Episode 8 of Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End delivered one of the finest moments yet in the series, including a “he said the thing” moment. This episode dished out epic confrontations and the unwavering resolve from both Stark and Fern. Their synergy and chemistry were really served on a silver platter filled with delightful interactions and impressive direction. While we get a small glimpse of Frieren’s power, what we also get to witness is the trust that she places in her two traveling companions and in their unique strengths.
Fern and Stark’s Strengths
Stark is slowly becoming one of my favorite characters in the series. The show consistently delivers his character as someone who may seem a wimp but is genuinely strong and compassionate. Among the trio, he’s perhaps the most relatable. (Although Frieren’s procrastination and being a “lazy hag” gives him a run for his money.) Stark knows when to get serious, acknowledges his vulnerabilities, and, interestingly, his strength comes from embracing his fears.
As a mage, Fern adeptly emulates Frieren’s actions, proving herself as a fearsome demon-slayer molded by Frieren’s guidance. After traveling with Frieren for a long time (from Fern’s perspective), she unreservedly trusts Frieren’s decisions, especially when they must confront Aura’s executioners. This trust speaks volumes about the bond between Fern and Frieren, and what those past years mean to them. Their relationship is an intriguing and somewhat funny blend of mentor and apprentice, with roles shifting to mother and daughter as circumstances dictate.
And I have to say, the chemistry between them is a delightful aspect of the series. From the start, Frieren and Fern have captured my heart but with the addition of Stark, the friendship and bond within the new party is now on point. It’s also so satisfying to see Stark and Fern compare themselves and the hero’s party. With their mentors being part of the hero’s party, they have the motivation to continue their journey, retracing the steps of the heroes who defeated the demon king.
Frieren the Slayer
It’s another mountain to climb for the next episodes of this series as Frieren episode 8 has pushed its whole production to a whole other level. What makes this episode top tier is the concluding moments, featuring Lügner’s epic title drop which I’m sure everyone got the chills (Junichi Suwabe’s voice was also a huge factor as to why) as it’s one of those “he said the thing” moments.
Interestingly enough, Bocchi the Rock had a similar title drop in its eighth episode, serving as a reminder that Keichiro Satou, the overall series director, is steering this show with expertise. And it’s evident how amazing Frieren has been so far. The narrative’s pacing may feel slow and everything, but it’s entertaining to watch. It not only gives us an immersive fantasy setting and captivating scenery but also imparts valuable insights and takeaways as we embark on this journey with the new party.
Evan Call’s music also deserves a special mention — his compositions highlight the power, strength, and epicness of Frieren. The music gives it a stronger sense of story and adds to the overall grandeur of the series, giving it a cinema feel every week.
We’re accustomed to seeing Frieren learning her magic for little “party tricks,” for fun, and often to amuse her companions or to make their journey smoother. This time, however, we witness a small bit of Frieren’s unleashed magic when provoked. One of Aura’s executioners couldn’t even last a minute against Frieren, showing why Lügner constantly gazes at her and only acknowledges Frieren as the threat. As a manga reader, this is still just another calm before the storm episode because the next one is where everything goes down. With Nakanome Takahashi (the show’s animation producer) already hyping the next episode on how it will blow us all away, we’re absolutely in for a real treat, especially since we finally get to see why Frieren has earned the title “Frieren the Slayer.”
Screenshots via Muse Asia
© Yamada Kanehito, Abe Tsukasa /Shogakukan / “Sousou no Frieren” Production Committee