Score: A

This was another beautiful episode. The only downside is that we are one close to this story being over for the time being. I absolutely believe that we’ll see another season of this, but there’s no certainty on the when part of that happening. If the show can go out with consistently strong episodes like this then I’ll be just fine. I’m glad the bulk of the third test was cleared in this episode. It leaves a bit of setup for the journey coming and maybe seeing how a few other characters will be judged by Serie.

Seems like an observant man

Serie can be a bit of a jerk. I feel for Lernen. So many shots fired at the old guy. Using him as an example of why she shouldn’t take on any human apprentices at all. Though I suppose calling Serie a tsundere of sorts isn’t wrong. Lernen himself noted having gotten used to Serie’s willfulness. It’s nothing out of the ordinary for that elf. Serie also mixed in that she believed that Lernen could beat Frieren in a fight. It does show some pride in her own apprentices even if she can’t help but throw shade at them. Even Flamme had tons of shots fired at her after her death XD.

“Well…time to fail some people.”

If nothing else, I give credit to Serie for being efficient! Failed a good chunk of characters in no time at all. I’d say almost all of them were failed fairly. Kanne wasn’t ready for that promotion. She got the most time spent on why she failed and I think in part it is because she is the type that wouldn’t be there if not for Frieren being in the test. Kanne and Lawine didn’t have the skills to catch that bird without being helped along. And she had no answer for Richter if not for the luck factors of it raining at that moment and Frieren destroying the barrier.

Luck is something of course, but I don’t think that’s a factor that Serie shows much respect for. Many of them made it that far through others carrying them through it. Teamwork is an important asset, but a few of them I’d say weren’t contributing enough to earn that kind of promotion.

I think he’ll be ok

My expectations for the rest of the test is that most characters remaining will pass. Übel will likely pass. I think her unusual mindset and potential will resonate with Serie. The point was made that Serie won’t turn down promising mages. I wonder if Fern’s whole team from the first test will pass? Land is interesting since he was very passive through these tests. At the same time his cloning spell is darn good and it allowed him to cruise through the test without ever really being in danger. My guess is that he’ll be ok. But I could see Serie just deciding to fail him for whatever reason. Wirbel should also be fine. He’s got skills and potential through the roof. Having to literally carry his team through the exams shows it.

The big question for me is Denken. If potential is what Serie is after then is someone on the older side like Denken going to pass? Of course to Serie everyone is both a kid and going to die in the blink of an eye. So maybe age won’t be a major issue. I hope Denken passes so at least one of his team does. His skills are good, his ability to cooperate is something that Serie might see as valuable for the first-class mages, and when put in a tough situation he can rise to the occasion.

Frieren had some great moments in this one

The episode ended on Fern’s test, but I do think Frieren’s test was the highlight here. These two have such a “whatever” attitude after meeting for the first time in an absurdly long time. I suppose that’s somewhat how it goes for Elves. They’ll probably meet again in another 500 years and have the same reactions. It could have been a quick fail and move on, but I like the back and forth. Frieren doesn’t believe that Serie would give her a pass because Serie doesn’t approve of where Frieren’s skills are at and her mentality. But Serie opens the door asking about her favourite spell. And that leads nicely to some of the best moments in the episode.

A chance encounter that changed the world

The whole bit regarding Frieren’s companions and the flashback was just beautiful. She couldn’t win by herself. And maybe that’s why Flamme thought Frieren could defeat the Demon King while believing Serie and herself couldn’t. Without Himmel, Heiter, Eisen, and herself it couldn’t happen. Whatever means they achieved victory, it was a victory earned through the whole group being united. Serie writes it off as Frieren being lucky. But what I love is that Frieren not only agrees, but treats that as a source of pride. She was lucky and fortunate that Himmel took her out of that forest. Without it she probably would still be there.

And it all comes back to that flower field spell. That worthless spell that Serie disregards is what brought her and Himmel together. Her kindness in helping him get back home and showing him that magic could be beautiful is what made him want her to be the mage of their party. He wanted it to be her. That beautiful chat with Himmel just makes it all hit home. He fell for her as a child, loved her as an adult, and that love lasted even to his end as an old man. Himmel was truly the man. A seemingly meaningless spell ended up helping to save the world.

“Thanks, but no.”

Fern’s test was good of course. I love Frieren’s total confidence that Serie wouldn’t be able to fail her. Frieren has pride in her pupil and knows her potential. The Age of Humans (and all their pouting) has arrived. And I like how she basically wins before she’s said a word. Fern was only stunned because she could see the flickering of Serie’s mana. She could see something that not Lernen could. And that does open up the question of whether Serie is actually concealing some of her mana. So much is being shown off that makes her power seem insane. But if she’s actually hiding much more…that’s just insanity. I guess maybe it could imply that Serie doesn’t have perfect magical control, but I like the idea of Serie being a monster that makes Frieren look normal XD.

As for the test, I do like that Fern blew Serie away and then immediately turned down the offer that followed. Instant refusal. But of course she would refuse. She’s learning magic and journeying because she enjoys seeing Frieren having a good time on the adventures. Achieving the pinnacle of magic isn’t something that drives Fern. She loves magic, but she’s not obsessed in that direction. Thankfully Frieren did coach her a bit, but I don’t think her answer would change. She’s Frieren’s pupil and is proud of that.

Behold…humanity’s potential!

That’s a hilarious statement to make of course considering the first part of this episode was all about Fern pouting over an argument with Frieren XD. Much of the episode was about her complaining that Frieren doesn’t understand her and just being in a mood. Sadly for Stark that is kind of the usual XD. He’s now inherited the duty of helping manage Fern’s moods!

I do feel a bit for Stark since he hasn’t been able to do much during this arc. He’s either sitting around waiting for them to come back or he’s dealing with the emotional aftermath of the tests. It’s been pure isolation or just a lot of Fern pouting XD. Obviously, you can’t expect a mage exam arc to have much for Stark to do. It’s simply too bad that whatever antics he can get up to next…will have to wait until a season 2.

Credit to him…he’s good.

The staff thing was sweet. No surprise that Frieren took a practical look at it. The staff was utterly broken into scrap. Getting it fixed would be a heavy order. But it has too much sentimental value. Fern will probably use that staff her whole life if she can maintain it. But Frieren has her own standards and of course she’s going to struggle to immediately understand why Fern gets upset over suggesting getting a new staff. Eventually Fern does stop enough to realize that the important thing is that Frieren is always trying to understand.

And good on Frieren for getting it fixed. It conveniently allowed for some aftermath for Team Denken. Richter as pouting in his own way through much of his scenes. But I get it. 3 years feels like forever, and he basically got sniped from behind. Bad luck was partly to blame, but I suspect Serie would have failed him anyways so…oh well. It’s a nice though that these tests have built up friendships and relationships that will carry onward into the future. At least Richter was useful in fixing Fern’s staff so Frieren could clean up another squabble with her pupil XD.

Will be sad to say goodbye

This episode review feels packed. There was just so much that happened in this episode though. Many of those moments pulling more thoughts out of me as I went back through the episode. For the second last episode of the show, this was a good one. It really showed the status quo for Frieren and Fern along with establishing why Himmel wanted their mage to be Frieren. Small acts can impact the future and suddenly the Demon King is dead, and the age of humanity is really upon them. I am looking forward to seeing them set out on the next stage of their journey. They’ll have the qualifications to move forward, but it’s still a lot of ground to cover.

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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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