"Everything comes to an end. The only difference is whether it comes sooner or later. And even though we sense the end is nigh, we spend another day, idling in the cradle of our lives." -IkunoEden is the seventeenth episode of DARLING in the FRANXX.
In the midst of a situation where there is no contact made to Squad 13 by the adults, the 9's suddenly show up at Mistilteinn. They inform Squad 13 that Papa had sent them and that they were not abandoned by him, making them relieved. The 9's seem to be interested in the life Squad 13 has been leading at Mistilteinn and saying they will be staying at Mistlilteinn too. That night, the "notebook" which Kokoro has secretly held from everyone was found by chance by the 9's...
Ikuno narrates that everything comes to an end eventually and when it happens is the only difference. Even when they sense that the end is nigh, they continue to idle.
Kokoro reads her baby book by the greenhouse. Ikuno reads on the boarding house's steps when she notices a sakura petal and looks up to see the cherry blossom trees are starting to bloom.
In the backyard, Ikuno holds a mirror for Zero Two as she files her horns. Ikuno asks if it hurts and Zero Two says not a bit. When she finishes, she tells Miku she is ready. Miku presents a flower headband and places it on her head. Zero Two asks what it looks like and Miku says perfect and that Hiro will love it. Zorome suddenly runs up and says there's a problem.
9'α, β, γ, δ, and ε stand at the door. Ichigo asks why they're there. 9'α says they came to check on Papa's orders and that he had been worried sick about them. This is a great relief to Zorome and Miku. 9'β notes the problems in their environment and 9'γ agrees. 9'α asks for them to ready rooms for them. Ichigo is surprised that they intend to stay there, and he smiles and says that he'd taken a liking to them. Ichigo is surprised to hear that all the surviving squads had been gathered in one place and sadly asks why they were the only ones left out. 9'γ says that it wasn't what Papa wanted and that Hachi and Nana should have told them about it. Miku cries while eating, and 9'δ asks why. Smiling, she says that she's just relieved that they weren't left there to die. Zorome throws his arm over 9'β shoulders and encourages him to eat, though he politely refuses his offer. Ichigo says that she assumed that they were there to take Zero Two back. 9'ε laughs and says they aren't her babysitters but her squad mates. Even though she didn't seem pleased to see them.
In a flashback from earlier, 9'α smiles and asks how long she's going to play human since she'll never be the same as them. Though they're unique, they're imperfect unlike she and the other nines. She tells him not to call her "Iota" but "Zero Two." He asks if she's throwing away the Special Forces code name that Papa gave her. She says that her darling gave it to her and it's important. He begins laughing at her as she walks away. He wishes her luck, again calling her "Iota."
Zero Two looks at the flame of a candle in her room when Hiro calls out to her. He asks about her flower headband. She says that Miku made it for her. She shyly tells him not to stare, but says it's okay after he compliments her. Zero Two pushes his bangs back to reveal small blue horns poking through his forehead. She says that they'd grown bigger. She thinks that they must be because he rode with her or because she drank his blood. She sadly says that she drastically altered his destiny. He leans in and places his horns against her's. They kiss and rest their foreheads against each other. Blushing, Hiro says that it makes him happy to be more similar to her. She tells him that she ate her old picture book when they were trying to erase her memories. She says that she started wanting to become human because she wanted to see him again and she was told that she could do that by killing klaxosaurs, though she realizes she shouldn't have believed them. Hiro asks if Papa and the rest told her, but she doesn't answer. She asks that he show her the picture he drew. He refuses, so she playfully snatches it from him. She finds that he crudely drew a picture of a king. She begins laughing and he covers his face in embarrassment. She says that it's approved and she loves it as she holds it against her chest.
9'δ looks through the hallway when she almost bumps into Kokoro. She holds her before she falls and asks if she's okay. Kokoro thanks her and asks what she's doing. She says exploring and asks that she doesn't tell the others. She agrees to and bows after saying goodnight. On the ground, she notices her Baby Book. In the glass building, 9'δ brings the book to the other nines. 9'α notes that it covers things that Papa hadn't taught anyone, such as reproduction, childbirth, and fetuses. Kokoro smiles as she plays with her doll in one of the abandoned rooms.
The next day, Kokoro brushes Mitsuru's hair in the greenhouse. She says that, since the 9’s are there, someone should be coming to get them soon. Mitsuru says that he'll be a bit sad to leave since they only began spending time together after he came there. She smiles and begins patting his head. She slides her hand down the nape of his neck, to his confusion. She says that his body is much tougher than a girl's. She rubs his chest and says that boys and girls have such different bodies, and there's a reason. Mitsuru asks what she means. She says she read that boys and girls can create new life by joining their bodies together. She gulps and starts unzipping his uniform, saying that it represents hope for them. He shoves her hand away and stands, asking what she's doing. Before she can explain, Zorome asks if they just tried to stick their bodies together and if they're imitating Hiro and Zero Two. Mitsuru zips up his uniform and asks if he needed something. He says that he was supposed to be on water duty. When he asks again what they were doing, he says he'll get the water. He stomps off saying to hurry up then. Mitsuru asks why she did that out of nowhere. She says she'd been thinking about it for a long time.
Mitsuru stands motionless in front of a body of water. Hiro appears and they lay in the water together. Mitsuru says he doesn't understand what Kokoro's thinking. Hiro smiles and says that he's changed, as before, he'd only distanced himself from them, though Hiro says that it was all his fault for breaking their promise. He says that Mitsuru’s probably in love with Kokoro since he has similar feelings for Zero Two as he does for Kokoro. Hiro elaborates that Mitsuru wants to get to know Kokoro and Hiro himself lives Zero Two for that reason. Mitsuru remembers when Kokoro comforted him during their first sortie and her smile when she cut his hair. He thinks to himself that he is in love with her. He thinks he can't be sure, but that is how it's for him. Hiro thinks he confused Mitsuru as he stands up. Mitsuru stands as well and says it’s alright, and that he's similar to Hiro and he's glad that he could have a nice chat with him after so long.
When Hiro and Mitsuru enter the living room, Miku says that he's there. Smiling, Ichigo says that Zorome told them about him and Kokoro. Ikuno says that she's not surprised. Zorome angrily explains that he just asked if a boy and a girl getting all clingy was the cool thing to do. Miku tells him to be quiet. Futoshi suddenly grabs Mitsuru's collar and asks if they'd kissed. Kokoro looks down, embarrassed, and Futoshi realizes they had. This upsets Futoshi but he begins to say that, if they're happy but is interrupted with the 9's entering the room. 9'α holds up the childbirth handbook and asks if they recognize it. With Kokoro and Mitsuru's reaction, he says that they do. He asks for an explanation from Kokoro, since she's the one who dropped it. He says that it's strange, since it wouldn't have been provided in the study there, and it doesn't belong to her. Kokoro apologizes for not telling them all. She turns to her squad and says she wants to make a baby. This confuses the other parasites. 9'α smiles and says that Papa had banned that. Zorome says that it sounds like trouble and Goro asks Mitsuru if she said anything, and he fidgets uncomfortably. Kokoro turns back to the 9’s and asks if it's so bad since it's how all humans were born. Futoshi asks if Papa didn't create them. She says they were born like any other animal and it had always been like that for all living things. She says that's why they have boys and girls. She says that she wants to leave something behind before she's gone. She happily explains that their purpose in life isn't just to ride FRANXX and that they could carry new lives and leave them for the future. She says that it made her happy to hear that, but she is interrupted by 9'a calling her disgusting. When she turns to him, he says that she's disgusting. He explains that humans have evolved and cast their reproductive functions aside in the process. Reject that, and they all have to go back to conforming to one gender. He asks if gender isn't just a pain that's tolerated to operate the FRANXX. Kokoro has tears in her eyes and Mitsuru begins to say something, but Ikuno suddenly walks up and slaps him. 9'γ whistles and the other 9’s seem surprised, as is Ichigo. Ikuno asks what if it matters if it's a pain. Alpha says that humans have also cast away their tendency to be ruled by emotions like her since it serves no purpose. He smiles and tells them to look at themselves, though. Ikuno begins to walk up to him, but is pulled back by Goro and Ichigo. Nana and Hachi appear and ask them to stop.
Nana exclaims that this is why she didn't want to let the 9’s in. Hachi calmly says that Papa sent them, so they couldn't just turn them away. She says that they should put an end to their test now. Kokoro asks what she means. Hachi says that it was on Dr. FRANXX's orders that they didn't contact them over the past month and that it would be their final test. Though they still monitored them, and know what she was trying to do with Mitsuru. In regards to having a baby, Nana says that no one can speak of that, let alone do it. When Kokoro asks why they have organs for reproduction, Nana says to pilot the FRANXX. When she asks what her feelings are for then, all of a sudden, Nana has a blurred flashback and then swipes at Kokoro before clutching her head in pain, telling her to be quiet. Hachi tells her to return to her dorm and they'll give her her orders in time, and Kokoro proceeds to leave. Hachi asks when it started and Nana says a week ago, also saying watching them go about their lives made her feel so irritated. 9'α comes by and asks if she relapsed into puberty. She denies this, but he smirks and asks if they didn't already undergo emotional indoctrination when they were parasites. He tells Hachi they should have her replaced with a new Nana, and says he hopes they go back to doing their actual job instead of getting up to mischief with the doctor. He then says he'll be reporting to Papa before leaving.
Dr. FRANXX asks if Nana is useless now and Hachi answers that he believes continuing the test will be difficult. He agrees but says he gained some intriguing data about the development of humanity's original reproductive instincts.
In a blue volcano, Lemur and Tarsier go down an escalator. Lemur says that klaxosaurs' development differs greatly from human civilization and culture. They approach 001 and Lemur tells his men to lower their guns. He says that it is a great pleasure to meet her. He says that humans and klaxosaurs have waged a war spanning close to a century and orders her to surrender. She screams and they all cover their ears but Tarsier. Lemur asks if they're words sent directly to the brain. Tarsier hears her words and draws two blades, telling her to prepare to die. Lemur tells him not to, but he continues and is quickly killed. Her two dragons go forward and kill the rest of the men. 001 descends the stairs and pushes off Tarsier's mask, revealing there is nothing under it. She calls them "Dammed human wannabes" without opening her mouth.
Mitsuru sits alone in the greenhouse, thinking and waiting for Kokoro. In the living room, Futoshi says that Kokoro is taking a long time to return. Miku says she had no idea she was thinking about that and wishes she would have told her. Ikuno looks down and says that everyone has things they can't talk about. Miku asks if they think they really can make babies. Zorome says he has no idea and Goro wonders how they were born if Papa didn't create them and asks what Hiro thinks. He says he doesn't know, but that they may have the potential to do something Papa hadn't told them about. They reflect that they may be able to leave something for the future. Smiling, Zero Two says she's envious, since she can't leave something behind, as her body is incapable of doing that. She calls them all wonderful since they have the ability to decide their futures themselves.
Mitsuru leaves the greenhouse and finds Kokoro crying in one of the abandoned rooms. She says she was wrong and apologizes for trying to force him to go along with it. He tells her not to and says she wasn't forcing him to do anything. She says he's lying and tells him not to try and be nice. She asks him to leave her alone. As she walks out, he grabs her arm and refuses. He pulls her into a hug and asks her not to do things on her own because he is here for her. He begins to tear up as he asks for her to lean on him more because he wants to make her happy. She is still crying as she asks if it was so bad to create a new life and if they aren't allowed to think of the future. He kisses her and she pulls him closer to her.
Ikuno narrates that everything comes to an end eventually. The only difference is whether it happens sooner or later. As for what comes after, they know nothing.
Zero Two shows Hiro a picture of a bride that she drew in her room. Ikuno sits on the porch with her head on her hands. Mitsuru and Kokoro lie naked in each other's arms after consummating their relationship.
Papa and the Vice Chairman sit on Cosmos and Papa says that the klaxosaur princess chose to go down the path of annihilation. The Vice Chairman says they'll feel the pain of having their earth scorched by their own creation. The Nines that visited the 13th Plantation appear and 9'α says there's something he needs to know.
- Zero Two
- Dr. FRANXX
- Vice Chairman
- The name of this episode is in reference to the biblical garden from Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve lived after God created them. The garden contained the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, from which Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat but when they disobeyed, God punishes them and drive them from the Garden. Their sin and consequence loss of God’s grace and their paradise became known as Fall of Man.
- As Kokoro and Mitsuru, living under the propaganda of APE, find solace in the greenhouse, where they explore forbidden concepts and act on them, despite knowing the potential consequences.
- Kokoro and Mitsuru’s code numbers add up to 882 (see Trivia) and this episode was released in May 12, the day before Mother’s Day.
- The flowers in the room where Kokoro and Mitsuru meet in are not the lilacs Squad 13 left there in Episode 08 but are the original withering flowers and, by Episode 18, the lilacs reappear. It is evident to be the same room based on the same window design and the same contents on the bookshelf.
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|