Cover Image: Frieren: Beyond Journey's End, Vol. 1

Frieren: Beyond Journey's End, Vol. 1

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Member Reviews

O tried to read this manga bit it was a little too slow for me. I don't know if I am into this type of stories but the art was good.
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This manga starts out with an interesting premise and made me wonder how it would play out. As it starts after the adventure is already done, we get to see the live of the elf mage who helped save the world. Elves live longer lives than humans, so their perspectives of time are different. It is a good emotional first volume and I am excited to continue reading on to see how the rest of the series will go.
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This manga was absolutely delightful. It reminded me of a D&D campaign: there's a human, a cleric, a dwarf and an elf who travel the lands together for 10 years and complete quests and help people. After the defeat of a particularly dastardly evil force, they all go their own ways after watching a meteor shower. Frieren, an elf mage, wanders the worlds for new spells and for understanding of magic. She travels for the love of learning. Her paths take her back to her old campaigning crew now and again - but humans age much faster than elves. So her dear leader passes long before she has even come close to exploring all the places she wants to go. Luckily, she did see him one more time before he passes and they share one more meteor shower together. Fast forward: Frieren helps out the old priest and gains a new acquaintance. Read on to find out more! 

What I loved: the pacing of this novel felt natural to me. I loved the D&D vibes. I loved the manga style used. I felt like I got to know the characters well enough as depicted on these pages.
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I like this book because it's theme is not one that we see much in fantasy literature and that is where the long lived elves look back on their lives and wonder what it is really about.  I also liked how it was after the party solves the quest and what happens after it.
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This is one of the best manga that I have read. Frieren is a mage who has been adventuring with her party for ten years. They finish their quest and go their separate ways. As Frieren's companions age and eventually die, she stays mostly the same. This manga is about her journey to get to know her companions, even after death.
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Not your typical fantasy adventure manga.  This takes place after the heroes beat the Big Bad, from the POV of the elf in the adventure group, after she realizes how fragile and short the lives of her fellow adventurers are, especially the humans.

This is a very quiet, gentle read, but it is SAD.  I've experienced two losses in my life within the last year, so a manga discussing death of characters important to the MC is very difficult to read and I did end up crying a couple of times.  So be warned, this isn't all light and fluffy and happy.  

That being said, it was very deep and sweet and there is hope the MC will grow and learn a bit more about humans and specifically those she adventured with.  

4, it made me cry but I want to read the next one, stars.  

My thanks to NetGalley and VIZ Media LLC for an eARC copy of this book to read and review.
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When I first heard about this series, I had hopes that it would be another gentle manga to add to my collection. It has surpassed all my wishes! Poignant and heavy, but not without humour, and lots of love. I could see this getting pretty dark, but the author feels like they're not so much exploring what it means to die, as exploring what it means to live. I will definitely be reading more.
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This is the type of manga that I usually wait to read until the entire series is published, because I'm an impatient reader. SO, it's nice to know in advance that this is a series that I'm gonna binge the heck out of when it's completed! The art is beautiful, the storyline is the perfect blend of whimsy and drama, humor and sadness. I felt like I saw a bit of myself in Frieren, especially when she notes at one point, "I knew human lives were short. Why didn't I try to get to know him better??" 

This book made me feel so many things.
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the advanced electronic copy of this book. This is the beginning of the series and it starts at the end of the quest with the question “what happens next?” Frieren is the elf magician who outlives all her quest mates and reluctantly takes on an apprentice. Together they are on a quest of their own to find old grimoires and decipher the secret of immortality. I really enjoyed the story and am looking forward to the sequel.
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This is quite the deviation from the standard quest story. And that is really something special. I was not expecting this to be such an emotional journey.

For Libraries: Definitely YA appropriate.
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I would recommend this for the art alone, but it also had a fantastic start to a story. We follow the long-living elf of an adventurer party AFTER the world is saves and she is learning more about magic, people and herself. While this volume is light, it sets up for a grand adventure and I cannot wait to see where it goes.
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I didn't look too carefully at the blurb before reading this; I like going somewhat blindly into manga so I can really experience the story without the whole first volume basically being spoiled for me.

TOTALLY DIDN'T EXPECT THIS GUT PUNCH. As someone who is an avid fantasy reader, gamer, and Dungeons & Dragons player, this hit me so hard in the feels.  The big "what happens after the heroes save the world" question. But instead of heroes trying to find a way to live in a post-war/chaos world, this story takes a whole new spin on it unlike anything I have ever seen: What happens when the immortal party members go off on their own and come back and have to face human mortality and the death of their friends?  It's a fascinating question that I feel doesn't get tackled too often in fantasy despite having so many possibilities for stories and character developement.

Frieren is an elven mage who, after splitting from her party, goes off on her own adventures and eventually reunites with her old party fifty years after they broke up.  She's struck by how old her human party members--and even her dwarven friend--are and begins to question the fact that she spent too long not thinking about how quickly humans age compared to her and, in her mind, lost too much time she could have spent getting closer to her party, learning more about them, and cultivating a truly deep friendship.

If you're a fan of DnD or fantasy adventures in any way, this manga is such a good read for an "after The End" type story.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Viz for a free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I recommend having tissues nearby.

Frieren: Beyond Journey's End is a story about grief and its effects. The book begins right as Frieren's party returns from a successful campaign against the demon king and his army. Frieren, an elf with a lifespan that long outlasts that of humans', and friends watch a meteor shower that comes once every fifty years. Then Frieren sets off on her own, mentioning that they should watch the meteor shower again in another fifty years. Her friends smile, knowing that she sees time differently than them.

Chapters are marked by years after the death of one of the party members, and the reader follows Frieren as she comes to realize and celebrate the meaning of mortal life.

Tsukasa Abe's art was gorgeous and gave the perfect amount of space to enhance the story's emotional impact. Misa's translation was thoughtful and lovely, and Ace Christman's lettering and touch up flowed well.

I'm really looking forward to continuing the series, and it's become one of my new favorites.

Art: Tsukasa Abe
Story: Kanehito Yamada
Translation: Misa "Japanese Ammo"
Touch-up Art and Lettering: Ace Christman
Design: Yukiko Whitly
Editor: Mike Montesa
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Received a digital ARC of this book via NetGalley.

Omg! If your looking for a adventure manga this is the one for you. It’s set after their last great adventure has ended. Ever wondered what those adventurous characters were doing after they slayed the dragon and saved the city? Well, this is the story for you! It follows an elf who is living far past her human counterparts. She is now trying to learn more about humans while obtaining more magic spells. Definitely gave me lotr or dnd vibes.  Can’t wait for the next one! This will definitely be a reread for me!
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What happens once the adventuring party finishes their quest? That is the premise of Frieren Volume 1, a melancholic tale about relationships, time, and life. Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End features story by Kanehito Yamada and art by Tsukasa Abe; the English edition is published by VIZ Media under their Shonen Sunday imprint. It is translated by Misa ‘Japanese Ammo,’ edited by Mike Montesa, and features touch-up art and lettering by Annaliese ‘Ace’ Christman; with design by Yukiko Whitley. The series has gotten quite a bit of praise since it debuted in Japan, and it is easy to see why. The manga follows elf mage Frieren, who is faced with her near-immortality when a member of her former adventuring party dies.

Frieren Volume 1 opens where many stories would end: Frieren and her party have returned to the city after defeating the Demon Lord. Their quest lasted a long ten years…at least it feels long to the human members of the party. Elf mage Frieren is rather indifferent to the emotion that affects her other party members. She goes off in search of more types of magic, casually proclaiming she will be back to visit in another fifty years. When one of her former friends dies of old age, she realizes that she took for granted the time she had. Frieren becomes determined to gain a better understanding of the people her human friends were when they were alive, specifically the heroic Himmel.

Time flows a bit differently in Frieren Volume 1, a single volume spans over seventy years. It isn’t uncommon for months to go by in one chapter. Nothing feels rushed however, readers experience a slowness that is likely the closest we can get to how Frieren experiences time: staying a year in one place is nothing to her. She is hundreds of years old. It is her witnessing the effects of time on her friends that gives the manga a melancholic tone, it is sad…but also comforting. The characters die natural deaths after living a long life. Frieren constantly reminds her apprentice that her journey is not selfless, but rather selfish: she is trying to learn who Himmel was as a person, to make up for the guilt she feels at not making the effort when he was alive.


 
The use of Himmel’s character is fascinating. Even though he is deceased for most of the volume, his presence is constantly felt. It is unclear if Himmel was trying to break down Frieren’s walls as a friend, or because he had slightly romantic affections for her. Either way, because she was oblivious it will never come to fruition. Instead, it is once again viewed as a “what if.” The preservation of memories is a consistent theme in the manga, and the more Frieren learns, the more her memories gain new meaning as she realizes what her friends’ intentions may have been.

The melancholic tone, paired with beautiful fantasy artwork, creates a lovely atmosphere to read in. It echoes elements of Iyashikei manga (slice-of-life series that have a healing effect on the reader), although it may not quite be one itself. It is a meditation on grief and loss, with artwork that values the emotion found in stillness. Tsukasa Abe does a fantastic job of showing how the world ages around Frieren, yet she stays exactly the same in appearance. The linework is detailed and makes scenic panels a wonder to stare at.

Frieren Volume 1 is a stunning debut for a manga series. Sure to be a hit with many, especially fans of RPG’s like Dungeons and Dragons. The manga examines grief, loss and time through the lens of a near-immortal elf. This fantasy series is beautiful and a peaceful read to pick up this fall.
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This was just an average read for me. There just wasn't anything outstanding or attention grabbing in it. I did find the illustrations quite appealing and the front cover is a winner.

There just didn't seem to be much happening and I actually felt like I wanted to read about the quest or journey that the group had completed as this story begins. Maybe this is a prequel?

I received this arc from netgalley and VIZ Media in exchange for my honest review.
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Frieren is an elf and an elf's life is incredibly long. She has just finished an adventure with three others in her party, a priest, a dwarf, and a human. They see a meteor shower together and reminisce about the adventure. Frieren says goodbye and travels collecting magic or new spells to better her abilities. After so long she decides to visit her old adventure mates again but many years have now passed and they have aged. Frieren is able to say goodbye to her human friend. Eventually she is able to say goodbye to the priest who convinces her to take on an apprentice. Frieren and the apprentice travel around.
This story was sweet and a fun way to tell what happens after a group of adventurers are done on their adventure.
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Fun manga about what happens when the adventure ends. For Frieren, an elf that will outlive all her travel companions, her post-epic journey is tinged with a grief and drive she doesn't quite understand.
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The Story

One of the genres I love reading about is fantasy series; however, I like pure fantasy and have really begun to detest fantasy having an isekai premise. When I saw Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End, I saw that it was, indeed, pure fantasy with no isekai involvement whatsoever. Add in the fact that this is sort of an epilogue tale of a mage after her grand adventure and I felt that it was a unique enough premise to check out.

The story, as you would imagine, is centered around the elf mage whose name is right on the front cover of the book, Frieren. She seems apathetic and emotionless but all of that changed after her ten-year adventure with Eisen the Warrior, Himmel the Hero, and Heiter the (corrupt) Priest comes to an end. They defeated the demon king and now have to wonder what life will be like after returning back home. One would make you think that this would turn into a slice-of-life fantasy where we would see the four heroes’ new lives; however, what we do receive is something a bit more profound.

Frieren decides to go off in search of learning more magic, stating that she will return to see the meteor shower in 50 years. She is completely unaware to how long elves can live versus normal humans. When she returns, everyone is in very old shape and Himmel passes away. At his funeral, she comes to a realization that despite traveling with them for so long in human terms, she never really learned anything about them.

Heiter is the next to pass and before he does, he asks Frieren to look after a war orphan that he took in named Fern, saying that she has an affinity for magic and wishes to become a mage; however, all Fern wanted to do was learn to protect herself and others and magic just happened to be something she chose.

While traveling with Fern, Frieren comes across a job where a grimoire by her master, Flamme, was presented as a reward. Frieren knows it was a fake and when she reunites with Eisen, who is a dwarf and has a longer lifespan than humans, he tells her that Heiter researched Flamme and knows where her real notes are. When they discover where Flamme hid the notes, it talks about journeying to the former Demon King’s castle where it is said that you can communicate with the dead. Filled with regret of never learning about Himmel, she wishes to travel there and talk with him one last time.

Characters

While Himmel, Eisen, and Heiter all had a personality, I found it pretty odd that the main character Frieren felt really flat as a character. What made it worse was that Fern has a very similar personality. I don’t know if this is truly the case as I am just reading silent text on a page but you usually get a sense of a character’s voice through the words chosen and the artwork.

To me… Frieren and Fern remind me of two monotone, emotionless girls having very dry conversations with each other. It is very rare for them to show happiness or any other type of emotion which made reading them a bit of a chore. Without much expression from the characters or any kind of enunciated reactions, the majority of the book just felt so monotone.

When “nobody extra” characters in villages exude more personality than the main and main supporting character, that’s a bit of a problem… for now. The silver lining here is that it was mentioned that Frieren does not possess the ability to discern emotion but her willingness to learn about others could be the foundation of a shift in her character and her personality so while I feel it has been a bland experience so far, I think it is intentional as it will help establish her future character development.

Heiter; however, took center stage in this volume. He’s a lively priest who loves to drink! He claims that he doesn’t fear death but later he admits that he is scared of it. He even wanted Frieren to discern a grimoire that might contain magic that prolongs life or could be used to resurrect someone. Of course, Frieren only deciphers the grimoire to humor him because she already knows no magic such as that exists… yet. It was simply giving some comfort to Heiter before his time would come.

Himmel was even livelier than Heiter. He was very outspoken, boisterous, and a little narcissistic. Still, he was tolerated by the party and still highly thought of to the point where a statue was erected in his honor. In fact, one of Frieren’s jobs, after he passed, was to come back and clean the statue and decorate the land with flowers from Himmel’s homeland. But, as I said before, we didn’t know much about him outside of this so it will be nice to learn about him along with Frieren!

Eisen is simply a dwarf warrior. I can’t really say much more than that because the book doesn’t really explore him all that much. Sure, he helps Frieren search for Flamme’s notes but he doesn’t really say or do anything that shows what kind of character he is. Hopefully, we’ll get some more on him in future volumes.

Final Thoughts

If I were to sum up the first volume in a word… it would be quaint. While Frieren and Fern are a bit on the dry side, the other characters make up for their shortcomings. The premise of becoming aware of the passage of time and realizing that you need to do a better job of learning about the people you adventure with and call friends is a deep lesson to learn.

There isn’t much action in this series but that is by design. If you were thinking about picking this up because you see four adventurers on the front cover and want to see them do battle with hordes of enemies, then this isn’t going t be the story for you. However, if you’re looking for a story about an elf mage who walks the world in search of magic and wishes to learn more about the friends she shared so many memories with… all within a fantasy setting, then this is going to be a must-have series.

After reading the first volume, I found that I really enjoyed what was being presented. I can see the potential in the series as well as the growth of our two main characters. I can already predict that emotionless barrier shattering to give way to some sweet and not-so-sweet emotions. This is shaping up to be an interesting journey and it proves that not every fantasy series needs to follow a cookie-cutter formula. I think I am really going to enjoy this one!
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Yamada has created a masterfully written and beautifully drawn tale about loss and life.  Frieren reminds us that no one is immortal and everything is fleeting.
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