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Mitsuru (ミツル, Mitsuru) is one of the main characters in DARLING in the FRANXX series. He is a former Parasite with the codename "326" of the Thirteenth Plantation, where he is partnered in boy-girl pair with Kokoro to pilot a FRANXX called Genista. Previously, he was the partner of Ikuno and the pilot of Chlorophytum.
He is voiced in Japanese by Aoi Ichikawa and Saori Hayami as a child and in English by Bryson Baugus and Emily Neves as a child.
Mitsuru has a very clean and proper appearance with sharp features. He has vert paon (piercing deep green) eyes and was 165 cm, originally being the second shortest stamen between Zorome and Hiro. He wears the standard stamen uniform.
He has olive-brown hair which he wore slicked back. In Episode 16, after he asked Kokoro to cut it, his hair is shorter and a bit rough-cut. In Episode 24 when he has become an adult, Mitsuru grew taller and went back to having his hair slicked back, though it is slicked more to the side rather than completely slicked back.
As a child, Mitsuru was quite reserved and shy, but appeared to be very happy when he received a name from Hiro. He strongly looked up to him and would always follow him around. His admiration towards Hiro at that time made him want to pilot a FRANXX together with Hiro someday if he came back alive from a very risky injection to become strong enough to pilot. Hiro happily accepted his offer. However, Hiro forgot about their promise due to having his memories erased, and since Mitsuru was unaware of that, it shattered his faith in people and himself as well.
Mitsuru is full of pride and came to develop a strong cynical personality. He hates being pitied and Kokoro cites that he never liked leaning on others for support. Aloof and blunt, Mitsuru often had little to nothing to with his comrades unless fighting together, often looking down on his comrades and having little to no use for Ikuno. Mitsuru was also always depicted as being very closed off and always brushed aside any attempts from people to get to know him. He didn't have any interest on other people as well, so he didn't particularly bother with them. He was also initially very cold, harsh and held disdain towards Hiro for supposedly breaking their promise of piloting FRANXX together. He would berate Hiro and at the same time try to surpass him, insisting that he has always been better at piloting a FRANXX at him.
Despite his cold and composed exterior, Mitsuru is emotional and had been deeply scarred by both riding with Zero Two, but mostly over his broken promise with Hiro. He had convinced himself that whichever expectations he would place on others and others would place on him, would be let down. He didn't want to believe in anyone again because he was afraid of being let down again. He also believed he was incompetent and had a severe lack of self-confidence due to everything that had happened with his failed attempt to ride with Zero Two, and his general feelings of inadequacy in comparison to Hiro. However, after being supported by his partner Kokoro who helped him regain his fate in others and himself, as well as helping him begin to lean on others, Mitsuru underwent a significant change. Learning that it was not actually Hiro’s fault for breaking their promise also helped Mitsuru change: slowly becoming more mature, considerate and kind to his comrades.
Mitsuru appears to have left his grudge towards Hiro behind after a while, as when Hiro brings up his long-forgotten promise, clearly intending to apologize, Mitsuru tells him he had almost forgotten about it until Hiro brought it up. This shows that Mitsuru respects and is willing to rebuild their relationship. However, Mitsuru later admits to Kokoro that his resentment for Hiro was uncalled for, since it wasn't Hiro's fault that he forgot their promise, and Mitsuru only held onto his grudge for so long so he would have a drive. He even adds that without it, he's now left with nothing. He confides all of this and his insecurities to his partner Kokoro, which shows that he has become more open with other people (especially Kokoro) and wants to mend his relationship with Hiro.
Realizing his feelings for Kokoro, he becomes protective and devoted towards her. Even after their memories are erased, he still holds deep care for her and grows concerned when she starts getting ill in Episode 22. Although he is shocked when he learns she is pregnant with his child, he develops a new sense of responsibility and later admits to Kokoro that his resolution to live is his desire to protect her and the baby, as he wants to rekindle their relationship and for her to have the baby. They are able to form a genuinely happy marriage and he dotes on their daughter.
Mitsuru's nickname may use some of the numeral's readings from his real name "Code:326": mifrom 3 (, mi), tsu from 2 (ツー, tsū) and ru from 6 (, roku).
- He is the first parasite to have fathered a child.
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