Frieren: Beyond Journey's End: Like A Fairy Tale
March 23, 2024 12:56 AM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

For someone whom can remember the events of antiquity because they were there, the transient nature of human memory is something that puzzles Frieren - that what was her experience has become myth and legend. Of course, some of that myth - like demonkind - is an altogether too real threat...

So, we get another "split" episode thanks to the one episode/two chapters structure. The front has (after the occurrence of a minor miracle in the form of Frieren waking of her own volition before noon) the trio helping out a merchant by clearing out a roadblock, and traveling to a town celebrating the anniversary of the Demon King's defeat. Between her reminiscing and the festival, our elf heroine is left pondering about how memory is a fickle thing, especially when the people present for the events are no longer around. Part of this is that for many of the characters, Flamme is a semi-mythical personage, yet Frieren can remember her master - and the lessons she imparted - quite well, which leaves the elf in a rather melancholy mood.

But the bigger part of the episode is that we now enter into the first story arc of the series, as Team Frieren finds themselves in the domain of Graf Granat, which is dealing with the threat of a particularly nasty piece of work in the form of Aura the Guillotine, a general of the Demon King who is using magic to create an army of the dead to threaten the city. But unusually, there seems to be a...peace envoy as well - which Frieren doesn't buy for one second, immediately looking to smite the demons - and earning herself a stay in the local jail for her trouble. But it turns out she has good reason for her acts - she's been dealing with demons for many years, and their fundamental inhumanity along with their viewing humans as prey makes the idea of them seeking peace unimaginable for her, which means these demons have ulterior motives - and those are most definitely ones that will mean the downfall of the city if they're allowed to accomplish them.
posted by NoxAeternum (3 comments total)
The treatment of demons in this series is breathtaking.

"Why did you say, 'Mother'?"
"Because it made you stop trying to kill me."

Demons in a nutshell.
posted by SPrintF at 8:54 AM on March 23 [1 favorite]

Yeah, this show does a wonderful job of really fleshing out demons as being human in appearance (somewhat - we'll see demons that are less so) but so fundamentally alien in mindset and worldview that mutual understanding is fundamentally impossible. As we'll find out, Frieren has very good reasons for having a Kill On Sight policy with demons - and her statement of them being "the voice calling from the dark" is quite illuminating and chilling.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:29 AM on March 23

It's certainly an interesting mirror being held up -- the castellan used words as a snare to trap and murder the demon, but fundamentally unable to follow through with it. It might have been done better in From The New World, where killing another exacts a heavy toll unless you view your opponent as inhuman. In this episode at least, demons are a cautionary tale against compassion. Which is kind of a weird thing to cheer for, and the only logical resolution to the conflict is ... genocide?
posted by pwnguin at 12:05 AM on April 23

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