BanG Dream! 2nd Season, Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka and now ENDRO!: my three most anticipated shows of the winter season. As such, they are the three I have chosen to cover weekly, and I shall be turning my attention to the first episode of ENDRO!.
Much like Release the Spyce from the previous season, ENDRO! has characters designed by Namori of YuruYuri fame. Put them in a fantasy setting, and you have a recipe for something that I will potentially love.
ENDRO! wastes absolutely no time in its first episode, skipping straight to the final battle.
I’ll start things off with a quick introduction of our four main characters. The hero in this anime is Yusha – a fitting name, if you know your Japanese.
Yusha has three allies: Mei, Seira and Fai. Together, the four fill out a pretty typical RPG party. Yusha’s party has their final foe standing before them: the Demon King.
The Demon King offers half the world to Yusha, which may be a reference to one of the Dragon Quest games in which the final boss makes a similar offer – you get a non-standard game over should you accept. Of course, Yusha has no intention of accepting the Demon King’s offer, and instead she fights him together with her party. Their attacks do very little, so they end up having to rely on a dangerous forbidden technique to defeat the Demon King. It works, so the end credits roll.
Of course, we’re barely five minutes in at this point, so the episode continues.
After the end credits, we see Seira waking up Yusha, and all four party members making their way to adventurer school shortly after that. This is where we get a little more information on Yusha and the others. Seira is a priest, Fai is a warrior, Mei is a mage and Yusha’s class is listed as ‘?’ for now. There is also something known as ‘Cartado’, which basically lets people use cards to cast magic spells – reminds of the Lost Kingdoms games for GameCube, which I have just discovered were developed by FromSoftware. Baten Kaitos is another JRPG I can think of that also incorporated cards into its battle system.
Back to ENDRO!, and the girls arrive at the adventurer school where they discover that they have a new teacher.
Their new teacher is a girl by the name of Mao, who everyone immediately finds cute. Yusha even hugs her, and Mao seems to be rather weary when she hears that Yusha’s actual name is Yulia Chardet.
During one of her lessons, Mao goes over classes and declares that Yusha is classless, as the ‘Hero’ class can’t exist without a Demon Lord.
Mao arranges for the class to go and explore an ancient ruin, and they have to find some items she scattered in there and bring them back. If anyone fails the test, they’ll be expelled from the adventurer school.
Yusha’s party is the last one to enter the ruins. Before we get to that, though, we get a little insight into Mao.
Going back to the battle against the Demon King, or Demon Lord or whatever, the forbidden technique that Yusha and the others used actually failed. Instead of sealing the Demon King away, it transformed him into Mao and sent her back in time – to before Yusha became the Hero.
In an effort to prevent Yusha from becoming a Hero, Mao infiltrated the adventurer school and intends to stop Yusha from fulfilling her destiny.
Yusha’s party descend into the ruins, steadily advancing through them. What they don’t know is that Mao has made preparations to lead them on the wrong path, leading them into all sorts of situations. I won’t go into detail about each one, but they are all fairly amusing – and the music that accompanies that particular montage is great, too.
After a few trials, Yusha and the others end up stumbling upon the
Master Sword Hero’s Sword. Seira is convinced that it is another trap and tells Yusha to wait, but Yusha has no intention of doing so. She draws the blade from the pedestal.
Seira is pretty exasperated about Yusha drawing the sword. She is right to be, as it turns out that whoever draws the blade will face a trial. Said trial comes in the shape of a golem, which Yusha almost doesn’t notice because she is too focused on her shiny new sword.
After parrying the golem’s attack, Yusha and her party work together to defeat their foe. Yusha manages to destroy the ruins in the process, and all four girls walk out of the cloud of dust mostly unharmed. Mao was just about ready to expel them, so she isn’t best pleased to see them. There’s also one more piece of bad news for Mao.
Now that Yusha has drawn the Hero’s Sword and overcome the trial of the golem, she goes from being classless to being a Hero. Mao’s efforts to prevent Yusha from becoming a Hero have failed; in fact, sending Yusha into those ruins may have helped her along instead. That brings the first episode to an end.
I’m already absolutely in love with ENDRO!. Everything about it just appeals to me; we’ve got cute, Namori designed characters, a fantasy setting and some RPG references here and there. There is also a great sense of humour as well; the credits rolling after the Demon King’s defeat got a good laugh out of me. So too did the interactions between characters, and Mao was pretty good as well.
ENDRO! was easily one of my most anticipated shows for this winter season of anime, and it absolutely surpassed my expectations. I’d go as far to say that ENDRO! has had the best first episode this season.