“The problem with heroes is they never know when to give up.”
Overview (Spoilers Below):
Rona has been kidnapped by Mao, in her demon lord form, and it’s up to Yusha and her party to save her! Unfortunately, they have no idea how to go about it. Meigo the golem visits the girls as the journey to the demon lord’s castle and fills them in on some key details, mainly that the cycle of the demon lord and hero is about to end because of how worn out Mao has become.
Determined not to kill their precious teacher, the girls search for an alternative solution, and decide to go back to their roots. They visit their school, and talk about why they originally wanted to become the heroes they are. But Mao refuses to run from their confrontation, and brings the fight to them. Yusha resists the urge to fight, and feeds her hero’s sword to Chibi. Then Meigo throws Mao into Chibi’s mouth, which… removes her demon lord trait or something? It’s confusing, but at least the ending is a happy one!
Woah, this was a pretty intense episode when compared with ENDRO!’s usual schtick of bland, inoffensive comedy and cute characters. Sure, there was still plenty of cuteness to go around, but Yusha’s inevitable confrontation with Mao was heavy stuff, and it ended up being really sweet and emotional for everyone involved.
The entire episode is dedicated to the trouble at hand, of course. Mao has fallen back into her demon lord tendencies, and that means Yusha has to battle her. At least, that’s what everyone assumed. When Meigo pays them a visit in the forest, she informs them that there have been 998 cycles of the hero defeating the demon lord. But the demon lord is so powerful that they always regenerate after a time. However, the golem says that because Mao is so tired, if Yusha destroys her, she will be gone for good. Predictably, this knowledge makes the girls a lot less eager to fulfill their destiny of taking down the demon lord. And that’s just what Meigo intends, as we learn later on. I was a bit worried that she would wind up being the real villain once Mao embraced her friends, so I’m glad it turns out that the golem is good all along.
Dealing with the demon lord is the biggest decision that Yusha has had to make as a hero. The weight of the importance causes her to re-evaluate her life, and think about what led to her becoming the hero. She winds up realizing that it was for two reasons, 1) because it sounded cool (A very Yusha-ish reason, all her friends agree.) and 2) because she wanted to make everyone happy and see them having fun. When faced with the grim reality of the choice before her, Yusha makes the bold move of abandoning her hero’s sword and becoming a classless party member. But her choice inspires Meigo to do the same thing, but with Mao instead of a sword. Apparently, Chibi is some sort of inter-dimensional space god dragon? And getting eaten by her will remove any class you have, be it hero sword or demon lord? Regardless of the random way of tying up the end, it was really great to have Mao and Yusha unite.
This episode had some effective humor going on, which was a good way to offset the more serious subject matter in the plot. I loved how Rona’s ominous quotes from when she was first introduced ended up meaning nothing; they were merely quotes from a book series she was reading. Also, learning that the demon lord writes poetry in a secret room made me chuckle. Oh, and they have a mailbox at the demon lord’s castle? That little detail fits perfectly in this silly show.
The final dub performances are all strong, especially Alison Viktorin as Mao. She digs down deep and you can really hear the emotion in her final scenes with the heroes. Some of my favorite lines this week included Rona’s depressing remark: “Heroes are just slaves to the destiny of defeating the demon lord.” I loved Fie’s optimism, even in the face of regaining all their future memories: “We’re still the same strong girls we always were.” The English script had some nice humorous bits this week, as the response when their conversation is overheard in the ruins: “Well, yeah, there aren’t any walls.”
The final episode of ENDRO! is a nice ending for an average show. The conflict between Yusha and the demon lord followed a semi-predictable pathway, but it was still sweet getting to see how much Mao has grown to care for her students. The moment where she admitted that she had fun every second really got me good. Getting to know why each of the characters chose their specific path was nice, too, although they hold no real surprises. I’m still really confused about Chibi, but hey, ENDRO! is the kind of show where things don’t really need to make sense!