Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Episode 19 Review

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Episode 19 Review

Worthy of Being a First-Class Mage

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Episode 19 introduced us to a lot of the other mages taking the exam. I’m not going to go over all of the mages we got names for. But, we got the names of all the mages in the same parties as the mages introduced in Episode 18.

We may have also gotten the names of some of the mages in the other parties. I don’t remember. But, if we did, they still don’t seem to be important. That’s because not every mage is going to make it out of the exam alive.

In fact, we already saw one party die in this episode. They were killed by some Geisel after taking to the skies in search of a body of water. And, after this happened, Denken, Richter, and Laufen discussed the dangers of the exam.

Übel fighting Wirbel from the anime series Frieren: Beyond Journey's End Episode 19
Übel fighting Wirbel

Laufen expressed surprise that the exam proctors didn’t care about the lives of the mages. But, Richter explained that the danger is intentionally a part of the exam. Anyone who would die during the exam wasn’t worthy of being a first-class mage, anyway. However, Denken offers an alternative opinion.

He doesn’t seem to think that the risks mages face during the exam are worth it. And he backs this up by pointing out that being a first-class mage is little more than a status symbol. Those with that status want to gatekeep it — and the danger level of the exam is one way to do so.

Now, for my expert opinion. There shouldn’t be a risk of death during the exam. And, my reasoning for this is that it eliminates otherwise perfectly good mages. Not every mage needs to be first-class to be a good mage or to be useful to society.

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Well-Laid Plans

By the end of Episode 19, only two parties have managed to catch stille, as far as we know. These are Fern’s party and Frieren’s party. Fern’s party was the first to catch a stille, and that was very surprising.

I expected Übel and Land to determine that their best course of action is to steal a stille from another party. But, apparently, that’s not what happened. Unfortunately, though, we don’t know how their team caught the stille. We didn’t see it happen and they don’t say anything that could give us a hint.

With Frieren’s party, on the other hand, we know exactly what their plan was. We get to see them execute every step. So, what was their plan and how did it impact the other parties taking the exam?

Frieren catching a stille from the anime series Frieren: Beyond Journey's End Episode 19
Frieren catching a stille

To start, their plan relied on some basic facts. First, stille need water to survive. Second, rain cannot enter the barrier, so all the water should be pooled in a limited number of lakes and ponds. And third, stille tend to avoid mana.

With these facts in mind, Frieren came up with a pretty good idea. But, it’s going to put a target on her party’s back.

First, Lawine freezes the large lake in the center of the exam area so no stille can drink from it. Next, Kanne imbues all the smaller bodies of water she can find with her mana. Well, all except for one. This should cause the stille to avoid every pond except the one untouched by her mana.

Finally, Frieren sits by the last “clean” pond and suppresses her mana output entirely. She then waits for a stille to appear and uses her bird-catching spell on it. It’s the same spell she used on the Geisel in Episode 18.

Battle for the Stille

So, now we get to the part about how Frieren’s plan impacted the other parties. Again, we don’t know how Fern’s party managed to do it. But, the majority of the teams realized that water was the key to catching a stille.

Stille don’t have mana, so you can’t sense them using magic. That means you need to spot one the old-fashioned way. And the one place you know stille will eventually go to is a lake or pond to drink from. This is why most of the parties set up shop around the main lake.

But, once Lawine freezes the lake, that ruins the plans of all the other parties. This causes the other teams to think two things. First, Frieren’s party must be messing with them, trying to get them to fail. And second, Frieren’s party must have a different plan to get a stille.

Laufen appearing to fight Frieren's party from the anime series Frieren: Beyond Journey's End Episode 19
Laufen appearing to fight Frieren’s party

This is why Frieren’s party now has a target on their back. The other teams are mad at them for ruining their plans. And, if Frieren’s party does have a different strategy in mind, it means they have a stille to steal.

Denken’s party is the first to act. Ever since Lawine froze the lake, they’ve been trying to locate Frieren’s team. And, when Frieren uses her bird-catching spell, she reveals her location. When she does so, Laufen springs into action and immediately teleports(?) over to engage in battle.

And, speaking of battle, a lot of the mages taking the exam use flashy spells. Meanwhile, Fern and Frieren use basic offensive and defensive magic to fight. Why? As Fern explains, Frieren taught her that’s all she needs to defeat most modern mages. It’s probably a lot more efficient than using specialized spells for combat.

Final Thoughts

What do you think of Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Episode 19? Do you think it makes sense for the first-class mage exam to be potentially deadly? How were you expecting Frieren’s party to get their hands on a stille? And, how many parties do you think will make it through this first stage of the exam?

If you enjoyed this review, remember to share it with everyone you know. Also, follow me on your social media of choice so you don’t miss out on any future articles — links are in the footer.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. And, I’d like to thank Key Mochi for supporting at the Senpai tier. To learn more about supporting this blog, check out DoubleSama.com/support.

My review of Episode 20 is available now.

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4 Replies to “Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Episode 19 Review”

  1. Given that there were probably many more demons in the past during the Demon King’s reign of terror, I can see why using basic spells to preserve mana and reduce your casting time would be the most efficient way to use magic in battle considering there were more enemies to face. The modern mages of today have not really been pushed since they’re living in times of peace.

    I personally agree with the need for high-quality first-class mages. In Chihayafuru, a lot of karuta societies allowed for players to promote B-class players to A-class by being the runner-up to 2 consecutive B-class tournaments whereas the Shiranami Society run by Chihaya’s sensei only allowed B-class players to become A-class players by winning a B-class tournament. Other societies artificially weakened the quality of the A-class vanguard by sending people unworthy of being there to A-class, which is why the Queen and Meijin could stomp so many players so badly because they had no business being A-class.

    I believe Denken is wrong about the quality of mages being irrelevant and believe that the first-class test being dangerous for participants is necessary to weed out those are aren’t worthy of being first-class. I also would not be surprised if Frieren’s Holy Emblem is equivalent to a first-class certification given her reveal to the Hero’s Party that she had it. The way Frieren made it sound, at the time she received it, it was probably an extremely high honour to have and would have been recognized by all mages at the time.

    Kanne also saying if only it could rain so that she’d be useful in a fight might be foreshadowing that Frieren doesn’t get her first-class certification because the fight will basically be 2v3 with Frieren and Lawine against Denken, Laufen, and Richter, and Frieren will have her hands full trying to keep Kanne alive. The conspiracy theorist in me makes me want to believe that Frieren was specifically grouped with Kanne because for whatever reason the organization wants Frieren to fail the test. I find it suspect that Fern was paired with Ubel, who killed one of the proctors last time, which means she is way above average among the participants. Maybe Fern was paired with her specifically to ensure that Fern’s group will pass this test as I doubt the groupings were random given how Kanne and Lawine ended up in the same group.

    1. I think the only thing Kanne mentioning wishing it would rain was foreshadowing was how their party was going to catch the stille. Her observation that rain couldn’t pass through the barrier is what led to their plan, in the first place.

      Also, Frieren’s party is right next to a body of water. So, technically, Kanne should have no trouble fighting there. I’m hoping we’ll see some tag-team fighting action with Kanne and Lawine using their magic in sync.

      1. Kanne mentioning she wished it would rain so that she could be useful in a fight couldn’t be foreshadowing how their party was going to catch a Stille because they had already completely revealed the plan at the time. She specifically said she wished it would rain because so she could be useful in a fight. I recommend that you rewatch the episode since you didn’t catch that.

        Just because their party is right next to a body of water doesn’t mean she will have no trouble fighting. In fact, Kanne saying her usefulness will be limited directly contradicts what you said. It would not surprise me if Denken successfully steals Frieren’s Stille, resulting in her needing to catch another one or failing since Frieren probably won’t be fighting to kill like most of the other participants are.

        1. Even if there’s no water, Kanne should still be able to fight. Surely, she can use standard offensive and defensive magic. And, as we know from Fern in this episode, that’s all that’s required to defeat most modern mages, according to Frieren.

          I could see Kanne thinking that she’s useless until Frieren makes her understand that she doesn’t need to rely on her specialized magic. Frieren failing the exam wouldn’t be a big deal. But, I feel like it makes sense from a character arc perspective for Kanne and Lawine to pass, which means Frieren will too — at least this first stage.

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