Sousou no Frieren – 12 – Random Curiosity

Sousou no Frieren – 12 – Random Interest

「本物の勇者」 (Honmono no yuusha)
“A Real Hero”

I believe that the less conventional Sousou no Frieren is, the better it will do. That could be why Fern irritates me, because she is the most stereotypical anime character in the ensemble. Frieren, on the other hand, has been a bit of a cipher to this point (by nature). But things are changing, and the group dynamic with Fern and Stark has something to do with it. In some ways, all people are children to Frieren, but I believe that when the humans are true children, it draws something different out of her over time.

I do know this about Frieren: when we look at the past through her eyes, it appears difficult to conclude anything other than that she was in love with Himmel. The question is if she is becoming aware of this (there are clues that she is). That could be the reason for her entire voyage, whether she realizes it or not. The discovery that the story of Himmel removing the hero’s blade from the stone is a hoax is intriguing. To be a hero, one does not require the hero’s sword. But the sword is waiting for someone (for a brief minute, I thought it may be Stark), and introducing it in this manner seems like a Chekov’s gun sword.

The emphasis here is primarily on Stark, with a little extra background information provided. The whole “ecchi” thing with Fern feels awkward and out of place, and I wish they’d get rid of it immediately. Frieren tells Fern that it’s his 18th birthday, and she intends to give him the potion for dissolving garments as a present (since Flamme told her that men appreciate that sort of stuff). Fern, in typical Puritan manner, rebels and pours (most of) the potion over Frieren’s head before rushing into town to find a present for herself.

Given all of the hints plus the fact that they’re so similar in age, I’m guessing we’re heading towards something romantic between Stark and Fern. Again, given Sousou no Frieren standards, the tsun thing with Fern is very ordinary. She has, of course, received gifts from Frieren every year, and is surprised to find that Stark never received a birthday present (or did he?). His father saw him as a failure and a failure, and it appears that only his older brother Stoltz (Eguchi Takuya) was ever friendly to him. And Eisen isn’t the sort to display sentimentality in the traditional sense.

It’s nice to think Eisen gave Stark a gift every year, even if the boy never thought of it that way. After flirting with a ring (Chekov’s ring) in her valise, Frieren decides to offer Eisen the same present Eisen usually gave him. To wit, a massive (and I do mean massive) hamburg steak prepared from his recipe. Despite the fact that it’s supposed to be a prize for fighters, Eisen’s justification for cooking them for his fellow party members was “anyone who works hard is a warrior.” Obviously, it’s a way of expressing affection, nothing more, nothing less, and possibly the only one Eisen was comfortable with.

When it comes to Stark, I’ve never been sure how to interpret his cowardice. I mean, his alleged cowardice is just common sense, and courage is doing even when you’re terrified. But the fiction treats it as if it were genuine, so I guess we should approach it as such. It appears to define how Frieren and, especially, Fern see him in a way that I don’t believe is quite fair, but I suppose it also serves as fuel for him to keep going. If there’s one thing Stark is frightened of, it’s being afraid and not doing what he should. In practice, however, there has been no evidence that this is an issue. I’m curious to see how much emphasis the plot places on that in the future.

Full-length images: 36.

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