Analysis of His Complex Emotions and Actions The anime “Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End,” which started airing on September 29, 2023, features a unique setting where the story begins after the defeat of the Demon King. One of the interesting aspects of this series is the relationship between the long-lived elf Frieren and her companions, particularly Himmel, whose feelings are a topic of much discussion.
Himmel’s Actions – Devotion to Companions or Something More?
Himmel, the hero who defeated the Demon King and journeyed with Frieren, has significantly influenced her. However, his actions towards Frieren suggest he harbored profound feelings for her. A notable instance is when Himmel offered Frieren an accessory as a token of appreciation for a quest. Frieren chose a ring with “mirror lotus flowers,” which have the meaning of “eternal love.” Although Frieren later admitted to being unaware of this symbolism, Himmel’s reaction upon seeing the ring selection—a silent, indescribable expression—suggests he might have known the meaning. Notably, he didn’t just hand the ring over; he knelt down and slid it onto Frieren’s left hand.
Furthermore, Himmel had statues of their party erected in various places. When Frieren asked about this, he responded that he wanted everyone to remember them as they wouldn’t live long like her. He added that the main reason was to ensure Frieren wouldn’t feel lonely in the future. As a human, Himmel was considerate of Frieren’s feelings even after his eventual passing.
Their first meeting dates back to Himmel’s childhood when he got lost in the woods and was guided by Frieren. She showed him the magic of creating a flower field, a moment he described as “the first time I thought magic was beautiful.” This memory was pivotal in Himmel’s decision to include Frieren in his party.
There are also speculations that Himmel remained unmarried throughout his life, as there is no explicit mention of a spouse.
The Complexity of Himmel’s Emotions, Inexpressible in a Single Phrase
The emotions and actions of Himmel have sparked debates among readers about whether they were driven by romantic feelings. Regarding the “mirror lotus” ring, opinions are divided. Some argue it wasn’t a romantic gesture, thinking, “In that world setting, giving a ring seems plausible” or “In an RPG world, a ring is more of an equipment item.” On the other hand, there are those who perceive it as romantic, saying, “If he had just handed it over normally, I wouldn’t have thought so, but kneeling down to give it suggests some romantic feelings,” or “That scene reminded me of a wedding ring being put on.”
However, even among readers who believe Himmel had romantic feelings, some perceive these feelings as subtle, not clearly defined, like “I felt it was 90% trust and a bit of romance” or “It’s wrong to reduce their relationship to just romantic feelings, but I do think there was an element of romance.” There are also speculations that Himmel didn’t believe Frieren would reciprocate his feelings, hence why he never expressed them.
One of the charms of the series is the journey of a long-lived elf with short-lived humans, prompting reflections on the nature of emotions. Ultimately, only Himmel himself could truly know the intention behind his actions. As readers, along with Frieren, we continue to ponder the true meaning behind Himmel’s behavior.
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