the enlistment ceremony, to a lake and witnessed a strange girl swimming. Her name was Code 002 "Zero Two", and from her head, two glossy horns were growing.
Zero Two narrates about the Jian, or "the bird that shares wings," and how it only possesses one wing. Unless a male and female pair lean on each other and act as one, they're incapable of flight. Despite this, she found their way of life beautiful. In a flashback, a child Zero Two, donning red skin and long red horns, walks through the snow and stands in front of a tree. She looks at her bleeding finger oozing with blue blood and hears wings fluttering. She turns to find a horde of Klaxosaurs behind her and a bird flies into the sky. A fast forward reveals her teenaged self walking with a boy through a path of cherry blossom trees, wearing the standard parasite uniform, and spinning with a happy smile on her face.
In the present, Zero Two is riding an aircraft and says she wants to take a bath, much to Dr. FRANXX’s dismay and he tells her to show some restraint. She turns to her partner and asks him how she smells but the doctor tells her to leave him alone because he is still recovering from the last battle and he complains how she is high maintenance. Zero Two asks Nana if Plantation 13 has an ocean because she wants to take a swim in ocean water. Nana says there is no such thing down there and suggests she just take a shower, but Zero Two is in the mood for a swim. They are told to fasten in for descent and Zero Two licks her wrist and complains how she hates her taste.
At Cerasus, Hiro, a dropout pilot cadet, narrates that he read about the Jian in a book he read a long time ago. He notes that it has to hide among tree leaves until it finds a partner and dream of the day it can take flight into the skies. He refers to the Jian as pitiful creatures. He wonders what a bird that cannot fly goes, but says he knows well. Hiro sits up and finds that Ichigo, Hiro's childhood friend and leader of his squad, messages him asking him to show up for the welcoming ceremony the next day and reminds him that he been allowed to stay despite what happened with Naomi. He hears a noise and finds a bird is injured after hitting the glass of the Birdcage. He then looks up to see the aircraft carrying Zero Two, who says she found one.
At the squad's boarding house, Mistilteinn, the squad discusses rumors of the infamous Partner Killer with horns, fangs, and partners who are destined to die after riding three times with her. Zorome tells them these rumors after hearing them from someone in the security force. Futoshi says he wouldn’t ride with her but Miku questions the authenticity of the rumors but Zorome insists the rumors are 100% true. Ikuno doesn’t speak as she reads but she looks at Ichigo, who is still trying to contact Hiro. Goro asks her if she has heard from Hiro and she says no. Zorome thinks he will not come to the graduation ceremony after what happened. Futoshi believes Hiro’s absence during the day’s briefing means Hiro is declining to stay. Kokoro says it will be sad if he doesn’t become a parasite and has to leave. Ikuno wonders what will happen to Naomi. Mitsuru tells them to put themselves in Hiro’s shoes after what happened but Miku retorts he said that out of compassion. Ichigo mutters Hiro is an idiot.
As the plane lands, Dr. FRANXX complains how ruggedly the seats are and Nana tells him to deal with it. He replies they haven’t seen each other in a long time but she is as stiffy as ever and he wishes her personality changed more soft. He gropes her and she gets disgusted, and tells him to knock it off. While on the escalator, Nana tells the doctor that Hachi has been asked to speed up the children’s training, as this will be the first trial run for the current unit. She questions his motives of running tests on a makeshift team at this facility of all places. He replies something had been bothering him but the ‘geezers’ at APE wouldn’t understand. After agreeing to attend the startup ceremony for the new parasites as reminded by Nana, he notices that Zero Two is missing, much to the annoyance of her partner.
Hiro follows a trail of blood and hears chirping, believing that the bird he saw earlier was still alive. He comes to a lake he is unfamiliar with. He notices clothes on a tree and notices its difference from his squad’s uniforms, picking up a piece of the clothing. He shifts his view to the lake and notices a naked girl in the lake, much to his shock. She dissapears under the water and doesn’t come back after a moment passes, causing Hiro to believe she has drowned and runs into the water to attempt to save her. Zero Two suddenly comes out the water with a fish in her mouth, making Hiro more shocked at her nakedness.
Hiro narrates how he felt like he had by a spell, between her two alluring horns and his first time seeing a naked girl’s body, he was perplexed and unable to take his eyes off her.
She curiously leans in and sniffs Hiro, much to his confusion. As Hiro questions her presence at the lake and her naked status, Zero Two says she thought ocean water tasted salty. Hiro corrects her that this isn’t an ocean and she says this puddle was the closest thing to an ocean she could find. She asks him if he is going to swim because of how he was staring at her and he retorts he wasn’t staring and he was worried she drowned, and he shyly asks her to get dressed. She calls him a pervert and she points to his hand, which is holding her underwear. He freaks out and hands it to her, which amuses her. But she thanks him anyway for trying to ‘save’ her. As she gets dressed, she asks if Hiro is a parasite, and he says no because he no longer as the ability to pilot after failing to sync with his partner and he blames himself because he believes he is incompetent and he dragged his partner with him. She reassures him that he is not alone as she too lacks a partner to sync with due to her horns. She suggests that he find a place to belong, find a partner, and if he can’t, take one by force. She throws herself on him, causing them both to fall in the water, and she goes on lick him and enjoy his taste that made her heart race. She admits she has taken a liking to him and asks if he is interested in becoming her ‘darling’. Hiro is confused by the word but they are interrupted by 081 who says they were looking for her. As security escorts Zero Two away, 081 advises Hiro to stay away from her, as she's not the kind of partner that anyone can handle. Before they leave, Hiro asks for her name to which she responds that her code is 002, but everyone calls her "Zero Two." Hiro is taken away by an officer and finds the bird is dead.
At Cerasus, Squad 13 attends their graduation ceremony, where they are praised by their leader, Papa. Zorome and Futoshi are amazed by the adult audience. Hiro narrates that parasites are children specifically chosen to pilot weapons called FRANXX in male-female pairs and children who can’t ‘fly’ have no purpose in life, which is why he has decided to leave. Ichigo appears distracted and Goro tells her to focus because Papa is watching them.
At Mistilteinn, Hachi gives Hiro the official instructions for his return to the orphanage. He tells him that HQ had given him special permission to remain there and asks him to reconsider. As Hiro leaves the meeting, he finds his former partner, Naomi, crying. Hiro recalls when he and Naomi took their capacity test. The rest of the team stood by and it was announced Hiro’s positive pulse and P-Factor drop causing him and Naomi to fail.
As they wait for their ride, Naomi tells him he should stay and asks if he refused for her. He says that he wouldn't be of any use if he stayed. She scolds him running away from his partner and himself. She tells him that he's lucky to have a chance to stay at all. Crying, she says she'd do anything to stay and asks why he had to be her partner. Meanwhile, the squad is on a train to head for their startup ritual and reflect that Hiro didn’t show up. Ikuno mentions she has never heard of a parasite returning to the Garden. Hachi then tells them to get ready. After Naomi crosses the bridge, she turns and smiles; telling Hiro to take care since she doesn't think they'll ever meet again. As he runs towards her, she tosses her luggage at him saying she didn't need it anymore and tells him to share it. She smiles and thanks him for her name and hopes that he finds a good partner as her door closes. Elsewhere, Zero Two says she smells a klaxosaur.
As the parasites' FRANXX begin the startup ritual, a fog rolls in causing the ritual to be stalled. Hiro is about to board his ride when he then refuses to leave. Suddenly, Naomi’s ride is attacked by a klaxosaur and is is caved in by it. The plantation begins firing at the klaxosaur as it begins attacking the plantation. Hiro survives getting killed and sees it is heading to where his friends are at, and he rushes to the location. The klaxosaur tries bursting through the doors where the parasites and their FRANXX units are kept. Dr. FRANXX notes the klaxosaur is a Moho-class klaxosaur and it is beautiful. Nana retorts it’s not the time and orders everyone to evacuate with the parasites. begins breaking through where Ichigo and Goro are with their FRANXX is. A FRANXX called Strelizia suddenly intervenes and begins fighting the klaxosaur. Nana is dismayed that Strelizia is in stampede mode again. Papa notes she devoured another stamen and the Vice Chairman wonders which is the real monster.
As Strelizia battles the klaxosaur, it is thrown at the plantation and lands near Hiro nearly crushing him. 081 falls out of the cockpit, covered in blood and slowly stops breathing. Hiro tries to help him but Zero Two, also injured, tells him not to bother because he is already dead. Hiro asks what she is doing and she replies she is ‘monster hunting’ and she needs to get back and kill the klaxosaur. Hiro tries stopping her because she is injured and will die. She rejects him and says she is not afraid of dying because she has always been alone and if she stops fighting, everyone else at the Plantation will die. Hearing this, Hiro says although he is a failure, he wants to pilot the FRANXX with her. Zero Two earns him that he may die and he replies that, if he can’t pilot, he is better off dead. Zero Two hesitates but when Hiro perseveres about his determination to pilot, she relents and pulls him inside the cockpit. She asks him to let her get a taste of him because he is now her darling. She kisses him and this awakens Strelizia. With Strelizia fully activated, it effortlessly eliminates the klaxosaur by removing and destroying it’s cores and saves the plantation, along with the parasites and others. Nana is shocked at who could be piloting it while Dr. FRANXX simply remarks how beautiful it is. Dr. FRANXX says that when the negative and positive - male and female factors - combine and their hearts become one, the iron maiden will reveal her true form as shown by the Strelizia. He then exclaims this is a true FRANXX.
When the battle is over, everyone sees Zero Two bring an unconscious Hiro out of the cockpit. His friends are surprised that Hiro piloted it. Nana tells them that Zero Two is a former member of APE’s special defense forces and is a girl with klaxosaur blood. Zero Two remarks she has found her darling.
- The name of this episode is in reference to that Hiro and Zero Two, two parasites who are deemed prodigies, share a mutual understanding of loneliness and being alone, albeit for different reasons.
DARLING in the FRANXX
|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|
|KEYWORD||Klaxosaur | FRANXX|