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EP. REVIEW: Frieren: Beyond Journey's End


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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 12226
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2023 12:54 pm Reply with quote
So far the anime is firing on all cylinders with the animation, direction, voicework, and Evan Call music. All I could hope for from an adaption.

And we've got 2-cour to look forward too!
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Gnarth



Joined: 06 Oct 2023
Posts: 175
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2023 1:12 pm Reply with quote
These first six episodes have been nothing short of incredible. I can count in one hand how many time I fell in love so hard with an anime from the get-go, but Frieren is looking to enter my favourites with might. Stunningly beautiful, poetic, melancholic, at times heartbreaking, at times funny, simply sublime. Each moment is delivered with subtlety and grace, Frieren's slow development is handled with empathy and understanding, and her character is so far from us yet still so human.

It explores our inherent caducity showing and reminding us how every little moment, encounter, friendship, laugh, cry, scream all permanently shape us and make our little time worth living.

I also want to highlight my favourite scene: episode 4 when Eisen and Heiter pray in front of the grave. This positive and honest portrayal of faith has become so rare now, and it made my atheism tremble like never before.

Finally I have to mention the amazing OST by Evan Call. He's likely scored two of my absolute favourite anime now.
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HuuskerDu



Joined: 29 Feb 2016
Posts: 93
Location: USA
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2023 1:29 pm Reply with quote
MFrontier wrote:
And we've got 2-cour to look forward too!

They are giving it 28 episodes I heard. So far the adaptation is going through about two chapters per episode, which is a good pace to tell the story properly without rushing it.

The next episode will start the spoiler[Aura the Guillotine] arc, which I think is the best arc in the early chapters.
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tintor2



Joined: 11 Aug 2010
Posts: 1935
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2023 1:45 pm Reply with quote
Frieren kinda reminds of To Your Eternity due to the concept of understanding life but thanks God the pacing and production values are far superior. I really loved the hallucination of Himmel as it showed a lot of trust.

Episode 5 had me like "Please don't be like Zenitsu" but thankfully Stark also fits with the series' calm atmosphere

Barely episode 6 but I also loved how Fren already felt mature when comforting Stark about what she thinks is the point of fear by sharing her own past experience. Still, it felt really awkward that Stark's scar was caused by his own father and everybody takes it so casually.
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zfunk



Joined: 05 Nov 2016
Posts: 270
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2023 6:55 pm Reply with quote
Incredible show. I know that manga is still ongoing so there is no ending yet.
I do wonder if it ends with Fern and Stark as senior citizens.

And if I can talk about the dub for a moment, episode 3 I tell you the villain of the episode sounds like Keith David. So if you are not a dub watcher, don't like dubs, still check that episode out at least.
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NeverConvex
Subscriber



Joined: 08 Jun 2013
Posts: 2391
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2023 7:01 pm Reply with quote
tintor2 wrote:
Frieren kinda reminds of To Your Eternity due to the concept of understanding life but thanks God the pacing and production values are far superior.

Oh, man. I loved TYE season 1; I hope your comparison isn't prophetic for Frieren Shocked
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Fluwm



Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Posts: 923
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2023 8:57 pm Reply with quote
It's won't be. The manga just keeps getting better and better. IMO we've already gotten past the weakest story bits.

Though I should probably add I'm not as upset with the direction TYE took as other people, so maybe I'm more forgiving in general? I know some folks didn't care for the Magic License arc in Frieren, but I really enjoyed it, myself.
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LegionWrex



Joined: 29 Sep 2023
Posts: 21
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2023 11:24 pm Reply with quote
I knew I was going to love Frieren but my god the show basically blows my mind every week. That dragon fight in Episode 6 was a feast for the eyes and I love how they carefully crafted that moment in terms of how it's setup. I know Frieren isn't an action show so I don't expect this kind of stuff on the regular but it's clear they are putting their all into each singular moment.

I think the characterization is incredibly strong too, which is the true reason to tune in right now. Really strong personalities and already characters are being developed and changing week to week. I feel like this is the fantasy show I've really been craving but we haven't gotten in years.
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HuuskerDu



Joined: 29 Feb 2016
Posts: 93
Location: USA
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2023 11:26 pm Reply with quote
Fluwm wrote:
I know some folks didn't care for the Magic License arc in Frieren, but I really enjoyed it

The tournament arc drags on for dozens of chapters with the focus off Frieren for much of it, with no real plot benefit. The adaptation would be wise to condense it, keeping only the few necessary parts to progress the plot. Otherwise it will consume the second half of the season.
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jdnation



Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 2034
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2023 11:27 pm Reply with quote
Now this is my pleasant surprise of the year!

I dig these slower paced fantasy anime shows. They take their time bringing you into their world and slowly intriguing you. Stuff like Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, Faraway Paladin, Mushishi, Standing on 1,000,000 lives, this shows incredible confidence and the focus is on characters and less on action, but Frieren, within 6 episodes has managed to be outstanding, and it's main story theme is absolutely lovely!

Music, animation, style, are not exactly top tier, but yet together feel perfect, but when the right moment calls for it, the animators and staff and budget suddenly whip out their magic! And those moments either kick ass or make you shed a tear!

I have no knowledge of the manga, but this absolutely could be a sleeper hit, especially for older audiences! I can even see non anime fans getting into it, it's an easy reccomendation for anyone looking for a LOTR fix with a traditional grounded fantasy without the isekais, video-gaminess, or overpowered flashy characters that are saturating the genre.
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Uchay



Joined: 27 Nov 2016
Posts: 78
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2023 1:26 am Reply with quote
I don't care what anyone says, Himmel is the best boy of this season, maybe even year, and he's not even alive.
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Fluwm



Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Posts: 923
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2023 4:41 am Reply with quote
HuuskerDu wrote:
The tournament arc drags on for dozens of chapters with the focus off Frieren for much of it, with no real plot benefit. The adaptation would be wise to condense it, keeping only the few necessary parts to progress the plot. Otherwise it will consume the second half of the season.

I'm not sure what you're talking about. A tournament arc? I'm referring to the Magic License arc, which is the first "big" arc -- but it's still only 2 volumes, covering three different exams, none of which take much time at all to get through -- and Frieren is still very much in focus throughout, even if it does introduce several other characters. It gives us a lot of insight into Frieren's backstory, showcases Fern's growth, and uses the other characters to flesh out the world and its culture. It's pretty important stuff, and the series would be weaker without it.

I should probably also question the importance you seem to be placing on the story's plot. Why on Earth do would you expect this to be a plot-driven story? It's not -- It's a character piece. And a slow one at that. Hence the framing device of a long journey spanning years (potentially decades) across a continent, constantly encountering new people and reminiscing over the past. If you want a plot-driven high fantasy epic, hoo boy, Frieren is the wrong show for you. I have a hard time imagining anyone getting to the Magic License arc (which IIRC is volumes 3 and 4) while retaining such misplaced expectations.
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HuuskerDu



Joined: 29 Feb 2016
Posts: 93
Location: USA
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2023 4:56 am Reply with quote
Frieren's character growth is the plot.
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killjoy_the



Joined: 30 May 2015
Posts: 2463
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2023 7:27 am Reply with quote
Fluwm wrote:
It's won't be. The manga just keeps getting better and better. IMO we've already gotten past the weakest story bits.

Exact opposite thoughts here and why I wished this series would be shorter than a single cour, but given the adaptation's merits it'll still be plenty fine to watch even on the spots I didn't care much for in the manga
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njprogfan
Collector Extraordinaire



Joined: 08 Feb 2007
Posts: 1193
Location: A River Named Toms
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2023 9:39 am Reply with quote
I'll say one thing, the music and background art is absolutely extraordinary!
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