It’s time for the mage certification arc! They made it to Äußerst and now we just have to see how things turn out for Fern and Frieren. I am glad that they are both going to be doing this. While Stark obviously will be…hanging around, it’s a good chance to see these mages up against their peers. I suppose few really can be Frieren’s peer since she’s over 1000 years old, but this is about as close as we’ll get to that on the mage side.
It is nice that Fern will be part of this and I’m curious to see if she clears the exam or not. There’s always a few years down the road to try again. With Frieren there they have a good chance at one of them clearing it. But it would be fun if Fern does it. She already got her third level qualification. And who knows if she couldn’t have gotten the 2nd if that exam had been available at the right time. She isn’t confident, but I don’t think Fern yet has a great grasp on how she compares because she is constantly with Frieren. She was considered a noteworthy member of this group at least by people standing around giving commentary XD. I think she has a good chance of making some waves through this.
Frieren’s greatest struggle so far…was the reality of life. With Fern taking up half the sky so resting on her lap doesn’t quite have the same luxuries to Frieren as it used to! That was a nice and cute way to play around with the characters. Just enough attention drawn to it. A fun way to lead into Frieren talking about how she isn’t exactly unmatched. While losing only 11 times in about 1000 years is amazing…losing is losing. Obviously, a lot of her defeats were either not hostile battles or she simply had good allies around her. She couldn’t outright defeat Qual, but her allies clearly were able to support her enough to seal him.
Frieren I’m sure would rather not bother with any of this. Organizations shift over decades and centuries, and she outlives all of it. Having to restore her respect when she’s clearly already done it in the past has to be a bother. But Fern is right that their backup plan of hiring someone to serve as their qualified team member just isn’t worth it. If Frieren can do this then all the better. One of them should be able to make it and that’s all they need. Good break that there was someone that could identify Frieren’s antique and give her the approval needed.
No surprise that the number of mages has dropped significantly from the era where the Demon King was in his power. War and conflict will create a much more desperate need. People didn’t have the luxury of focusing on honing their own craft in peace. It was important to have quality mages and a lot of them. People were motivated both to learn magic and to teach others. Now? It’s less of a necessity so people probably aren’t hunting as hard for those with that kind of talent.
The test…this will be a ride. I can appreciate some good comedy. But I really hope those two friends aren’t around for this whole exam. Because them fighting got old…basically immediately and they just kept going the whole way through. It’s nice that they have some backstory and they do get something out of their aggressive “friendship”. But it has to be utterly exhausting for Frieren to put up with these kids all day. At least it shows that Frieren can handle even troublesome situations like this without too much stress. And that her slow and steady approach can be extremely valuable.
Good luck to Fern. Somehow her ending up with the crazy killer seems less annoying than what Frieren is dealing with. The one good thing is that the full team needs to assemble. So, she can’t turn on Fern for some random reason. The only risk is that the test pretty much left the door open for people to fight each other and take birds. But it shouldn’t be that necessary. Catching a supersonic bird should be less risky than fighting someone that can take on a test like this.
This was a solid episode. It had some bits of comedy, another nice little flashback, and it got the exam started. Here’s hoping that Frieren and Fern both clear this and that they can walk away from it with smiles. I could see only one of them doing it, but we’ll see. So long as one of them does then they should be able to continue their journey.
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