I’ve not been watching much anime lately apart from the big 3, and seasonals. I think ve become more into manga than I’ve ever been into anime. A couple of weeks ago I read this manga, Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End, and out of all the mangas I’ve read in the last couple of weeks, I chose to write about this one because it stood out to me, not the art style (even though the art was pretty good) but the uniqueness of the story.
There a lot of Hero vs Demon lord animes and manga’s out there, and it usually ends up that the team of the Hero has an Elf accompanying them on their journey. I could name a lot of animes like that, But once the Demon Lord is defeated, the anime/manga never shows what happens after that. Well this Manga isnt about the journey, but what awaits after the Journey.
This is a story of a world where the demon Lord has already been defeated, and many of the heroes have already reached their eternal rest, all but one, an Elf Mage who looks like she hasn’t aged a day. Frieren is an almost Immortal Elf, and she has to see all her friends pass before she does.
When I started this Manga I thought it was going to be the generic ‘Hero defeats the Demon Lord along with his fellow teammates’ kind of story. Boy was I wrong, It was nothing like that. It showed an elf get hit by reality, realizing that she will live longer than any she knows, and changes her mindset to learn from humanity.
One thing I really liked about this Manga is the character development of the Main character. In the first couple chapters, Frieren thought of time as just objectivity defined through units of measurement rather than moments to treasure. But thats until she parts from her team, and the Hero, Himmel passes. Even though she had spent 10 years with them, she only thought of it as a couple ‘minutes’ in her long life span. But when Himmel passes, she is hit with realization and remmorse of her life until then, and she had just realized something she hadnt in all her centuries in mere seconds.
I also love the emotion represented in this Melancholic Slice of Life Manga. Frieren starts out as cold hearted, but later learns about empathy, regret and remorse. As a reader, I felt like it had a very tranquil and calm atmosphere to it, but also a sad and sorrowful one too.