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I'm doing currently a quick rewatch in order to find out hidden details, symbolism etc..

I noticed a possibility that Zero-Two could regain her memories far earlier than Hiiro. Even before visiting "Garden".

It would be even possible that she regained the memories, but didn't recognize him as him just after first meeting, or could have doubts if he is really he for long time or still could be afraid of rejection for being a demon.

Following this way of thinking, she could even believe that her "old darling" died in a battle long time ago like other yearlings and the person she met recently is only a clone. (Just as former 13th squad or Nana)

Obviously she seems like she does not recognize him during their first meeting (in recent timeline) but it seems like it might happen after about 1st-2nd episode.

Could you please help me find some references to similar investigation?

Or maybe I will try to state my question directly: Did she regain her memories before Hiiro? If yes, when approximately?

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    Hi, looks like this is a "Is my theory right?" question. Considering this is a Q&A site and extended discussion is discouraged, I'd recommend splitting the post as: a question asking the core issue itself, and a self-answer with your hypothesis (because your hypothesis is one of the answers). That way, future answerers can answer the question independently of your theory, and your theory can still be evaluated accordingly by the community. Thank you. – Aki Tanaka Nov 25 '18 at 15:39
  • Thank you @AkiTanaka, I didn't see this guideline before. It helped improve my question significantly (but how to split it wasn't obvious at the first glance) – mpasko256 Nov 25 '18 at 19:17
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when zero two first met hiro she didn't recognize him, and was using him as a fodder to help her find her "real darling", but she didn't know that hiro was her real darling. then later on during a battle, zero two realized that hiro is her darling. but she doesn't remember the memory when they were little, she just remembered that hiro is her darling

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What I have found already:

Evidence:

  • During childhood escape, Hiiro treats Zero-Two with candies. He says "Aaa-mu" to say her to open her mouth. Later in timeline during morning breakfast in early episodes, she does exactly the same to Hiiro.

  • She used the word "darling" and named herself "Zero-Tsu" instead of legitimate 002 or "Yota" given by 9'nes. These were concepts brought by Hiiro to her originally and (especially denied name) should be covered by memory erasing process.

  • She seems to believe that Hiiro is the only one that can "turn on" a rain. It is because during their childhood trip, he used to be smarter and more diligent and taught her many things.

  • She promises him to bring him away with her from the plantation. As he let her escape from laboratory. (I mean she wishes to return some kind of favor)

Counter arguments:

  • Her way of acting can be some sort of "muscle memory" or concepts printed deeply into her psyche in order to help her psychology console herself during stressful situations.

  • Erasing memories were only performed partially. It didn't affect for instance words she learned.

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