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The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

“Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End” explores what it means to live forever

Frieren, released on Sept 29th, explores what it would be like to live forever and see everything pass by you.

“Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End,” embarks on an expedition in an awe-inspiring world, as it challenges the question, “What if you lived forever?” Animated by studio Madhouse, the adaptation captures much of what separates the story from its peers through animation, expert direction, and even its release schedule.

By choosing to release four episodes at once, the show is able to take its time setting up core plotlines and the main character Frieren without worrying about losing viewer attention over the week-long gaps between episodes. Because of the character-driven story and the importance of the set up for the themes portrayed, the show benefits greatly from the extra screen time given to what feels almost like a prologue. Despite how long it takes for the main plotline to be revealed, excellent storytelling and stellar direction keeps viewers engaged the whole time.

One way they capture your attention is through the unique tone of the story. The atmosphere resembles that of a thought-provoking saga, where a complex overarching plot is pieced together with new revelations, conflicts and insights into a character’s psyche. As we learn more about Frieren, the show pulls us in and encourages us to learn more about how her past and present journeys intertwine.

One of the most important motifs of “Frieren” is the passage of time. As an elf, Frieren has a lifespan of thousands of years, making the lives of her human companions seem insignificant in comparison. After undertaking a long journey with her companions, they reflect on how their decade-long journey has affected them. While everyone acknowledges the significance of the sheer length of time they spent together, she responds by describing the journey as “a mere 10 years” displaying how differently she experiences time in comparison to her human comrades

The show explains how Frieren experiences time differently, but in an excellent choice of direction, they decide to show you it as well. After parting ways with her friends, the show illustrates the next 50 years of Frieren’s life in a montage. Each moment flashes by, hinting at some grand adventure, yet all are simply fleeting moments on a screen. It puts the viewer into Frieren’s perspective as each of her journeys flash by in insignificance, despite how long the concept of 50 years is to the viewer.

To hammer home just how much time has passed, we then see how those 50 years have affected those around her. Despite Frieren looking the exact same, the aging hero Himmel looks strikingly different, as he’s grown unrecognizable except for the piercing blue of his eyes. Frieren is surprised at how much he’s changed since to her, 50 years feels like an instant.

Soon after their reunion, Himmel dies peacefully. Initially, Frieren doesn’t show much of a reaction, but as they bury his body, she’s overwhelmed to the point of tears. “I knew your lives were short, but I didn’t know it would happen so quick. We only traveled together for 10 years”. It was only after losing her friend that she realized the importance of the time they could’ve spent together. She regrets the time she spent away and wishes that she could’ve gotten to know her friends better. This revelation about the importance of time is her motivation for the rest of her journey.

The direction and storytelling featured in “Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End” is the core of what makes the show special. Nonetheless, it wouldn’t be very enjoyable without quality animation, and thankfully, “Frieren” excels in this department.

Many of the background environments look like they were pulled straight off an art canvas.

The magical spells are dynamic and have weight behind their movements. The characters are constantly moving on screen, with very few still frames, which increases the immersion of the show. Furthermore, the action sequences show a special amount of attention, as the fights are fast-paced with impressive sakuga sequences. All of this culminates to create a level of quality that captures your imagination throughout the show.

“Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End” is an exceptional show with its character writing and storytelling techniques separating itself from its competition. Since its debut on Sept. 29, the show will release a total of 28 episodes until March 2024. In the meantime, if you find yourself looking for similar shows, “To Your Eternity” is another great anime that can scratch that itch.

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About the Contributor
Daniel Lee, Multimedia Manager
Daniel returned to the Wildcat Tribune because of the community in the journalism classroom and the opportunity it gives to spread ideas and information. He took Journalism 1 and 2 in his freshman and sophomore year respectively. This year, Daniel hopes to create the best videos ever made in the Wildcat Tribune. In his free time, he enjoys playing volleyball or computer games like TFT, Valorant, and Overwatch. If he could be any other person in the Tribune, he would be Jack Ke because he is the coolest.

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