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Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte
Episode 11

by Christopher Farris,

How would you rate episode 11 of
Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte ?
Community score: 4.1

©Suzu Enoshina, Eihi, KADOKA
All hope may have looked lost at the end of last week's Endō. and Kobayashi Live, but I think we all knew that was entirely for cliffhanger value. It's only a few minutes in that Lieselotte's spirit has been saved from the Witch of Yore, seemingly for good. And this is all facilitated by the sequence of dominos which were set up by both Endō. and Kobayashi and the writing of the story itself. All of Liese's friends are assembled to encourage her emotional return, the climax of collective care doing a pretty decent job of depicting the amount of energy it can take to break through and intervene in a friend's negativity. It's "The Power of Love" as applied to loving friend groups, alongside significant others, with the latter coming through in Sieg's spoken acceptance of Liese's expressions of affection in both her emotionally-troubled childhood and as she is now.

It's storytelling past and present, within and without the game world, all coming together for the "Aww" moment to end all "Aww" moments. Some might find it simple how a spiritual group hug is all it takes to ultimately defeat this grand evil that seemed ready to win, but this is a fictional pastiche taking place inside at least two layers of indulgent genre romance; you're either here for it at this point or you aren't. Maybe I'm not quite as invested as the erstwhile Endō. and Kobayashi are within their reality, but I'm still pretty happy to see things work out for Liese and her circle of pals.

So we already knew there would be a few loose ends left over after the resolution of the central "Save Lieselotte" plotline, and thank goodness they don't stretch that effort out any more than they did getting there. But what goes on with that remainder might prove a little contentious. Not necessarily in what actually occurs, but in all the new dominos which have to be set up in a hurry now that the last batch finally got knocked over. Yes, there's something grandly amusing about the idea that Endō. and Kobayashi's perfect-run playthrough went off so well that they wound up saving the Witch of Yore herself as a bonus. And the Witch turning out to be a creation-myth component of backstory so deep-seated that even Kobayashi wasn't fully aware of her integration is fine as an eleventh-hour twist. The Witch of Yore? More like the Witch of Lore, am I right?! But seriously, not having really seeded the rest of that setup beyond some bare allusions means we have a whole lot of sometimes-ungraceful catchup to do at the last minute here.

There were little bits of all this which had been foreshadowed, like the concept of the coupled gods' creation myth. And I appreciate them trying to work the goddess Lirenna's ironically irreverent personality into the proceedings of the explanation to lighten things up as they go. And some parts, like a jealous god, effectively falling in possessive love with his own OC both fit with the kinds of wild explanations we expect from the upper echelons of otome games, and the sort of fandom meta-commentary that has always driven Endō. and Kobayashi Live.

But on the other hand, so much of this is just so much to get in this last stretch of the seemingly second-to-last episode. Bits like that creation myth could have been expounded on earlier in the show. Or perhaps Kuon could have contributed a bit more foreshadowing apart from simply skulking around in obvious shadiness, waiting for someone else to come in and explain his plot. It feels especially egregious the way so much of this series has specifically been about audience interaction, yet never gave us all the pieces to put together until it was time to go "Oh right, guess we actually have to dramatically explain this whole inter-world communication thing." To that end, even the additional technical detail of Liese's world not being simply an instance of the Love Me Magically game, but instead a link to an actual world that was brought about by the machinations of Kuon specifically for this purpose feels like a layer more than necessary.

As with other imperfect points of Endō. and Kobayashi Live, it's only a little annoying in the face of potential alternatives. Kobayashi herself is no dope, she immediately puts two and two together in figuring out the Kuon of the Love Me Magically-verse is the same as shifty male idol Kuon. Imagine if all this exposition had been spiced up with Kobayashi actually exchanging information and working towards conclusions alongside Lirenna. The goddess's panicky personality mixing with Kobayashi's barely-contained gamer-girl gushing could have made for a more entertaining back-and-forth, as well as constructing more of a narrative curve around what amounts to characters standing around listening to a wiki entry being read to them. I don't want to get too into the weeds as far as just writing fanfic for this show in place of what didn't work for me about the episode (appropriate as that may be to a piece like Endō. and Kobayashi Live); I've just got to put it out there as an example of a missed opportunity from the series opting to speedrun through this stuff.

I also don't want this to come off too negative about this show I'm otherwise still enjoying. I overall like the idea of this being the place the plot comes to a climax, and there are a lot of endearing bits. Circling back to the point that Fiene is still, indeed, the "main" character of Love Me Magically, as well as the idea that Endō. and Kobayashi's connection with the game overrode Kuon's on account of them having a more sincere shared appreciation for their fave Lieselotte, that's all strong stuff. Even introducing the absurdity of a real-world kidnapping plot is an escalation I'm fine with since it's only fair to all the action that got to go down in the game world. I just don't know that it needed as many layers piled on as the story seems to think it did, and even then, it could have paced them out in a way that would have made the whole show work more smoothly.


Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte is currently streaming on HIDIVE.

Chris is a freewheeling Fresno-based freelancer with a love for anime and a shelf full of too many Transformers. He can be found spending way too much time on his Twitter, and irregularly updating his blog.

Disclosure: Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, is the majority owner of Anime News Network, LLC. One or more of the companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.

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