Title: Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End Vol. 6 Author: Kanehito Yamada (Story), Tsukasa Abe (Art) Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 192 Genre: Fantasy, Adventure Publication Date: October 18, 2022
Volume 6 takes us into the second round of the magic exam. Here, the objective is simple… get to the center of the King’s Tomb dungeon. You can use any means necessary to do so. While the objective seems simple, it is not. The dungeon is largely unmapped because those who enter it don’t make it out alive but since the dead tell no tales, there’s no knowledge of why they don’t make it out.
They soon discover that an ancient being named Spiegel calls the dungeon his home. Spiegel itself is just some diamond-shaped object in the center room of the dungeon; however, its power is what proves to be its real test. It has the ability to make a perfect clone of anyone that enters the dungeon. Highly skilled mages can detect who is the clone but the clone possesses the attitude, human nuances, spell arsenal, fighting style, and thinking just as the original. The only thing different about the clones is that they are programmed to be just that… a clone. They do not have minds of their own. This poses a problem because it makes them immune to spells such as hypnosis and/or mind control.
Sense, the proctor for this exam, even gets cloned; however, that’s not the final boss guarding the room to Spiegel. That honor belongs to Frieren. Needless to say, they get through and twelve end up passing the exam. Without wasting much time, we go to the third and final exam which proves to be the hardest challenge to date… an interview with Serie herself. She will deem if someone is worthy of passing or failing. One by one, everyone is deemed a failure in her eyes. The volume ends with both Frieren and Fern’s interviews.
I wouldn’t really say that there is a lot of character development here. The volume focused more on the battles than it did on the characters but we did learn a couple of things about Frieren.
First, we learned what her fatal flaw is. As great of a mage as she is, she makes a routine elementary mistake. I’ll let you all read to figure out what it is but it fits her personality perfectly. Also, we learn that she likes getting eaten by mimics because there just HAS to be a rare grimoire inside!
Fern, on the other hand, got a nice chapter dedicated to repairing a staff given to her by Heiter. It held a lot of sentimental value and Frieren realized this so she brought the staff to get it fixed without Fern really knowing. It shows that Frieren is learning a thing or two about compassion which is some good development for her, too. It also further cemented the bond between Fern and Heiter which was nice.
Frieren also gets a bit sentimental when everyone gathered to strategize on how to take down Frieren’s clone. It reminded her of the times she went dungeon raiding with Himmel, Heiter, and Eisen. As emotionless as she seemed in the beginning, she’s starting to soften up a bit
This was an action-packed volume from start to end. It just goes to prove that if the objective to a task is simple, it’s not really as simple as it sounds. With the group whittled down to twelve and the majority of them getting failed by Serie, it’ll be interesting to see just how many people end up passing to become first-class mages. I’m sure we’ll find the final results in the next volume and that’ll take us into the next part of Frieren’s journey.
The mage exam arc, overall, wasn’t that bad but, to be honest, it really wasn’t that interesting, either. To become a first-class mage seemed rather unnecessary and, yes, I realize that in order to continue their journey, Frieren would need to hold a license deeming her as such; however, you’d think that THE mage who defeated the demon king would get an automatic pass. That in and of itself should be proof of her skill. Because of that loophole in logic, this kind of felt more like a filler arc than anything. Again… it wasn’t bad… it just wasn’t all that amazing.
Hoping things pick up a bit once this finally wraps up.