Goro and Ichigo start out as childhood friends and have known each other since their days in the Garden. When Goro was little he was tired of the communal life in the Garden and tried to fight tougher kids so they will hate him and stop talking to him. However, Ichigo noticed and told him to stop fighting alone. She reasoned that although he might not be able to fight the bullies alone they can do it together.
Goro and Ichigo took on the bullies together and defeated them successfully. From that incident onwards, Goro developed a crush on Ichigo, even though she always showed interest in Hiro as someone more than a friend. With Goro, she considered him as a dear friend.
Goro, Ichigo and Hiro later became best of friends as they all had double-digit codes. When they were still in the Garden, Hiro commented Ichigo's bangs were getting long and if she didn’t clip them she wouldn’t be able to see. Upon hearing this, Goro requested a hairclip as his annual present from Papa and tried to give it to Ichigo once he got it. However, Hiro gave Ichigo a hairclip with the same design first, so Goro was unable to give her the hair clip, so he kept it. Throughout his days in the Garden, Goro observed Ichigo closely, to the point where he knew her better than she herself does. Although he was disappointed when he realizes only Hiro made her happy, he doesn't, he persevered on and accepted it.
After graduating from the Garden, Goro is pleasantly surprised when he finds Hiro, Ichigo and himself are in the same squad. Goro and Ichigo are assigned to be partners to pilot Delphinium and Ichigo admits she is proud to be his partner, and he feels the same way. During the squad’s startup ritual, they successfully synchronize at 100%. When they first synchronize, he asks her if she is alright after the initial pain but she assures him that she is fine and they activate Delphinium. Goro has no problem with Ichigo volunteering to be Hiro’s partner for his mock battle. The next day, he talks with Hiro after the mock battle ended in failure over Hiro and Ichigo failing to synchronize and Goro mentions Ichigo has been acting strange since then. Hiro says she seems mad but Goro assures him that she usually is like that when things don’t go the right way and he offers to tell Ichigo the failure wasn’t her fault in Hiro’s behalf. Before going into the squad’s first mission, Goro reminds her they need to focus because they are going into actual combat and she agrees, and they promise to support the other. However, they are surrounded by a horde of klaxosaurs. Ichigo loses her connection to Goro after thinking about her kiss with Hiro, and she feels guilty for thinking of such unnecessary things and she feels she failed as a leader for putting her squadmates in danger.
When Zero Two starts living at Mistilteinn to be near Hiro, Ichigo confronts Zero Two over her not going easy with Hiro, Goro witnesses Ichigo slap Zero Two, who reacted with rage before falling rain stopped her. Ichigo returns to the boarding house and Goro is seen waiting for her. She asks him if he saw everything and he says yes, and covers her with a towel. She admits she doesn’t know why she feels sad and starts crying. He tries to comfort her but stops himself. He asks himself why he's feeling this way watching Ichigo cry and wonders what the feeling is. Though never stated, it is heavily implied the feeling he was talking about was his love for Ichigo but doesn’t understand the concept of his feelings.
While defending the plantations during the kissing phase, Hiro and Zero Two’s FRANXX, Strelizia, enters stampede mode and starts getting crushed by the klaxosaur. When Ichigo sees this, she assumes Hiro is dead, breaks down into tears and loses her connection with Goro. As Ichigo mourns Hiro's death through anguished tears, Goro holds her face and tells her to get a grip on herself. He explains to Ichigo they still haven't eliminated the klaxosaur and they need to continue fighting, reminding her of her role as squad leader and encouraging her to keep on going. Luckily, Hiro didn't die, so Strelizia reconnects. Upon seeing this, Delphinium (IchiGoro) reconnect and help defeat the klaxosaur with the rest of the squad.
During the beach episode, Goro stares at Ichigo in her swimsuit and awkwardly looks away when she looks at him and says they might as well enjoy themselves on vacation. Later, he joins Zorome and Futoshi in 'checking out' their pistil partners in swimsuits and they interrogate Hiro in what a kiss. However, after watching HiroZero, he wonders if there's a relationship that goes deeper than FRANXX partners. A few days later, a klaxosaur spills goo on the FRANXX units that enters the cockpits and melts the girls’ parasite suites. Goro is obviously embarrassed but agrees with Ichigo (unaware along with the other girls of what had happened) to focus on the battle and he smacks his face. Eventually, the girls figure out what happened and, in anger, split the house from the boys. Goro eventually asks the girls to drop the rules so they can eat together after the boys take over the dining room but Ichigo and the girls refuse. Ichigo further is incensed when Goro and the boys walk into the house in their underwear after bathing in the lake. However, when the squad reconciled, Goro and Ichigo shake hands, albeit a little hesitantly.
Goro remembers his childhood with Ichigo and how he came to like her. During a chat with Hiro, Goro shows him the hair clip he kept and, remembering their talk about love, Goro concludes he loves Ichigo, which surprises Hiro. Goro says he is glad to have gotten that off his chest and lays downs for bed and admits he is fine with things as they are and he knows that Ichigo looks at Hiro that way. During a battle against a klaxosaur, Delphinium rescues Argentea from being devoured but Delphinium is being devoured itself. Goro ejects Ichigo from the FRANXX and sets off an explosion to try to kill the klaxosaur, but this fails and Delphinium is trapped with Ichigo not able to pilot with Goro.
After evacuating the rest of the squad back to Cerasus, Ichigo is treated for her injuries. When she hears of Goro's reckless act, she calls him selfish and storms up to the monitor to scold him for being so thoughtless. However, Miku points out that Goro was always looking out for Ichigo and berated Ichigo for not noticing, even labelling Ichigo as the selfish one. When Goro reaches out to Ichigo, she yells at him for his recklessness. In tears, she vows to save him, no matter what, shocking Goro as he never imagined Ichigo would react this way. Nana and Hachi tell the parasites their priority is to stop the klaxosaur even it meant leaving Goro behind to die. Everyone, especially Ichigo, disapproves of this.
As the squad rushes to rescue him, Goro notes he has enough power to self-destruct and prepares for Delphinium to do so. He regrets how he was never able to tell Ichigo his feelings but accepts his fate. Luckily, Ichigo reaches Delphinium in time. When Goro asks why she came, Ichigo reminds him that they can win together, and they reconnect.
Afterwards, when Ichigo tends to Goro’s injuries, he points out her hair clip is missing.
He then gives her the one he kept and confesses he loves her. She freaks out but then says she has to tell him something, which is that he is a great partner. But she doesn’t know how to respond to his confession and Goro assures her that he is not expecting a response. He then collapses in her arms and asks her to let him stay like this for a while, and she agrees as they wait to be rescued.
During a trip to the city, Ichigo feels a bit awkward around Goro since the confession and he tries to apologize for confessing so suddenly but she says he doesn’t have to. After Zero Two seemingly tries to kill Hiro, Ichigo bans her from seeing him despite the obvious remorse Zero Two feels. Goro protests Ichigo’s treatment towards Zero Two but doesn’t do anything after Zero Two doesn’t deny the truth about her devouring her previous partners. Eventually, Goro convinces Ichigo to let Zero Two see Hiro, although Zero Two attack’s the squad after Hiro escapes from his hospital room. Later, as Hiro tries to stop Zero Two from losing her sanity during the Gran Crevasse siege and Ichigo tries to stop him, Goro disconnects Delphinium and tells Ichigo he has had enough because he can’t stand it anymore and tells her to get Hiro to Zero Two.
After the first battle of the Gran Crevasse, Ichigo seems to have become comfortable in Goro's presence, complimenting his work and hanging around him more often.
During the second battle at Gran Crevasse, Ichigo and Goro fight VIRM and when Ichigo reacts with pain after a VIRM soldier rips Delphinium‘s arm off, Goro angrily throws it and Delphinium down a shaft. A few days later, the parasites are left to fend for themselves and struggle to grow crops, and Ichigo collapses from fatigue due to neglecting herself to take care of everyone else, which frustrates Goro. After a confrontation with Hiro over him risking his life to go to space to rescue Zero Two, Goro sits outside and Ichigo thanks him for standing up for everyone.
Goro says it was actually about himself and he is afraid of the world they live. She sits next to him and recites a saying that Hiro once told her, telling Goro that until they find their path of choice, their lives have just begun. They later join with the others to help Hiro reach Strelizia and reunite with Zero Two.
72 days after Hiro and Zero Two entered the warp gate, Ichigo and Goro look at the sky. She feels guilty of living peacefully on Earth while those two are fighting the enemy in space. He comforts her and says they need to believe in them. Almost a year later, Goro decides to travel the world to gather supplies needed for the parasites to survive and rescue any children left behind. Ikuno asks Ichigo if she will be sad the most but Ichigo replies she knows this is something Goro needs to do. They bid each other farewell and she asks him to stay in contact with him. Goro then kisses Ichigo, which catches her off guard, making her flustered. Goro then says goodbye and leaves for his journey.
More than a year later, Goro returns to join with the other parasites to send their prayers to Hiro and Zero Two in space. He holds hands with Ichigo up until the moment before HiroZero sacrifice themselves.
Over the next 8 years, Ichigo and Goro eventually become an official couple and get married, and she becomes pregnant. He continues with his travels but decides to stay by Ichigo's side to take care of their first child later on. When he returns home, he throws luggage to the ground and runs to Ichigo to happily embrace her. During the school ceremony, they stand by side with their friends and remember Hiro and Zero Two.
Ichigo and Goro’s initial interactions correspond with the start of the manga, except he doesn’t comfort Ichigo in the rain after she confronts Zero Two for piloting with Hiro.
During the squad’s trip to the beach, Goro observes Ichigo and Hiro walking on the beach and watching the stars, and Ichigo kisses Hiro. Initially sad, Goro smiles.
Shortly after, during a battle against a Gutenberg Klaxosaur, Delphinium is captured and Ichigo ejects Goro in order to save him. Goro feels overwhelmed with grief and guilt for not being able to protect Ichigo, and he admits to Hiro that he feels pain whenever he is with Ichigo. As Ichigo plans to sacrifice herself to protect the plantation, Goro and the others argue against this and they decide to help Goro save Ichigo. Goro manages to enter in the Klaxosaur but is horrified to see Delphinium in stampede mode. He enters the FRANXX and saves Ichigo, who berates him for being reckless in coming but he reminds her that she can’t win alone but together they can win. After they reconnect and destroy the Klaxosaur, Goro hands her the hair clip he meant to give her and confesses that he loves her, but doesn’t expect a reply. He asks her to let him rest on her shoulder, which she does.
Afterwards, they become awkward with each other for a while.
At the end of the manga, they flash each other a thumbs up, leaving their relationship ambiguous.
In the first Drama CD, everyone eats mushrooms that make them fall asleep and have strange dreams. In Miku’s dream, all the girls, including Ichigo, are in an idol group and the boys, including Goro, are cheering for them. Goro is dismayed that Ichigo ate a mushroom but then decides to eat one when Ikuno says she wants to understand Ichigo more. This strongly hints that Goro wants to know more about Ichigo by having a dream about her.
In the second Drama CD, as the squad suspects a strange creature is in the house, Goro goes to check around but is seemingly captured when he screams, causing Ichigo to immediately worry about him.
In the third Drama CD, 702 days after HiroZero entered the warp gate, Goro returns to drop off supplies at the Bird Nest but also to surprise Ichigo, who is surprised by his visit. He learns that she is finishing Zero Two’s picture book and she explains she feels it is her responsibility to finish it while Hiro and Zero Two are fighting to protect them. Ichigo also adds that, while she has accepted that those two may never return, she wonders if they have accepted their fate and if she may have been the only one who truly cared about them. Goro assures her that she isn’t the only one who cares about them and all they can do is believe them. Goro leaves soon after for another round of traveling.
Funnily, the ship wasn't official until the finale. Despite that, IchiGoro is the second most popular ship in the DARLING in the FRANXX fandom, behind HiroZero but ahead of MitsuKoko. Both Ichigo and Goro are highly popular among the fans, so this likely attributed to the ship's popularity. The ship even entered the top 10 most popular anime ships, after the episode when Goro confessed his feelings for Ichigo.
Earlier on into the show, some DARLING fans criticised the ship as they felt it was too one-sided and Ichigo didn't deserve Goro's affection, given her treatment towards Hiro and Zero Two. Some even went on to say Ichigo was 'greedy' for trying to force Hiro into a relationship with her when she knew Goro loved her but she chose to reject him. However, this can be attributed to the fact that Ichigo had always admired Hiro, not Goro. Despite this, when Ichigo started reciprocating his feelings, more people accepted the ship.
- “Don't worry about it, Hiro. She never takes no for an answer.”
- — Goro to Hiro, speaking of Ichigo before the mock battle
- “Ichi... What is this feeling?”
- — Goro thinking to himself, after trying to comfort Ichigo, but stops himself as he doesn't recognize this way he's feeling.
- Up until HiroZero met as children, IchiGoro is the pairing that has known each other the most.
- According to Goro, he has stayed by Ichigo’s side for so long that he knows her better than she knows herself.
- Goro’s English voice actor, Austin Tindle, doesn’t have an opinion on the pairing. However, Ichigo’s English voice actress, Brittany Lauda, supports HiroIchi because she is married to Hiro’s English voice actor, Matt Shipman, in real life.
- Out of the entire squad, IchiGoro is the last pair to marry and start a family.
|SHIPS||het||Delpha • FutoKoko • FutoKuno • HaNa • HiroIchi • HiroMi • HiroZero • IchiGoro • MitsuKoko • MitsuKuno • ZeroMitsu • ZoroMiku|
|femslash||IchiKuno • IkuNao|