Endride – Episodes 23 & 24 [Final Impression]
The second-to-last episode picks up with Pascal’s sacrifice allowing Shun and Emilio to continue their journey to Tir Na Nog. As Shun and Emilio fly away, Ralph and Joseph break away from the group to search for Pascal’s body while the Ignauts concentrate on fighting Ibelda.
Back at the castle, Alicia stays with Eljuia, Felix and Louise. Eljuia has mostly recovered already, but Louise and Felix are still injured. Felix wants to go back into battle anyways to help Demetrio, but some pointed words from Louise cause him to back down. Not only that but she convinces him to stop throwing his life away.
The Ignauts continue their fight against Ibelda, and realize they need a new plan. Fighting Ibelda from the front isn’t gaining them any ground, and eventually they will all run out of energy. It’s decided that Demetrio, Mischa and Gradido will distract Ibelda long enough that Guidoro can attack Ibelda and throw the grenade into his body.
The plan goes off, but not entirely according to plan. Ibelda envelops Guidoro into his gelatine body and they have a meeting of minds, during which Guidoro tells Ibelda that while the Truculent never had allies, he now has friends who want to help him protect Endora. Then Guidoro detonates the grenade and he dies along with Ibelda.
Shun and Emilio reach Tir Na Nog, and it’s not how they had envisioned. As they approach, Emilio tells Shun that Tir Na Nog is rumoured to be ruled by an omnipotent god. Falarion flies them all up to the top, where they see a large blueish-green circular crystal in the middle of the platform. Emilio and Shun try to break it with their Warp Relics, but it isn’t until Shun remembers that crystals have gem cleavage that they are able to shatter the crystal’s top layer. Just then someone interrupt them, and it’s Shun’s father, who has returned to Endora! And with a Warp Relic of his own apparently, one that makes him look like the Spiderman villain Doctor Octopus. Looks like the omnipotent god who was rumored to live in the tower was really Shun’s adoptive father all along?
Asanaga cruelly tells Emilio that his father Alzerm didn’t die in vain, for Asanaga has taken some of his body. It’s not specified but I assume that this is a reference to his Warp Relic. Asanaga then uses one of his barbed octopus-like arms to stab Falarion in his chest.
Shun and Emilio attack Asanaga with their Warp Relics, but they can’t seem to hurt him. They have to take him down to stop the leeching of Warp Particles, but how??
Emilio is the first to evolve his Warp Relic in this episode, turning his two-pronged spear into one with a larger, heavier point. Asanaga assumes that this evolution is due to his hatred, but Emilio corrects him and says that it’s due to the strength he has for the people he’s fighting for.
Asanaga grabs Emilio and holds him upside down with one of the arms of his Warp Relic, and Emilio and Shun discover that the arms can be broken if they are struck. (Previously they’d just been deflecting the barbs at the end of the arms.)
Shun is the other person to evolve his Warp Relic this episode, and Shun tells his father that now that he knows the truth about him and Endora, he can never go back to his old life of ignorance. Shun destroys another of Asanaga’s mechanical arms, bringing him down to three.
Deep in the forest, Joseph and Ralph find Pascal. He’s alive! Pascal was able to deploy a parachute as he fell, and it’s what saved his life as he got caught in the canopy and hung above the forest floor.
Up at Tir Na Nog, the battle isn’t going well for Shun and Emilio. They haven’t been able to hurt Asanaga, but he’s been whittling away at their strength and stamina with each blow he manages to cut them with. Asanaga tells Shun that he only became strong for him and for Makiko, but Shun tells him that his mother would never be happy with what Asanaga has chosen to do.
Asanaga is not happy to hear this, and he strings up Shun with two of his remaining Warp Particle arms while he moves to stab Shun with the third. But in the end he’s not able to kill his own son. Emilio sees that Asanaga is distracted, and he morphs his spear into a shaft of light. Falarion too turns to light and melds with Emilio’s weapon, and together both energies stab Asanaga right through the chest. Shun rushes over to his father’s side, and Asanaga looks gently up at Shun but says nothing as he dies.
Upon Asanaga’s death, Tir Na Nog stops sending Warp Particles to the surface, but it also starts to fall apart. Shun and Emilio try to hold onto the rubble but fail, and are saved only by Falarion who catches them on his back.
Shun and Emilio fly back to the Ignauts, who are waiting for them with baited breath. Falarion also seems to have miraculously recovered from his injury. Demetrio teases the guys for making Alicia cry, and Emilio is reunited with Pascal. At least the guy still has one father figure left in his life right?
Pascal, Joseph and Pascal’s friend look over the blueprints for the parinblue, but decide it’s not a good idea to try to duplicate that ancient technology. Pascal says that they should focus their energies on Warp Particle research, because at least Warp Particles can be used to better Endora.
In the evening, a large feast is held at the castle to celebrate the Ignauts’ victory. Emilio and Shun have a quiet moment with Demetrio beforehand, and Emilio thanks Demetrio for everything he and the Ignauts taught him. Emilio even takes a moment to apologize to Alicia for worrying her, although he can’t figure out why she’s crying again.
During the celebration speeches, Demetrio says that the Ignauts must continue to help the people of Endora because all of the conflict and chaos is not going to magically stabilize overnight. Demetrio says that he’s asked Gradido for permission to use the Zoozian’s island as a base, and for Gradido to oversee the northern continent along with Ralph. Demetrio goes on to say that Felix and Louise are to focus on healing their injuries, while Mischa, Eljuia, Pascal, Joseph and Aaron will work to restore the castle. Lastly, Demetrio’s plan includes Shun and Emilio helping Demetrio with the southern lands.
Later on while everyone is busy drinking and celebrating, Shun decides to quietly slip away from the festivities. However Emilio catches up to him outside, and Shun reveals that as much as he’s enjoyed visiting Endora and meeting everyone, he has to go home because he can’t leave his mom alone. Emilio says that he wants to protect Endora, but admits he’s not quite ready to be king yet. Shun and Emilio bicker one last time, then say their goodbyes.
Up on the surface, Shun materializes on top of a building like before. However this time his parinblue emerges from his chest, then turns grey and falls to the rooftop, crumbling into pieces. Shun picks up a piece and holds it up to the sun, admiring its color and shape in the light. His voiceover talks about his idea of finding worlds inside rocks as a child, and how the memory of Endora will always remain locked away safely in his heart.
But after the credits, we see a dusty land reminiscent of the Sahara Desert. As the winds blow the sand around, a parinblue is revealed to a mysterious stranger. They pick it up to admire it. Who could this be…? Will Endora have a new visitor from the surface in the future?
My thoughts: No I didn’t miss a week, Endride‘s finale really did air two episodes in the final week of the season.
I feel like this was a fitting end to this series. I’m a little sad that Shun didn’t decide to stay in Endora with his cousin, but I can understand his need to not leave his mother alone. She already lost her husband at the hand of her son, she didn’t need to lose her son too.
The ending after the credits makes me wonder if we’re going to get a second season of Endride in the future. Maybe there will be a timeskip? (I know I’ve been all about timeskips in my musings lately, but seriously it would make sense for all my shows this season to have sequels!) An adult Shun visits Endora to see Emilio and Alicia’s family? Or another evil bastard takes the parinblue and travels to Endora to fuck things up? Make it so!
Story: I have no idea why this show was two cours; it honestly could have been done in just one. Yes alright the first half introduces us to all the characters, gives us some insight into their personalities and relationships to one another, but in the end it all feels like filler. And really, really annoying filler at that. Emilio and Shun bickered CONSTANTLY, the dialogue was really repetitive and kinda cheesy at times, and there wasn’t much that really stands out in my mind.
How bad was it? I was literally going to drop this show until I watched the twelfth episode and my intentions did a complete 180. After that episode, enough drama happened and intriguing questions about Endora were raised that I felt like sticking with the show for its second cour. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still struggled to blog Endride, but I tried hard to find things I enjoyed about the show so I could at least keep myself interested.
So in terms of the story, the first eleven episodes can be written off. Well, maybe watch the first one or two and then skip ahead to episode twelve.
Which parts of Endride‘s story were done well, in my opinion? I really liked the mythology behind Endora and its connections to the surface the most, as well as learning about Emilio’s past and his blood ties to Shun. I also appreciated that the big bad guy of the show ended up being Asanaga, Shun’s adopted father. It made Shun losing his biological father (without initially realizing it) that much more bittersweet. Last but not least I also enjoyed learning about the parinblue and some of the techology Asanaga helped create.
Characters: Endride had a really large cast, almost too large. I feel like several characters ended up with rather small roles to play, and could have been omitted from the show entirely. For example, Felix and Mischa had similar personalities and spent so much time bickering about their devotion to Demetrio that I found them both annoying. And Louise played the traitor role well but aside from the subplot about her being a Zoozian and later betraying the Ignauts, she didn’t do much. Alicia did even less, having one episode devoted mostly to Falarion but otherwise didn’t seem to have a role other than to cook for the Ignauts and have Emilio as a love interest. And even the latter didn’t get very developed over the course of two cours.
Of the characters I did end up liking, again due to the show’s rocky start, it took me awhile to warm up to them. Shun and Emilio are the primary examples of this sentiment. By the end of the series I liked both Shun and Emilio, but in the beginning holy fuck did I want to smash their faces together. Repeatedly. Far too much bickering and far too much stupid dialogue. Yes we know that Shun’s from the surface and Babel can send him home. Yes we know they need to go to Babylon. ENOUGH. REPETITION.
That being said, a few of the main characters experienced character growth that they kept from being static, Emilio being the most obvious example. He went from being a spoiled prince consumed by his mis-directed anger for the man he thought was his father, to a supportive friend to his cousin who ended up losing his father twice over. Actually they both lost their fathers twice over, come to think of it. Emilio however had to show more maturity and have a calmer personality because he will most likely one day be king.
Also, Asanaga was a fucking psychopath. Enough said.
Music and Animation: I wasn’t a fan of either ending theme, but the opening theme did grow on me by the last few episodes. The animation… well, to be nice, let’s just say that I feel like this was some production company’s first attempt at making an anime. There was lots of derpness, lots of bodies that were out of proportion or just looked off. The backgrounds and scenic shots were beautiful, incorporating CG well, but much of the series felt like it was rushed or just made by people who needed some more practice with their animation.
Ironically, unlike my other show from the summer season Qualidea Code, I feel like the animation got better during the last few episodes. Don’t ask me why, everything just seemed sharper and better animated to me.
Overall Thoughts: I felt like the second half of this show was a good effort, a beginner’s attempt at a fantasy show. The music and some of the animation was done well, but Endride suffered from lackluster characters, rushed-looking animation, and not enough plot in the first half of the show. The only reason I’m scoring Endride as high as I am is because I a) actually decided to continue with the second cour, and b) the final five episodes were pretty good.
Final Score: 7/10