Frieren’s strategic prowess takes center stage in Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End episode 19, living up to the episode’s title, “Well-Laid Plans.” While the plan carried risks, it proved successful in the end as Frieren and her party managed to catch a stille. But at what cost? Making an enemy out of everyone else. But let’s not fret since this is Frieren we’re talking about. The mage who has been honing her magic for thousands of years. She can clearly take everyone out all by herself.
Not only did we see Frieren’s strategic plan come into play but we also got to learn more about the significant characters in this arc. I know that Ubel has already gathered her own simps thanks to her character design, personality, and voice actress and Wirbel seems to be amassing his own following as well with his badass character with a good heart trope. However, Denken stands out as the most interesting by far. Aside from him saying this episode’s title, which is another “he said the thing moment,” being the second oldest participant in the exams, it was interesting to see his perspective and experience when it comes to magic. He really had a mature take on skill and authority when it came to mages.
With what he has shown in the episode, can he be a worthy opponent to Frieren? Definitely not. This is Frieren we’re talking about after all, and let’s remind ourselves that she beat Aura and her undead army with ease. Luckily, Frieren isn’t the type to kill her opponent unless they are demons. While he may not pose a genuine threat to Frieren, the episode hints at the uncertainty of the exams, where lives are at stake. With the episode showing that these exams are no joke and participants can lose their lives, there’s no telling what Frieren can do when push comes to shove. This also further proves that the Continental Magic Association really cares about the quality of first-class mages but for Denken, it’s just there as a status symbol. This adds layers to the nature of the exams, whether it’s actually to determine if one has the skills to be one or not makes this arc more intriguing.
Despite the action-packed pacing of the episode, it felt like it served as a preview of what is about to come. The clash between Wirbel’s team and Fern’s is already gathering up some hype, and the meeting between Frieren and Denken holds its own intrigue. While the outcome may be predictable, the anticipation lies in witnessing Madhouse’s exceptional adaptation of the fight. With how they have been handling the adaptation so far, surely they will make the remaining episodes as impressive as ever.
Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End episode 19 screenshots taken from Muse Asia
© Yamada Kanehito, Abe Tsukasa /Shogakukan / “Sousou no Frieren” Production Committee