- "The distant skies. Beyond time and distance. An overwhelmingly long journey just for the two of us. You're a part of me. I'm a part of you. I'll remember your warmth, along with the memories we've made together. I'll never let you go again!""—Hiro and Zero Two
Never Let Me Go is the twenty-fourth and final episode of DARLING in the FRANXX.
Hiro, having left Squad 13 to fight with Zero Two, travels to the end of the universe in Strelizia to end VIRM in its home planet. The journey lasts forever, with Hiro and Zero Two fighting together. On the other hand, several years have passed since the squad came back from space. Becoming adults, they overcome many hardships and are finally able to find peace.
70 days (2 months) after opening the gate, Hiro and Zero Two travel through space. Hiro notes how he hasn’t had the need to eat and sleep since they left Earth, and wonders if he is becoming a full klaxosaur. Zero Two asks him if he is scared but he says no because he feels like he is becoming part of her. They come across a large swarm of VIRM soldiers and proceed wipe them out.
On Earth, 72 days after the gate passage, Kokoro’s pregnancy becomes obvious when her stomach becomes bigger. The new Nana makes arrangements to get her maternity clothes and insists Kokoro be given special treatment because she will be the first parasite to give birth and thus must set a precedent for the others. The other parasites return to the plantations and find plants are still alive. Ichigo, Goro, Miku, Zorome, Futoshi, and Ikuno see that Miltisteinn has been destroyed and are sad. They begin harvesting the soil and plants and start farming in the fields to grow crops. Ikuno begins researching and when Ichigo asks what the documents are needed for, Ikuno says there is something she wants to get done. As Kokoro teaches some of the girls how to knit, Mitsuru asks her if she needs anything but she assures him she is fine. Zorome and Futoshi come running in and offer her food they say has good nutrients, and she thanks them. They then decide to head back to the fields and have to drag a reluctant Mitsuru with them because he doesn't want to leave Kokoro's side. Ichigo and Goro talk about Hiro and Zero Two while looking at the sky. She says she can’t help but feel guilty for living peacefully while those two are fighting. Goro assures her to believe them. In space, Hiro notes how he doesn’t recognize the stars because they are so far away from Earth and the perspective is different. Zero Two suggests they create their own constellation before they come across more VIRM and proceeding to destroy them.
245 days (8 months) after the gate passage, Mitsuru rushes towards Kokoro's hospital room. He finds that she has given birth to a baby girl and he begins crying as the baby grabs his finger. Kokoro asks her daughter to call him “Papa”. Everyone congratulates Mitsuru for becoming the first parasite to be a father, particularly Futoshi who hugs him. The comatose children, including Naomi, are awakened and join the other children. Naomi begins helping Ikuno in her research while everyone else devotes themselves to their newfound lifestyle. Goro leaves to go on a journey to gather supplies needed to help the parasites survive and to rescue any children left behind. Everyone bids him farewell and Ichigo tells him to stay in contact with them before Goro kisses her and leaves. Ichigo blushes furiously, and Ikuno notes Goro has changed a lot recently. During the winter, Ichigo finds Zero Two’s storybook and is baffled to see the last page blank.
783 days (2 years) after the gate passage, Hiro and Zero Two fight more VIRM and defeat them with ease. Hiro falls asleep, which Zero Two notes is unusual and worries he is weakening himself. When Hiro wakes up, he tells her that he had a dream in which their friends were living good lives on Earth. Zero Two then announces they have arrived at the home planet of the VIRM and come across another swarm of VIRM, including Papa and the Vice Chairman. They strike Zero Two and when she tries to counterattack, she doesn’t move because Hiro had lost consciousness. Papa and the Vice Chairman said it was because of Hiro and Zero Two’s incompatibility due to him being human and her a klaxosaur. Hiro’s consciousness slowly starts to fade away and Zero Two is repeatedly attacked before she is impaled by Hringhorni. She screams out for everyone to save Hiro.
As Ai plays near Zero Two’s statue, she begins saying "darling." Her parents overhear this and tell their squad mates about it. They surmise the statue can link them to Hiro and Zero Two in space. They link arms and shout to them their thoughts. After a couple of days, more and more of the parasites begin joining. Their voices eventually reach the two; Ichigo and Goro reaffirm their belief the two will return, Zorome and Miku are still unwilling to let Hiro and Zero Two outshine them, Ikuno says is working hard with the time she has left, Futoshi says Squad 13 is not the same without them, and Mitsuru says he and Kokoro named their daughter Ai because it means "love", a word they were never taught but learned from Hiro and Zero Two and they want her to inherit the bond Hiro and Zero Two have.
Hiro wakes up as the wedding picture floats in front him, says he hears their voices and says Ai’s name. Hiro and Zero Two, remembering the series of events that resulted from their meeting and how they are connected by a kiss and attracted to each other by nature, mentally reconnect and take control of Hringhorni. Zero Two declares she is blessed and happy to have been born, and professes her love to Hiro, and he reciprocated. They begin pushing the bomb into the VIRM’s planet as the Jian, reverting to the Strelizia's Iron Maiden form in the process. They force themselves and the bomb into the planet, vowing to rewrite their own story. Knowing they will die, they profess their love to each other and vow to meet on Earth one day again as long as their souls exist. The bomb detonates, eliminating the VIRM home planet and liberating all the souls held captive by the VIRM but at the cost of Hiro and Zero Two’s lives. However, Papa and the Vice Chairman are still alive and vow to face them again at the peak of evolution, as Papa says the VIRM cannot die. Holding hands, Hiro and Zero Two’s souls begin making the long trip back to Earth. The blast can be seen from Earth. Everyone realizes Hiro and Zero Two won but wonder if their prayers reached the two in time. Kokoro breaks down crying at the sacrifice of her two friends and Ai and Mitsuru comfort her. Ichigo also sheds tears but vows everyone will continue rebuilding the planet and society so Hiro and Zero Two will have a home to return to one day. Zero Two’s statue breaks and turns into ashes, leaving behind a single plant. The bright light from the explosion shined in the sky for three days and, after a few more days, many klaxosaurs returned and became part of the Earth. Hachi surmised this meant the klaxosaurs decided to let humanity keep the Earth.
3705 days (10 years) since the gate passage, everyone stopped using the magma energy as part of their commitment to the planet and created a self-sufficient lifestyle from scratch, although they faced adversity after adversity due to this decision. By using their food reserves as a foundation, they were able to grow the food needed to survive. Majority of the parasites start having children, including Kokoro and Mitsuru having their second child. Eight years after Hiro and Zero Two‘s deaths, Ichigo finishes Zero Two’s book so future generations will know about them and she is amused by how awful Hiro was at drawing. Observing the changes, Nana wonders what else they can do for everyone. Hachi says that, since they can't age, they'll watch the world together. She comments how unyielding he is, which he attributes to him having no emotions. However, Hachi wonders if he can change if she stays by his side forever. Before she can reply, two children ask Hachi to play with them and he agrees. Nana notes he has begun to change and so has she.
At a school entrance ceremony, Zorome has become a teacher, and two young girls tease him for skipping a teachers' meeting. Miku scolds him for slacking and they get into a fight. Ikuno, who is now a doctor and in a relationship with Naomi, checks on Ichigo who is pregnant and married to Goro. Futoshi, who is married with two children and a third on the way, comes in with a new bread recipe for them. It turns out Ikuno has spent her time creating a cure to keep the accelerated aging process of the parasites under control, allowing them to properly grow into adults, although this shortens her own lifespan, causing her to be sickly and bedridden. Kokoro and Mitsuru attend the ceremony and have three children, and she is pregnant with their fourth child. Their youngest daughter is reading Zero Two’s book. The former squad reunites at a cherry blossom tree that had grown from Zero Two’s ashes and thank Hiro and Zero Two, speaking of the lessons they have learned from them and expressing gratitude for their sacrifice to give everyone the freedom to live good lives.
Time passes, and the cherry tree grows. A thousand years later, a child resembling Hiro sits under the tree, reading The Beast and The Prince. A girl which looks like Zero Two trips by him. As the boy helps the girl up, they introduce themselves, symbolizing the beginning of a new story.
Squad 13’s Closing Narration
Zorome: We’re all grown up now, huh?
Miku: Though you’re mental age disagrees.
Goro: Although, we‘re nothing like the adults we grew up watching.
Kokoro: Anything goes, as long as we’re good role models for our kids.
Ichigo: Hiro...Zero Two... We’re all living strong with our own lives now. You two were the ones who showed us how to...
Futoshi:....enjoy every experience.
Ikuno: Fight when you have to.
Zorome: Keep working towards your goals.
Miku: Never half-ass things and go all out.
Kokoro: Try and get to know another person better.
Mitsuru: Choose your own destiny with your own hands.
Goro: Be honest with your feelings.
Ichigo: And be someone’s wings. In that sense, I know that you that you two were more human than anyone else.
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|