Episode 21 of Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End wraps up the first round of the mage exams with a smashing conclusion. Denken was also a highlight in this episode. Not only did he challenge Frieren to a duel — with him aware of how powerful she is– but he also did something unexpected as a mage. Aside from fights in this episode, we get to learn more about the diverse perspectives of mages on magic, further expanding the world in which this series is set.
The World of Magic
In this episode, we get to finally hear Serie who caught me off-guard with her deep voice. I thought her voice would be similar in pitch to the likes of Kanne or Ubel, but after knowing Mariya Ise was cast, it’s interesting to think about how she will approach the character since she has an extremely extensive voice range. Voice acting aside, Serie is such an interesting character with this omniscient persona. What really makes me like her is that her view of magic is the exact opposite of Frieren’s. For Serie, magic is about force and domination– it’s a tool for war which might be the reason why she learned every single grimoire that was written for her to objectively be the best mage in the world. This is why she’s not a mage suited for an era of peace as Flamme describes her as someone who always wants to fight.
Frieren’s perspective of magic, on the other hand, is beautiful. To her, magic transcends being a mere weapon; it’s an art form. Her passion for magic lies in exploring its intricacies and finding joy in even the most ordinary spells. When offered the chance to instantly learn any spell by Serie, she declined, recognizing that true fulfillment comes from the journey of discovery. For Frieren, it’s not about mastering every spell or proving superiority; it’s about the pure pursuit of magic’s beauty and sharing it with others. She also doesn’t gatekeep it as she believes it should be accessed freely so that everyone can enjoy the beauty of magic. I really admire her as she took almost the entirety of the exams to analyze the barrier because she felt bad for Kanne. Truly, a mage who brought a brand new era of peace.
Denken’s perspective resonates with Frieren’s in many ways. His decision to challenge Frieren to a duel, though ultimately unsuccessful, reflects his sense of honor and a bit of his ego. Of course, Frieren only used basic spells to defeat him but it was nice to see what he’s capable of. What makes him even more of a gigachad is that he never gives up no matter what. When he’s out of magic, he’s not out of options.
Frieren Episode 21 Is a Smashing Conclusion
I said in the previous review that since the first-class mage exams started, the series has been constantly teasing us about the rain and the barrier and it was all for the moment of Frieren breaking it and Kanne unleashing a powerful move. I gotta say, the payoff was truly worth it when Frieren finally shattered the barrier, accompanied by an outstanding musical composition by Evan Call. Madhouse did an excellent job portraying this pivotal moment and Frieren giving head pats to her team was wholesome. The insert of Serie’s image when Frieren was casting the spell to break the barrier was chef’s kiss, as well. All in all, the whole episode was a smashing and cinematic conclusion to the exams.
With the first part of exams now wrapped up, we’re teased with Stark at the end of the episode enjoying a brief respite, like a husband catching a break from his wife. However, it seems his peace won’t last long as he’s set to reunite with Fern in the upcoming episode.
Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End episode 21 screenshots were taken via Muse Asia
© Yamada Kanehito, Abe Tsukasa /Shogakukan / “Sousou no Frieren” Production Committee