Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Episode 23 Review

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Episode 23 Review

Conquering the Labyrinth

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Episode 23 begins the second test of the First-Class Mage Exam. Sense is the proctor for this test. She has a reputation for proctoring the hardest tests possible. But, she has a very different outlook on mages than Genau (the first test proctor).

Sense is a pacifist. That means her tests don’t pit the examinees against each other. And, she doesn’t believe that those who are unable to pass her tests should die. As I said in a previous review, killing off promising mages is a waste.

Now, with that all said, Sense’s tests are still difficult — regardless of what she says. In this test, the examinees will have to make their way to the bottom of an uncharted labyrinth. But, the labyrinth isn’t uncharted because nobody has tried. It’s because nobody has ever made it to the bottom.

First-Class Mage Sense explaining the rules of the second test from the anime series Frieren: Beyond Journey's End Episode 23
First-Class Mage Sense explaining the rules of the second test

How is Sense going to verify if an examinee has made it to the bottom of the labyrinth? She’s going to go down there herself. I’m pretty sure she has a teleportation spell. So, I thought she’d teleport herself down there. But, that’s not what she had in mind.

Instead, Sense plans to travel with the examinees and reach the bottom floor with them. However, the examinees decided to split up rather than work together. So, she has to pick one group to follow. And, of course, she picks Frieren and Fern because she believes they have the best odds.

This begs the question, “What if Frieren and Fern don’t make it?” What if Sense picked the wrong group? How could she then verify whether or not any of the others made it to the bottom? I don’t think she’s been to the bottom herself before.

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The Joy of Exploration

As we saw in this episode, Frieren seems to enjoy exploring dungeons. Though, that wasn’t always the case. She discovered how much fun dungeons were thanks to Himmel. He’s the one who taught her that every nook and cranny of a dungeon should be searched.

It doesn’t matter if you quickly find the correct path that leads to a lower floor. You should still explore the rest of the floor you’re on before moving on. And, the reason for this is simple. You never know what you’ll find. In Frieren’s case, this means magic items and grimoires.

Throughout this exam arc, I’ve noticed how different Frieren is from the other mages. She doesn’t have the same philosophy as most of them when it comes to either life or magic. Denken is the closest to Frieren — probably due to his age. But, even he’s different than her.

Frieren caught by a mimic from the anime series Frieren: Beyond Journey's End Episode 23
Frieren caught by a mimic

One of the major things that sets Frieren apart is how much she loves magic. She doesn’t view magic as a tool like most of the others. Magic isn’t something she uses simply to achieve some other goal. To her, magic itself is the reward.

This different outlook on magic might not be something everyone can achieve, though. Compared to Frieren, humans have a very limited amount of time. So, it makes more sense for them to view magic as a tool. They want to use it to achieve the things they want to achieve before their time runs out.

Fern is different in another way. Sense asks why Fern has worked so hard to become a skilled mage. From Sense’s position, it doesn’t seem like Fern has a goal or particular love for magic. But, Fern continues on her path because magic brought her and Frieren together.

Conquering Yourself

Toward the end of Episode 23, we learn the likely reason why this dungeon is uncharted. Well, aside from all the traditional traps in it, that is. Those have surely stopped at least a few adventurers over the years.

The real reason nobody has made it to the bottom of this dungeon is that they have to conquer themselves to do it. The dungeon produces copies of anyone who enters. And, in order to reach the bottom, those who enter must defeat these copies.

Why is this so hard to do? Well, we can look back to Naruto: Shippūden for the answer. In the Gaara rescue arc, Team Guy has to fight copies of themselves. And, the problem is that these copies are as skilled as the real thing. But, they don’t tire or run out of chakra (in this case, mana).

Methode, Denken, Laufen, and Richter preparing to fight a copy of Frieren from the anime series Frieren: Beyond Journey's End Episode 23
Methode, Denken, Laufen, and Richter preparing to fight a copy of Frieren

So, think of if you’re a mage in this dungeon and you come across the copy of yourself. You’ll fight at a stalemate until you eventually run out of energy and die. That’s why tackling this dungeon in a group is so important.

Wirbel, Scharf, and Ehre were together when they came across their copies. So, Wirbel correctly assigns each of them a different copy to fight based on their skills. Denken’s party comes across the Laufen copy on its own. Because of that, they’re able to work together to defeat it.

But, here’s a potential problem. You’re not guaranteed to come across your own copy. At the very end of the episode, we see Denken’s party run into the copy of Frieren. My guess is that this is where their exam will end. And, I’m predicting Fern and Frieren will run into Sense’s copy.

Final Thoughts

What do you think of Sousou no Frieren Episode 23? Do you think any of the 18 remaining examinees are going to die during Sense’s test? How many do you expect to pass the test? And, Do you think Denken’s party will be able to defeat the copy of Frieren?

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. I’d also like to thank Key Mochi for supporting at the Senpai tier. To learn more about the benefits of supporting this blog, check out DoubleSama.com/support.

My review of Episode 24 is available now.

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