A Different Kind Of Fantasy: Our Review of ‘Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End’

Posted in Crunchyroll, TV, What's Streaming? by - October 05, 2023
A Different Kind Of Fantasy: Our Review of ‘Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End’

When most of us think about fantasy films or novels, we think about the quest of the hero.  We follow them as they fight their battles and perform heroic deeds, and most of the time we watch them learn something about themselves along the way. Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End is not like that. In fact, it doesn’t begin until the quest has ended, and the battle has been won. It’s focus isn’t about the long battle and the coming together of heroes. Instead it focuses on what comes next.

Frieren is an elven mage. Along with a group of adventurers, she defeated the Demon King and made their way home. Being an elf, Frieren ages different than the rest of her party. And she has difficultly understanding how they grow old and die. Her view of time is skewed, and because of that she doesn’t understand how precious every minute is. To educate herself, Frieren takes on an apprentice and begins a search for the land where she can talk to the dead.

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End is an adaptation of Kanehito Yamada and Tsukasa Abe’s manga series. It is a beautifully told story, and leaves you longing for more. It makes you take a look at your own life, as Frieren searches for her own answers. The way it writes the story is unique as well, jumping between the past and the present as Frieren tries to understand life and death. The animation is beautiful, easily transporting viewers into the world the creators want you to see. It doesn’t exaggerate like many anime series do, instead opting for a more realistic story telling approach. The music department also compose a beautiful score, with strong violin tones running throughout.

Many viewers may find the story to be slow. In fact, many may wonder if there is a story at all. When compared to other anime it definitely takes its time. Thankfully, there are a few action scenes to keep you entertained. The story is about Frieren’s inner turmoil, showing how she deals with loneliness and learning about regret and what it means to be a companion.  It’s a story about wishing you knew you were in the good old days when the good old days were occurring. Some may think of tuning out part way through when they realize that. But there is so much promise that you find yourself wanting to know what comes next. By the time the fourth episode plays out, you will get a real sense of Frieren’s motivations, which is worth the wait.

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End won’t be for everyone. However, for those who have read fantasy and ever asked themselves what happens to the hero when the adventure ends, this is what they are looking for. It may take some time getting to the point. But it does get there, and the answers aren’t what you might expect.

This post was written by
While Roderick has only been writing movie reviews for a relatively short time, he's been a fan of film for as long as he can remember. It's a love affair that started when he saw Star Wars at a drive-in theatre in Kitchener when he was four years old. In the past decade he's fulfilled his dream of interviewing celebrities, attending red carpets events at festivals such as TIFF and writing reviews for outlets such as Realstylenetwork.com. He's always on the hunt for the next big thing to hit the screen.
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