ENDRO! Series Review

ENDRO Series Review
Endro! Episode 1

Cute Girls Do Hero Things? Go ENDRO!

I’m going to honestly say I wasn’t planning on watching Endro! The cutesy characters and pastel colours shining on all the images I saw of the anime prior to watching were more or less a flashing warning sign to stay away. It was Matt from Anime Q and A who suggested I should try this one after the first episode aired. Now, if you follow both of our blogs you will know our tastes in anime are vastly different as is our hook for watching, and yet knowing that Matt still suggested I give this one a go. That certainly got me curious.

While Endro didn’t end up being an anime that wowed me, I am kind of glad he made me pay attention to it. For all that the slice of life and the cute girls doing cute things tropes are definitely there, the fantasy setting and the comedy built around the heroes defeating the demon lord which is such a vastly overused setting actually work pretty well. There’s certainly a range of reasons to try Endro and depending on what sort of anime you like there’s different things you might take away from it.

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Now generally when an anime tries its hand at too many things what you end up with is a convoluted mess. Endro is actually pretty skillful at working its different aspects together. The opening sequence is the class scene you would normally see at the end of a story with the four heroes finally attacking the demon lords stronghold and making their way toward the final foe. The fact that the heroes are four pastel and scantily armoured girls in this instance is just something you can put down to anime at the time because otherwise the scene is playing out exactly as you would expect.

However, as the heroes launch their final spell you notice things aren’t exactly going right and soon we are back in time with the demon lord now an obnoxious loli character who decides to become a teacher at the school the girls who will become the heroes are attending in order to ensure that they never become a threat to her.

Endro Episode 1

From fantasy, to self-aware satire, and then into a slice of life school life kind of story, the transitions are relatively seamless and all seem fairly logical at the time. Where it is less appealing is that as we move away from the adventuring to the school living side of things my overall interest in the characters took a dive. Still it wasn’t as though the story just jammed itself in neutral after it got there.

At fairly nicely spaced intervals the girls go on other adventures and face other dangers. So those enjoying the fantasy quest angle will get enough to hold their interest, just as those who enjoy the quiet moments talking about dreams in the school dorm will get their fill. As I said, it is a rarity, but Endro does balance things nicely and never leaves you waiting too long. Where it didn’t quite succeed for me was the main characters themselves.

Endro Episode 3 The Hero Team

Don’t get me wrong. They’re all beautiful and charming in their own way with sufficient diversity in hair colour and personality to pull off a reasonable group dynamic. Yet individually none of them were all that compelling and really, for the slice of life elements to do more than mark time (for me) I really need some kind of actual connection with the characters involved. Here they were fine. Which made watching those segments fine. But would I do it again? Probably not.

Endro Episode 4 Mao

The cast is made a little less thrilling in the earlier episodes by how truly annoying and childish the demon lord is in her schemes. Later on, they manage to make her character far more interesting and a little bit likeable, but she’s hard to take early on in the series, unless you find her funny in which case you’ll probably like those moments a great deal more than I did. Still, I would have liked a little more ‘thought’ in some of her plans as she is given a prime opportunity to do away with her potential killers and yet she’s almost laughably bad at it (laughably bad is not the same as actually funny).

Endro Episode 5 Princess and Mao

Though it isn’t all bad news from a character point of view. As mentioned, they are all very cute, which is probably a must for the cute girls doing cute whatever fans out there. And then we have the introduction of the Princess, Rona, who really turns things on their heads on her arrival. Few characters get an introduction episode like Rona and honestly, she’s a breath of fresh air, manages to comment on the role of Princesses in stories and on same gender romance, and is just a fun character all in one package. Admittedly, she has diminishing returns after her first appearance, but it was quite a solid entrance.


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I will admit that I was a little fatigued with the comedy aspect of Endro by around the three-quarter mark but I’m glad I hung in there. This story does get a nice and complete ending and overall there’s a lot more to like in the show than there is to criticise.

Endro Episode 4 Finding Shells

There’s also a very weird focus on food throughout the story. Maybe it is part and parcel of the slice of life genre but whether it is camping out, preparing a meal for a sick teacher, or just dreaming, there’s an ongoing food obsession in this story. Part of that probably comes from one of the characters nibbling on another’s ear when she gets hungry and there’s no food, but they really do find the weirdest moments to bring food up and make it a feature.

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If you want your fill of cute girls doing hero things in a fantasy world, Endro is definitely worth a try. While it may not work for everyone, there’s plenty of appealing attributes and for once they’ve thought about how to make it all come together. The end result is relatively satisfying to watch even if not the most compelling.


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Karandi James


Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu Review Episode 11

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Money Can’t Solve This Problem

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Hitoribocchi Episode 11

It seems weird in the penultimate episode to introduce a new character that within one episode grabs Bocchi’s attention and is befriended but at the same time this episode had a lot of heart so despite the weird timing I can’t really fault it. Hitoribocchi does like its socially awkward characters and the rich girl air-head who is lonely that they introduce certainly fits the mould they’ve been following so far.

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The running joke of the episode is that neight Bocchi, nor the rich girl, have anything resembling an understanding of how the world works. We’ve known this from the beginning about Bocchi in terms of her plans to tell people the class was cancelled or similar rather than facing reality. To see another student join her as a partner in crime and misunderstandings is possibly pushing it a bit.

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Anyway, in order to avoid changing classes the rich girl decides Bocchi should just buy the school and so gets her a job folding paper cranes. Understandably, the job doesn’t pay much and then the two realise that buying the school is more or less impossible given it isn’t for sale. But, friendship forms through the misadventure and ultimately they all decide to use Bocchi’s limited wages to take a photo together.

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There’s a real sweetness to the overall story here and the photo of friends and the courage the girl gains to message her parents and to tell them how she’s feeling are a solid way to end the episode. As much as Hitoribocchi hasn’t really been for me this season I can really appreciate what this episode aimed to achieve.

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Now the question is, what does the final episode do to end the story. I’m assuming they will finish the school year but what will the characters have gained in the process?


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Karandi James


Hitoribocchi no Marumau Seikatsu Review Episode 10

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The Student Becomes The Master’s Friend

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Hitoribocchi Episode 10

I kind of knew I was over this series when, in a week where I was tight for time, this was one of the first episodes I just skipped watching with the intention of getting back to it. Now the anime is finished and I’m only just watching episode 10 with two more to go and to be honest, I’m kind of indifferent as to whether I finish it or not.

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Oh, don’t look at me like that.

That said, Hitoribocchi did deliver a pretty solid tenth episode where we finally deal with the master-student dynamic between Bocchi and Sotoka after Bocchi makes friends with the pancake girls from last episode and Sotoka gets really jealous. Okay, it’s kind of silly but it does force what little plot we have here forward. It also pushes Aru and Nako into supporting roles that allows them to both operate at their best bringing a few genuine laughs to the sidelines of this episode.

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Outside of the progress on the friend quest, we get the usual high school antics with the closing ceremony, followed by a shrine visit for New Year’s, and morning greetings. There’s nothing overly new to be seen but if you are enjoying the cast than seeing them in the different situations will be fun enough.

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My takeaway was that Bocchi has some pretty incredible origami skills (then again I think most people who can actually do origami are incredible given I tend to get stuck midway through the directions of most creations). Her new style Shuriken are pretty cool and watching Sotoka and Bocchi running from the room to throw it together as friends was very smile worthy.

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Even my cynical self admits that is pretty cute.

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Karandi James


Hitoribocchi Review Episode 7

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Not quite the summer vacation she’s been dreaming of.

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Episode 7

The summer cliché episode hits us full force as Hitoribocchi ‘dazzles’ us with its less than stellar take on the first summer vacation. Bocchi and her friends decide to hang out and we get a trip to the pool and karaoke with fairly predictable outcomes before they decide to attempt ot drop an emotional bombshell but mostly it just makes me wonder once again about Kai and the challenge she set Bocchi. As much as I appreciate that Kai wanted Bocchi to make some friends, this scene is just idiotic and even if Bocchi gets through the challenge realistically that’s a friendship that has now been left dead in the water.

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On the brighter side, Hitoribocchi continues to give us some incredibly over the top facial expressions and reactions from Bocchi. They are perhaps my favourite part of this episode as she reels from one situation to the next.

I did also like that her ‘plans’ continue to fail. The final plan to have a conversation with someone before the vacation by removing her tie didn’t go at all according to her simulation and I do think that was fairly relatable. I certainly have tried to think my way through a conversation before having it and then realised about two exchanges in that the rehearsal was completely off-base.

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As a whole package though I’m still finding this one a little hard to take and while there are some amusing moments to be found here there’s a lot that leaves things to be desired and overall it would just be nice if it were a little bit stronger as a story or the characters were just a little more believable. The cute girls doing whatever scenario is workable but this one just isn’t solid enough.

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A Time For Choices

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Endro Episode 12 Review

I don’t have a huge amount to say about this final episode of Endro. It was, like most other episodes of Endro, cute and charming in it’s own way, played the tropes of its genre well with a few minor twists to keep things entertaining, and ultimately went for a saccharine ending that I really can’t fault it for. Overall, this anime reminds me a little bit of fairy floss (or I guess cotton candy depending on where you live). It looks pretty, kind of tastes great for a moment, but leaves you with very little substance.

Endro Episode 12 -Fai

I’ll probably look more at that idea when I review the series as a whole but this episode really didn’t deliver much in the way of surprises (and we are going to head into spoiler territory).

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Now, who is a cranky demon lord?

To no one’s surprise, Yulia is feeling conflicted about the idea of fighting Mao even if it is to save the Princess. After a sob-story from the golem it becomes even more clear that this is one epic hero vs demon lord battle that just isn’t going to happen. The overall solution is a little trite but very in keeping with the story. I do however like the story’s overall commitment to characterisation.

Endro Episode 12 - The Hero's Party

When faced with a part of the story they’ve spun that doesn’t quite add up, the girls ultimately shrug it off with a ‘whatever’ and get on with having fun. It keep beautifully with their actions up until now where they ponder things briefly but never get too deep into anything before becoming distracted by something new and shiny.

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While ultimately we end up much where we started and it might seem like no advancement was made, it does feel like the characters are starting out a little wiser this time round and even if they make mistakes they’ll find a way to get through them.

Endro Episode 12 - Yulia
My Hero

In a season of fairly decent series, Endro isn’t topping my list but I’ve certainly had fun enough with this story and I’m kind of looking forward to doing my full series review of it.


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Apparently They Do Grow On Trees

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Endro Episode 9 Review

Like me, you probably didn’t actually bother to think about where the Cartado the characters have been using in Endro have come from. I mean, it is hardly a critical plot point other than Mei’s obsessive fascination with everything to do with them. However, here’s an episode devoted entirely to the mystery of where they come from and how they are harvested.

Endro Episode 9 Cartado Trees

That’s right, harvested. Because apparently these cards to grow on trees in a hidden village that the overly cute girls have just scored themselves an invitation to for a festival.

Arriving at the village takes a few little leaps but doesn’t eat much of the episode. It does, as normal, highlight the different personalities of the girls in the core group with Mei, the usually reserved one, being as determined as we’ve ever seen her to reach their destination.

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Once there though the story just goes for full cute and weird with the girls seeing the trees laden with cards, changing outfits, and then participating in a competition to become the cartado king by harvesting the rarest ‘wild’ cartado. It’s all kind of good fun though I do like that the end result of becoming the king is a one off lap around the village and that’s all the pay-off, other than the bragging rights which I’m certain Mei is definitely holding onto even if the village location is a secret.

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As usual for this series, we get a lot of fluff and silliness, a bit of heart, and some weird antics. It all works well and the episode plays nicely. Now I just wonder why they don’t grow those trees in more places.

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Endro Episode 10 Review

Episode 10 of Endro is a little bit weird. Okay, a lot weird but only a little bit by Endro standards. The girls are on what was meant to be an ‘easy’ quest apparently sent by Mao which makes me wonder if the Demon Lord is back to trying to off the hero or whether the snow-storm was a genuine mistake.

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Anyway, while huddled in the tent, they start sharing their dreams for the future in the hopes of keeping each other awake. They kind of fail but it turns out a monster was helping them along by showing them what they were dreaming of. Needless to say, each of the girls is dreaming of what we know they want, heroics, food, cards, and boobs, but Seira is able to break free of the dream when she realises it isn’t real.

There’s not a lot more to this episode other than Seira breaking the others out of their dream with the rather direct approach of smashing their dreamworlds to pieces with a hammer before they eat the combined crystallisation of their dreams (yep, weird even by Endro standards).

Endro Episode 10

Still, if you just want a bit of fun, this episode certainly hits the spot. It also plays on the whole time travel element with Yuusha’s dream most definitely being a throw back to the memory of fighting the demon lord way back in episode one.


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Karandi James


The Princess, The Hero, and Everyone Else

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Endro Episode 7 Review

When the Princess decides she wants to get to know the Hero’s companions, the audience is given an episode divided into three distinct segments each one having the Princess tail one of the companions for a day as they go about their business. While this could have been mind-numbingly dull, the Princess brings enough enthusiasm for both the companions and the history of previous companions to previous heroes to keep the episode bopping cutely along.

Endro Episode 7

I do feel that this episode missed an opportunity to expand on each of the three characters. With Seiran, Mather, and Fai each pretty much playing true to form, while it was cute and fun it didn’t add much to what we already knew about the characters. No hidden layers or unexpected elements here, just what you see is what you get.

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Again, that isn’t really a problem because the episode is light and frothy fun with the usual adorable antics at school, looking for Cartado or Fai’s eating contest. However, the tight focus on each one of these characters at various points provided space for them to be a little more fleshed out and I feel it is a bit of a pity that it wasn’t taken.

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Mao was also pretty absent from this episode but I feel that was deliberate given the focus really was on the Hero’s supporting characters. So while nothing overly special, this was enjoyable enough.

Endro Episode 8 Review

Episode 8 continues the focus on Princess Rona but this time she enlists Mao’s help to see the Hero in action. After spending time with the Hero and her friends day to day, Rona decides she wants to see the Hero facing a threat and unwilling to wait for one, she fabricates one.

Endro Episode 8 Rona and Mao

The end result is that the Hero’s party storms that ‘castle’ and takes on a range of threats, some less threatening than others before facing off against the Demon Lord while the Princess is trapped in a cage. Only, don’t expect a fight to the death, given the overall tone of this show, we end up getting a lesson about friendship and heroics before we all call it a day.

Endro Episode 8

While I didn’t find this episode quite as charming as the previous one, I do enjoy seeing Princess Rona becoming more of a character and less of a trope. She’s probably the character outside of Mao getting the most actual development in this story and while she’s a little bit over the top she’s quite fun.

If you’ve been enjoying Endro so far, this episode continues to be cute enough, a little bit of fantasy and action, a little bit of comedy, and a lot of friendship and pastel colours.

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ENDRO!: JUULIA CHARLDETTO
ENDRO!: JUULIA CHARLDETTO

The Sickly Sweet With A Lot Of Heart

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Endro Episode 6 Review

I’m wondering if Endro really did just make me like a character that I’ve really not felt much connection to previously and did it through using a tired old character got sick trope. And yeah, it really did. This episode I really enjoyed finding out more about Mao and her life as a demon lord before the hero’s botched attempt at defeating her sent her back in time. It was also nice seeing her appreciate her students and their care of her.

Endro Episode 6 Mao

There isn’t a whole lot to say about this pastel filled episode as the story is literally just Mao gets sick and in typical fashion has literally nothing in her house to eat and begins feeling sorry for herself when the hero’s party comes by and goes about cleaning up her house and preparing her a meal. It is all just sickly sweet and excessively optimistic and yet it manages to nicely round out Mao’s character. While we didn’t learn all that much new about her, this episode made it much easier to connect with her as a character and that was something I was kind of missing before.

Endro Episode 6 Mao

Though, it really is evidence that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to make something worth watching. While there isn’t really a single original point in this episode, they manage to deliver this fairly standard plot line in a way that makes it feel worth while and entertaining.

Endro Episode 6 Mao

That said, kind of hoping for a bit more adventure in next week’s episode, but I kind of feel like this was one of the stronger mid-season episodes I’ve watched this week.

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A Princess in Pursuit of Her Hero

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Endro Episode 5 Review

For all that Endro has been pleasant enough over the opening episodes, this episode drew me right into this story. It isn’t that it does anything particularly unique as it is very much playing on the Princess tropes in introducing a new character, but it is doing it in such a way that it makes this anime really feel like it has its own ideas and a tone it really wants to set.

Endro Episode 5 Princess Rona

Plenty of anime have a Princess who believes she will marry a hero or has a hero and a Princess fall in love. The hero being a female didn’t deter the Princess in the least and that was kind of interesting as the Princess clearly forced her way into Yuusha’s life and then threw an entire festival to raise the status of the hero. While there are some good laughs here it is also clear that this anime isn’t going to blink away from the idea of two characters of the same sex falling in love. It takes this head on.

Endro Episode 5 Princess gushing over hero

And that is admirable in itself but they follow it up with actual character development for the Princess in the same episode. She goes from being infatuated with Yuusha because she is the hero to actually seeing Yuusha as a person and liking her even more. The whole episode is just good fun but it is full of so many little moments that raise questions, make a point, or just stick out as interesting that it is difficult to really talk about the episode without doing a scene by scene break down given the overall plot is Princess shows up and throws festival, hero saves things when they go wrong.

Endro Episode 5 Princess and Mao

I will say that Mao was really good this episode. She’s a character I haven’t really liked previously but her role this week was very well used and the hints the Princess is dropping that she knows who Mao is are interesting as I wonder where they are taking that plot line. All and all, while I haven’t been fully behind this anime, this episode took some excellent steps and getting me drawn in to the story.

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They Went On Vacation And Somehow Saved The World

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Endro Episode 4 Review

It really does seem contradictory to have a fantasy/adventure story about a hero who wants to defeat a demon lord and then have it run more or less as a cute girls doing cute things slice of life anime. The mix really shouldn’t work. And while I will admit I find some of the sitting around while the characters have ditsy conversations a little dull, for the most part this anime is actually managing to balance these elements fairly well.

Endro Episode 4 Finding Shells

Episode 4 is a good example of Endro getting it right. The girls are about to go on Summer vacation in the fairly standard cliche of let’s get the cute cast of girls to the beach. However, to mix in with the basic premise while there they have summer homework which is to investigate the monsters. What follows is a nice mix of finding and discussing monsters while engaging in all the usual beach shenanigans including dealing with a monster that multiplies watermelons when struck with a sword.

There’s nothing overly deep in any of it but its kind of good fun and while the pastel colour palette isn’t really to my taste, I will admit it kind of perfectly suits the atmosphere of the story being constructed here.

Endro Episode 4 The Hero's Party
How many anime can you say “defeat the evil god and save the mackerelmen” in?

The second half turns more into a hero’s quest though with an Endro twist. The girls go fishing and catch a mackeralman and he begs them to help save the other mackeralmen who have been enslaved by an evil god. What follows is a pretty cute quest. While they do tell us the god is plotting to destroy the world, it is all just kind of low stakes fun and the girls breeze through it fairly easily as normal but somehow this doesn’t turn out boring. I think it is the dynamic between the girls working very well to keep even the most ordinary of sequences feeling a little bit fresh.

Endro Episode 4 Mao

Once again, Mao was in low visibility and I can’t help but think the story is better because of it. The last two episodes have definitely improved my view of this anime and while this isn’t going to become a personal favourite I can definitely see this being fun just to crash on the couch to when tired.

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