Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End (Episode 9) – Aura the Guillotine

Frieren Beyond Journeys End Title

Frieren has gone to face Aura’s army, which leaves Fern and Start to deal with Lugner and Linie, but do they really stand a chance against two powerful demons? It’s time to take a stand!

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End (Episode 9) – Aura the Guillotine

What did you watch?

In the last episode, I mentioned how I felt that Fern and Stark missed an opportunity to finish off Lugner and Linie. I stand by that, but I also understand that had they done that we wouldn’t have had a chance at a rematch. Well, it looks like it’s time for that rematch, and I am very excited. This show delivers on the heartfelt moments superbly. It also kills it with its action sequences. It may not be as “flashy” as the fights in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, but the energy is unreal. Let’s get it on!

Frieren Beyond Journeys End Episode 9 Aura's undead army

What happened?

Fern and Stark managed to get Granat to a church which had a further barrier installed. That should keep them safe for now, but what of the other people in the city? Lugner is not likely to simply leave. Stark decides that he must do something, much to Fern’s surprise, however, that something is to find Frieren and beg her to come back and help. Meanwhile, Frieren has decided to face Aura the Guillotine and discovers that her army is much larger than the last time they fought. Frieren even recognises some of the suits of armour and takes it personally. But Aura has the Scales of Obedience which makes the one with less mana submit to the other. No one has come close to toppling her in five hundred years!

As Stark prepared to make his run to find Frieren, he noticed some blood on Fern’s cloak. It wasn’t Fern’s blood! She whipped off her cloak and threw it away, however, there was some blood on Stark’s collar that also wasn’t his. Lugner attacked, pinning Fern to the wall as Linie took Stark to the courtyard with an attack that reminded him of Eisen. Linie possesses the ability to learn someone’s movements from their mana. That allows her to mimic another fighting style, and she once saw Eisen fight. However, she may be able to mimic the style, but she’s not as strong as Eisen. Despite getting knocked down again and again, Stark keeps getting up and finally works out how to win. He takes the hit from Linie and then delivers his own in return. Meanwhile, Fern is fighting Lugner and while he is stronger and has greater magic control, he can’t keep up with her speed. He’s starting to panic!

Frieren Beyond Journeys End Episode 9 Fern lets loose

What did you think?

I don’t know how it’s possible, but this series just gets better and better. We basically had two incredible fights and the beginning foray of another, which will no doubt occupy most of the next episode. I can’t wait! However, it’s not just flashy fighting moves that materialise out of nowhere. Stark won because of some advice that made him refuse to give up. It didn’t win him the fight, it made sure he didn’t lose. I love that both of these characters are slowly building their confidence. Both of their teachers believe in them and can see just how powerful they are, but they need to see it for themselves and that’s happening. I think they’re just going to get stronger and stronger. Much like this series!

Frieren Beyond Journeys End Episode 9 Stark fighting Linie

What was your favourite moment?

It had to be the fight between Stark and Linie. Fern versus Lugner was good too, but I loved the determination that Stark showed. Linie believed she had won several times. She certainly didn’t think that Stark had a chance. He was on the defensive, blocking and dodging. It was frustrating for her. However, she pulled out an array of styles and techniques and was constantly chipping away at him. I loved the moment that she believed he was down and he had to ask himself “Am I down?” That prompted the flashback to Eisen telling him that the winner was the one who kept getting up. As soon as one warrior can’t get up, they lose.

That was enough to make him stand once more. This time, however, he realised something about Linie’s attacks. She might be able to mimic the style, but she was not as strong as Eisen. He charged at her with his axe held high. He made no attempt to block so Linie swung her axe low and caught him in the hip. Stark was surprised, although he realised he shouldn’t have been. He was prepared to die if it meant he could cut her down too, but her attack wasn’t strong enough to hurt him. His attack cleaved her in two!

Who was the most impactful character?

Well, that’s Stark out of the way. Now, let’s talk about Fern. Are we sure Fern is human? She is unflappable. Upon seeing the blood on her cloak, she knew instantly what it was and dealt with it. Nothing gets past her. She was able to see what Lugner was doing and knew that he didn’t kill her because he missed her vital organs, but because he didn’t see her as a threat. He thought that he could make her pay for hurting him. However, much like Draht underestimating Frieren, Lugner did the same to Fern. So, despite my earlier question about Fern being human or not (which was partly in jest), the fact that she is human is why she won. Or more specifically, the way she views time made her win. Frieren has lived for thousands of years and is prepared to take her time with just about anything. Fern doesn’t have that time, which makes her respond quicker to things. That’s why she is faster with her magic than Frieren. She hates wasting time, and that has become her greatest strength!

What have you learned?

Recently, I’ve talked about misunderstandings and coincidences in several of my other posts and how I believe that the best way to use them is when they make things harder for the protagonists. Basically, they can’t solve a problem. If they do, it feels like cheap. I think the same can be said for flashbacks. I’m drawn back to Demon Slayer and how Tanjiro often has these little flashbacks mid-fight that remind him of a skill he learnt ages ago that is perfect for this situation. That’s lazy. In this episode, both Fern and Stark had a flashback that helped them win. The big difference is that it didn’t give them the answer, rather it gave them a gentle nudge in the direction that they needed to go. It helped them realise how to win. I prefer this method.

Frieren Beyond Journeys End Episode 9 Fern is victorious

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5 Comments

  1. They did trot out that tired old trope about thinking your opponent was down but they really aren’t out for the count. Twice.

    In a life and death battle where you don’t need to worry about someone thinking you used excessive force, when an opponent is down, even if they look unconscious, you make sure they are dead. Skewer them though the heart or chop their head. These are demons who have no reason to be merciful.

    • That’s a good point. There’s no reason for a demon to walk away leaving them to die. I guess it must just come down to the belief that they are superior and don’t have to worry about the human getting back up. They can just keep knocking them down.

    • It is just another trope. It doesn’t have to make sense. The only logical plot explanation would be if on some basic level she doesn’t want to kill him. In that case he should return the favor because she can be turned to the light side. (Luke didn’t kill Vader.)

      The actual explanation is that he wanted this to illustrate the line that the winner is the one who gets up last and not because it made any sense in a fight to the death.

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