Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End (Episode 5) – Phantoms of the Dead

Frieren Beyond Journeys End Title

Frieren and Fern begin their journey to the site of the Demon King’s castle in the hopes of finding the place where they can talk to the dead. It’s going to be a long journey… well, for Fern. For Frieren, it’s another short ten-year quest.

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End (Episode 5) – Phantoms of the Dead

What did you watch?

This week, I’ve only got one episode of Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End to review and as such, I’m hoping we don’t meet anyone new who we then develop a strong emotional connection with just before they die. I still can’t believe how hard they managed to make two deaths in the first two episodes hit us. That was some spectacular storytelling and I can only hope that it continues… without all the heartbreak, but I think there’s little chance of that. Anyhow, let’s look at what actually happened.

Frieren Beyond Journeys End Episode 5 Fern sees a ghost of Heiter

What happened?

Frieren and Fern arrived at a village and were quickly warned about leaving via the mountain pass. Unfortunately, that was exactly the direction that they needed to head in. Rumours had emerged of ghosts appearing before travels and talking to them, however, almost everyone that say a ghost was never heard of again. Frieren had a good idea of what was to blame and warned Fern that they needed to stay away. However, Fern couldn’t leave the villagers to deal with something that dangerous. She begged Frieren to help them and she agreed. It was a monster that used illusion magic to lure its prey, and it only ate humans. Frieren told Fern that it would show them something that would be hard to resist, but a good blast of magic would clear the ghost… if they could bring themselves to do it.

Not long after leaving the village, the first ghost appeared. It was Heiter and he spoke with Heiter’s voice, echoing the thing that Fern most wanted to hear. She knew it was an illusion and cursed the monster for using such a personal memory, but even then, she struggled to attack. Frieren was surprised to see the ghost of Himmel appear before her. Of course, the ghost acted just like Himmel would and told Frieren to shoot him. She did. With the spell broken, Frieren turned her attention to the monster and obliterated it. They continued on their adventure and soon came across a dragon. Fern attempted to kill it while it was sleeping, but that just annoyed it. They had to run. Luckily, Frieren had planned on picking up a front-line warrior for their quest at the next village. It was Eisen’s apprentice and he had a connection to the dragon.

Frieren Beyond Journeys End Episode 5 The monster is exposed

What did you think?

This was not nearly as powerful an episode as the first two, but it was still amazing. Fern and Frieren make such a strange but wonderful pair as they hop and float through the forest. I had to laugh when Fern attacked the dragon and Frieren just turned and ran. She must have known it wasn’t going to work, but let Fern go through with it anyhow. One thing I will say is that I’m not entirely sure about Stark. There were some similarities to Zenitsu from Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and I don’t think I can take another screaming and crying character. It certainly doesn’t fit with the state of serene melancholy that this series seems to live in.

Frieren Beyond Journeys End Episode 5 Stark

What was your favourite moment?

When they discovered they were dealing with something that can conjure ghosts based on your memories, Fern’s thoughts turned to Heiter and how he had tried to scare her into being a good girl for Frieren. However, it didn’t go as planned because Fern saw it as a loophole. He threatened to haunt her if she was bad, but that meant that she would be able to see him again. He laughed and backtracked, stating that if she was good, he would occasionally visit her. You have to love the logic of a child and how they turn a threat into something good.

Frieren Beyond Journeys End Episode 5 Heiter telling Fern to be a good girl

Who was the most impactful character?

This time it was Frieren. I love the way she teaches Fern by making her do things, even if they are terrible ideas and almost certainly doomed to fail. Her curiosity seems to make her go with it on the off chance that it works. It didn’t and she was running before the dragon even got close to them. Fern, however, had to use all of her energy and stamina to get away. I feel like Stark is going to experience the same sort of thing as she seems determined to make him fight the dragon. There are no easy lessons when Fern is in charge.

Frieren Beyond Journeys End Episode 5 Frieren attacks

What have you learned?

The flashbacks continue to add context and feeling to this series. Admittedly, you would expect it with the way we’re being told the story, but if they hadn’t done such a good job of weaving the past and the present together, it would have been a very different story. Awkwardly placed flashbacks can kill the pace of a story and leave the audience bored, lost, or even both. So, to see it not only fit in with the story but elevate it to higher points is fantastic. I’m calling it now, but this series is going to be one to study and learn from. It’s been wonderful so far.

Frieren Beyond Journeys End Episode 5 The solar dragon comes after Fern

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  1. Moment that really made me laugh: after learning the truth about Stark, that look Fern gave him! Oh, that was a perfect picture of UNIMPRESSED.

    • For real. She was ready to walk away without a second thought. I think I might have had the same look though as I was getting Zenitsu flashbacks…

What did you think?