Endro Review: The quest to become a great hero

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The hero's party faces off against the demon lord

Somehow, this series wasn’t actually a video game adaptation. It certainly seems like it from the beginning. The legendary Hero faces off against the Demon Lord with three fellow adventurers. They cast a forbidden spell and the Demon Lord is sealed away. The credits roll. Wait, this is all from the first episode. In reality, this forbidden spell turns out to be a time spell that sends the demon lord to the past, where she resolves to sabotage the Hero’s journey.

Seira gets embarrassed

To be honest, that introduction was enough to catch my interest for this series. As a whole, the series has a charming sense of playfulness that I greatly enjoyed. It takes the standard fantasy adventure premise and turns it into a goofy slice of life with both the protagonists and the main villain. I probably would have preferred if the hero, aptly nicknamed Yuusha, wasn’t actually the airhead she seemed to be, but I suppose it fits with the story.

Mao tries to jump above the podium

Along those same lines, I thought that the characters in the series had an equal charm to them. Even the girl whose only gimmick was that she’s obsessed with the cards they use to cast spells had her own character arc of sorts. The demon lord herself, who takes on the name Mao, also has a nice transition, making real connections outside of the main character to help her redemption story.

The legendary hero wields a club

All in all, I don’t have too much to say about this series. It’s that kind of show. It does have a pastel color style that I think is a bit overboard, but I can live with that. I thought that the series was surprisingly funny, so it was always fun to watch. Also, the number of scenes that were screenshot-worthy in this series was truly impressive (and that’s definitely important, right?).

Overall Score: 7/10

Random First Impressions: Endro, Girly Air Force

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I’m nearly done with the first impressions for shows I’ve watched. Here are two more.

The hero has a simple wish to make people smile

Endro First Impressions (1)

Honestly, there’s not too much to say about this series. I tend to like this kind of show, but it’s not for everyone. The basic idea is simple. In this fantasy world, the hero, playfully named Yuusha, and her party defeat the demon lord with forbidden dimension magic. This magic ends up sending the demon lord back in time as a little girl. Adopting the name Mao, the demon lord attempts to change history and prevent her inevitable defeat at the hands of the hero.

Yuusha pulls out the cursed sword

It seems unfair to judge this series as a time travel series, but it incorporates that element to a small degree. Unsurprisingly, it’s not great as a time travel series, since history seems to follow the same course despite Mao’s interference. That inevitably begs the question of why Mao doesn’t know this already, which I’m sure will have some boring explanation. And given the straightforward nature of Yuusha, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s eventually revealed that this is her plan all along, giving the demon lord a chance to smile or something.

Roll credits

That being said, I still think the episode was fun to watch when I didn’t take it too seriously. The scenes are cute, and I appreciate a series that doesn’t mind poking fun at itself. The early credits scene makes a lot more sense with the time travel aspect, and I definitely thought it was hilarious when Yuusha was forced to use a club as a weapon.

Kei waits outside of the base

Girly Air Force First Impressions (1-2)

A non-trivial amount of my interest in this series comes from the fact that I grew up near an air force base. The first episode sets up the basic story, which follows Kei Narutani, a Chinese refugee who lost his mother to an attack by the unknown flying creatures known as Xi. In an attack over Shanghai, Kei meets Gripen, an Anima designed to fight the Xi, and becomes tasked with helping Gripen.

Gripen is scatterbrained

I mean, I guess this series works as a typical cute girls story with some sci-fi aspect incorporated. I just have a hard time taking it seriously when I see an episode like the second episode, which seemed like it was filled to the brim with the standard, almost romcom-esque, setup.

Gripen feels like something is missing.

They’re really going full force into this whole “the girls are planes” thing, huh? I suppose I can’t be too upset with Kei. He still probably sees Gripen as the pilot, so he can’t be expected to assume that he should pilot her.

Inuyashiki Final Episode (11): Saving the world

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I honestly had a lot of trouble with this ending. The episode felt like it was rushing through things and the final scenes didn’t quite feel right to me. But hey…Donald Trump was in there. I have no idea why his English sounded so broken, though. Maybe that previous episode was just a fluke.

Giving Inuyashiki a chance to reconcile with his family seemed nice, but I still had trouble with it. You might be able to get away with saying that Mari’s near-death experience put the family troubles into perspective, but I didn’t feel like I was being shown that. It almost seemed like they saw Inuyashiki saving people and decided they wanted to be a family again.

Similarly, Hiro’s reconciliation seemed to come out of nowhere. Was it the result of his conversation with Inuyashiki last week? Was he finally moved by the people who were condemning him after he “died”?

There’s also the issue of the public reaction to the asteroid. It makes sense that people would start devolving into chaos with the end at hand, but that reaction seemed to be largely swept aside. To me, that kind of portrayal emphasizes that the asteroid really only exists to move the plot, which is frustrating.

I didn’t really like that Inuyashiki had to die as well. You could argue that it would have been more troublesome if he was going around as the only robot in the world, but I think those kinds of complicated endings are more interesting. Killing him to solve that problem just seems like a quick way out of the situation. Plus, wasn’t Hiro supposed to be the better robot? How did he mess up his simulation?

Final Score: 6.5/10 Interesting in many parts, but felt unsatisfying overall

Inuyashiki Episode 10: Finding the villain

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This episode certainly had some good points to it, but I guess I was expecting a bit more from the inevitable first fight between Inuyashiki and Hiro. The flying section felt like it was full of lasers and freeze frames that didn’t look particularly good. Maybe we’ll get a better one in the final episode.

The battle on the ground wasn’t too much either, but it was pretty funny to see Inuyashiki learning to use the finger guns from watching Hiro.

Look, I know I’m supposed to feel scared for Mari and everything, but it’s really hard to feel any sense of tension for an important character when the two main characters have shown that they can heal pretty much anything. I’m guessing this scene was supposed to show that Inuyashiki can’t do anything if the target is dead, which is why he had to resuscitate Mari first. However, the other people he saves immediately after saving Mari kinda trivialize that idea.

Still, it was nice to see Inuyashiki grateful for his new purpose in life.

Hiro might have just found out that he’s the villain in the story, but he’s doing a good job of filling that role.

Inuyashiki Episode 9: Practically a meme

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Well, this episode was certainly a heck of an experience. This series is certainly escalating. For me, this was kind of a mixed bag, but I feel like I’m weighing it heavily based on what I think is to come.

Okay, we get that the asteroid is a big deal already. I’m starting to think that this is just building to an ending where Hiro destroys the asteroid in order to redeem himself after the slaughter he’s caused. And while I don’t believe that this confidence in America should be justified, I absolutely believe that there are people who think this.

Yeah, I get that shock is a thing, but this is a pretty calm reaction to seeing a guy with his brains splattered on the ground. The blood is pretty clearly visible.

I really can’t tell whether this “trick” from Hiro is good or bad. It seems a bit trivial for him to restrict himself to killing through a smartphone when there’s no reason to do it. However, maybe tricking people is intended for some reason. If it’s there, I didn’t see it.

I will give the episode credit for this. Even if it was a couple of lines, the English lines in this scene sounded like actual English, which is more than I expected. Still, this woman loses points for having her cell phone connected enough to play an online video as the plane was taking off.

Please tell me that it’s intentional that the episode with a plane crashing into a city is episode 9 out of 11. Also, the plane from this perspective looks strangely large for a plane.

Inuyashiki Episode 8: That was fast

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You know, I might have liked this complete 180 more if it wasn’t immediately following another complete 180…in the same character. I understand that the point is to show that the teenage mind is volatile, but cut me a little slack here. I also wonder if it cuts too much into Inuyashiki’s story. He’s felt like a minor character the past couple of episodes.

Probably the most unbelievable part of this raid is the fact that the SWAT team guns down a defenseless grandmother before shooting the girl who was literally calling out to warn Hiro.

Please tell me that the aliens that gave Hiro and Inuyashiki robot bodies are behind this asteroid. Otherwise, the show is expecting me to believe that none of the astronomers on the planet were able to notice a 50km asteroid headed towards Earth.

Ando’s casual references to how much Hiro outclasses Inuyashiki are actually pretty funny. However, I recall that Ando was pretty hesitant to participate too far into Hiro’s antics, so I’m starting to wonder how he knows so much about Hiro’s capabilities.

Part of the reason I bring up Inuyashiki’s lack of presence is the fact that I was surprised to see that Mari was suddenly becoming a major character. Do we really have time for her? Or does she only exist to give Inuyashiki father points? I admit that the scene where Inuyashiki supported her manga dream was nice. It was pretty good for a guy who was prepared to hide a terminal cancer diagnosis from his family.

Did Hiro really make the mistake of creating an enemy who will return to mess with him in the future?

Inuyashiki Episode 7: Brief moment of hope

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I really can’t tell whether this episode is believable or not. Hiro’s redemption in this episode isn’t super surprising, but I’m wondering about how it was done. On the one hand, Hiro’s still at an age when changes like this aren’t crazy. But on the other hand, he went from murderer to savior in a single conversation.

All of that aside, I did think that Hiro’s explanation for his actions was interesting. He’s pretty much pursuing a feeling from his past by killing others. It also fits a bit with how he changes…something as flimsy as a single experience can be shifted easier than something like psychopathy.

The moral question in this episode isn’t bad either. Can you make up for excessive killing by saving others? I think Hiro oversimplifies it by saying that he’d save as many lives as he took, but the question still stands. It’s basically the question of how far someone has to go before we consider them to be irredeemable. It’s easy to say that Hiro is too much of a threat because he’ll likely kill again, but how do we set that threshold?

Anyway, I guess we’ll see how far Hiro will go next week. Given the final scene, I can’t see things going well. It’s a pity. I would have found it interesting Inuyashiki and Hiro started moving towards some common grey area, rather than standing them on opposite sides of the moral line.

Given that Inuyashiki and Hiro have both been flying for over two months now, I’m surprised that no one has noticed this sooner.

Inuyashiki Episode 6: Internet never changes

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I don’t know if it’s just me, but something about this episode didn’t really sit well with me. Having Hiro’s mother commit suicide makes sense as a way to force Hiro off the edge. But his current development really screams for a redemption, and I’m wondering if it’s being pushed too hard.

The whole 2chan thing felt really heavy-handed too. A message of “don’t be too cavalier with what you say online” is fine, but the episode felt like it was going out of its way to justify Hiro’s killings. Hiro does murder a bunch of reporters harassing his father, but it felt like the episode spent more time on the troll hunting part as if it was really pushing its message.

I mean, is passing Hiro’s address to the media such a horrible thing? I know it’s an age where we don’t trust the media and all, but I imagine they must be competent enough to find where a person lives with a name.

And while I find Inuyashiki’s scenes entertaining, I’m starting to wonder if he’s been relegated too much to comedic support. This phone scene also bugged me because Inuyashiki talks with Andou without accepting the call. That’s just not how phones work.

Also, how incompetent is the police that they all managed to miss that Hiro flew away?

Inuyashiki Episode 5: Busted

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I suppose this episode was meant to soften Hiro a bit after all that we’ve seen him do. Overall, I don’t particularly have a problem with it. I’m not sure if there’s more to Hiro’s past that has made him as ruthless as he is, but this week’s episode suggests that he could turn it around. On the Inuyashiki side of things, it was nice to see him finally get some validation from Ando.

In the case of Hiro, you could make the argument that it’s easier to make someone who cares about few things care more than it is to make someone who doesn’t care at all care. I’m assuming that’s the idea that this episode was trying to propose by showing how much Hiro would do to make his mother happy.

This dream sequence where Hiro is human again was pretty random, but I guess it shows that he was starting to see his new condition as a curse. I’m curious if that was a persistent thought or just something that was starting to happen with the events in this episode.

I also wonder how Hiro really got caught. This episode showed him becoming a bit more bold with his actions, especially with the money he was gathering, in order to help his mother. However, the events near the end seemed to heavily suggest that Ando turned him in. There was the comment about a witness coming forward and that dramatically slow shot where Ando walked past Hiro. That’s probably the obvious answer.

I’m looking forward to seeing where things go next. I suppose Hiro could take his mother and try to hide away somewhere, but I kinda want to see that Hiro vs. Inuyashiki fight that’s in the making.

Inuyashiki Episode 4: The hero in action

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I really wasn’t expecting an episode like this, but I guess it works. It was kinda interesting to see an entire episode devoted to showing off Inuyashiki in action. That being said, I have a bit of a problem with how the yakuza boss is portrayed as someone so clearly “evil”. I suppose the idea was to justify Inuyashiki’s swift “justice” at the end, but it’s hard to watch.

I think the characterization might be justified if the yakuza guy returns as an enemy in the future, but this episode doesn’t really inspire much confidence. I think one of the episode’s strengths is that it didn’t try to force a connection to the overarching story. However, this approach kinda solidifies the idea that’s completely a side story.

To be honest, I was completely expecting this story to be some kind of background story for Inuyashiki in disguise. As I said before, I was really expecting that link to show up.

During the scene where Inuyashiki rescuscitates Satoru, I was also expecting some kind of flashback to when Inuyashiki went to the hospital in last week’s episode. I was thinking the flashback would show Inuyashiki failing to help people in the hospital to push the point that his power isn’t too insane.

Does it really make sense that Inuyashiki went down from a few shots to the head, but he seems conscious through most of this bullet storm?