Endride – Episode 20 [Past]

As you might’ve guessed from this episode’s title, this episode was the flashback we’ve been waiting for. The answers to pretty much all the show’s questions, with the exception of the Warp Particles mystery, were revealed this week.

After fleeing from Asanaga, Shun and Emilio wander the city streets as they try to figure out what to do next. In his office, Asanaga recalls how he first went to Endora.

Delzaine is the one who brings Asanaga to meet King Alzerm, who questions Asanaga about the technology on the surface and how he was able to come to Endora. Even from the beginning, three things stand out to me: Alzerm is intensely curious about the surface, Delzaine doesn’t trust Asanaga, and Asanaga is extremely manipulative.

I mention this now because it’s shown that as I suspected, Asanaga and his wife had been expecting a baby. However there were complications at some point, vlcsnap-00007whether during delivery or maybe there was an incident, and the baby died.  So some might say that Asanaga’s personality changed after the death of his child, but no he was that way from the beginning. He even admits it himself later in the episode.

But I digress. Asanaga leaves and returns home, but before he leaves he tells Delzaine that he will return. Once he’s home with his wife on the surface, Asanaga shares with his spouse his plans to reveal his findings and because this kind of a find will help grow his company and will make him famous.

However things don’t go according to plan. Asanaga’s unborn child dies, and sometime after Asanaga returns to Endora. He brings with him items from the surface like a lighter, and Alzerm is hopelessly captivated by this new technology. He wants to learn more about the surface, which seems more advanced to him than Endora could ever possibly be.

We also meet little Emilio for the first time. It’s revealed that Delzaine’s son (Shun) is very sick and isn’t getting better. The suggestion is made for Asanaga to take Shun to the surface and give him the advanced medical care available on the surface, and while Delzaine is initially resistant to the idea, he eventually agrees when he sees how sick his child really is. There’s still no mention of either Emilio or Shun’s birth mothers, so I’m continuing with my assumption that they’re dead by this point.

Before Asanaga leaves for the surface with Delzaine’s son, Asanaga says that he wants to take Alzerm to the surface with him. After this meeting, Delzaine confronts Asanaga outside in the garden and asks him to stop entrancing his brother with tales of the surface world. Asanaga sarcastically replies that he’s only doing what the king wants, and even goes as far as to suggest that Delzaine could kill his brother himself so he could be the new king. This naturally enrages Delzaine, who summons his Warp Relic and moves to kill Asanaga, but stops short of actually doing the deed.

It’s when Babel is finally up and running that Asanaga reveals his true colors to the brothers, saying he’d had these plans from the start. Asanaga shoots Alzerm dead, then shoots Babel’s control panel so it would shut down. Delzaine yells for Asanaga to return his son, and Asanaga vlcsnap-00029says that if Delzaine wants his son back so badly then he should come to the surface himself. With that Asanaga uses his little blue stone to return to the surface.

Back in the present, Shun and Emilio make their way back to Shun’s house, where they sit down for a confrontation with Shun’s mother. There’s another flashback to the first night when Asanaga first brought Shun to the surface, still sick and not doing well. Once he’s better, Shun’s mother asks if Asanaga should take him home to Endora, and Asanaga manipulate his wife’s emotions so that she is unable to let Shun go.

Shun’s mother apologizes to Shun for not being able to let him go home to Endora. Shun comes to his mother’s defense, saying that she and his father gave him a great life. Emilio for once is silent, merely watching Shun and his mother talk back and forth. Shun’s mother gives him the bracelet with the royal crest on it, and Emilio says that it was given to people who were related to royalty. Emilio confirms that he and Shun are cousins.

And then there’s the heartbreaking clip of Delzaine laying eyes on Shun for a few brief moments as he lay dying on Babel’s floor. Right before he died he got to see his long-lost son, healthy and back in Endora.

Later that night after everyone’s gone to bed, Emilio shares with Shun one of his earliest memories: talking to Shun while he’s sick in bed, with Emilio waiting for Shun to recover so they can play together. Emilio doesn’t specify if this is something he’s always remembered and has been withholding from Shun, or if this is a memory he’s regained since he arrived on the surface.

Shun continues to really struggle with the knowledge that his adopted father is a murderer. He heard Asanaga confirm it verbally, yet Shun continues to deny this fact. Emilio tries to cheer him up by saying that at least Delzaine got to see Shun before he died.

At the end of the episode, we get a peek inside Asanaga’s laboratory. There’s massive glowing blue crystal; is it a replica of the little blue stone Asanaga and Shun used to travel to Endora?

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My thoughts:
I was really pleased with how mature Emilio was in this episode. Asanaga confirmed that he’s the one who killed Emilio’s birth father, but Emilio was able to keep his temper in check so he could be a strong support for Shun.

Where I differ from the show’s stance is how supportive Shun is of his adopted parents. Please know that I understand that it is understandably a very confusing time for Shun, and I get that he might not just come right out and accuse his parents of being baby-stealers. But essentially that’s what they were: kidnappers. They, or Asanaga anyways, took a child from its father with the intent of healing it, and then just never returned him home. We can now confirm that the reason Delzaine was likely so desperate to return to the surface was to see Shun. He wanted to see the son who was stolen from him, and possibly he wanted revenge on Asanaga as well. In the end Delzaine only achieved one of his goals, and it was only for a few precious moments. Emilio might have the opinion that this was “enough” for Delzaine, but I disagree.

The flashback Shun has to all of the memories from his childhood was really bittersweet. It’s nice that Shun has those memories with his adopted parents, but they are stolen memories. They are memories that Delzaine should have with his flesh and blood, though they admittedly would have been different if they’d taken place in Endora. But a child would have been with his birth father, growing up with his family. There was nothing that prevented Asanaga from having another child with his wife, at least nothing mentioned in the show.

Anyways, the animation seems to have gotten better, at least in my eyes. I’m glad the show is at its strongest now, when all of the mysteries are being solved. But what was with the Warp Particles? Is that what they glowing blue crystal in Asanaga’s lab is doing, stealing the Warp Particles from Endora?

 

Nikolita

Just an animanga-loving social worker. I've been watching anime for almost 20 years - ask me about my favourites! I've been to Japan twice and would live there in a heartbeat if I could.

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4 Responses

  1. zztop says:

    The way I see it, Shun’s likely more supportive of the Asanagas because they seem to have raised him with love and care growing up, hence he’s a stronger connection with them. Nothing was shown that suggested the Asanagas abused or ill-treated him before (even though they did kidnap him, and most of that was the Dr.’s doing), so he has less reason to immediately hate them for kidnapping him – confusion is more likely though.
    Now if the Asanagas abused him like how the Dursleys abused Harry Potter, then that’s a different story.

    I wonder why the Dr.’s been taking the Particles though. The likely reasons I can think of is that it renews the surface environment, or it can be used as a new power source to rival fossil fuels and nuclear power.

    • For sure, I definitely understand where the confusion’s coming from. Being a viewer (and a social worker) just makes it easier for me to be critical of what the Asanagas did.

      That’s been my theory too, that the Warp Particles are benefiting the surface’s environment somehow.

  2. Joshua Fogg says:

    I believe Shun’s mother never knew Shun was kidnapped. Sure, she knew he was originally from Endora, but knowing how manipulative Dr. Asanaga is, he probably made it seem like Shun was an orphan.

    • Nikolita says:

      Always a possibility. I got the impression she knew he was from Endora, but who knows what lies he told her about where Shun came from.

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