What do you get when you cross Yuru Yuri with a Fantasy JRPG style setting? Something along the lines of this show essentially. Whether it was a recipe for success or not is what we are about to find out as we take a look at ENDRO~!
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy.
Themes: JRPG, Parody, Yuri.
Number of Episodes: 12
Plot Summary: Yulia “Yusha” Chardiet is a young adventurer-in-training who dreams of becoming a legendary Hero and defeating a Demon Lord. The only problem is that there’s no Demon Lord in the world at the moment, which means nobody can choose Hero as their adventuring class. That leaves Yusha classless for the time being, but she’s getting by with help from her friends Seira the priest, Fai the warrior, and Mei the mage. Their adorable new adventuring instructor Mao has challenged the class to complete a simple dungeon, but this pint-sized teacher might just be a little more demonic than she appears.
The first five minutes or so of the premiere make clear what kind of anime this will be, a cute, fun comedic romp with some cool action here and there. Essentially a “female centered spinoff” without actually being one. Heck the first five minutes are a sign of the excellent comedic writing the show has to offer. There were plenty of episodes I bust my gut. I think of this show as a cuter, funnier and longer Bikini Warriors but with less ecchi, though it has its fair share of sexy moments. Like BW this show is chock full of jokes about JRPG references, jokes and tropes and all excellently executed, such as color/palette swap enemies, NPCs and of course bikini armor to name a few of many. Heck, Mei’s love for Cartado is also a reference. Heck even the voices during commercial breaks that are intentionally off-sync is a reference.
Besides the JRPG stuff there are of course jokes about the characters themselves based on their personalities such as Seira’s figure and Fai’s bottomless pit stomach.
As mentioned above alongside the comedy there is also an interesting story being told that takes its time to unfold. There is an intriguing air of mystery about the main plot. Besides that there are of course character driven episodes where each of the four heroines has their time to shine and viewers learn more about them. Yusha being the leading lady has her development happen sporadically throughout the show. Of course we learn more about the island the story is set in along with its many mysteries. Do not worry. This is not like DOOM 4 where the protagonist cares little about what is going on and instead gets to beating up bad guys. No our heroines (usually) take the time to listen to what others have to say. Despite a lot going on the show is pretty straightforward and easy to follow. It has what the Yuru Yuri style of cuteness, humor and something else we will get to in a bit.
The animation is like updated Namori art. It looks like better Yuru Yuri style, similar to Release the Spyce’s animation. Good stuff. The OST is solid fantasy JRPG fare with the appropriate tune for the moment be it funny, relaxing or a battle. The OP and ED are catchy with the OP being one of my favorites of Winter 2019.
Our four leads, like I said about the show are straightforward as well.
We have the leader Yulia. A cheerful, optimistic leader who wants to be a hero above everything, enjoys doing the right thing and is a bit pudgy, making her extra cute.
Fai is my favorite of the four. More energetic than Yusha (being the powerhouse of the team as shown by her wonderful tig ol’ bitties) she too enjoys helping others but most of all she loves eating.
Mei is pretty much a Cartado (Mystical cards that can summon anything from weapons to food) otaku obsessed with collecting and researching as many as she can find to the point of going on long speeches about them. She is also a “master wise cracker”, emphasis on the quotation marks.
Seira is the “mature” one of the four often acting like the big sister/mom of the party. She is an elf, meaning expect a few ancient jokes. She also has a very reasonable wish.
There is more to Mao-Sensei than being small and cute and borrowing Nero Claudius’ catchphrase. Much more.
As for the yuri it is most certainly there. There is more of it than Fai nibbling on Seira’s ear of course. In fact, expect to see a surprising moment when a certain someone finally makes her debut.
Overall ENDRO~! is a very fun show that almost everyone can pick up and enjoy. The comedy is excellent, the JRPG references, tropes and jokes are well done, the cast are all likable and the yuri is good. Expect to have a great time with this one…at least I imagine most who read this will/did.
PS: Guess which of these is my favorite background character.