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Sousou no Frieren (Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End ) – 25

Before we dive into this episode of Sousou no Frieren (which was perfectly fine), it struck me when watching it: there’s a fundamental logic flaw to this second exam.  If indeed these replicas are perfect copies of their originals ability-wise, it should be easy to defeat them.  Presuming, that is, that they’re considerate enough to isolate themselves as Fauxrieren did.  Never mind the whole “they don’t have minds, they just imitate them” bit – that could be a strength (no hypnosis) but practically it would actually be an exploitable weakness, but it isn’t even needed.

Here’s the thing.  If you take this scenario at face value, Frieren and Fauxrieren are perfectly-matched.  Indeed., any mage and their replica are.  So if there’s only one replica, all the mage needs to do is partner with another mage with any combat magic and take it down.  Frieren + Fern >> Fauxrieren (or FakeFern).  Denken + Richter >> DoppelDenken (or Replica Richter).  If indeed the replicas “gather near the bottom” (how convenient) then that complicates things at the very end, but as long as it’s one replica, this should be easy peasy.  Unless of course it’s Non-Sense, because they don’t know its exact abilities and the real one won’t be part of attacking it (maybe that’s why she tagged along).

There are some other quibble I have here.  The whole golem thing is a narrative cheat and undermines the seriousness of the storyline.  There’s a lot of stuff that happens way too conveniently – like Methode having particularly useful abilities, and Dunste or Lawine walking in with critical information at the precise moment it’s needed.  And, of course, Frieren having a silly vulnerability perfectly suited to make Fauxrieren vulnerable to a sneak attack by Fern.  It takes a very particular sort of genius to write this sort of plot and make it watertight, and frankly I just don’t think Yamada Kanehito has it.  I wish this series had stuck with what it does best, and this isn’t it.

Fortunately there are other elements here which are closer to Sousou no Frieren’s strike zone.  It’s fun watching Frieren have fun.  She’s basically a magic otaku and a dungeon geek, so for her this sort of thing is like Comiket.  She’d deny it but Frieren has the air of someone who never seriously considers the possibility that she could lose (and die).  This is, in truth, the exact sort of thing she went on this trip to do – to relive her glory days with the heroes’ party.

I also liked the Fern-Serie meeting, which was more about Flamme than it was about either of them.  Frieren visited Series 50 years after their last meeting to deliver Flamme’s will.  In it Flamme asks for Serie to take over her role as the point mage for the initiative to spread magic through the empire (which Flamme had persuaded the Emperor to allow).  She did this knowing Serie would likely do what she did, reject the idea as it’s fundamentally in conflict with her own worldview.  Serie wants magic to be the tool of the exceptional, while Frieren is thrilled at the idea of seeing it go into wide release because that means more diversity of spells and for a magic otaku, that’s bliss.

I don’t suppose Frieren will have disagreed with anything Serie told her about the differences between humans and elves, but I doubt she’d thought about it so specifically.  Humans don’t have the luxury to delay the big decisions and moments – their lives are too short.  That gives them a competitive advantage though, as it fosters rapid evolution while the elves are basically stagnant.  Serie is right – with humans embracing magic they’ll outstrip the elves quickly enough, and for better or worse assert their dominance over the world.  She even foreshadows that Frieren will eventually die at the hands of a human mage – to which Frieren says only that she’s “looking forward to it“.

The post Sousou no Frieren (Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End ) – 25 appeared first on Lost in Anime.

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