Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End 2023 / An elf grapples with near immortality in this moving, wonderfully animated meditation about life


In fantasy worlds, races with different lifespans are a given, but rarely does a work actually contemplate how these variations would affect relationships between them. Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End starts after a great war, at the moment of peace, and to the titular elf, her shared journey with the human Himmel and their party feels like a blip in her life, their ten years of friendship blurred amongst her thousand years… until Himmel dies, which shifts her perspective on mortality. Frieren won’t have that much extravaganza we’re used to in other fantasy shows, but the way Frieren tries to reconnect with her former comrades, and the way she remembers their memory through flashbacks, all become a gentle and moving meditation on purpose, meaning, and connection, all paired with outstanding art and some of the best worldbuilding we’ve seen in anime.

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