Of all the anime that began in the fall of 2023, “Sousou no Frieren” is probably the most popular.
It is the top 1 or 2 anime on both Amazon Prime Video and Netflix (as of October 5, 2023).
What is the story about?
What does Sousou no Frieren mean?
Here I’ll introduce you the meaning and the short summary of this anime.
What does Sousou no Frieren mean in Japanese and English?
Sousou is written “葬送”in Chinese character.
In Hiragana, it is “そうそう.”
葬送 means to say a final farewell to the dead and send them off.
So 葬送 is “Funeral” in English.
Actually, this 葬送 is rarely used.
Instead of 葬送, we often use 葬式(そうしき).
葬式 also means Funeral in English.
Then what’s the difference?
You’ll notice if you focus on Kanji used in both words.
In 葬送, “送” is used.
This Chinese character implies To send off or deliver.
In 葬式, “式” is used.
This 式 implies Ceremony.
So I can say 葬送 focuses on farewell to the deceased while 葬式 focuses on whole the process of the ceremony.
Frieren is the name of the main character.
Written “フリーレン” in Katakana.
So the Japanese title of Sousou no Frieren is 葬送のフリーレン.
What is the English Title of Sousou no Frieren
English Title of Sousou no Frieren is Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End.
From the above explanation, Funeral should be used but was not.
The translator avoid direct translation.
He focused on the story instead of Japanese title.
Actually, the story is all about after Frieren’s journery with her companions ended.
After the end of her journey, that is, Beyond Journey’s End.
So the English title became Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End.
What is the Story?
The story of Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End focuses on the story after the defeat of the Demon King.
While regular anime and manga focus on the fight against the nemesis and the story up to the final goal, and the story ends once the defeat is complete, Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End is the story after all that is over.
One of the members of the heroic group is Freelen, who is an elf.
Because she is an elf, she can live much longer than a human, but the other members of the group are all humans, so their lifespans are much shorter than an elf’s.
Freelen says casually in parting that she will meet them again in 50 years and that she will travel around the world for about 100 years.
But that is a long time in the future for everyone else, and in 100 years they will no longer be alive.
She has lived at her own pace in a straight forward way but after the hero died a few decades later, she mutters with tears in her eyes “Why didn’t I try to get to know him better?”
Freelen sets out on a journey to collect magic and get to know people.
Along the way, she revisits former members of the group, picking up her memories with them to understand the meaning.
Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End is a work that is like picking up one by one what we have dropped.
She picks up and understands, one by one, what she did not think about or realize at the time, by following the journey.
This anime also implies a human life, I felt.
We might think people close to us are always there.
But they suddenly disappear.
We had enough time to have a deeper conversation.
We had enough time to get to know them better.
We think they are always there like forever but suddenly gone.
Some things that you thought would last forever can suddenly disappear one day.
You realize after it is all gone, it will never be there again.
I feel that it is important to look, listen, and engage on a deeper level.
It is not a matter of how long or short the time is, but how deeply we can stay there.
Funeral is the act of saying goodbye to the deceast and offering a final farewell.
For Freelen, to realize and understand by retracing her former journey meant truly sending her companions off.