Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Episode 7 Review

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Episode 7 Review

Like a Fairy Tale

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Episode 7 begins the first arc after the prologue. Frieren, Fern, and Stark have officially entered the northern territories. They’re now following the path the Hero’s party traveled over 80 years prior. And, fittingly, they’re already coming up against one of the party’s old foes.

But, before we get to discussing the demons, I want to take a moment to appreciate Himmel. Despite how he’s often portrayed, Himmel was a true hero. I’m not saying that because he slayed the demon lord. Instead, I’m saying it because he was always thinking about others.

This fact about Himmel doesn’t always come through when Frieren talks about him. She often portrays him as a goofy, self-centered man. But, we know that’s not how she actually feels about him. And that came through in the flashback from the start of Episode 7.

Frieren looking at Himmel from the anime series Frieren: Beyond Journey's End Episode 7
Frieren looking at Himmel

Why did Himmel have statues of himself and his party members made wherever they went? Was it due to his vanity? Did he want to be remembered long after he was gone? To an extent, yes. But, what’s important is who he wanted to remember him — Frieren.

Himmel understood Frieren far better than she realized. He knew that, at some point, she’d be lonely. And so, to make her less lonely, he commissioned the statues. That way, Frieren would always be reminded of the time she spent with him, Heiter, and Eisen. They may die long before her, but they were real and so were their bonds.

Something I like about this series is how we’re drip-fed information about Himmel. Yes, we know who Himmel is. But, over time, we get to learn more about who he actually was through Frieren’s memories of him. It’s keeping me invested in his character.

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Aura the Guillotine Returns

Until now, there hasn’t been an antagonist in the story. There doesn’t need to be an antagonist. The adventure and random roadblocks Frieren and her party encounter can be enough. But, we do have our first antagonist now, Aura the Guillotine.

Now, I’m not saying Aura is the first antagonist because I know anything about the future of the series. I don’t. I’m just assuming she’s the first and that there will be others after her. And the reason I’m assuming this is two-fold.

First, she’s one of the former demon lord’s generals. There are also other generals of the former demon lord who may still be alive. So, it stands to reason that Frieren & co. might encounter them in the future, too.

Second, we’re just beginning the first real arc of the story. Chances are, this first antagonist won’t be the last.

Fern and Stark watching Frieren be taken away from the anime series Frieren: Beyond Journey's End Episode 7
Fern and Stark watching Frieren be taken away

With all that in mind, I’m not sure how long Aura is going to last as an antagonist. I don’t know what to expect in terms of arc length from this series. But, according to Frieren, Aura’s no big deal. Frieren claims to be stronger than she is.

So, my assumption is that fighting Aura and her army isn’t going to be what extends the duration of this arc. If that’s all that was going to happen, it might be another two episodes. Instead, there’s bound to be other stuff going on that delays things.

And, local politics appears to be one of those delays. Frieren is going to have to convince the local lord that reasoning with demons is impossible. And I’m guessing she’ll have a hard time of this, despite his hatred of demons. She might not be able to intervene until the demons attack the town.

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Wild Beasts and Human Speech

I like pretty much everything about Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End. But, the explanation of demons that we got in Episode 7 might be one of my favorite things. Usually, fantasy series don’t do very interesting things with various races.

In most cases, demons are basically evil humans or elves. They’re a separate race. But, they’re effectively the same. That’s not the case here, despite how it appeared at first. When we first saw the demons in the town, I thought they were going to be yet another normal, sentient race — but evil.

So, what exactly are the demons? And how do they differ from races like humans, elves, and dwarves?

To start, demons are more similar to monsters than they are to what I’ll call the “sentient races.” Yes, I know, these demons are still sentient. But, they have more in common with monsters.

Frieren slaying a demon child from the anime series Frieren: Beyond Journey's End Episode 7
Frieren slaying a demon child

In fact, according to Flamme, demons are monsters. She was the one who coined the term “demon” to refer to monsters capable of human speech. So, that’s what they are. They’re monsters that are able to speak. But, how is that different than being an evil version of one of the sentient races?

The primary difference is how demons use speech. Demons speak human language in order to trick humans. And why do demons trick humans? So they can kill and eat the humans. Demons speaking human language is the same as a hunter mimicking the call of their prey.

They use human speech to get humans to let their guard down. And we saw evidence of this both in the present and the past. Most notably, when Frieren killed the demon child, she asked why demons say things like “mom.” They do so to make themselves seem more “human.”

Final Thoughts

What do you think about Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Episode 7? Do you like how we learn about who Himmel was in bits and pieces? How long do you think it will take for Frieren to defeat Aura the Guillotine? And, is this series’ take on demons more interesting than most, or not? Let me know in the comments.

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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 Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of Episode 8 is available now.

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