|A complete story, interesting twists, pleasing art style, good cast||Some characters get better development than others, action isn't incredible|
This is a case where a show really surprised me by being far more creative and interesting than I ever expected. With Endro I fully expected a cute show about a female cast at adventurer’s school. A lot of focus on training and just a nice cast goofing around. Instead this show had a pretty interesting story. Oh it was still about a cute and likable cast of characters. But there was a legitimate overarching story with this show that had me quite invested as the show moved towards the last episode. They fit in some nice character episodes and took the cast beyond the arch types I presumed they’d neatly fit into from the summary and the preview material. That isn’t to say this was one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen, but it was really quite good. Endro was a very pleasant surprise.
Now Endro isn’t a show that is going to blow you away with incredible action. The action itself is ok though. They get some decent effects in for the magic and the main cast do get a few moments to shine along the way. But it is a show more about the characters, telling a story and enjoying their antics. It starts pretty well with a few surprises. And the last couple episodes do end up having some emotional weight to them. How things played out in this show rarely went exactly how I expected. And yet I enjoyed the surprise each time. This is a show that you can watch with a smile and feel like it was time well spent.
The story in this case takes place on a rather large island called Naral. While the Adventurer School is the case of operations for the main cast, they do go beyond that. Over the course of the show the cast either as a group or in smaller pairs do go to various locations. One show’s strengths are that it doesn’t just revolve around the school. After all the main cast are going to a school to become adventurers and heroes. It wouldn’t make much sense to just sit around in classrooms the entire time (although they do that at times).
Of course the school does matter. The demon lord the main cast fought at the start of the show is sent back in time and becomes their teacher. There’s no way for the school to be unimportant in that situation. The story focuses in on the hero and her friends while they were students at that school. We get to see them mature over various little adventures and delve into their motivations. Those motivations may not be extremely complex, but they do matter to the characters.
A lot of focus does go to the Demon Lord Mao. She is the character that remembers what happened in the past and has to decide how she wants to proceed going forward. Whether she decides to try and deal with the heroes before they become a threat or something else is entirely up to her. A fun element to the story of this show is how it tackles the idea of the Demon Lord and the Hero. A Demon Lord rises, then a Hero appears to defeat them, and then the Demon Lord rises again. That is the setting of this series and the show doesn’t just gloss over that. Characters note how many hundreds of times this pattern has repeated and it has interesting plot ramifications.
One thing I really enjoyed about this show is how many elements connect to each other. A point made in one episode may very well be cruicial to events in another episode. There are a fair amount of “I see how that was important now” moments as you get through the series. The show isn’t unbelievably deep with characters you can spend hours breaking down (although Mao does come close at times to that). What this show does do is tell the story it set out to tell. And it manages to tell that story in a very enjoyable way. There are enough surprises and nice character moments to make it rise above just being an average show.
This is a show with a fair amount of important characters. How important can vary from episode to episode, but as a whole you have 6 characters that really matter with a few more in the supporting cast. You can’t talk about the show without the Hero. While I could argue about Mao being the real main character here, let’s start with Yulia Chardiet or Yusha (hero) as everyone calls her. She is the naïve, good natured, and friendly hero that you’d expect. They play up the comedic aspect of her having a broken luck stat and that she can open trapped treasure chests without ever failing. But the show also does try to delve into who Yusha is. Why does she want to be a Hero? And does her ideal of being a Hero match up with the realities of what a Hero must be?
This is a case where the Demon Lord is easily one of the most important characters. Mao could have easily been a weak cliché of a plotting villain who constantly seeks to undermine her students. But she really develops through this show and gets some nice character moments. The show delves into her motivations as the Demon Lord, her feelings about being a teacher, how she ended up in her situation, and what she really wants out of her life. She is likely the best developed and explored character in the show.
Another key character outside of the main party is Princess Rona. This princess is one heck of a hero fanatic. Despite there being hundreds of past heroes she seems to know the stories and qualities of every single one. Despite not immediately showing up in the story she also gets a nice amount of character development. Her starting point is very much the lover of heroes who most definitely wants to marry one. Rona is another character that could have easily just stayed within a simple personality type and that would have been fine. But the show does a nice job giving her moments to shine and develop beyond just that.
Getting to the Hero team though, it is worth talking about Seira. Her full name is Ellenoar Seiran and she reflects how many in the Hero party go by nicknames since their real names are too involved even for their allies. She is the priestess of the party, an elf, and a constant source of information for the party. Seria isn’t an incredibly deep character, but she does have enough quirks to stand out. She is probably the closest within the team to Yusha and I enjoyed finding out more about her. The reasons for a lot of what she does did leave me chuckling.
Another member of the Hero party is Mei or rather Mather Enderstto. She is one of the easiest characters to define. Even within the show the rest of the cast defines her as the Cartado fanatic. Cartado is the entire magic system of that universe. They can be used one at a time or combined for a variety of effects; be it summoning weapons, using magical attacks, entering dreams, summoning stored food, etc. Mei being focused on them as the team’s mage would make sense. But truly Mei is more the type to become a mage because she loves Cartado so much. She’s a good source of comedy and tries poorly at times to make her puns stick. And even Mei does get some fun character moments. The show simply stays true to her overwhelming interest in Cartado.
The last party member is Fai Fai. This is one character where just calling her Fai all the time makes total sense. She’s the warrior of the team and utterly food obsessed. It is never a good idea to leave that girl hungry. But she isn’t just defined by that. Fai is certainly the wildest of the bunch and she does get a few episodes to develop her relationships with others. Like any of the cast we get a good view of what she is as an overall person. Fai is a pretty free-type of person who has a lot of physical strength and a strong affection for those she builds a close bond to.
This show is extremely cute. And that is meant quite literally. The hero sword that Yusha has is a giant pink blade. I give credit to the show though that they don’t make the sword change to pink. It was always a pink blade. Every one of the 998 previous heroes used a giant pink sword to slay their demon king enemy. Anyways…the visual style of the show can be easily described as cute. The colours are bright, pop, and they fit a show that is overall trying to have a lighter tone. Again, I would say the action isn’t crazy detailed. But the magic from the cartado in the show can have pretty flashy effects. And the show does have a few action scenes where it gets a bit more serious. The art style is nice even if they can’t go all out on the animation for action sequences.
The audio was perfectly solid in this show. The soundtrack isn’t one of the most memorable, but it did the job. The OP was a rather cute one as you’d expect from this show. I’m always for the opening or ending sequences being sung by the voice cast of the show. And they do a very nice job making an upbeat and fun to listen to song. The ED is also a nice for the show and sung by Mei’s VA (Inori Minase). Combined I’d say this show had a very solid combination of starting and ending songs that left me listening to both for the entirety of the series. Not something that happens for every show. Of course the voice cast as a whole were great picks and fit their characters. From the main hero party to Mao, they were a likable bunch.
In a lot of ways it very much was another cute girls doing cute things type of show. But those cute things involved going on adventures, finding powerful monsters, going to an adventurer school and saving people in trouble. There were a lot of surprises along the way and it kept me invested until the very end. While shows can occupy the same space and genre as another show, it is all about what you do with that specific story. This show takes a lot of those familiar clichés and does add an interesting spin to a lot of them. It avoids getting caught up too much in one pattern or another.
Endro was a good show. The comedic aspect was fine and it did have me invested going into the last few episodes. It delved nicely into some concepts that normally I’d have expected this kind of show to just pass on discussing. And frankly it ended well and serves as a very nice self-contained story. Outside of Mao, Rona, and arguably Yusha the rest of the Hero party aren’t overly deep. They fit into their own troupes well enough, but only occasionally push beyond that. The action won’t blow anyone away, but the focus is on the story, the characters, and the humor. And even in saying all that, the action in the show is perfectly fine for this kind of show.
It is worth checking out for a few episodes if nothing else. Of course if either the fantasy genre or the cute girl genre isn’t a fit, then I doubt this show will wow you enough to love it. But so long as there is an interest in either or both of those then it will be an enjoyable ride. It’s a complete story and in my view more than worth giving it a B+.
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