Step right up! Go on – leap through that portal and start your adventure. It sounds like an opportunity you can’t pass up. But as you excitedly jump and land on the other side, it won’t take you long to realise that the Disneyland that was promised is far from what’s delivered. Yup, this anime falls flatter than a pancake. And unfortunately it doesn’t taste nearly as delicious.
Endride starts when 15-year-old high school student Shun decides to be just a little bit too inquisitive and winds up in an alternate world named Endora – desperately seeking a way back home. Here he meets Emilio, a stubborn prince with a monstrous vendetta against Endride’s king. And for some absurd reason – despite pretty much hating each other, their goals send them on a journey together.
Here they bicker like two four-year-olds who’ve been told they must share the last lollie. While conflict is usually fun to watch and essential to many plots, here it just seems dumb. Like, we get it, you have a lot of teen angst.
And our two main characters are not the only offenders. Many supporting characters are about as exciting as white wall paint. They seemingly have no role in the narrative – nothing new to add, and their dialogue is bland (I’m talking to half the cast here, but especially Alicia – why does she exist!?).
Now you may be thinking. What about the plot? Surely that can (somewhat) fix a lacklustre cast? It’s true in some cases, but unfortunately this anime just sucks. Now, i’ll concede a little. I don’t think the plot is horrible. It has potential. But it’s nothing special – and when you combine an average storyline with solid F’s in all other areas it understandably still results in a fail grade.
While the art looks decent, the animation that accompanies will leave you rolling your eyes so often you’ll quickly become dizzy. It’s lazy and clunky. Random images of scenery are sometimes used to overlay people talking – like hello, the mountain is not the one speaking so why am I staring at it?
And don’t get me started on the fight scenes. They’re like watching sport in slow motion, and no, it’s not fun. There’s no suspense, the pacing is off, and the ‘warp relics’ – or weapons, will leave you with thoughts such as ‘don’t draw your war relic, just fight with your fists’ and ‘girl, why does your sword look like a circus prop?’
Even if you’ve got a penchant for fantasy or new world anime, you should probably treat this anime like a friend who tries to constantly throw you under the bus. Yup, just stay away. The truth is, there are just so many better series out there. Spend your time watching them. But know that if you do take the dive into Endride then i’ll admit I enjoyed the final few episodes – the end is surprisingly strong.
Thank you for reading my review!