They arrive in Äußerst to take the First-Class Mage exam, although Frieren plans on making Fern take it instead of her. Then, someone recognises her necklace and she’s in too. The first part is a team event!!!
Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End (Episode 18) – First-Class Mage Exam
Mages from around the country are gathering in Äußerst for the First-Class Mage exam. It only happens once every three years and you need to be a Fifth-Class Mage to take part. And, since Frieren only has her holy emblem necklace, she’s not planning on taking part. Luckily, someone recognises it and allows her to enter. It’s quite a surprise since Himmel, Heiter, and Eisen didn’t recognise it eighty years ago! Since they need a First-Class Mage to enter the Northern Continent, both Frieren and Fern enter, leaving Stark to catch up on his sleep…
They’re both taking part because the success rate in these exams is remarkably low. Some years, no one completes the test and there are often casualties and sometimes fatalities. Anyhow, Frieren and Fern do their best to prepare. After two months of training, the exam begins and for the first round, the mages are split into groups. Fern finds herself with a girl with the eyes of a killer and a studious-looking fellow. You can tell because he keeps adjusting his glasses. Frieren, however, finds herself with two young mages who know each other. That might be great if they weren’t constantly fighting.
For this first round, the parties will need to capture a Stille – a small orange bird. To pass, they must have a Stille in their cage by sunset and have all party members present. The thing that will make this extra hard is that the Stille is a remarkably tough bird that can fly faster than the speed of sound. The mages have their work cut out for them, and that’s before they even consider how the team dynamics will play out. Frieren finds herself looking after a couple of kids, so at least, that should be familiar…
What did you think?
I enjoyed this episode and loved that we got to see Kraft again, if only for a moment. It’s been a while since we’ve had an episode that didn’t contain at least one complete mini-arc so that automatically made things feel a little different. Of course, this arc will continue into the next episode and I’m guessing several more after that. At first, I was a little concerned that the First-Class Mage exam started with a group test. For me, that feels like it should be a latter part of it. Gather the strongest mages first and then see if they can work with others. No doubt, being a team member is important, but does it matter more than pure magical ability? I don’t think so in this instance.
Anyhow, it was a nice episode and once again shows us how a show can hold onto our attention without screaming characters and over-the-top action (as much as I love over-the-top action). I wonder if we’ll get to see how Fern is doing in the next episode, especially as she has the mage with the killer eyes, as Kraft puts it. She has a history of killing instructors too so she could be trouble. For a moment, I was worried that we were entering a school arc, which has not done any favours for several other fantasy stories. I feel like that won’t be the case here because of how well this story has been written. Don’t let me down, Frieren!
Other posts in the series
- Season One
- Episode 1 – The Journey’s End
- Episode 2 – It Didn’t Have to Be Magic…
- Episode 3 – Killing Magic
- Episode 4 – The Land Where Souls Rest
- Episode 5 – Phantoms of the Dead
- Episode 6 – The Hero of the Village
- Episode 7 – Like a Fairy Tale
- Episode 8 – Frieren the Slayer
- Episode 9 – Aura the Guillotine
- Episode 10 – A Powerful Mage
- Episode 11 – Winter in the Northern Lands
- Episode 12 – A Real Hero
- Episode 13 – Aversion to One’s Own Kind
- Episode 14 – Privilege of the Young
- Episode 15 – Smells Like Trouble
- Episode 16 – Long-Lived Friends
- Episode 17 – Take Care
- Episode 18 – First-Class Mage Exam
- Episode 19 – Well-Laid Plans
- Episode 20 – Necessary Killing
- Episode 21 – The World of Magic
- Episode 22 – Future Enemies
- Episode 23 – Conquering the Labyrinth
- Episode 24 – Perfect Replicas
- Episode 25 – A Fatal Vulnerability