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Ai (アイ, Ai) is a character in DARLING in the FRANXX, and the daughter of Mitsuru and Kokoro, and the eldest of their four children. She is also the first child to be born to the Parasites.

Appearance

Ai is a little girl who bears a striking resemblance to her mother. She has long, wavy ashen blonde hair, the same color as her mother's, which she wears in different styles: as a toddler, she wears her hair in small pigtails at the top of her head and by the age of ten, she styles her hair in braids. Although her facial features takes mostly after that of Kokoro's, she inherited her father's vert paon (piercing deep green) eyes, and her bangs are round like Mitsuru's.

Personality

She seems to have inherited traits of her mother’s personality. She is a very cheerful and precocious child. She shares a close relationship with her parents, whom she calls ‘Mama’ and ‘Papa’, and she is adored by the other members of Squad 13. She is also shown to be a curious girl and likes hearing stories, as she asks Miku to tell her what her parents were like when they were younger.

History

Episode 17: Eden

Kokoro, who had been growing curious about pregnancy and childbirth after reading a baby book, made a sudden pass at Mitsuru, who was confused and rebuffed her. The Nines later berated her for her desire to have a child in case she dies in battle. Mitsuru comforted Kokoro and they ended up sleeping together, unknowingly resulting in her pregnancy.

Episode 22: Stargazers

After suffering from morning sickness, Kokoro finds out she is pregnant. As their memories were forcibly altered, she and Mitsuru are shocked and both are troubled with the indecision on what they should do. Initially, it is recommended for them to terminate the pregnancy for the sake of their piloting duties. In the next episode, Mitsuru tells her the baby has given him a reason to live and he wants to protect them both.

Episode 24: Never Let Me Go

BabyAi

Ai as a newborn

After they decide to keep the baby, Kokoro’s pregnancy is monitored while Mitsuru fully supports her. Eight months later, Kokoro gives birth to their daughter. Mitsuru is overcome with love for his daughter when he first sees her, and it brings him to tears when she holds his finger. Mitsuru names his daughter Ai because it means ‘love’, a word he and Kokoro credit Hiro and Zero Two teaching them about. Everyone else rejoices at her birth and shows her great affection. At one point as a baby, she becomes fussy while Mitsuru holds her and Kokoro watches them while she does laundry.
AiFussy

Ai with her parents

Despite the many challenges the parasites face while trying to cultivate a self-sufficient lifestyle, Ai’s childhood is filled with peace and joy, and she is loved dearly by her parents, especially her father.


When she is a year and a half year old, she and Kokoro meet with Futoshi, whom Kokoro asks Ai to call ‘Uncle Futoshi’, though Ai has trouble pronouncing ‘uncle’ and he says it’s fine. Shortly after, while playing in the field, Ai looks at Zero Two’s statue and begins saying “Darling”. Kokoro and Mitsuru hear this and alert everyone. They all join hands to send their thoughts to Hiro and Zero Two while the two fight the VIRM. Mitsuru says he and Kokoro chose the name Ai for ‘love’ because it is a word they were never taught but learned from Hiro and Zero Two. Mitsuru further says he found her name from an old book and learned that, based on how Hiro and Zero Two felt about each other, it meant they love each other. While proudly looking at their daughter, Mitsuru and Kokoro say they want Ai to inherit Hiro and Zero Two’s bond. After Hiro and Zero Two sacrifice themselves to destroy the VIRM, Ai comforts her mother who cries.

Over the next eight years, Ai has a younger brother and sister and an unborn third sibling. When she is almost 10-years-old, she attends school, where Miku is her teacher and she asks for Miku to tell her stories about her parents when they were children. Miku starts off by describing Mitsuru as being cold but he tells her to stop talking about him when he is right in front of her, much to Ai and Kokoro’s amusement.

Relationships

Kokoro

AiComfort

Ai with her mother

Ai’s mother. Prior to becoming pregnant, Kokoro deeply yearned to bear a child to leave behind a mark for the future in case she dies after finding a baby book, but she loses this desire after her memories are altered. Although initially undecided on what to do after learning of her pregnancy and appearing distraught by the news because keeping the baby would mean the end of her ability to pilot a FRANXX, she gradually comes to love her child and finds a new purpose in life by raising her child. When Ai is born, Kokoro is happy and introduces her daughter to Mitsuru, whom she asks Ai to call ‘papa’. Kokoro loves her daughter very much and often carries her around.

Mitsuru

AiMitsuru

Ai with her father

Ai’s father. Upon learning of Kokoro’s pregnancy, although shocked at first, Mitsuru is less upset than Kokoro but he feels guilty after watching her break down, and doesn’t know what to do. After realizing the importance of being a parent and unwilling to let Kokoro deal with it alone, he develops a deep desire to protect his child and admits he wants her to have the baby, to the point he chooses the baby over remaining a FRANXX pilot. He becomes protective and supportive of her when they decide to keep the baby. When Ai is born, Mitsuru cries out of joy and he is the one who chose her name. He loves his daughter very much and dotes on her.

Squad 13

All the members of the squad are close with Ai. Ichigo, Miku, and Ikuno cried out of happiness and Zorome was visibly excited when she was born. Ai looks up to Miku as her teacher and asks for Miku to tell her stories about her parents when they were younger. She calls Futoshi ‘Uncle Futoshi’, signifying he remains close with her parents. Nana, who helped deliver her, seems to be fond of her. Although Hiro and Zero Two never met her because they were fighting in space and died when she was a toddler, they cared deeply enough for her to sacrifice themselves to protect her.

Etymology

Ai was named by her parents for "love" (愛). They wanted her to inherit the loving bond that Zero Two and Hiro had.

Gallery

Quotes

"Huh? Darling, darling! Papa, 'darling!'"—Episode 24

Trivia

  • Ai is the first naturally conceived child to be born to parasites.
  • Her name was chosen by her father, who says he found it from an old book that detailed the meaning of love.
    • Her name is also a critical moment because it shows how the parasites have abandoned the code number system.
  • At the time of Ai’s birth, Kokoro was 15 years, 7 months old and Mitsuru was one month shy of turning 16 years old. At the time of her conception, Kokoro was 14 years, 10 months old, and Mitsuru was 15 years, 2 months old.
  • Ai seems to have some sort of telepathic abilities, as she was able to hear Zero Two’s pleas for her friends to save Hiro from the depth of space without having physical contact with Zero Two’s statue and learned the word ‘darling’.

References


DARLING in the FRANXX
PILOTS
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
MEDIA
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
WORLD
LOCATIONS Cerasus | Garden | Chrysanthemum | Gran Crevasse | Cosmos
KEYWORD Klaxosaur | FRANXX