「長寿友達」 (Chouju Tomodachi)
A classic Frieren episode concludes Sousou no Frieren’s first cour. That is, full of surreptitious glimpses into the future and melancholic memories of mortality. This series is just excellent; it cannot be compared to Yokohama Kaidanshi Kikou, which is considered to be one of the best manga ever created. However, it’s not often that something even somewhat reminds one of YKK, and Frieren certainly does. I would watch this show just for that, but happily it has other noteworthy qualities as well.
I believe that this narrative is really about how difficult it is to balance trying to live in the present. Particularly for Frieren, whose sheer amount of history and potential is so great. Few characters in this novel can effectively navigate the tightrope, and the past is a character who is always there but hidden beside them. Frieren is mostly motivated by hers, while Sein is pursuing a ghost from his past. It’s as though her seemingly eternal life has rendered the idea of the future worthless for her, increasing the oppression of her past.
Despite her demeanor, Frieren is a distinctly sentimental person. What other explanation is there for taking a detour to see 400-year-old dwarf buddy Old Man Voll (Hoshino Mitsuaki)? There aren’t many people she can talk to about the past with, despite her desire to do so. Even though Voll is an ancient man (dwarves are said to live for approximately 300 years), he is still the most potent link to Frieren’s past that she can access without actually traveling to Ende (and it’s not turning out to be a myth).
Voll is a product of his history. Nobody in the small community he has been defending knows why he has been doing so for so long. They simply perceive him as an elderly buffoon, but he’s still shrewd enough to take Stark by surprise and give him a week of instruction. Voll acts in this way in order to honor a vow he made to his human wife, who cherished the village but is now so far gone that he can no longer recognize her voice or face. Voll and Frieren discuss a lot about the past because it’s their favorite topic. Although she would like to stay for ten years, Fern is adamant that she only stay for a week. Both of them gain something from this; for Voll, it’s a dream of his wife that gives him the chance to finally see and hear her again.
Sein, on the other hand, is pursuing Gorilla Warrior, whose face and name he can still clearly recall. If not, though, he does have a picture of the two of them; who would have thought that pictures could be found in this mythology, and if they are, what other anachronistic items might be included? Along this path, Gorilla Warrior is well-known due to his “impact” name. In one village, Sein is instructed to speak with a “Stubborn Old Woman” (Kubota Tamie), who had a close relationship with him. It seems that having a memorable moniker is essential to one’s legacy. Heiter has given Sein the nickname “Goatee Priest.”
It’s almost as if the Frierengumi are tracking the shadows cast by their fallen or missing allies—mostly hers. Though we’re not sure which Gorilla she is, the elderly woman obviously has wisdom. Since she is “Stubborn,” she will only disclose it after using the Frierengumi, but in reality, I believe she is just looking for companionship. The last assignment is eventually to polish the heroes’ statue in the canyon under the village—a monument so old that no one can recall who it is meant to honor. However, one of the two figures is unmistakably Kraft. The other’s identity is still unknown, but it appears that Sein got the idea for his nickname from these two because of how much they resemble the split up buddies.
Sein must make a decision after learning from the woman that Gorilla Warrior was headed to a city named Tur, which is located opposite Äußerst (I’m not sure which keys that are), the “magical city.” Since he is noticeably missing from this week’s second cour preview, it appears likely that Sein will decide to go with his history, which blatantly adheres to the predetermined pattern in Sousou no Frieren. That would be unfortunate, as I believe he has had a significant role in the show’s development this month. However, since your main character is essentially immortal, it makes all other characters somewhat transient, so I guess it’s best not to get too attached.
Full-length images: 36.