This test is getting intense as it heads towards the end. Though as the next proctor of the exam stated, that was clearly the goal. It was a battle royal disguised as a treasure hunt. They are supposed to hunt a bird that most can’t find because the birds can’t be tracked with magic. All while extremely deadly monsters are flying around in the sky thus preventing an aerial search. It’s a blood bath made by someone that doesn’t care how many die because they weren’t worthwhile if they do. Thankfully Fern and Frieren are both extremely good at what they do. They should be just fine. The only uncertainty is around how Frieren will handle the situation she’s in.
What isn’t in question is how Fern is doing! I love how she just casually crushed Ehre. It wasn’t even close. Fern was keeping a safe distance throughout their fight and was managing her defense just fine. The moment that she heard things might go poorly for her teammate she made her move and won almost instantly. She pinned Ehre down with quick strikes and then just ramped up. Ending the fight with one huge blast to KO her. It basically took less than a minute. And yet the fight was still purely entertaining. I loved Ehre commenting that Fern’s approach was just brute force without any character. And was simply met with Fern’s stoic expression as she finished it. Some mages are like demons in that they are too focused on appearances. Fern just needed to win and that’s what she did.
Credit to her for also handling the situation with Wirbel with calm ease. She could have turned it into a fight, but she didn’t need to. Simply lying that she killed his teammate was enough. Fern judged that he wouldn’t keep fighting pointlessly once his way to clear the exam was lost. She didn’t need to beat him. All Fern needed was for Wirbel to back off. Fern is good at what she does. Probably has one of the higher amounts of mana amongst the exam takers, but she doesn’t show it. She’s good at hiding her mana and knows how to lie well enough. That makes sense. Frieren is all about making demons pay. If they score wins through deception, then so will she. Hiding mana levels does help, but so can straight up lies.
It is funny how Wirbel’s team gave off this impression of a dangerous group that were merciless. But they all got handled quickly. Wirbel was the most effective of the three. But thankfully…he’s a huge softy. He’ll hold off on killing unless he must and takes care of those around him. He did win his fight, but he didn’t win it fast enough and couldn’t do much once Fern entered the picture. No chance for him to restrain two people in two different positions at the same time. He’s a sensible guy that will fall back when needed. But if he’s pushed…he’ll defend himself.
The scene of him finding Ehre and Scharf was hilarious. For all his grumbling he did go and check on both to see if they were alive and didn’t leave any of them behind. Even though he had to physically carry one of them and magically carry the other. He would have gone with magic for Ehre too, but she was whining too much for that. He still didn’t leave her behind though XD. It made me hope for the best for them and they got rewarded with finding a Stille by the end anyways. Scharf didn’t get much time to shine, but the other two showed enough good vibes that I was fine with seeing them make it through the first round.
This show manages backstories well. Didn’t need much to get why Ehre looks up to Wirbel so much. He saved her village and effectively her life as well. And it’s easy to empathize with Wirbel who came this far based on a childish promise with a friend he can’t even remember the name of anymore. He’s pushed himself through ugly battles against child soldiers and troubles of that nature. It’s simple, but it works. Even Denken got a bit of focus. Though I suspect we might see a bit more once his fight against Frieren really gets going. Can get a feel for the life he’s led and the tough calls he’s had to make along the way.
I am looking forward to this fight for Frieren. This might be the first real challenge for her in the show. Qual wasn’t that big a deal since Frieren knew what she was up against and had overwhelming advantage. To the degree that she could use this guy that used to give Himmel’s party trouble as a learning experience for Fern. Aura wasn’t a real threat either. She could have been if she just utterly rushed Frieren with her full forces since Frieren didn’t want to blow up all those corpses. But Aura’s big move was always going to be using her special magic and Frieren knew it. Denken could be interesting. If only because he seems cautious and Frieren has admitted her fallibility going into this exam. It’s possible that she won’t quickly crush him. But I do think she’ll win. He may be experienced…but so is she.
There is some curiosity to how well Richter vs Lawine and Kanne will go. That guy certainly is confident, but that doesn’t mean anything. He reflects youthful aggressiveness in his own right. He’s good, doesn’t care about the lives of others, and if killing them will settle things then that’s what he’ll do. What this guy doesn’t understand is that he’s playing with fire. Yes, Frieren can’t clear the exam if he kills one of her teammates. But he also can’t be alive…if Frieren decides to kill him off in return. Denken knows that and isn’t interested in provoking Frieren more than necessary. I’m curious how well those two will do, but it’d be satisfying if the power of friendship won the day here XD.
We did get some interesting information about first-class mages and the qualification. There does seem to be something worth fighting for with it. Some super elf (from the first OP that never appeared before now) is running the mage association and is offering any spell desired to those that can reach that level. I suppose Frieren would care since she does like picking up new spells, but I also wonder if she knows this person? At the very least the name got a reaction out of her. Whether that’s a “I know that person” or “I want to kill that person” is hard to say at this point. It does seem like Frieren and Fern will both clear this if only so they can go and meet this person.
This was just another good episode. The fight with Fern was over in a heartbeat and wasn’t anything crazy. But I enjoyed the heck out of it. And I’m sure Frieren vs Denken will be worth seeing. This first stage of the exam is almost over. Hopefully Fern and Frieren can cooperate for the next one, but there’s no telling what kind of test it will be. Though I suspect it will be less deadly since that proctor seemed disappointed in the brutal nature of this test.
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