- "Things keep changing. Until now, food, shelter, a reason to live, even a place to die, everything was only given to us. But, that's over too. Now, we have woken up from that long dream and we will never go back to being CHILDREN. That choice, we made it on our own."—Goro and Ichigo
Stargazers is the 22nd episode of DARLING in the FRANXX.
While the Klaxosaurs depart to space, taking Strelizia Apath with them to fight VIRM, the surviving Parasites work together to ensure their survival, led by Squad 13. However, Zero Two is still in a catatonic state and the others discover that Kokoro is pregnant with Mitsuru's child. Meanwhile, Hachi and Nana locate the site where the discarded Parasites are being held, including Naomi and are instructed by a message left by Dr. Franxx before his death to take care of them. Desperate with Zero Two's condition, Hiro finds out that her mind is still inside the Strelizia Apath, fighting VIRM with the other Klaxosaurs, and dedcides to set out to space to reunite with her, despite his friends' protests. In the end, the other members of Squad 13 agree to accompany Hiro to the space, assisted by the surviving members of the Nines, while Mitsuru and Kokoro stay behind as they can't fight with them due to Kokoro's pregnancy.
Goro narrates that no man ever steps in the same river twice and that Hiro told him that saying. He says that he recently had been recalling those words and what they mean frequently.
The parasites work in the fields and harvest crops to survive. They stop when klaxosaur ships blast off into space and remember when Strelizia did the same thing after the battle was over. Hiro tries to feed Zero Two but she won't open her mouth. He notices blood oozing through her clothes and rolls up her sleeves to find a mysterious cut he can’t explain.
The parasites of Plantation 13 hold a meeting about their supplies and resources. Miku suggests they increase the rations but Ichigo replies that won’t do because they have enough rations for another year. Zorome mentions the crops are growing well, and Miku compliment Kokoro on her knowledge of plants and how much it's helped them. Mitsuru mentions the power to the water system is down. When Futoshi is asked about the water purifier's efficiency, he wonders if they should keep using magma energy. Miku and Zorome answer that they have no choice, but are interrupted by Kokoro suddenly becoming nauseous. She excuses herself to lie down and a concerned Mitsuru attempts to follow her but stops himself. They ask Hiro what he thinks about magma energy, but he doesn't answer. Ichigo smiles and says that they have to survive any way possible.
After the meeting, Ichigo reminds Hiro to ask if he needs anything. A girl runs up and says they have a problem. Ichigo goes to see the 9's and says she heard they refused to eat since the day before. Alpha answers that they need maintenance. She leaves the food, but he throws it to the ground after she leaves.
Goro goes to the new Nana for more water and maintenance but she refuses, saying she needs Papa's approval. Though Goro says that they might die, she doesn't change her mind. Goro brings Ichigo a hot beverage and discusses what the new Nana said. Ichigo remembers the same saying from Hiro and Goro hopes that Hiro and Zero Two get better soon. Hiro finds more cuts on her arm. The next day, as the parasites work on the field, Hiro runs out and apologizes for being late. Goro tells him he looks tired and to sit the day out, but Hiro declines. They are then interrupted by something crashing into the earth. They find a VIRM soldier and Klaxosaur that had killed each other out. A group of Klaxosaurs fly to the sky. Kokoro becomes nauseous again and collapses as Mitsuru calls out to her before she passes out.
In the infirmary, the new Nana tells Kokoro that her test results show traces of human chorionic gonadotropin, which is hormone secreted during pregnancy. Kokoro is confused what ‘pregnancy’ means. After being told what it is, everyone is shocked, especially Kokoro and Mitsuru, who realizes he is the father of the baby and he falls to the ground. The new Nana tells her that a pregnant pistil cannot pilot a FRANXX and recommends abortion as a treatment. She says to let her know what she decides to do before leaving. Kokoro panics and asks what she should do. Miku tries to comfort her and asks the boys to leave the room. In the hallway, Mitsuru is troubled with what he should do and asks Hiro what the right choice is. Futoshi tries to tell him something before Hiro says he doesn’t even know what is right and wrong anymore. When Hiro returns to his room, he finds that Zero Two isn't there. He runs to find her and, when he finds her standing and looking at the sky from a window, he asks if she's normal again. She doesn't answer and blankly looks at the sky. The next day, as Miku and Ikuno tend to other parasites, Goro yells for them to come quickly. They find all their crops have withered despite following the instructions. They see a carrier ship and run to find Nana, who is in a wheelchair, and Hachi.
In a flashback, Nana and Hachi enter a room together under Dr. FRANXX's orders. Hachi finds a database of adults and all of their memories have been copied and archived. Nana asks why he didn't just abandon her since she doesn't serve a purpose anymore. The database reveals a hidden room in the doctor’s laboratory. They travel to the room where the children, including Naomi, who were deemed unfit, are in a cryostasis state. Hachi tells her that he received an email from Dr. FRANXX after the siege of Gran Crevasse that was set to go off after his death, telling Hachi to retrieve Nana and for them to become the children's new adults. Nana wonders how she should do this when the children run up to them. Miku cries and asks her to save them. Hachi inspects the fields and tells them that the magma energy extracting has striped the soil of life. Everyone worries this means they are going to die and Ichigo collapses as it begins to rain. Hiro frantically searches for Zero Two again. Kokoro is holding her stomach while in her room and Mitsuru attempts to knock on her door, but stops himself.
Goro gives Ikuno pills and she says that she collapsed from overwork. Goro becomes angry and runs to Hiro. He tells him that he wants to figure something out about the fields. Hiro spots Zero Two standing in the rain and runs off. When there is an explosion in the sky, two cuts appear on her arm. He brings her back to her room and sees that she left the last page to him. He finds that it lacks a drawing and he realizes she deliberately left it blank because she foresaw they would part ways one day. When he touches their horns together, he discovers that she's in space fighting VIRM with Strelizia as well.
Hachi and Goro find that Mistilteinn contains soil from before the planet became a desert and that they can use that to grow more crops. Goro runs off to tell everyone. After he leaves, Hachi notices Hiro in the doorway. Goro tells the other parasites and they become excited. They notice Hiro in the doorway, and he says he has to talk to them about something. He tells them that he will be travelling to space and rescue Zero Two, who is fighting VIRM. Miku is confused and Hiro explains her body is in her room but her mind is with Strelizia, which makes Goro more confused. Hiro says he will be taking a klaxosaur ship. Everyone tells him that it is a dangerous mission in which he will probably get killed. Hiro acknowledges this and says he can never forgive himself if he leaves Zero Two before he leaves the room. Goro is angry and confronts him, telling him they need to work together to survive. Hiro says he understands how they feel but he also wants them to understand. This angers Goro further, accusing Hiro of being selfish by going out on a mission that will likely get him killed while disregarding everyone else’s feelings and their efforts to survive. Hiro again understands what he means but says he still has to go, his eyes and horns glowing blue, shocking his friends who were unaware he had been growing horns. When Goro again protests because Hiro is not considering the people who care for him and are trying to protect him, Hiro replies he would rather be dead if Zero Two didn’t smile at him. Goro punches him, and Zorome and Futoshi hold him back while Ichigo looks on with tears in her eyes.
Miku, Futoshi, Ikuno and Zorome sit outside together and watch a meteor shower. Miku wonders if they'll ever find something that they're willing to die for but Ikuno says it’s different for everyone. Ichigo thanks Goro for what he said to Hiro, but he says that it was all about him and that he's the one that's scared about the world they live in. She sits next to him and says Hiro’s old saying, and says that they all have to find their own path in life because their lives have just begun. Close by, Mitsuru stands by with a determined expression and holds something in his pocket while Kokoro keeps to herself in her room. Nana comes across a traumatized parasite girl and forces herself out of her wheelchair to comfort the girl. Hiro and Zero Two hold hands and sleep by the window.
The next morning, Hiro gets ready to leave when he is met by his squad mates waiting for him, dressed in their parasite suites. They explain they have decided to go with him to rescue Zero Two. Zorome says they are not doing this for Hiro but they want to take out VIRM in revenge and Futoshi says waiting for the VIRM to kill them isn’t their style. Miku says their lives have just begun and Ikuno agrees. Nana instructs the new Nana to take care of things while they are gone. As Kokoro is pregnant, she is unable to go on this mission and stands by the new Nana. The three surviving members of the 9's have also decided to go with him because they have chosen to make the battlefield their burial. Ichigo says they don’t intend to die and will come back to grow more crops and live. Goro tells Hiro that because this is Hiro’s decision, he won’t fight it and now they are even, and this is the path they have chosen to live, moving Hiro to tears. Mitsuru approaches Hiro and says something while Kokoro watches.
Goro narrates that everything changes like the flow of the river. Everyone is all the same with their own choices but if that part of nature scares you and if you don’t accept what you already have and should appreciate, you will never grasp the future ahead. Which is why they decided reach out.
- The new Nana said a pregnant Pistil cannot pilot a FRANXX, which might not be true. Kokoro was already pregnant at roughly four weeks along, yet still able to pilot without an issue in episodes 20 and 21.
- However, the effects from piloting may have worsened her morning sickness and made her severely ill. It is highly possible that a pregnant Pistil is prohibited from piloting not only because of interference with paracapacity with the Stamen but because it could result in a miscarriage or detrimental harm to the fetus.
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|