Frieren: Beyond ­Journey’s End: Vol. 1

Viz Media. Nov. 2021. 192p. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781974725762.
Gr 6 Up–Title character, the female elf mage Frieren, has done it! Along with the other three heroes in her party, she has defeated the demon king and reigned in an age of peace. So…what happens after such a venture comes to an end? For Frieren, who is hundreds and hundreds of years old (though she still looks remarkably young), she doesn’t have any plans in particular. She’s content living life serenely, absorbing as much knowledge as she can about magic. But when Frieren wrestles with the concept of mortality, something that, unlike mere humans, she doesn’t have to fret over, she begins to mull life as she never has before. This is a leisurely paced manga that will make readers stop and ponder. The work is an incredibly unique concept for not only a manga, but any form of literature, and a super fresh take on the fantasy genre. Frieren is as relatable a character as readers are going to find. Artwork is solid, a very clean style that works well for this story.
VERDICT Seeing Frieren’s character development as she tackles the concepts of life and death is an especially pleasing experience. A beautiful read from cover to cover, this is highly recommended.

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