- "The act of bringing two pairs of lips together, which we'd never heard of, was called a kiss, she said."—Hiro
What it Means to Connect is the second episode of DARLING in the FRANXX.
Despite being able to pilot Strelizia with 002, Hiro has no memories of what happened in the cockpit, leading some of his fellow pilots to be skeptical about what really happened, since it is rumored Zero Two is capable of piloting a Franxx on her own. Hiro's fellow pilots are also wary of Zero Two due to her reputation, especially Ichigo who is concerned about Hiro's safety. Meanwhile, the leadership of APE decide to further test Hiro's abilities and instruct him to participate in a mock Franxx battle, though he is forbidden from partnering with Zero Two or using Strelizia. Ichigo volunteers to partner with him in Delphinium. Zorome and Miku volunteer to be their opponents. During the mock battle, Hiro is briefly able to connect with Ichigo and pilot Delphinium, but suddenly loses his connection with her and is unable to restart Delphinium. This breaks Hiro's confidence in himself and leaves Ichigo frustrated that she can't do anything to help Hiro.
Hachi begins the startup ritual the day after the klaxosaur attack. Hiro has no recollection of anything that happened after he got in.
At the boarding house, he finds Ichigo playing with a cat. She tells him that she heard Naomi was alright and got taken to the hospital. She asks if he was the one piloting Strelizia. He struggles to recall doing so but wants to try again. She says she heard a rumor of Zero Two's partners dying after riding three times with her. He says, without being able to pilot, he's as good as dead anyway. Goro comes through the door and tells Hiro to come in quickly to their mess hall where they see Zero Two messily eating away her food.
Nana comes in and announces that she'll be their caretaker, just like she was in the Garden. She says that APE HQ has assigned her to the 13th Plantation Corps. Ichigo asks what's happening with Zero Two, and she says they're awaiting orders from HQ on what to do.Hiro asks Zero Two to let him ride in her FRANXX again. Nana, however, says that it's up to Papa and the rest to give him his orders. Nana takes Zero Two away into an elevator near the city where Nana scolds Zero Two for roaming around.
At APE Central HQ Council, it is announced that one Mahorovicic-class klaxosaur at Plantation 13 appeared but Strelizia intercepted and neutralized it, but fuel stockpile down to 54%. They request kissing with Plantation 26. The Lamarck Club authorizes it and kissing commences in 175 hours. Lemur says they received word that Strelizia has stayed back at Plantation 13. Gorilla notes that with no established cause, mixing with the special specimen will taint her blood and must be recalled at once. Papa says that she shone in battle and they should wait and see.In the stamen's lockers, the boys discuss Hiro's sudden capability to run a FRANXX despite failing to do so before. Zorome couldn't believe it himself. Hachi says he'll be giving overall strategic instructions, though field decisions will be made by the leader unit, Delphinium. The FRANXX pairs manage to connect. Hiro watches them proceed from his training unit while Zero Two arrives by train.
Nana looks at Hiro's profile and discusses a startup trial in an actual FRANXX. At the Plantation FRANXX Parking Dock, Goro tells Ichigo that he's close to figuring out the trick to connecting. Ichigo says she appreciates her saving them, but wants her to stay away from Hiro.
Playing ball, Futoshi wonders if they can fight the klaxosaurs like Hiro did. The stamen question Hiro's alleged piloting as rumors have been spread of Zero Two having the ability to pilot alone. As Hiro approaches, Zorome mocks his ability to pilot causing them to fight.
In the conference room, Hachi and Nana announce that Hiro will partake in a mock battle and, depending on how he does, will promote him to parasite. When he is asked to pick a partner, Zero Two volunteers. Ichigo, however, intervenes and says that she should instead to which Nana agrees to go forward with. Zoom quickly volunteers to fight against Hiro to prove Hiro's incapability to pilot.The parasites along with Hachi, Nana, and Zero Two watch. Ichigo tells him to focus on connecting and she'll take care of the rest. Both Argentea and Delphinium manage to connect. However, Delphinium suddenly disconnect causing Ichigo to ask what Zero Two did differently. Hiro recalls Zero Two kissing him which proceeded Ichigo to kiss him despite her unfamiliarity with the term. Hiro is unable to feel anything despite Ichigo kissing him.
Argentea suddenly attacks after the long pause from Delphinium's shut down. To prevent Argentea from overpowering Delphinium, Ichigo pilots alone and smashes Argentea against a wall. Hachi announces that, since both FRANXXs have been rendered inoperable, the mock battle is over.
Zero Two smugly flicks her hair as she leaves. Hiro apologizes. Trying to hold back her tears, Ichigo says not to apologize and saying that he was awful.
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|