- "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 overcame many hardships and finally were 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. She 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 is shown to be 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. 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. Kokoro teaches some of the girls how to knit and 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. 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 proceed 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. The comatose children, including Naomi, are awakened and join the other children. She begins helping Ikuno in her research. 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 he kisses Ichigo 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 he 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 say 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 a VIRM. 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 while, 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" and they wanted her to inherit the bond Hiro and Two have.
Hiro wakes up as the wedding picture floats in front him and 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 deeply they are connected by their feelings, mentally reconnect and 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 evolutio, as Papa says the VIRM can not 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 holds 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 body 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 has stopped using the magma energy as part of their commitment to the planet and created a self-sufficient lifestyle from scratch. Ichigo finishes Zero Two’s book so future generations will know about them and she is amused 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. However, Hachi wonders, since he doesn’t have emotions, would he have changed if she stayed by his side all along. Before she can reply, two children ask Hachi to play with them and he agrees. Nana notes he has begun to change.
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 bread 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. Kokoro and Mitsuru attend the ceremony and now have three children, and she is pregnant with their fourth. 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.
Time passes, and the cherry tree grows. One day in the future, a child resembling Hiro sits under the tree, reading a book. A girl looking like Zero Two trips by him, and they introduce themselves, symbolizing the beginning of a new story.
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|