Episode 16, the final episode of the first cour of Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End, was truly a great display of Frieren’s development as the main character. As she and her party continue their journey north, they pay a visit to Frieren’s old friend, Old Man Voll.
Frieren’s visit to the dwarf warrior speaks volumes. For one, Frieren isn’t exactly the type to cherish friendships and place great value on them because she understands that she will inevitably outlive those she befriends. However, her time spent with Himmel and the others has altered her perspective, showing that she now has a newfound appreciation for companionship. We can clearly see that in this episode, especially when she had a nice time catching up with Voll.
The beauty of this episode also lies in the parallels between Frieren and Voll. As both of them navigate through life’s challenges without their loved ones, they carry their cherished memories into the future. What sets them apart though is that Frieren vividly remembers everything about Himmel, while Voll on the other hand, doesn’t remember much about his wife — not even her voice or gaze.
For me, the main highlight of Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End episode 16 is when Frieren chooses not to disclose the demise of the Demon King. Doing so would only ruin the very reason Voll has been steadfastly protecting the village. There was an instance when she almost told him that the Demon King was now gone, but the pause she made before muttering her next words, as well as the smile she made, was such a peak display of her character development. This scene exemplifies Frieren’s growth since Himmel’s passing. As someone who was once solely focused on honing her magic and eliminating demons during her millennia-long existence as an elf, Frieren now comprehends the emotional depth of relationships. The time spent in the journey of this episode while seeing how much Frieren has grown — it was all very beautiful. I’m excited for what’s to come in the second cour.
Screenshots via Muse Asia
© Yamada Kanehito, Abe Tsukasa /Shogakukan / “Sousou no Frieren” Production Committee