- "If I look up, I see thousands of lives shining deep in the sky. So far away and although I try, I just can't reach out. Yet, even with broken wings, we'll fly away once again. For the promise we must keep. For the future we must pass on. "—Kokoro and Mitsuru
DARLING in the FRANXX (Furankisu) is the twenty-third episode of DARLING in the FRANXX.
Hiro wants to reunite with Zero Two, who is mentally connected to Strelizia Apus and travels to space with other parasites. The ship's fleet gathers in Mars airspace. There, there is a fierce and massive battle that is too large to compare with what was done on the ground by the ship's fleet and VIRM.
Kokoro narrates how everyone has their own feelings and they all believe this is their final battle. However, she was having a different feeling and she doesn’t know what to do with it.
Kokoro and Mitsuru watch as the other parasites blast off into space. Earlier, Mitsuru told Hiro he would be staying behind and Hiro said he understood because Mitsuru wanted to try to reconcile with Kokoro, who was surprised. She asks Mitsuru why he stayed behind because he could’ve chosen another partner and gone with them. He says he wanted to and it’s his responsibility as well. She says she doesn't expect anything from him since they don’t remember anything and tells him not to mind her, although this troubles him. Zero Two blankly watches the sky.
The FRANXX fly into space and Miku asks Zorome if he's okay as they randonmlly fly Argentea. Everyone is amazed how natural it feels to be in space and they can move more freely. Futoshi is impressed with the FRANXXs’ new weapons and it feels like they have become a real time. Zorome says they have always been a time. Nana and Hachi wonder if they were left with the equipment on purpose by the klaxosaurs. Nana wonders if Hiro is right about the klaxosaurs and Hachi surmises this means humanity has been allowed to join the fight to defend Earth but Nana wonders if they have that right. Hiro is amazed he and Alpha are able to connect, and he tells Hiro that the Nines can be both stamens and pistils. But Alpha says Hiro puts too much strain on his partner and no ordinary pistil can handle that and Nana says Alpha is not in the best shape either. Alpha asks Hiro to give him a taste of what he can do and flies the FRANXX in speed mode. Hiro says that it feels like Zero Two, and he agrees that he's her clone after all. Alpha expresses his amazement that his final partner is a human. Hachi tells everyone to return to the ship.
Kokoro asks Zero Two what she sees as she bandages her fresh injuries. She sadly says everyone is fighting in space but not her because she isn't a parasite anymore as she rubs her stomach. Mitsuru works in the fields but is still keeping a close eye on Kokoro. Hachi is able to work the ship and Nana is curious how the panels are similar to the humans‘. Hachi thinks this means klaxo sapiens were similar to humans. The monitor shows Strelizia is heading towards Mars’ orbit and they are tagging behind. Nana admits she doesn’t want to watch the children hurt themselves any more and finds it odd because she had watched over them for so long as tools for warfare. Hachi asks if that feeling is wrong because their sole purpose in life was to fight but if this is their final battle, she will be needed in their lives afterwards.
On the dock, Goro and Ichigo meet with Hiro, who is looking at a picture. Ichigo assures they will rescue Zero Two no matter what and reminds Goro he has something to say. Goro apologizes for hitting Hiro, who playfully nudges him and says it's fine. Alpha watches them nearby. They spot a VIRM fleet surrounding Strelizia and ship accelerates, and creates a shield when VIRM begins attacking. Hiro and Alpha head straight into the battle with everyone tasked with providing backup. The VIRM blocks the FRANXX units from reaching Strelizia. Ichigo tells Hiro to head straight through while they will cover him. Zorome plows Argentea through the fleet to let Hiro through to where Strelizia is. However Hiro and Alpha are cornered by a massive VIRM and are unable to land a direct blow on it. Alpha says this is as far as he can go and launches Hiro into Stelizia and tells him that he learned a bit about being human, but his home is the battle field. He asks Hiro to tell Iota hi for him before self destructing, killing himself and the VIRM.
Hiro makes his way to the cockpit and recalls his promise to be with Zero Two forever, wondering why she chose to leave him behind. The catatonic Zero Two falls to the ground and more injuries appear on her body while reaching for the sky and Kokoro tries to stop her. Her consciousness reaches Strelizia and the pistil seat is filled with mechanical wires that surround Hiro. Hiro, realizing it is her, tells her to devour him. He enters her conciousness and finds that her mind is filled with pictures from her picture book. She asks him why he came and he says he wanted to see her. She asks him to stay away but he refuses because he wants to be with her, and she says they can’t be together because she wants him to remain human.
A VIRM fires an attack at the ship and the two other 9’s intervene and decide to “go in a blaze of glory”. Meanwhile Nana and Hachi run to another ship. The ship is hit by a blast and Hachi is injured for trying to shield Nana. He tells her to go on alone, but she refuses because its also his responsibility to look after the children and they walk away together. After escaping in another ship, they notice the ship was equipped with a bomb. They then hear the voices of Papa and Vice Chairman, who tells them to surrender and become one with them for the sake of ending a cycle of hatred and discrimination. Hachi says adults would have found this utopia. Nana says not the children, who have chosen their own destiny. Hachi adds it’s not a matter of right or wrong but this is simply the path the children have chosen. The other 9’s are killed after being accosted by VIRM soldiers. Ichigo says the battle is getting intense and Zorome wonders what is taking Hiro so long. Goro says not to worry because Hiro has always pulled through and Futoshi reminds them about Kokoro and Mitsuru on Earth.
The effects of the battle creates a severe thunderstorm on Earth. Kokoro is holding Zero Two when Mitsuru tries to help her get inside but she refuses to leave Zero Two. When Mitsuru says it will be bad for her, she cries out she doesn’t care because she is not a parasite anymore and has nothing left but she can only protect Zero Two. Mitsuru decides to stay with them but she begs him to leave her alone because she doesn’t hold him responsible for her and the baby. He insists he is not trying to be responsible and if she has nothing, he doesn’t either but he has found a reason to live, which is to protect Kokoro and their baby. Although he thinks of himself as a weakling and he doesn’t understand what love is, he believes they can find it together and he can keep going forward as long as she is with him. He shows her his wedding ring. She asks him why does he still have it and why he calls her name even though it hurts him. He says even if saying her name causes him pain and they don’t have their memories, they can start over and he will call her name as much as she wants. Kokoro shows she also has her wedding ring and cries out to him, and they cry together as they embrace and reconcile.
Zero Two tells Hiro she wants him remain human and insists she is fine with being alone but Hiro calls her a liar and asks if that is true, why is the last page of her book blank. He offers his hand to her and asks her to let him stay with her so they can rewrite that story together. On Earth, Zero Two smiles and her body turns into stone. Hiro embraces her and vows to never let her go. Strelizia evolves into the Strelizia True Apus and eliminates the VIRM fleets. Two satellites emerge from nearby rocks and create a warp gate. Zero Two explains the klaxo sapiens created them a long time ago. She and Hiro decide to enter the warp hole and leave the solar system. Their friends are confused and ask them why not return to Earth now that he got to meet with Zero Two again. Hiro says Strelizia is connected with the gate’s system and neither of them can stop it, and the gate will close soon anyway. Ichigo asks why they have to go and Zero Two says it’s to end the war and takes a bomb from within the ship. Ichigo suggests they all go but Hiro declines because only Strelizia can withstand going through. Ikuno says the enemy’s fleet will be much larger if they go and Hiro says that’s why they need to take them by surprise. Ichigo refuses to let them go but then says, by leader’s orders, they better come back alive. Goro agrees and Futoshi says the squad isn’t the same without them. Ichigo asks Zero Two to come back with Hiro so they can build a home, moving Zero Two to tears. She promises to come back with her darling.
On Earth, Kokoro and Mitsuru are holding hands and wearing their wedding rings. Strelizia enters the warp gate as Kokoro recounts how everyone has their own feelings and was later told her how beautiful Strelizia looked, and all they can do now for Hiro and Zero Two is pray for a happy ending. In the cockpit, Hiro looks at the wedding photo the group took.
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|