Our heroes explore the beach, eat snacks, and defeat an evil underwater god.
Overview (Spoilers Below):
It’s finally summer break, and our heroes are excited to begin their vacation. Unfortunately, Mao, their demon lord teacher, informs them that there will be lots of homework. They have to do a quest, despite school being out. Luckily, it seems like they can choose pretty much anything they want. After a brief group meeting, the four of them decide to head to the beach.
Seira gets pretty upset with everyone for trying to goof off instead of exploring the island for monsters, but it seems like pretty much all the monsters wind up getting in their way during play. While fishing, Fie manages to catch a mackerel man who gives them a side mission: defeating an evil god who has captured his mackerel girlfriend!
Nearing the halfway point of the series, ENDRO! delivers a solid follow up episode to last week’s episode that I deemed fairly acceptable. There’s still nothing special about ENDRO! or its characters. They fit neatly into the genre cliches we all know by now. But at least these past two episodes have done some fun stuff, and even managed to make me smile a few times along the way. (Which is a hard thing to do right now because I’m as sick as a dog.)
Getting away from their typical routine is a smart choice for episode five. We’ve gotten to know how everyone behaves in the school setting, so letting the girls go to a new location for most of this episode’s runtime allows both them and us, viewers, to get some much needed fresh air. Going to the beach is an activity that most slice-of-life anime get around to doing eventually, but ENDRO!’s twist is that the girls aren’t in this for a fun vacation – no, they’re going to complete some summer homework by investigating island monsters. At least, that’s what they all led Seira to believe. In a completely expected yet still slightly funny turn of events, everyone except Seira immediately puts on their swimsuits and starts doing normal beach stuff, like building sandcastles and looking for seashells. There are a few moments of awkward panning across the girl’s beach outfits that drag on a bit too long for comfort, but it’s nothing too awful; just skip ahead 30 seconds if it bothers you.
I found it pretty silly (in a good way) that all of the monsters the girls discover happen to be found during their standard beach playtime. Seira and Fie uncover a ‘Tip of the Iceberg Shell’ creature that has a seashell lookalike on the end of its long tail, tempting beachcombers to pull it. Another monster the girls uncover is a really weird one that looks just like a watermelon, and whose only power seems to be creating copies of watermelons? I did appreciate the commitment to craziness on display. What’s more, the only way to defeat the ‘Watermelon Mimic’ is to insult it. As Fie tells everyone, “They don’t have very much confidence.”
With the beach explored, they declare their homework complete, and move on to the next fun activity: eating snacks! But there’s a big problem… Fie has eaten all the food. Again. So they go fishing, and catch a ‘Mackerel Man’. This Mackerel Man is basically a giant fish, but with one disturbing addition: hairy, human legs sprouting out of its aquatic body. The girls embark on a quest to help the Mackerel Man free his girlfriend, who has been captured by an evil undersea god. It’s a pretty easy job, and Yusha finishes the god off with a swing of her hero’s sword. (Technically, it’s Chibi who finishes the god off for good, but still.) This whole segment was probably my favorite of the episode, as I couldn’t get over how just how plain weird the Mackerel Men were. (On top of the human legs, they say ‘mackerel’ at the end of every sentence, and engage in standard anime courtship cliches.)
The dub had some funny lines, like Mao’s rebuke to the daydreaming students: “Your summer is owned by homework.” Yikes, no kid wants to hear that. Also, can somebody please get Fie under control? “These are good; they haven’t expired yet or anything!” Don’t let her eat expired food, teammates.
Episode five of ENDRO! showed off some pretty cool stuff. The plot was weird enough to be fun, and some of the jokes, like the Watermelon Mimic, crossed the line into actual comedy. Also, this episode had some really beautiful beach backgrounds. Lively green trees and sparkling blue waters! Plus, a lot of the monsters looked like Pokemon, so… that’s fun! Here’s hoping ENDRO! can keep the fun going next week, when our heroes return to the classroom.