How would you rate episode 22 of
Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End ?
Community score: 4.5
One great thing about Frieren is that it understands the importance of pacing. After each big climax, we need some downtime to let what we’ve seen settle in as we prepare for what comes next. In this case, we get an episode largely focused on fleshing out the various characters we were introduced to during the first exam.
Sometimes we learn information that will no doubt be vital going forward—like that Ubel can steal the magic of those she fights but has to understand and empathize with them to do so. Other times we get a more personal look at what makes these characters tick—like Lawnie and her home life.
But the one who stands out—both within the previous arc and this episode is Denken. Denken is a world-wise mage who stands as the top mage of an entire empire. Yet now, as he enters old age, he has become focused on the human connections he has missed out on rather than the power he has spent his life obtaining. So not only does he want to visit a restaurant that he once went to with his late wife but also go there with his new companions—i.e., Laufen (the grandchild he never had) and Rictor (a reflection of his overly-pragmatic, youthful self).
Yet, as much as this episode is about our recently expanded supporting cast, it’s also about Fern—as her being in a bad mood is the main conflict for our heroes to overcome this episode. At first glance, it may seem that Fern is getting angry for no reason—I mean, who cares if Stark and Frieren sleep all day on their day off?
The real issue here is that Fern grew up with something to prove. It was clear to her early on that she was living life with a time limit. She had to show Heiter before he died that not only was she a good and proper young lady but also a mage who could take care of herself—i.e., that she had been worth saving that day on the cliff. But just because that goal was accomplished, that doesn’t mean her single-minded drive simply went away. Even now she earnestly tries to live her life “properly” and has problems dealing with those who don’t do the same—i.e., literally everyone else. And while she knows she’s being unreasonable trying to force the world into the shape she feels it should take, sometimes, her emotions override her logic.
In the past, we’ve seen things like a delicious meal, a present, or a heartfelt apology soothe her emotional explosions. However, this episode shows us a new way. Fern is a girl with little experience with those her age—especially girls her age. So introducing Lawine and Kanne into the mix is a new thing for her. While both are mages, they are unlike her (and unlike each other) in personality. Yet there is one thing they are united in: They see Frieren as a teacher worth respecting. This validates one of Fern’s core beliefs. Is it any wonder it fixes her mood?
All in all, this episode is a good collection of little character pieces that both give us some time to catch our breath and help us build a better connection to those who will continue to be important as the arc continues. In other words, it’s another solid episode of Frieren.
• Things never stay the same—but the strive to improve is what makes humanity great.
• Why help others? To have an impact on their lives and give a lasting meaning to your own.
• Stark running into some old master and gaining their wisdom everywhere he goes is a great recurring joke.
• I love that Methode caught her messenger bird instead of simply taking the scroll from it.
is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.