Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End – Season 1 Episode 18 Recap & Review

First-Class Mage Exam

Episode 18 of Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End begins with Frieren, Stark, and Fern observing Auberst. Frieren tells Fern she should consider getting her first-class mage certification, but Fern doesn’t believe she could get one. Then, she explains why a powerful mage must accompany them to the Northern Plateau. During a carriage ride to Auberst, Frieren wants to develop a strategy before taking part in the first-class mage exam. 

Fern’s curious since she knows Frieren’s powerful enough to handle any test. Frieren delves into what makes mages strong in her eyes. Additionally, Frieren mentions eleven individuals defeated her in the past. Elsewhere, Kraft protects a mage named Ubel from several travelers. Kraft interrogates Ubel because he believes she’s responsible for several bandits’ deaths. Ubel doesn’t deny his claims and informs Kraft that she plans to tackle the first-class mage exam.

Kraft recalls Frieren mentioning the exams a while back so he departs to Auberst. He hopes to hear how her journey’s been with Fern and Stark since they’ve last met. At the Continental Magic Association in Auberst, Frieren, and her comrades receive intel about the first-class mage exam’s regulations from a female staff member. 

The woman tells them they’ll need specific certification to take the exam, enticing Frieren to leave. However, Fern attempts to reason with Frieren, but Frieren’s not budging. Frieren presents Fern with her holy emblem, which catches an elderly man’s attention. Later, Frieren tells Fern that she’s surprised people understand what her emblem represents.

In a flashback, Frieren presents the emblem to Himmel, Heiter, and Eisen. They don’t understand its significance, so Frieren tells them it’s an item that proves she’s a mage. Himmel tells Frieren they know she’s an incredible mage and shouldn’t let the emblem clarify that for her. In the present, Fern shares a similar sentiment as Himmel so Frieren pats her on the head. Our heroes visit the library. Frieren delves into the history surrounding mages and their experiences during previous first-class mage exams. 

Additionally, she confirms there are not many mages left nowadays. She acknowledges how she encountered more mages when the Demon King’s attacks were at an all-time high. Then, we receive a brief montage of Fern and Frieren’s training for the exam. On exam day, Frieren and Fern attend the first test meeting held by its proctor Genau. While Genau explains the rules, a fellow proctor analyzes several exam participants with his female colleague. 

Frieren intrigues the gentleman the most because of her mana. Genau bestows each participant with a bracelet and says they’ll be entering three-person teams for the first test. Frieren observes her bracelet and is a bit flustered by her teammate’s ferocity. As for Fern, she’s paired up with Ubel and a random gentleman. At the first test site, Genau explains the first test’s rules to the participants. He says each team will receive a cage with nothing inside it.

They must capture a bird (Stille) and place it inside the cage. Additionally, they must bring this cage to this location by sunset and all their party members must be present. They’re allowed to do anything they please before the time limit. However, they cannot leave the testing grounds, otherwise, they’ll fail. Frieren’s mildly concerned because her teammates Lawine and Kanne are still fighting with each other. Frieren interrupts their banter and suggests they get to know each other better.

After introducing themselves to each other, Frieren suggests they find a wild Stille. We witness several snippets of our group exploring the testing grounds. Unfortunately, Lawine and Kanne can’t seem to get along. During this stroll, Kanne asks Frieren if they can take a break. During the break, Frieren asks Lawine if she’s strong. Lawine admits she’s stronger than Kanne but wouldn’t want to be in a situation where Frieren’s her opponent. Frieren tells Lawine to scout the environment and to return if things get dangerous. 

After discussing with Kanne for a bit about leadership, Lawine returns and tells Frieren she found a Stille. Kanne and Lawine use their magic powers to trap the Stille to Frieren’s shock. However, Frieren tells the girls to take cover. The Stille breaks free from Lawine and Kanne’s clutches and Frieren tells them that Stille is known for being incredibly swift creatures. After more bickering and observing shenanigans ensue, our heroes rest for the night. 

Kanne notices Frieren’s missing and wanders the area to look for her. Suddenly, a giant bird attacks her. Before the bird can severely injure Kanne, Frieren saves her. Frieren noticed Kanne call Lawine’s name out during this incident and wonders why. Kanne admits she despises Lawine and admits she’s cowardly and isn’t at her best during critical encounters. We receive a flashback of the time when Kanne was having trouble learning her first flying spell. 

Kanne asks Lawine to note Kanne’s strengths to her. Kanne admits she can only grow when people praise her. Lawine acknowledges Kanne’s incredible work ethic, observational skills, and cute demeanor. Kanne finds the final comment appalling, resulting in Lawine kicking her off the mountain. Fortunately, Kanne’s flight ability kicks in. In the present, Kanne tells Frieren she knows Lawine can be rough, but she appreciates her company for inspirational reasons. 

Kanne informs Frieren about something she noticed during her debacle with the giant bird. The episode closes with Frieren finding this intel fascinating since it could help them nab a Stille. 


The Episode Review

After exploring numerous towns and bidding farewell to Sein, our heroes finally arrive at Auberst. Unlike previous endeavors, Frieren and her friends don’t waste time exploring Auberst’s locales or interacting with its townsfolk. Instead, we get straight into the heart of this episode, being the first-class mage exam, and boy, we received nice intel about its rules and rich history. 

Based on how the exams are structured, it appears it’ll go the route of other classic Shonen series, where Frieren and Fern will tackle distinct tests until a few participants remain. While the first test seemed uninteresting at first, the latter half of this episode proves otherwise by revealing the Stille (bird creature) species are faster than the speed of sound. 

Thankfully, Kanne, Lawine, and Frieren seem to be doing well as a team. Speaking of Kanne and Lawine, many viewers will appreciate the tidbit of information we receive about their history together. While more information regarding their magical roots would’ve been great, what we receive in episode 18 should pique one’s interest in their characters. 

The same can be said about Ubel’s character, too. Overall, this was a fun and informative episode of Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End. I’m excited to see what Frieren and Fern will do to assist their temporary comrades with this bird-capturing test. 

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You can read our Season 1 Review of Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End here!

 

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