The end of this first part of the exam was a blast on so many levels. This show just manages to do everything it sets out to do extremely well. If it needs some action it will deliver that in style. But if it wants to delve into the characters and make you like even the supporting cast…it’ll do that too! This episode gave Lawine and Kanne a satisfying victory while also revealing more of Frieren’s history. It was just a really satisfying episode on multiple levels.
Frieren vs Denken was even more one-sided than I expected. I was wondering if this guy would be the first real source of challenge for Frieren. While she keeps a calm expression all the time, it didn’t feel like she had a serious problem. The key is probably just her overwhelming amount of mana. Denken’s approach just pushed her to solidify her defenses and he mostly ran out of gas on his own. Eventually she just had to keep pressing and she won the battle without much trouble.
Of course, saying that…it was still a beautiful fight. Frieren was just calm and didn’t rush it. Denken was experienced enough to know he was going to lose a battle of attrition. So, in that sense Frieren won the moment he didn’t have a good way to beat her before he ran out of mana. He took his best shot though. That tornado into flaming tornado approach was a beautiful sight. And his light-based barrage looked good too. He just couldn’t break Frieren’s defense, and she caught him by surprise XD. Credit where it is due. Frieren is great and won’t lose that often.
Her win came on multiple levels though. If she couldn’t recover the Stille that would be game against them. So, she had to lure out Laufen by any means necessary. I’m sure she wouldn’t have killed Denken since clearing this test wasn’t worth going around killing people. But Laufen is probably right that she’d beat the old man up until a certain point. They’d still win, but Laufen isn’t a heartless girl that could sit back and do nothing.
I’d say rather than provoking Laufen her most impressive move was just going and busting that barrier after she’d secured the Stille. It was satisfying seeing that proctor that knowingly put those people in danger having his confident statement shattered as easily as the barrier. Frieren is full of power and when she unleashes it…wow! I partly think she was happy to do so knowing that Serie was the one that made that barrier. A nice “friendly” shot towards the teacher of her teacher.
And Frieren’s actions nicely led to Lawine and Kanne scoring a beautiful win! True enough that it was rough for Kanne how things were set up. Other mages that used elements already on the ground had quite the advantage. And yet despite having the good fortune of it raining…she couldn’t access any of that water! She may be a fool in a lot of ways, but when she’s in her element she’s plenty powerful. And it was pretty satisfying seeing Richter get blasted. He picked that fight intending to kill the girls if he felt it was needed and got what he deserved there.
While Denken lost, I do want to give the man props. Even after losing to Frieren he didn’t lose his head or throw in the towel. It’d be easy to give up at that point with him and Richter being out of mana. But he just kept soldering on. He knew there was a chance to find a team with a Stille that they had a chance against. Richter is just too inexperienced. He gets fired up easily and gives up too quickly. Denken knew that while they were out of mana…they weren’t out of options. They still had their legs, their stamina…and their fists! He even kept Laufen in reserve who technically still had some mana left even if she couldn’t use her main spell anymore.
This is another enemy team that the show still made me want to see succeed. The man just wanted the promotion so he could visit a grave in a restricted zone. And when it came down to it, he was willing to get into a fist fight to stay in the test. He’s a good guy.
It was nice to catch up with Fern for a bit. Übel may consider Fern a bit dull, but no reason to complain about what works. Plus, Fern did win her fight…I think it’s fine for Frieren to tell Fern to just stick to the basics for now. It makes them even more reliable, and she can build on that over time. I do find it nicely entertaining that the first spell that came to mind for Fern when asked what else she could do…was the x-ray vision spell! That certainly got Übel to take a few steps back!
The real sweet moments though came later. I love that brief look back and forth between Fern and Frieren. Some pride on Frieren’s side in seeing that Fern made it through just fine. Her pupil is more than deserving of being here. And there was a look of pride from Fern for herself. She was acknowledged and I think her confidence will be bolstered quite a bit from just getting this far. There may have been some self-doubts going into this exam, but I think Fern is ready to keep pushing until the end.
I do think that Fern and Frieren will both clear this. It will be a good chance for Frieren to go visit Serie and show off her pupil. That would tie nicely in with the scene of Flamme taking Frieren to see her own teacher. Time continues to move along, and people change along the way. It’d be a good opportunity anyways since it would be the first time those two have met in a thousand years and certainly the first time since the Demon King was taken down. It’d be interesting to see if Fern would also turn down any offer of being taught a spell.
This was just another solid episode! Even ending on the perfect note with letting us see good old Stark again XD. I’m not sure if Fern and Frieren will be free to hang out with him while waiting for the next test or if they’ll have to stay near the testing site until it’s all over. Either way it really is something that Stark is already like this and he’s not even dating Fern yet! That barkeep can certainly read the room though and can tell how much Stark’s been through. I can’t wait to see how the rest of this test plays out. But I also look forward to seeing the main cast reunite before the season is over.
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