Welcome back to Waifu Wednesday, Niche Gamer’s column where we talk about characters, their appeal, and a little on their history.
Today’s Waifu Wednesday is Fern from Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End. The series recently made news by overtaking Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood as the most popular anime of all time on MyAnimeList.
Fern is Frieren’s human apprentice and was originally adopted by the priest Heiter, Frieren’s friend and a member of the Hero Party. Despite being younger than Frieren by centuries (if not millenia), Fern is the mature straightman to many of the party’s antics. Whether that’s Stark being loud and foolish or Frieren herself making ill-advised decisions in pursuit of magic (it’s a common gag for Frieren to get chomped by Mimics while looking for grimoires).
This gives Fern a maternal vibe which fans of the character appreciate, and also compliments Fern’s more developed figure compared to Frieren and other characters in the series.
When Fern isn’t being a group mother to the party, she’s pragmatic, judgmental, and stoic. She’s a strong female lead in a completely unironic sense that provides a stiff backbone to the party.
In the anime, Fern is voiced by Kana Ichinose who’s known for her gentle voice which she maintains regardless of a character’s mood or temperament. Even as Suletta in Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury she managed to give the character a softer feel despite Suletta’s tomboyish and naive personality.
You can appreciate Fern for yourself in Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End which premiered this anime season. The manga is officially published in English by VIZ.