Zero Two, or parasite 002, began as an experiment and grew to love and understand things she never even knew existed. Darling In The Franxx is an exploration of love, humanity, epic mecha battles, and what goes on behind the scenes of a corrupt government.
As much of this show is about defeating tyranny and deception, it is also about figuring out self and life and about love in its many forms. Much of Zero Two’s greatest moments were alongside Hiro, but much is to be said about how she handled anything that was thrown her way.
10 Love & Monsters
Zero Two grew up isolated and being called a monster when she was around anyone who had never seen her before, leading her to believe being human would be a better alternative. Zero Two admitted she was wrong to use Hiro for his humanity, and she heard him out and admitted she loved him.
This wasn’t just a moment of love that the creators typically spread throughout the show, it was also a moment of heroism, as she was able to regain her confidence and follow orders to destroy the dome, saving their friends yet again.
9 Am I More Human To You Now?
Zero Two wanted to join in on the “human fight” during the “Boys x Girls” episode where squad 13 created a line through the middle of their home. When Zero Two finally joined, she pulled a prank on the boys and girls, throwing their clothes all over the room. She had never experienced anything like it before and asked Hiro if she was more human to him now.
Because of their skirmish and Zero Two’s unexpected involvement, the boys realized they relied on and wanted to take care of their partners, and the girls realized their lives were on the line every day and teamwork with the boys is key to survival and looking to the future.
8 The Wings I Share With You
Taking down the Klaxosaur at the kissing of 26th and 13th plantations, Hiro and Zero Two went through a lot between Hiro temporarily dying and Zero Two’s distress of losing him and taking on the Klaxosaur on her own.
Squad 13 created an opening for the two to leap forward and spear through its core. Strelizia formed wings, and Zero Two declared that they would defeat it by “the wings I share with you.”Yet another declaration of love, but this time evolving Strelizia’s form and the squad’s confidence in them.
7 Saved Them All
From the start, Zero Two was different, but she wasn’t really there to do anything other than fulfilling orders from Papa. When a Klaxosaur attacked after Hiro failed another test, none of the other parasites and stamens expected her to step in and protect their plantation from the impending doom. But, with her partner dead, she moved to fight on her own but pulled Hiro to join her.
Just like any heroic anime hero, Zero Two stepped in without hesitation, and, though she may not have known it at the time, it was the right thing to do, and it taught her lessons she would keep throughout the show. It also helps that she saved a few hundred lives in the process and secured at least a temporary stay with Squad 13.
6 True Apus
True Apus is Strelizia’s true form, based on its derivative of the bird-of-paradise flower. When it came time for Squad 13 to face their most formidable opponent, it took all their strength and understanding to let Hiro join Zero Two and for Zero Two to realize she could continue to fight—not just for herself, but for everyone.
This is another moment she shares with Hiro, but this transformation is based on her love for him and her decision to stay with him forever instead of giving up for fear of hurting him or his humanity. True Apus allows them to move through a gate in space and end the war between Klaxosaurs and humanity.
5 Worm Klaxosaur
Similar to the Hulk taking down enemies, Zero Two (as Strelizia) pulled a similar maneuver on the worm-like Klaxosaur. Squad 13 faced difficulty finding the core within the Klaxosaur, and, even as they pinned it, they didn’t realize it was all one being until Zero Two thought to pull it from the ground.
After revealing its full form, it was light work for Zero Two to find and remove the core of the Klaxosaur. This wasn’t just a cool moment for Strelizia’s piloting pair, but for the rest of Squad 13 to instill some trust in their newly introduced teammates, as well.
4 Standing Up For Herself
Zero Two is necessary to the front lines of the battle, and, when Papa sends his escorts to retrieve her, she is in the middle of observing the 13th corps’ battle, alongside Hiro. This moment came not long after Mitsuru was injured and bedridden from riding with Zero Two, so Hiro was rambling about in his mind trying to decipher his feelings about riding with Zero Two and whether or not he was afraid of her. Both heroes were a bit sensitive to emotion at this point.
When one of the guards reached for her, she backhanded his hand off of her shoulder and flung him across the room with one blow. Not only was she standing up for herself and her freedom, but her ability to stay with Hiro and to save people’s lives.
3 Young Zero Two
The flashback episode took fans into young Hiro and young Zero Two’s lives, where they met long before they could remember. They shared an adventure together, escaping through the woods and enjoying the snow before being found by guards.
Hiro, once again, brings out a side of Zero Two she didn’t realize she had; he gave her her first piece of candy ever. She burst with excitement after trying it and offered to share her book in response to his kindness. It was then that she felt joy and even fell in love, something that was incredibly heartwarming to watch.
2 Defending Squad 13
Squad 13’s home was thought to be destroyed, but, when no one came for them, they thought they should just survive until someone did. That thought eventually transitioned into making their own happiness. Kokoro had been subtly interested in Mitsuru without acting on it, but, when he realized her feelings and their connection, they decided on a wedding after reading Zero Two’s picture book. Zero Two didn’t just provide the inspiration through her book, but she defended her friends when the wedding was ambushed.
9 Alpha, voiced by My Hero Academia’s Justin Briner, was the lead Franxx pilot and a technical clone of Zero Two. He infiltrated the peaceful life of Squad 13 to interrupt the wedding and prevent Zero Two from standing up to the guards. When she did just that, she also stepped in the 9’s path and fought them all off as best she could.
1 Saving Hiro
There are a lot of reasons fans believe Hiro and Zero Two were meant for each other, and the moment when Hiro realizes it, Zero Two takes action. Amidst Zero Two being escorted back to the front lines of the battles, Hiro realizes he isn’t afraid of her anymore and that his fear was based on surface-level doubt of himself and Zero Two. While his speech was heartfelt and grand, Zero Two’s acceptance and reaction to it were unmatched.
He professed his love, and Zero Two paused in front of the guards, and, before they could react she was moving through them like a knife, leaped through a glass separation to reach him, and danced them back through the security gates to Strelizia.