Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End – Season 1 Episode 5 Recap & Review

Phantoms of the Dead

Episode 5 of Frieren: Beyond’s Journey’s End begins with a recap of the events pertaining to Aureole, Frieren’s master, Flamme, and Frieren and Fern embarking on their quest to Ende. Fern reminds Frieren that half of her life’s gone by while Frieren tells her to prepare for more of her life to flow by soon. Heiter tells Fern to listen to Frieren while she’s away with her, otherwise, he’ll haunt her when he dies. After Fern demonstrates her cleverness, Heiter changes his mind and promises to visit her if she’s kind to Frieren. 

Frieren and Fern arrive at a town in the Wille region. A commoner tells them not to visit the mountain pass since many people went missing near that location. After speaking with more townspeople, Fern deduces that people saw the spirits of dead family members and acquaintances. Frieren believes a powerful monster is behind the incident and tells Fern it’s best they avoid contact with it. Fern suggests they help the townspeople before they leave. 

As they explore the mountain pass, they investigate and ponder. Fern believes the monster is using a type of illusion magic to lure victims. Frieren confirms it’s an Einsam, a crafty monster that loves preying on humans. She states an Einsam’s illusions can’t threaten mages since they can be dispersed by high-level offensive magic. As they walk through the mountain’s mist-like forests, Frieren urges Fern to shoot any phantom that stops by. 

A phantom arrives, taking the form of an elderly Heiter. Fern’s shocked by the phantom’s ability to delve deep within her memory. Before Frieren can assist Fern, another phantom, taking the form of Himmel, stands in her way. Frieren’s surprised it didn’t take the form of her master, making her realize how much she’s changed. Frieren and Fern dispose of their phantoms and move forward. At Reigel Canyon, Fern and Frieren spot a solar dragon and a grimoire in its nest. 

Frieren wants to defeat the reptile because she wants the grimoire. Fern’s spell fails to harm the dragon, resulting in it waking up and our girls fleeing from it. Frieren suggests they recruit another companion who can handle tasks of this nature in the future. We cut to a flashback involving Eisen and Frieren. Eisen gives Frieren insight into a front-liner and warrior named Stark. Eisen confirms Stark is his apprentice and a skilled combatant. 

As they search for Stark, Frieren confirms the grimoire contains a spell that allows one to see through people’s clothing. She explains why having this spell in their possession will benefit them as a woman who knows Stark approaches them. Frieren and Fern follow the woman as she explains the dragon’s origins and history with Reigel to them. The woman explains Stark saved the village from the dragon and it hasn’t returned since he’s stayed here. 

Frieren and Fern meet Stark, who kindly asks them not to mettle with the dragon for the villagers’ sake. Frieren explains who she is to Stark and kindly asks the kids and elderly woman to give him, Frieren, and Fern privacy. Frieren asks Stark why he hasn’t defeated the dragon yet. Stark doesn’t give a solid answer and tells the two he doesn’t plan to return to Eisen’s side. Frieren asks Stark to become their front-liner and explains why she wants him to help her defeat the dragon. 

After slight convincing, Stark tells Frieren he wouldn’t mind traveling with her and Fern. However, he needs their help to defeat the dragon. Frieren says she can handle the dragon but needs him to distract it for thirty seconds. After asking Stark about his experience, he breaks down and reveals his true cowardly nature. He admits he was scared senseless by the dragon in the past, but luckily it fled the village, making the townsfolk assume Stark scared it away.

Fern suggests they leave Stark, but Frieren ensures Fern that Stark can handle the dragon. Frieren tells Stark he has until tomorrow to make a firm decision as she and Fern head to a diner in town. They discuss Stark a bit and Fern’s unsure if Frieren should allow Stark to tag along on their journey because of his timidity. Frieren and Fern hear loud noises after departing from the diner. Frieren assumes Stark’s training and suggests Fern check on him while she returns to their inn to get sleep. 

We return to the campground flashback between Eisen and Frieren. Eisen explains Stark’s cowardly past to Frieren but suggests he’s like him in ways. This convinced Eisen to take Stark on as his apprentice. With his guidance, Eisen tells Frieren that Stark is capable of being a brave and powerful warrior and should suit her and Fern well during their trip to the Demon King’s castle.

The episode closes with Fern realizing that Stark’s a lot stronger than she anticipated. 


The Episode Review

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End episode 5 introduces fans to Eisen’s apprentice, Stark, a coward turned heroic idol of his village. Shonen fans who grew up with characters like One Piece’s Usopp may adore Stark’s character as it’s possible he’ll follow a similar arc in comparison. However, unlike Usopp, Stark has immense strength to back him up and incredible combat experience thanks to Eisen. 

Based on the fissure he created near the episode’s conclusion, viewers can tell he has a lot of potential. At the same time, many fans will love how Eisen foreshadowed his apprentice in the previous episode. His conversation with Fern about Frieren being a great master may have been alluding to Stark’s reveal in this chapter. If that was the case, it might be worth revisiting prior episodes in the future. 

You never know what else the series’s creator could be hinting toward regarding Fern, Frieren, and the other characters’ future developments. Coupled with some compelling lighthearted humor and splendid dialogue, this episode gave fans a calm and insightful chapter worth watching. While it would’ve been great if we got more of a deep dive into Stark’s past endeavors, what we received was fine. That said, I’m looking forward to seeing Stark redeem himself in episode six. 

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

 

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