Ikuno and Naomi were assigned to the same FRANXX squad following their discharge from the Garden at age 14. While doing a capacity test, Ikuno passed with Mitsuru but Naomi failed with Hiro, causing them to be sent back to the Garden. However, because Hiro is a special specimen, he is given the choice to stay at Mistilteinn. In the days leading up to the squad’s graduation ceremony, Ikuno wonders what will happen to Naomi if Hiro chooses to stay. Later, while the squad heads to their startup ritual, Naomi tells the others that she doubts Naomi and Hiro will be sent back to the Garden because she has never heard of a parasite returning to the Garden after leaving the facility.
A klaxosaur attacks Plantation 13 and destroys the transportation unit with Naomi inside, severally injuring her. After the klaxosaur is neutralized by Strelizia, everyone assumes Naomi returned to the Garden after recovering at the hospital.
Six months later, after being sent to the Garden to undergo tests, Ikuno and the squad attempts to find Naomi and see her. However, a caregiver says she is not here because a parasite never returns once discharged. This makes them confused where she could be then.
A year later, it is revealed that Naomi and hundreds of other missing children have been kept in a cryogenic room in Dr. FRANXX‘s laboratory. Upon reuniting, Ikuno, Miku, and Ichigo hug Naomi, who cries out of happiness to see them. One night, Naomi brings dinner to Ikuno, who is working in her office.
A year later, Ikuno shows Naomi her old mirror. Ikuno explains she didn’t know whether or not to show her because Hiro gave it to Zero Two as a gift. However, Naomi is grateful because it was in good hands. Ichigo then brings them outside because everyone senses Hiro and Zero Two are in danger while fighting VIRM in space, and they all hold hands to send their prayers to those two. On the first day, Naomi holds hands with Miku and is held by the waist by Ichigo due to the absence of her right arm. A couple days later, Naomi holds Ikuno’s hand and smiles as Ikuno tells HiroZero she is using whatever time she has left for everyone else.
Over the next eight years, Ikuno and Naomi work together on Ikuno’s research and they develop supportive relationships.. During the children’s school entrance ceremony, Naomi watches Ikuno check on a pregnant Ichigo and they all talk with Futoshi when he comes to visit. As everyone reunites at a cherry blossom tree, Ikuno stays in her hospital bed and holds hands with Naomi.
Ikuno and Naomi had no direct interactions at all during the manga. Contrary to the anime, Ikuno, although concerned about Naomi’s fate after being discharged from the squad, opted to put her concerns behind her because she believed it didn’t matter. This was due to that Naomi, having been unable to become an official parasite, was ‘thrown away’, which means she was killed.
As Naomi is very likely dead, Ikuno and Naomi never become a couple.
This shipping didn’t become possible until Naomi returned in the final episode and began working with Ikuno. Reactions to this have been mixed. Some support it because Naomi serves as a support system for Ikuno in her research but helping her overcome her one-sided feelings for Ichigo. It also has been appraised because both characters have physical discrepancies - Ikuno retains her accelerated aging process and Naomi is missing her right arm, which makes them share a common bond. Others disliked it for how sudden it came to be.
Although the final status of their relationship remains unclear at the end of the show, most of the fandom really doesn't make this a problem, taking into account the fact that Ikuno is a canonical lesbian and that both girls don't have any other actual ships.
In any case, the combination of their last scene with the image of a happy family life of other main characters can be considered a rather transparent indication of the right direction.
- Out of all the squad members, Ikuno was the most worried about Naomi’s fate when she failed to become a parasite, and the first one to voice her concern.
|SHIPS||het||Delpha • FutoKoko • FutoKuno • HaNa • HiroIchi • HiroMi • HiroZero • IchiGoro • MitsuKoko • MitsuKuno • ZeroMitsu • ZoroMiku|
|femslash||IchiKuno • IkuNao|