With the date to confront the dragon set, there was nothing left to do but wait for the dawn. But when Fern (Kana Ichinose) discovers Stark (Chiaki Kobayashi) is still training, she confronts the young man about her doubts concerning his courage. Whether or not the young man is prepared to face the dragon, the moment has come for him to face his fears in Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End (Sōsō no Furīren) Episode 6, “The Hero of the Village.”
Opening right where the last episode left off, Fern confronts Stark about their battle with the dragon and whether or not Stark will be able to confront the beast after his admission of being terrified of it. The pair’s discussion about courage and fear and how they can live side-by-side demonstrates this narrative’s superlative judgment of approaching the philosophical questions it tackles. The tender tone of the moment encourages the viewer to feel for Stark’s struggles with his fears rather than judge him by them. The young man’s determination to live up to the title of hero that was thrust upon him is enough to make Fern a believer, though, as she gives Stark a few kind words of support before the gentle scene ends.
Frieren Episode 6 then jumps to the next day as Frieren (Atsumi Tanezaki) and Fern prepare to face their opponent. While initially without their fighter, Stark does show up before the pair of mages are forced to confront the dragon again without a frontline soldier.
As their opponent comes into view, Frieren acknowledges that Stark’s hands are shaking, commenting on how they remind her of Eisen’s (Yôji Ueda) hands the first time they confronted a serious threat. The brief flashback this prompts further explores the essence of fear and why it is not the universal negative many act like it is. It acknowledges how fear can motivate someone to do what scares them when what will happen if they don’t is frightening.
The comparison to his master and understanding that even he could tremble at times before an enemy is the last push Stark needs to finally approach his foe. As Stark rushes towards his opponent, Frieren Episode 6 gives us our first look at non-magical combat in the series. To be frank, it’s impressive. The combat is stylized in a way that emphasizes the emotion of the battle, as one would expect, as emotion has been the series’ central focus to date. The intensity of the moment and the sheer scale of the foe are woven beautifully into the fight as Stark dodges fireballs and maneuvers around his opponent as he sets up for his strikes.
But while the battle is a visual triumph, what comes at the end is its best element. Having landed a solid blow to his foe’s head, pinning it to the ground, Stark calls the mages to deliver the coup de grace. While Frieren begins to move to unleash the magical onslaught, Fern stops her, pointing out that the dragon is already dead.
While Stark finds it hard to believe, the truth is confirmed as the monster slowly disappears. With the best slain, Frieren is free to search the creature’s hoard of treasures, which she does with a surprisingly youthful glee that prompts Stark to remember something his master once said about his journey and the impact Frieren had on it.
With the dragon bested, after a brief farewell from the townsfolk, Frieren Episode 6 sees the trio arrive at the next stop on their journey, the city of Waal, the gateway to the Northern kingdoms.
However, when they arrive in Waal, they discover that the route is closed due to an ongoing conflict in the north. No one is being allowed to pass through the checkpoint till the matter is resolved. Untroubled by the news, the eternally patient Frieren sets off to explore the local magic shops, hoping to discover some rare finds. While she is away, Frieren learns it could be years before the checkpoint is opened. Knowing that such a stay will bother her master not one bit, she soon enlists Stark’s help to find a way to get through the checkpoint, legally or otherwise, so they don’t end up trapped in the city.
During their exploration, Stark is reminded of a time when Eisen brought him to the city as a child. He recounts the moments shared with his mast and the wonder he felt looking out over the wall to the north as he learned about Eisen’s ten-year adventure.
Due to the city leaders learning of her identity, the group is finally allowed to leave promptly, much to Frieren’s disappointment as she was looking forward to researching. It seems some still remember her and the part she played in the hero’s victory over the Demon King, and the trio is permitted to depart the city, with full honors no less.
Flanked by saluting guardsmen and much fanfare, the trio leaves Waal in much the same fashion as Frieren did the first time. While Frieren admits such moments make her feel unsettled, Stark is glad to see the spectacle, as it makes his journey feel even more closely linked to the man who raised him.
Frieren Episode 6 is simply perfect. It works a gorgeously orchestrated battle sequence into the story, making it feel perfectly complimentary to the emotional nature of the series. A bit of fun sprinkled into the philosophy of the show’s narrative allows it to be both reflective and give the viewer a bit to smile about.
Frieren Episode 6 is streaming on Crunchyroll.
Frieren: Beyond Journey's End Episode 6
Frieren Episode 6 is simply perfect. It works a gorgeously orchestrated battle sequence into the story, making it feel perfectly complimentary to the emotional nature of the series.