Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Episodes 1-4 Review

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Episodes 1-4 Review

The Journey’s End

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End is the first anime from the fall 2023 season to air that I planned to watch. And, it dropped four episodes at once — effectively, a 2-hour first “episode.” In this review, I’m going to cover all four of these episodes.

Episode 1, titled “The Journey’s End” sets up the world in which the rest of the series is going to take place. The demon lord has been defeated by the hero’s party and the world is at peace. But, what happens after the adventure to defeat the demon lord ends?

The four members of the hero’s party, Himmel, Heiter, Eisen, and Frieren decide to go their separate ways. Himmel, the human hero, decides to live out the rest of his life in the royal capital. Heiter, the human priest, returns to the holy city. And Eisen, the dwarf, returns to his homeland.

Himmel and the night sky from the anime series Frieren: Beyond Journey's End Episode 1
Himmel and the night sky

After traveling with these three for 10 years, Frieren, the elf, decides to go on a journey by herself. She doesn’t have a planned destination. All she knows is that she wants to continue traveling around and gathering all the spells she can find.

What Frieren doesn’t fully grasp, however, is how different time is to her than her companions. After 50 years, she returns to the royal capital to find Himmel as an elderly man. And, shortly after they reunite, he passes away. Himmel’s death has a profound effect on Frieren and changes how she wants to live her life.

She realizes that although 10 years is nothing to her, that was a significant portion of Himmel’s life. He’s not the first human she’s outlived. But, this was the first time that she realized how much you value things changes based on your lifespan.

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It Didn’t Have to Be Magic…

Episode 2, titled “It Didn’t Have to Be Magic…” introduces a new character, Fern. Fern is a war orphan whom Heiter took in. From what I remember, she was born 11 years after Himmel’s death. And by the end of the fourth episode, she’s 17 years old.

Frieren meets Fern when she goes to visit Heiter before his death. According to Heiter, Fern has the capacity to become a mage. But, she doesn’t quite have the skills yet. So, he asks Frieren to take Fern with her on her journey as an apprentice. He doesn’t want Fern to be alone again after he dies.

However, Frieren declines taking Fern on as her apprentice for two reasons. First, Fern isn’t strong enough to be considered a true mage yet. An adventure would be dangerous for her. And second, Frieren believes having an apprentice is a waste of time. She’ll outlive them anyway.

Frieren wearing a crown of flowers from the anime series Frieren: Beyond Journey's End Episode 2
Frieren wearing a crown of flowers

In the end, Frieren takes Fern as an apprentice. But, only after Heiter tricked her into doing so. He asked her to translate a magic tome for him before his death and to teach Fern magic in her spare time. By the time Heiter dies, Fern is strong enough to go on a journey with Frieren.

What I liked most about this episode is how it explored what drives Frieren’s journey. To Fern, Frieren seems obsessed with magic. All she does is collect spells, even seemingly useless ones. For Frieren, collecting spells is a hobby. But, to Fern, magic is a tool.

Frieren then explains that the two of them are actually the same. Fern uses magic because Heiter wanted her to learn it. And Frieren collects spells because Himmel once told her that he liked the magic she uses. They’re both drawn to magic because of people they care about.

Killing Magic

The third episode, titled “Killing Magic” introduced a very interesting concept. After the first episode, I already thought Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End was going to be great. The second episode backed that up. But the third episode made me realize that this may be the best anime of 2023.

Each episode so far has kind of had two parts. There’s the first part of the episode that does some setup. And then there’s the second, main part of the episode that the title of the episode is referring to.

In Episode 3, the main part of the episode focuses on a demon that Frieren and her party fought 80 years ago. That demon developed a powerful spell that could easily kill anyone it hit. And, at the time, he was too powerful for the hero’s party to defeat. So, they sealed him.

Frieren and Fern preparing to fight a demon from the anime series Frieren: Beyond Journey's End Episode 3
Frieren and Fern preparing to fight a demon

Now, as the seal is weakening, Frieren returns to defeat the demon once and for all. But, how is she planning to do this without the help of Himmel, Heiter, and Eisen? The key lies in the simple fact that 80 years have passed.

In that time, spells have developed far beyond what the demon could have expected. The killing magic he developed 80 years ago is nothing more than standard attack magic today. And because of that, today’s defensive spells can block it with ease.

What I loved about this episode is how it used magic as a stand-in for technology. When we think of the passage of time, we often think about advancements in technology. With magic, the opposite is typically true. The more ancient it is, the stronger it is.

That’s why I liked this depiction of magic so much. It flipped the trope on its head.

The Land Where Souls Rest

Episode 4, “The Land Where Souls Rest” sets up the journey Frieren and Fern are going to go on for the rest of the series. Apparently, Frieren was the apprentice of the legendary mage Flamme 1,000 years ago. Flamme appeared to be human, so is now dead.

But, she left her notes behind for Frieren to find at some point in the future. And within those notes was a description of a place known as “Heaven.” In this land, one can communicate with the souls of the dead.

That’s where Frieren plans to go. She has regrets about not getting to know Himmel better while he was alive. So, she wants to be able to talk to him again and tell him that. She wants him to know that despite how she acted when he was alive, he was important to her.

Frieren and Eisen walking through the forest from the anime series Frieren: Beyond Journey's End Episode 4
Frieren and Eisen walking through the forest

Coincidentally, this “Heaven” is in the same northern region as the demon lord’s castle. And that means Frieren will be going on another 10-year journey. She’ll be passing through the same places she did 80 years earlier as a member of the hero’s party.

At this point, I want to make some predictions about how the end of the series will play out. At the end of her journey, Frierern will probably realize that she doesn’t need to talk to Himmel again. By traveling the same path again and reminiscing about the past, she’ll realize she knew him, after all.

And, that might be the point of this trip. “Heaven” might not exist at all. But, Flamme knew that a journey like this would bring Frieren the closure she needed. If “Heaven” does exist, though, I’m expecting to find Eisen there. I’m predicting he’ll die while Frieren is traveling.

Final Thoughts

After the first four episodes of Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End, I have the series rated at a 10/10. If it continues like this, it’s going to be the best anime of the year and even the best anime of the past few years. I can’t wait to continue reviewing the new episodes weekly.

What did you think of the first four episodes, though? Which of the four members of the hero’s party is your favorite? Do you think Frieren will get to speak to Himmel again? And, are you expecting the series to continue on even to Fern’s death? Let me know in the comments.

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 at the Heika tier this month. And I’d like to thank Rob and Pepe for supporting at the Kouhai tier. To learn more about supporting this blog, check out

My review of Episode 5 is available now.

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