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Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte
Episode 12

by Christopher Farris,

How would you rate episode 12 of
Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte ?
Community score: 4.4

©Suzu Enoshina, Eihi, KADOKAWA/'Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte' Production Committee 2023
I enjoyed the ending that Endō. and Kobayashi Live arrived at here. It's an ultimately tidy, earnestly goofy resolution that feels appropriate for the story It's telling. Granted, we were 90% of the way there by the end of the last episode, what with the game story mostly tied up, and Endō. and Kobayashi's relationship has progressed to the point where we knew they were but a confession away from making things official. So throwing in the last-minute complication of a vengeful Kuon kidnapping Kobayashi's sister can come off as an almost obligatory narrative escalation here to fill things up with enough drama to extend the show for one more episode. The irony is that with everything crammed in here, it almost makes me wish they'd made more time to space out everything in this finale, or at least reshuffled elements to make things land a bit more definitively.

As I've said, I like where the show is going, but how it's going there can come off tenuous at best in places. The trickiest turning point is probably Kobayashi's sister. Not just because of her importance as a plot device in this climax, but rather on account of the emotional lynchpin she's said to serve as for Kobayashi's character moment in this final confrontation. We're talking about someone who only had one appearance previously where we could tell Kobayashi got kind of annoyed with her nosing into her business, but nothing on the level of dark-hearted jealousy which Kuon tries to manipulate her in this stand-off.

That makes it hard to take Kobayashi's temporary troubles seriously. It's not like there weren't other avenues if they wanted to push this idea of Kobayashi being parallel to Kuon. Least of all, both of them were initially motivated by an all-consuming love for their particular favorite character. That's even the note it's effectively resolved on, with Endō. and Kobayashi rounding back to the selfless love for others as a motivator beyond the possessive variety Kuon's impressing upon his Eve. Trying to tie this into some apparent jealousy that Kobayashi always had over her sister, and her supposed perfections which we'd heard virtually nothing about before, feels like the story scrambling to make up some drama where it didn't need to.

Other missed opportunities aren't as drastic, but they're still there. Don't get me wrong, Lieselotte herself coming to save the day for our live-streaming lovebirds by possessing Kobayashi's doll of herself is an adorable turn. While the detail that Kobayashi hand-crafted the doll herself was heartwarming enough, after that explanation, the moment could have worked so much better if we had that information earlier. It's another one of those points for Endō. and Kobayashi Live where you can see, retroactively, how they could have set things up for the better to be more engaging and satisfying overall, even as you're generally having a fun enough time with the version we're getting.

That leads to that irony I previously mentioned, that if we'd gotten up to thirteen episodes for this ending, the series might have been able to space in things like the explanation of Kobayashi's Liese doll or the circumstances of Kirise Kuon's possession of a little more naturally, letting us climax better with moments like Endō. and Kobayashi's resolute love confession scene. Yes, it's adorable. I squealed like a dork over it, but we're still talking about a bit so briskly they keep having to skip over Kuon's very presence, to the point that their forgetting about him becomes a running gag through this scene. Giving that all its space would leave an extra episode to deal with the potential emotional fallout of Endō. and Kobayashi having to say goodbye to the Love Me Magically gang, followed by the catharsis of them getting teleported into the game universe for Liese and Sieg's big wedding scene.

As-is, I generally like where it ends up, and props to Endō. and Kobayashi Live for arriving at a definitive ending after all of this. Even with the compressed components of Kobayashi's issues, the series seems to know what to prioritize, in the uniquely imaginative joy of Blorbo from your shows becoming real and cheering on your real-life ship. There's also an appreciable catharsis after dealing with Kuon's god complex, to see the game world and real-world characters make a point of parting as friends and then getting to be reunited only a few minutes later. But, hey, this is that kind of cute, happy show, and I think these good kids earned it.

Endō. and Kobayashi Live is the kind of anime where you can see where it would have been better served, either in terms of the presentation getting some more TLC, or a second pass at the scripting to set some elements up better. It's still worth checking out, just for its unique premise that it mostly makes land by the end here.


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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