Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End (Episode 17) – Take Care

Frieren Beyond Journeys End Title

Before Sein has a chance to decide whether he will continue with Frieren or go after Gorilla, a blizzard hits the village, trapping them there for another month. At least, he might be able to impart some wisdom on them… maybe…

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End (Episode 17) – Take Care

What happened?

Finding Gorilla was Sein’s reason for joining Frieren on her quest and now he finds himself with a tough decision to make. Gorilla’s last known whereabouts was to the East, but Frieren is heading West. However, there is no time to make the decision now as the sun is setting and while it’s much milder, they would be fools if they took the Northern weather lightly. Of course, the next morning they wake to discover that a blizzard has hit the area and is likely to last a month. At least, there is a tavern, some shops, and a magic store with a strange old man running it. Frieren is sure that she’ll find something useful in there.

During their extended stay, Frieren calls upon Sein to mediate a situation between Fern and Stark. They’ve had a fight and there seems to be no way to reconcile things. Sein drags Stark into another room so that he can explain what happened without Fern’s immediate judgment. It turns out that he placed his cold hand on her cheek, similar to what she did to him earlier in the month, but that made her mad. Of course, there’s more to it as Sein soon learns. Fern wasn’t upset about the cold hand, she actually was scared by his other hand, that he placed on her shoulder when he did it. He was so strong that she was afraid. Sein explained that she needed to tell him that and then they could all move on. Back at the bar, Sein frustratedly asks Freiren why they haven’t just started dating already!

Once the blizzard cleared, Sein decided that he would go his own way in search of Gorilla. Frieren already knew that would be his choice and they parted ways in the most adult and civilised manner. That surprised Stark, but Frieren reminded him that Sein was an adult, unlike them. Further into their travels, Fern caught a cold and needed some medicine. Luckily, Frieren had come through this way with Himmel’s party and knew just where to go for ingredients.

What did you think?

Well, it was another of those episodes where the group was stuck in a village for most of the time, doing nothing much other than living, training, and relaxing. Amazingly, it doesn’t seem to matter what they are doing, because it’s thoroughly engaging. Seriously, I think I could watch them redecorate a house and still find it entertaining. Kudos to the writer, because making us care about the characters this much is no small feat. I think we all knew that Sein was going to go, but it still wasn’t easy seeing him leave. He’s become a stabilizing element in their party and his calm presence will be missed. I think he also speaks for all of us with his frustration at Fern and Stark’s situation.

Another thing that I really love about this series is how Frieren is reminded of the past by things that other characters say. Given how long she’s lived, she’s got to expect to hear the same things time and time again, so it’s a great way to pull the past and the present together. It’s even better when it gives us a chance to see Himmel awkwardly flirting with Frieren. There’s no question in my mind that he loved her. I also think that despite her outward appearance, she knew but didn’t quite understand how she felt about him. Hopefully, we’ll unravel all of that in time for the end of this quest, whenever that happens.

What have you learned?

One of my favourite moments in this episode was when Frieren was getting excited about finding a legendary spell in the old magic shop. Stark asked her what legendary spells she already knew. There was one that could get rid of mold and another that could remove tough oil stains. Sein commented that they sounded like a grandma’s household wisdom. In a way, he’s right, but that doesn’t make them legendary. We always think of legendary things as being these incredible things that do something that no other thing can do – kind of like the legendary sword that Himmel couldn’t pull from the stone. He still killed the Demon King without it, so how legendary was it really? (Of course, it might turn out to be that the fact that he did it without the sword means that the Demon King can come back, but let’s not worry about that right now.)

If you think about innovation in our own past, the things that allowed for the greatest leaps in civilisation appear fairly small and uninteresting by today’s standards, but they are without a doubt legendary. Just look into the wheel, the stirrup, or soap for examples. So, in a world with magic, a spell that can do something that would be time and effort-consuming would absolutely be legendary. I’m certainly curious to see what other legendary spells Frieren can uncover because I have no doubt that they will make their lives better continuously and not just in a one-off situation such as killing the Demon King.

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  1. “Well, it was another of those episodes where the group was stuck in a village for most of the time, doing nothing much other than living, training, and relaxing. Amazingly, it doesn’t seem to matter what they are doing, because it’s thoroughly engaging. Seriously, I think I could watch them redecorate a house and still find it entertaining.” – OtakuAuthor Brilliant comment and very true! This author, Kanehito Yamada, is a genius writer who creates scenes and characters that his audience immediately relates to. Anyone who can make me feel for a character in EP 1 who I do not even know is using magic. Now the Mage exams begin in EP 18 and we will see Mr. Yamada’s magic is its purest form.

    • Yeah, I was getting emotional over Himmel and Heiter’s death in the first two episodes and we barely knew anything about them. This series really is a masterclass in storytelling. Hoping to learn as much as possible while enjoying the ride.

  2. Frieren is such a beautiful moody anime! It is all about time and mortality and memory. And about lost opportunities and lost love and the willingness to risk it again..

    Imagine yourself as being essentially immortal, relative to humans; becoming attached to them and then watching them age and weaken and die while you remain unchanging and perfect. Rinse and repeat, over the thousands of years still ahead of you.

    I imagine older people “get it” much more than youngsters. I’m glad it has had such a great response.

    • Agreed. I love how we’re exploring those concepts and how they impact the different lifespans. For Frieren, sitting around for ten years reading books is no big deal, but for Fern and Stark, that’s a good chunk of their life.

      Ever since I saw Highlander as a child, I’ve imagined being immortal. It would be hard, but the things you’d see would be incredible. Plus, I might finish my to-watch and to-read lists…

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