- "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.
The fight between humans and the klaxosaurs was over. In order to fight off VIRM, the true enemy, the klaxosaurs left the ground one after another and went up into space. Among them was Strelizia Apus which no one was riding. The surviving parasites started a new life. Even though they were being thrown into a harsh environment, they survived without relying on the adults. Meanwhile, Hiro tended to Zero Two who seemingly became empty after the battle.
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 compliments 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 says its efficiency has dropped too. 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 in any way possible. After the meeting, Ichigo reminds Hiro to ask if he needs anything.
A girl runs up to Ichigo and says they have a problem. Ichigo goes to see the 9's, who are gravely ill and bedridden, saying she heard they refused to eat since the day before. Alpha answers that they need maintenance rather than food. She leaves the food and exits the room. Alpha throws his pillow across the room and curses in pain.
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 and is indifferent, making Goro uneasy and back away from her. Goro brings Ichigo, who is looking at some paperwork, 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, Ichigo notices how tired Ikuno looks and advises her not to push herself. 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 in a crater, as both had killed each other out. A group of Klaxosaur spaceships fly to the sky. Kokoro becomes nauseous again and collapses in Miku’s arms. As Miku pleads for help, Kokoro sees Mitsuru kneel next to her and call out her name despite the pain he feels doing so. She then passes out.
In the infirmary, the new Nana informs Kokoro that her test results show traces of human chorionic gonadotropin, which is hormone secreted during pregnancy. Kokoro and the others are confused about what ‘pregnancy’ means, and Ikuno asks what it means. After being told what it is, everyone is shocked. Mitsuru realizes he is the father of her unborn child and falls to the ground in shock. Kokoro grasps her bed sheets and trembles from the shock. 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 and the other girls comfort her. Mitsuru sits on the floor, shell-shocked, as Ichigo asks the boys to leave the room
In the hallway, the boys are silently walking when Mitsuru stops. He 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 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 extracting of magma energy has stripped the soil of life. Everyone goes quiet. Zorome fidgety tries to say that doesn’t mean they are going to die but Goro and Futoshi stay quiet. Ikuno says at the end, they were rejected by the planet. Miku starts crying. Ichigo collapses and Ikuno runs to her side as it begins to rain. Back at the Bird Nest, Hiro frantically searches for Zero Two again. While Kokoro holds her abdomen in the infirmary, Mitsuru attempts to knock on her door but stops himself.
Goro gives Ikuno pills and she says that Ichigo collapsed from overwork. Ikuno adds that Ichigo has been so busy caring for and worrying about everyone else that she has been neglecting herself. Goro becomes angry and runs to Hiro in the hallway, telling Hiro that he wants to figure something out about the fields. Hiro spots Zero Two standing in the rain and runs off, leaving Goro behind. Hiro grabs Zero Two’s hand and tries to get her to come inside or she will fall ill. Then, there is an explosion in the sky and two cuts appear on Zero Two's arm. He brings her back to her room and puts her to bed.
After changing their clothes, Miku asks Hiro if he needs anything else but he says no. After Miku leaves, Hiro notices Zero Two‘s picture book on her bed table. Flipping through the book, he notices she left the last page to him. Hiro realizes she deliberately left it blank because she foresaw they would part ways one day and cries. When he touches their horns together, he sees a vision of Strelizia Apath Apus in space and being attacked by a VIRM fleet, causing Zero Two to be inflicted by the same injuries sustained by Strelizia. He falls to the floor, horrified to find she's mentally in space, fighting VIRM in Strelizia.
Hachi and Goro discover the ruins of Mistilteinn through a satellite camera. Hachi says Mistilteinn contains soil from the planet before it became a desert and that they can use that to grow crops. Goro runs off to tell everyone. After he leaves, Hachi notices Hiro in the doorway. When Goro tells Squad 13, 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 using a klaxosaur ship the klaxosaurs left behind. Squad 13 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 enraged and confronts Hiro, telling him they need to work together to survive. Hiro says he understands how they feel but he also wants them to understand him too. 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. He admitted he the one that was 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. Alpha meets with Hachi, with a determined look on his face. 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. 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, such as Kokoro, while they are gone. As Kokoro is pregnant and hasn’t made a decision on whether to abort or give birth, 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 place. Ichigo says they don’t intend to die and will come back to grow crops and survive. 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, dressed in uniform instead of his parasite suit, 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 to 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 or five 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. However it is more likely that the fetus lacks the yellow blood cells that serve as a conduit for the FRANXX, possibly increasing the risks of 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|