Finally, a dragon that’s not the product of CGI but instead the work of skilled animators. Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End episode 6 is already out and once again exceeded expectations. Stark takes center stage this time, not only single-handedly defeating the dragon but also seamlessly infusing heartwarming and humorous moments into the narrative. However, Stark isn’t the sole standout in this show as Frieren and Fern also manage to captivate my heart.
Stark in Action
Although Stark’s battle against the dragon was confined to just a few panels in the manga, the anime on the other hand, had great direction and brilliant musical background complementing the action and immersing you into the skirmish — the entire fight unfolds like a spectacle. Witnessing Stark in action is a sight to behold; this young and once-timid lad has now truly emerged as the village’s hero. While he initially expected Frieren and Fern to deal the final blow, Stark threw himself into the battle and emerged victorious all on his own. Given how promising this whole battle sequence looked despite only having a few panels to adapt from, I can’t wait to see what the whole Frieren crew is cooking for the rest of the remaining episodes.
Aside from the new party, Eisen is also another highlight of this episode as it shows how even the toughest guys have the biggest hearts. Eisen also portrayed that no matter how strong you are, you cannot always be brave or courageous and there will be times when you’re also afraid. Eisen’s showing of fear inspired Stark, reminding him that everyone is afraid of something, but they face their fears because, after all, it’s fear that brings them further beyond what they imagined.
With Stark now mustering his courage and joining Frieren and Fern on their quest to retrace the steps of the hero’s journey to defeat the demon lord, the new party is complete. Stark humorously dubs it a “silly journey,” which is ironic because, for Frieren, this journey is a small chapter in her life, whereas, for both Fern and Stark, it’s already the main story of their lifetime. So it really is silly when you think about it. But, what’s really silly is how Frieren is too consistent in conveying every aspect of the series, especially the humor and drama.
Frieren Episode 6 Shows More Consistency
Time and time again, I find myself emphasizing how masterfully Frieren blends humor and drama. I had so many expectations in this series but tearing up either from sadness and shifting to laughter after a few moments wasn’t on my list. From the excitement of the showdown between Stark and the dragon to the heartwarming sight of Frieren galloping with joy running towards the Dragon’s nest, the series just keeps delivering these enjoyable moments. Not to mention, Fern’s reaction to almost everything is the cherry on top of what makes this series profound and amazing.
One of the elements I truly cherish in this series is the subtle depth in each scene transition. At the end of the episode, the seamless shift from the new party to the hero’s party was a delightful touch as it beautifully draws thematic parallels between the past and present, fear and courage, waver and resolve, all of which serve as the main theme of the show. Who knows how many years Frieren has traversed in this world? And yet, she still harbors flaws in her personality and a craving for learning. She might learn another thing or two from Fern and Stark, and maybe this will be another short journey that will be significant to her again. Perhaps, this journey will leave an even nastier sting than before.
Screenshots via Muse Asia
© Yamada Kanehito, Abe Tsukasa /Shogakukan / “Sousou no Frieren” Production Committee