Score: A

So, I’ll be doing something a bit unusual for me…going to try and jump onto Sousou no Frieren while it’s in motion. These days with anime it’s rare enough to have a 2-cour show at all and usually when I’ve set up my coverage, I’m not going back to a show part way through. But…this is also my top anime of 2023. So, I’ll be giving myself permission to just do this. Maybe I’ll try to drop a massive catch-up post from episode 2 to 16. But for now, let’s just jump into episode 17 and see if this works or not.

Farewell Sein, glad you were around

I loved this episode. This show just knows how to carry emotions through the episode without making it too bloated to handle. It’d be easy to make this episode way too melodramatic. Just spend the whole thing on Sein leaving and have it be too much. The show perfectly handles the landing there with having Stark expect something more dramatic while Sein and Frieren keep things relaxed. It’s still a farewell, but it’s not the end of the world either. While for Frieren “see you later” could be 50 years down the road, there is still a good chance that their paths will cross once again. Life is full of meetings and partings. We can feel a bit sad about the partings, but it’s ok to just smile and say goodbye for the time being.

The great thing is while Sein leaving makes total sense…I wasn’t sure if he would. Honestly when Fern got sick I also half expected “go find Sein” as the solution needed. But instead, Sein was a mature adult that left something for his friends so that they would be ok. They’ll be ok without him. Just like how Sein will manage the loneliness of not having this goofy group with him. He feels it. We get that. But he’s going to carry that while trying to complete the goal that he came out here for.

Come on you two!

“Just start dating already!” Sein is truly one of the people! It works on both a 4th wall breaking comment and for Sein as part of this world. Because yeah, it must be exhausting managing these awkward teens. Fern and Stark are a clear ship at this point. There is clearly interest between them. But they are both just awkward enough that it’s taking a frustrating amount of time for them to get anywhere. For someone like Sein that got to see this day after day it must be utter torture! For Frieren it’s not a big deal (if she realizes there’s romantic interest at all). From Frieren’s perspective whenever they get together it’s going to be sudden and out of nowhere. She’s hardly going to lose sleep if these two took a decade after this episode to hook up.

This makes sense

The latest Fern pouting and Stark feeling bad moment was good. I especially liked when we got into Fern’s mindset. She didn’t care about the payback from the cold hand. It was the hand that Stark probably wasn’t even thinking about that startled her. Stark is strong. Yes, Fern’s magic is powerful and in a 1v1 she’s going to blast him from range no problem. But Stark absolutely outclasses her in raw strength. I’m not going to outright say she was made conscious of him in that moment, but that may have been part of it. And might have been even more startling if he put more strength into that hand than he was conscious of. That feeling of there being no escape probably hit hard.

I agree with Sein that the important thing is for both sides to be honest and apologize. It’s especially important for Fern. It’s not fair that Stark’s face reads much easier than hers. But it’s probably better for her to appreciate that she can have a stoic expression. The last thing she’d want is for Stark to think she hates him. The development of this relationship has been cute and will continue to be as the story moves along. I’m curious if we’ll see them start dating before this show is over or if that will be a longer-term project?

Good chat with these two

Fern getting sick just allowed so much character stuff to happen. Where do you even start with it? Maybe the best bit was the solid point that you don’t need to be a child to appreciate emotional support. Easy to sum things up as “I’m not a child anymore”, but it should be allowed for everyone to have some support when they are having a tough time. Stark and Himmel got it. People might get embarrassed about things, but it feels good at any age to have people caring about you.

And Stark is probably right that it wasn’t about Frieren showing care that bothered Fern. She was just embarrassed because he was there. Of course, it’s going to be a bit embarrassing having Frieren talk about when she was a child. And even more so with all this happening in front of a guy she likes. Which is probably why Stark made sure to step away and help around the property to leave Frieren and Fern alone. Easier for Fern to relax and feel less embarrassed. Plus, it’s just in Stark’s character to help like that.

This man is full of charm

Himmel is truly on another level. It’s tough for a character that’s been dead for most of the series to have this level of presence! This show truly knows how to make the most out of flashbacks and memories. He’s obviously dead, but the memories left to Frieren truly keep him alive. I half expect that there won’t be much for Frieren and Himmel to say to each other by the time they arrive at their destination. There are so many moments in this story where it’s clear as day how Himmel felt and the way he lived. In some ways the key will just be Frieren experiencing things on this journey that helps put things into context and maybe reveals her own feelings a bit.

I just truly love how smooth this guy is. A thousand props to Nobuhiko Okamoto for his work here. This man has range! I’m still blown away that this guy can play a cool and smooth hero like Himmel…and a wild and rage driven hero…like Bakugou Katsuki! Himmel is such a charming character and even his character flaws are endearing. Being a bit narcissistic doesn’t feel like a bad thing when this guy does it. Such a good guy that helped bring Frieren out into the world and clearly cared deeply about her. The guy was just always there and left so many good memories for Frieren to hang onto.

I just enjoy this show

Yeah, this show is just good. It can wow in any number of ways. But just seeing the cast interact can make for a great episode. Even managed to include the farewell to Sein without making it a big deal. I don’t know how this season will turn out. But I feel pretty good about the odds of carrying on with Frieren until this journey ends. Next up… Äußerst.

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An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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