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Frieren: Beyond’s Journey’s End – Season 1 Episode 2 Recap & Review

It Didn’t Have to Be Magic…

Episode 2 of Frieren: Beyond’s Journey’s End begins with Frieren explaining long-range magic to Fern. Freren explains why Fern’s long-range spell dissipated before it reached the rock. She says it’s a sign that her mana and firing strength is lacking and that it’ll take years to master those things. However, Frieren praises Fern for her control over her magic since many struggle with that. We receive a montage of Frieren deciphering the grimoire Hiebert tasked her with and monitoring Fern’s progress. 

Four years pass. Heiter asks Frieren for an update on Fern’s progress. Frieren tells Heiter that Fern is exceeding expectations and going beyond the Call of Duty, which can be an issue. Despite Fern’s efforts, Frieren believes she still has a long way to go. She promises to finish deciphering the grimoire before Fern becomes a proper mage. Before Frieren can share potential bad news with Heieter, Heiter collapses. We cut to Hieter lying in bed with Frieren next to him.

Frieren promises Heiter that she’ll decipher the grimoire quickly and departs. Frieren spots Fern training outside and asks her to put it on hold to look after Heiter. However, Fern refuses. She wants to become a proper mage because she knows Heiter will pass on before then. Fern reveals Heiter saved her life in the past and we cut to a flashback of Hieter’s first encounter with Fern. Before Fern ends her life, Heiter confronts and tells her not to throw her life away. 

Hieter recounts his time with Himmel and shares how he wishes he was more like him. He explains how he initially planned to live in isolation for the rest of his life. However, thanks to Himmel, Hiebert realized he didn’t want to die without doing something important. Otherwise, all his memories and lessons he learned from Himmel would disappear. He tells Fern if she holds precious memories of this world, then it’d be a waste for her to perish too. 

In the present, Fern tells Frieren that she doesn’t care if she’s a mage or learns a significant skill. She wants to repay him greatly for what he did for her. This convinces Frieren to let Fern continue with her training. After some time passes, Frieren meets with Hiebert while he’s in bed. Frieren says the grimoire didn’t contain any resurrection or immortality spells. Heiter tells Frieren he knew this would be the case, enticing her to ask him why he made her go through the trouble with the grimoire. 

He dodges the question and asks Frieren for an update on Fern’s progress. Frieren says Fern’s still improving but she’s close to becoming a proper mage. Freiren realizes Heiter skillfully tricked her into training Fern to become good enough to travel with her. Heiter tells Frieren that her payment for the grimoire deciphering process is in the desk drawer and asks her to leave this area tonight. Heiter doesn’t want Fern to experience death again and begs Freiren to look after her.

Frieren begs Heiter to give Fern a proper farewell since Fern tells her she knows he’ll die one day. Before Frieren goes, she asks Hiebert why he chose to save Fern. He tells Frieren that it’s something Himmel would’ve done. Frieren hopes one day she can do the same. Frieren and Fern visit Heiter’s grave and Fern thanks her for helping her repay her debt to him. Frieren and Fern embark on a journey together.

As Frieren and Fern handle a pumpkin task, we receive a text saying they’re in the Turk region and it’s been 26 years since Himmel’s death. Afterward, Fern and Frieren continue Frieren’s hunt for spells. Fern scolds her for her desire to hunt down weird spells, but Frieren doesn’t mind as she loves her hobby. Fern and Frieren meet an elderly herbalist who leads them to a statue of Himmel. The woman recalls a time when Himmel saved her from a beast. 

The herbalist is upset that no one came to clean up his statue after what he did for her and others at that time. Frieren disagrees and says it’s Himmel’s fault for showing off and should’ve declined the statue offer. Frieren cleans Himmel’s statue and the woman thanks her. Frieren offers to bestow his statue with blue moon weed flowers, but Fern reminds Frieren she can’t conjure them because she doesn’t know what they look like. The herbalist invites them to her home to help them out. 

As she’s working on something, the herbalist says the forest used to produce the blue moon weed flowers in the past but they died out. Fern and Frieren head outside and Frieren asks Fern if she wants to explore the area to find the blue moon weed flowers. Although they died out years ago, Frieren wants to see if they still exist. Frieren says if they can find and analyze them, she can acquire a spell to conjure them.

Six months pass. Frieren and Fern still haven’t found any blue moon weed flowers. Fern visits the herbalist and shares her opinion on Frieren’s strange obsession with magic. Fern feels Frieren should be saving lives instead of wasting time looking for something that may not exist. The herbalist suggests Fern convey her feelings to Frieren. Fern follows suit with the herbalist’s suggestion and hands Frieren seeds for a species that’s identical to the blue moon seed flowers. Frieren promises she’ll end her search soon, signaling to Fern that she doesn’t plan to stop. 

The two continue their hunt and Fern asks Frieren why she likes collecting spells. Frieren says it’s a hobby she picked up on and says she used to live much more apathetically. However, Himmel caused her to change her ways. Frieren finds a blue moon seed flower petal and recalls a moment she had with Himmel related to the plant. Frieren flies atop the two and finds a field of blue moon seed flowers. Frieren and Fern return to Himmel’s statue and she conjures up the field of blue moon seed flowers. 

The episode closes with Frieren placing a flower wreath atop Himmel’s statue’s head similar to what he did for her in a flashback. 

The Episode Review

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End continues delivering magnificent episodes filled with depth, emotion, and heart. From the touching segments with Heiter to Frieren recounting her time with Himmel, the anime never fails to hit viewers’ souls with its well-written scenarios.

Furthermore, many viewers will be shocked by how well-defined Fern is as a character this early in the story. Not only does she have a relatable personality and endearing backstory, but she doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind despite her young age. Many viewers will adore her chemistry with Frieren. Their teacher-student relationship contains a great mix of amusing banter and enlightening wisdom. It’ll be interesting to see how Frieren and Fern will impact each other further by the finale. 

Moreover, the animation still looks superb. From Frieren soaring above the field of blue moon seed flowers to her breaking down at the thought of losing another ally, Studio Madhouse deserves immense praise for the effort they have put into Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End’s adaptation so far. With its sincere storytelling, gripping dialogue, and phenomenal chemistry (so far), Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End has the potential to be this season’s best anime yet. We’ll have to see how the episodes fair in comparison though. 

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