Score: A

The end has come. While I certainly didn’t cover the entire series, it was interesting to get to talk about Frieren to start the year. Most of the season was taken up with getting to and partaking in the Mage Exam, but it was overall a good experience. And this episode does a nice job wrapping up this arc and allowing many the introduced characters to have their moments. It was good to get into their heads a bit and understand them better. One strength for this show is making the side characters truly feel like people and giving them histories that absolutely fit them.

I respect his life choices

The rest of the exam was quick and easy. Almost everyone left passed for one reason or another. Thankfully I was right to expect this. There were some close calls like with Denken. But he showed just enough fire that Serie thought it was still worthwhile to give him the pass. The others were simple too. I like that Übel was just an instant pass and there was nothing said about it XD. It makes sense that Serie would pass Übel. She’s a scary individual (and giving her any spell she wants is worrying). But she is full of potential and is hardly intimidated by powerful individuals. Serie was right to apologize to Sense. They had a strong group of mages this time around.

The best one was probably Land though. I love the twist that he was never there. At no point in this arc was he there! He let people like Übel think his real version was there. He showed off a clone to make people think “oh, there’s the real one.” But he just chilled out at home while everyone fought for their lives! I love that Serie instantly saw through it and then turned to look in the direction of his real self. Even being right about him having tea time!

Lot more to him than you’d expect

This episode was all about just little details and continuing to flesh characters out. Wirbel is a great example of how much value that has. He started out as this scary battle maniac, but more truths about him were revealed as the story moved along. To the point that we have a pretty good grasp on his mindset and how he does share a “let’s kill the demons” viewpoint like Frieren. The best part is that he also took quite a bit from Himmel and his legend. But it was less about the legend than the good man that made life better for those around him.

I also just like that the demon remnants waited until old Himmel passed away before acting up. Even as some old man Himmel had made such an impression that it simply wasn’t worth the risk of acting before then. Of course, demons do have their own view of time like elves. But I just like that this big hero was so intimidating that they didn’t want to risk it.

A hero for the common folk

While Stark really had nothing to do this arc it is nice to see him still making that positive impact on lives wherever he goes. He’s a nice guy and isn’t overbearing. So, it makes sense that people would genuinely just like him. He took some criticism after the first test but clearly, he’s been doing his thing each day while waiting for Frieren and Fern to finish up. I do hope future arcs have a bit more for him to do and that he can gain some confidence as he goes. But at least it’s a nice acknowledgement from the people that his actions have been beneficial. And on a small note, I do like that he stepped forward after Frieren was attacked to try and be ready for a next attack.

That’s one way to ask for a duel…

Serie and her students are a pain in the rear for Frieren! Her own teacher still has Frieren dancing in the palm of her hands (as evidenced by this whole journey to Ende). But the troublesome nature of those connected to Serie impacts Frieren even now. Serie straight up refusing to let Frieren in as a guest XD. I know 1,000 years isn’t a big deal for Elves, but that’s quite the refusal! But that was nothing compared to getting straight up ambushed by Lernen! Clearly, he got some good hits in and it’s not unfair for Serie to have suggested that he could beat Frieren in a fight! What a pain though. And all because Serie is so tsundere towards her students! It’s not actually needed for Lernen to become a legend. Serie will remember him and the spells he loved regardless. Talks tough, but cares about her students.

So long as Fern is happy…

This was just a solid last episode. Some fun parts like Fern picking up a laundry spell as her reward for all this trouble XD. But it overall just helped close this arc and leaves things open for sequel that’ll certainly come. It’s very fitting that they could close things out with Himmel’s flashback over why his (and Frieren’s) farewells aren’t very emotional. There’s a faith in meeting again in the future and also a childish kind of embarrassment. Getting too emotional now will make a reunion embarrassing later. Although I think for Frieren it won’t really matter. If she can meet Himmel’s spirit in the end that will still be plenty embarrassing.

I look forward to seeing where things go from here.

A true hero

Final Thoughts

This show had an interesting start and a solid finish. I’m still not sure on the idea of dropping a bunch of episodes to start the season. It gave people a chance to get hooked. But the start of a season is also busy. So, I personally had time for an episode or two and then let the show sit for a bit while I tried to sift through other series. So, the show didn’t immediately grab me as hard as it may have for others. Which is kind of why I only blogged the start and then didn’t come back to it until quite a while later!

But this show just kept building up as it went along and had so many strong moments. I just kept coming back to wanting to say something about it whenever there was a good chance to do so. And it did great on my own top 10 list for the past year. So, I think it’s safe to say things were successful for Frieren. I’m glad that I did jump in to talk about it for the second half. This isn’t a show that’s under the radar, but it’s nice to chat about shows that are this good.

I won’t forget this elf

The age of the isekai is easing up a bit these days, but it’s still good to just get a strong fantasy series like this. Elves are a great fantasy race. There’s such a good contrast that is built in between them and humans. A race that can live for almost eternity if they aren’t killed versus a race that will die out fast no matter what and must live to the fullest. And telling the story from the perspective of an elf is a good move. It’s a pretty easy one to relate to the human in all this and we’ve seen plenty of stories acknowledging that. But in this case, we get to see how someone like Frieren truly gets hit by loss and regret all the way back when Himmel died. And her journey has taken her all this way by the end.

Visuals were constantly great

It’s a beautiful show and the staff at MADHOUSE deserve all the credit in the world. I’ll echo the opinions that I’ll wait on a second season until Madhouse is ready to animate it. Another studio picking it up would probably get us a second season faster, but this was such a masterful treatment of a fantasy world that it’d be a shame to lose this style. Fingers crossed that they can bring this level of polish back in the future. A good-looking show with wonderful magic, music, and…creative angles for the sake of fanservice!

I look forward to seeing the cast again someday

For some I’m sure this will end up one of their top anime of all time. For me it’s not quite up there. It has all the objective stuff nailed down with a good cast, music, animation, storytelling, etc. But it’s not quite on the level of my personal favourites where there’s a bit more passion for me in loving the heck out of them. This is a darn good show and a comfortable one to watch. The kind of show that sets a bar of quality that you hope many shows try to meet and possibly surpass. Because that would an absolute win for us all.

I will miss Frieren and look forward to that eventual second season! It will be a good feeling to come back to this world and see this cast once more.

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About

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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