Frieren: Beyond Journey's End: It Didn't Have to Be Magic...   Show Only 
March 13, 2024 8:48 PM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Frieren instructs Fern in the use of magic while deciphering a grimoire for Heiter.

Heiter, nearing the end of his life, asks Frieren to decipher a spellbook that he says contains resurrection and immortality spells. Psych! It contains no such spells. But in the years it takes Frieren to decode it, she's also unwittingly trained Heiter's young ward Fern into being a good enough mage to accompany Frieren on her travels, so that when Heiter asks Frieren to take Fern with her, Frieren has no excuse not to. Hoodwinked by the corrupt priest, Frieren sets out with Fern in tow and spends six months looking for some flowers.
posted by valrus (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In the thread for the first episode I said I wasn't totally sold after it, and I don't quite think I was after this one either (spoiler: as I'm posting this now I'm 6 eps in and fully on board) but introducing Fern into the mix definitely starts to make things more interesting... Frieren and Fern's relationship is sweet in an understated way and Fern's impatience adds a point of tension without being unpleasant. But also the interactions with Heiter and the memories of Himmel really do a lot with a little in terms of starting to develop Frieren's character and history. So I still wasn't quite hooked after this episode but my feeling that the creators know what they're doing and there are going to be big emotional payoffs grew quite a bit.
posted by valrus at 9:00 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]

From this episode, I got the idea that a year to Frieren is like a day to a human. Spending a week to look for special flowers for a friend's memorial doesn't sound unreasonable. To Frieren, the great adventure that she participated in 80 years ago must seem like a recent event, only three months past to her frame of reference.
posted by SPrintF at 6:54 AM on March 14

I've been devouring both the anime and manga (which has gone on a one month hiatus currently), and it's nice to have a fantasy series that isn't Yet Another Isekai. (Honestly, we've been spoiled this season in that regard, with Delicious in Dungeon and The Apothecary Diaries being standouts in a season full of them.) Frieren is a very melancholy series, with a lot to say about the importance of the small things in life (Frieren's pursuit of folk magic is a fun and defining side plot that adds a good degree of grounded whimsy to the series,) as well as some amazing world building.

Also, note that all the character names are German! If you look up the translations, the names tend to give away that character's personality/identity:

Frieren - freezing (as in her personality)
Himmel - sky/heaven (and this will take on a deeper meaning soon enough)
Heiter - cheerful/slightly drunk (fitting)
Eisen - iron (he was the party's tank, after all)
Fern - aloof, distant (again, as in her personality)
Flamme - flame (and this has several meanings)

The series really opens up once we get the next major protagonist, as well.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:18 AM on March 15 [1 favorite]

Also, if you're interested in the manga (the anime only covers to about chapter 60 of 127), it's available through the Viz Media app, which is $2/month for full access to Frieren and dozens of great manga titles.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:20 AM on March 15 [2 favorites]

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