Score: A

This episode was far better than I expected. And I say that mostly because I thought this fight was already over. Not going to be hard on myself for that since the way the previous episode ended certainly didn’t give me the impression that it was the first volley in a war of attrition. It obviously ended up being a war of attrition, but I thought Fern had it! Especially with the whole “a human mage will kill her” sort of thing. But hey, that’s an effective move since I figured this episode would just be aftermath. Thankfully it wasn’t and it made for one of the stronger episodes of this whole mage exam. Many characters got their chances to shine and there were some good twists along the way.

Serious mode Fern is awesome!

That was a beautiful duel between mages right there. That’s the dream when it comes to powerful mages just going all out. AOE spells all over the place, golems being formed, and Fern just buzzing around looking for any opening she could find. It was good to keep her role simple in order to minimize the risk. If Frieren had to worry about predicting what spells Fern might break out it’d make matching up to her copy even harder. And of course, they already hammered home why Zoltraak was the right spell to try and sneak past Frieren’s defences. But even that wasn’t quite enough. Frieren knew that Fern didn’t quite have the experience to spot smaller openings in the copy’s defences so she had to force a much bigger one via taking a big hit herself.

Fern absolutely did score some great hits. I’m glad that she did launch that barrage once she scored one good hit. It would have been a terrible move to be satisfied with scoring one direct hit and then backing off. It wasn’t enough to just launch that many attacks, but it was essential to whittle away at the copy. Even though she didn’t land the finishing blow that was fine. Fern more than showed her capability as a mage and her incredible potential.

One of those things where screenshots can’t do it justice

Frieren though finally showed a bit more of why she was the mage of the Hero’s Party. When Fern thought she had it and just hesitated slightly on killing someone that looked like Frieren…she was just crushed. Whatever trump card the duplicate pulled out…it was a strong one. Fern couldn’t detect the attack even as it was crushing her into the wall! She couldn’t adequately defend against it and if not for Frieren it would have been a very bad situation. Of course, I’m sure Frieren on some level though that was a possibility. Maybe she was concerned about revealing that kind of trump card during their public strategizing session or she knew it wouldn’t kill Fern instantly. So, she’d have a chance to strike if Fern failed to kill the duplicate first.

That spell though makes me really wish to see a full Demon King showdown. The implication is there that Frieren hasn’t used that spell since their fight with the Demon King. If she did pull out that spell I’d love to see how that whole fight played out. How did the other party members play into the strategy, who delivered the finishing blow, etc? If that spell couldn’t instantly kill Fern maybe it was only used to restrain the Demon King and let Himmel finish him off? Or maybe the fight went badly and Frieren had to break that out in the last moment to win herself? There’s no way to know. But I’d love to see that fight someday. It obviously won’t be this season and maybe it hasn’t even happened in the manga. But someday I’d love to see it.

The show really loves this view!

I say this once more…holy crap Übel is scary! My absolute condolences to Land! Somehow that guy has got this wild girl’s attention and I’m not sure he’ll have an easy time dodging her! Her mindset is frightening, and her threat level is right up there. She’s both weaker than Wirbel, but able to crush 1st class mages like Sense. I wonder if Sense went with Frieren’s group just to stay safe in case Übel went off the rails? Obviously not, but it’d be funny if that was a remote consideration for her. Because yeah, Übel is just dangerous. Her instincts are through the roof and her ability to imagine is through the roof. Doesn’t matter how overwhelming a tank someone is. If she thinks she can cut what she’s up against…she’ll cut it. In that sense tank types are less safe than normal mages using normal defensive spells.

Kind of feel bad for that one proctor. I mean he probably died before he realized what happened! Just cut him in half. Yeah, Übel I think you might have cut a bit too deep! Like through the whole body deep! Just nick a little. Overkill isn’t always the best solution! Once more I hope for the best with Land. Übel is a lovely girl, but that’s a high-risk high reward relationship.

I did want to acknowledge this “holy crap” moment!

Since the fight did take a longer time than expected that did allow for some good scenes of the various characters fighting. I love the irony of Kanne being the one to pass the exam instead of Lawine. She’s going to gloat…and then get her back broken in a hold after! Kanne just lucked out with the group she was in. Lawine was with a good teammate in Richter. They were able to absolutely wipe out their opponents without much trouble. But they couldn’t spot Sense and were taken down almost immediately. Richter was right for them to bail out. They took wounds that were no joke. Honestly the only amazing thing in this arc is how many horrific injuries characters manage to walk off! Healing magic is potent stuff.

A solid mix of characters ended up clearing this too. Wirbel’s whole team managed to clear which is kind of funny. They were one step away from not even getting to the second round. Of course, I guess you can say Fern’s round 1 team also fully cleared this. But it wasn’t a full clear for Frieren’s team since only Kanne made it. Overall, I’d say this was a successful test.

Fern earned her qualification here

This episode could end nowhere else though…that with Frieren crying out about how dark it is inside a mimic! The best part of that was that you could see multiple mimic bodies laying there so she just kept jumping into chests and getting caught! Last episode was a bit mixed for me since while the backstory was good, I felt like the fight was way too short. This took care of that! So, I’d say this test was a success story. And now we can have a bit of epilogue and maybe see how Stark is doing.

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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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