As an orphan whose life is in the hands of space pirates, Coud has had no choice but to survive on bravado alone. He has nothing to live for until he finds Ren entombed amongst the treasures in the pirate ship's hold, and awakens her. In addition to being mysterious and beautiful, Ren can transform into a battle sword to help Coud fight and prove his strength -- but with this strength comes the bitter realization that power alone is not enough. Now, in a race against time, Coud must endure betrayals and fierce battles as he struggles to return Ren to her home, before it's too late...
The Songs of the Sky and Wind
A Fateful React
Betrayal & Confusion
Elemental Gelade of Light and Darkness
The Teardrop From That Day
Eyeing the Pleasure
The Edel Hunter
The Secret of Razfe Ankle
Love and Greed
Revenge of the Hunter
Sprint to Freedom
(Rather than my usual format, I will attempt to use a different, more organized style based on the score categories...so here goes my review for the anime, Elemental Gelade.) Story The story involves a young orphan by the name of Coud Van Giruet who wants to become a man and a real sky pirate, thus he works as a trainee with a band of sky pirates known as the "Red Lynxs". After successfully raiding another ship of its treasure and returning, Coud goes into the room where the treasure is kept and looks around a little, eventually coming upon a strange coffin. Somehow, he manages to activate and open this coffin by pressing strange buttons on it in the exact right order without knowing the actual combination if there was one, and thus the coffin slowly opens...revealing what he mistakes for a doll. However this "doll" is not a doll at all, as it is actually a girl that is known as an Edel Raid who would later be known as Reverie Metherlence or "Ren" for short. Being an Edel Raid, she ages more slowly than humans, so her actual age in human years is questionable, but she takes on the appearance of a young girl around Coud's age. After Ren is released, she quickly realizes that Coud is a human, and shows extreme dislike of him due to the fact that Ren believes all humans use her kind (Edel Raid) as tools of war and nothing else. Without much more talking, Coud takes Ren to the main area of the ship, where it turns out that the ship they robbed earlier had found them and they boarded the Red Lynxs' ship. The owners of the ship, Cisqua, Rowen, and another Edel Raid called Kuea Envatilia find Ren and Coud and attempt to make a bargain with Coud using money to get Ren, however he refuses and is angry at their attempt to buy Ren as if she were property. A little while later, a random group of ninja attack the ship in an attempt to steal Ren, and Coud tries to fight them off and protect Ren. However he proves to be no match for them by himself, and is almost defeated. It is then that he states how he is similar to Ren and shows his resolve for protecting her, and this moves Ren, so she decides to "react" (aka merge) with Coud. Using the jewel on her forehead known as an Elemental Gelade, she forms a contract (similar to a pact) with Coud and becomes a giant sword that attaches to his arm. This gives him the power to defeat the ninja easily, but the ninja eventually cause the ship to crash, and with the help of the trio that boarded the ship earlier, known as members of the group called "Arc Aile", he escapes the Red Lynxs' ship with Ren and thus begins his adventure. For an older anime, I actually really enjoyed this one...the general story/plot is pretty original, but how they play it out is extremely interesting, and probably one of the more interesting stories out there. This anime is a good example of how original stories don't always equal bad or boring stories. Animation There is nothing particularly wrong with the way the anime's graphics are used that I can think of. If anything, for an older anime, it is pretty decent looking and I doubt that there is much that could have been improved. I suppose maybe you could add more "flashy" stuff in there, but it is definitely not needed, nor do I see a point of there being a remake with updated animations/graphics. The characters and other things moved smoothly and I didn't get the sense that they were doing anything that look cheaply animated. Sound There's not really much to say here honestly. The actual "sounds" in the anime were nothing spectacular, but that's not really that important in general as long as you don't hear a bunch of "cracking" or annoying/repetitive sounds, I guess. The music was decent, but other than the opening theme "Forever", nothing that I would personally search for and listen to. The Voice Actors for the Subbed version were very well done, especially Ren, which worked perfect for her. There is really no one that I can think of whose voice actor seemed bad to me. This unfortunately cannot be said for the Dubbed version though. Coud's voice was not that great dubbed, and compared to the Ren's Japanese voice actor her English voice actor failed in comparison. Characters While none of the main characters screamed of uniqueness, most were decent enough as to not be extremely boring. Coud- Coud is a young orphan sky pirate that is horrible at piloting planes who dreams of becoming a man one day, and works with a group of sky pirates called the Red Lynxs. He was likeable to me and had a pretty cool, but normal-for-anime-characters hairstyle which is probably one of those impossible to have in real life without a pound or so of awesome hair gel hairstyles. At least it was a normal color. Right from the start, he had similar qualities to my own (such as an extreme dislike towards treating innocent girls like trash), which is probably part of what made me like him. Ren- Ren is a quiet, mysterious girl known as an Edel Raid, however she has been called a Shichiko-hoju which is a special type of Edel Raid that hasn't been seen in around 500 years. I tend to like the shy/mysterious female characters more for whatever reason, as they seem more interesting and aren't usually an open book as to their likes and dislikes. They make the main character work to get information about them. Sometimes they get in comical situations in which they misunderstand certain actions or words of the main character. You get my drift. Cisqua- Cisqua is an upbeat girl that is the leader of her small group that works for an organization known as "Arc Aile", which works to keep Edel Raids from being used as slaves and gives them freedom. What I liked about her was her attitude, basically, but there were some parts of her I didn't like. Mainly just the way she always thought about money and that she was going to betray Coud. Rowen- Rowen is a polite, sensible guardian of Arc Aile who is great at cooking and dislikes conflict, but will not hesitate to save his friends if they are in trouble. Rowen wasn't particularly one of my favorite characters, but I certainly don't dislike him at all in anyway. He's pretty much the "nice guy" of the group and pretty reliable, so I don't see a reason to not like him at least a little. He is a tad bit boring though I guess. Kuea- Kuea is an Edel Raid who has contracted Rowen, and often eats a large amount of food while still managing to keep her slim figure regardless. Kuea was very likeable imo. Being a huge food addict and coming off as a goofy character, but actually being a pretty wise and mature character at times appealed to me a bit. Overall A great anime that will appeal to pretty much anyone who likes action, adventure, and romance anime. I highly recommend it if you are into sword fighting and magical powers/abilities, but don't expect mind blowing action that will leave you in awe. IMO however, the fighting is unique, as I don't believe I've seen an anime that uses fighting styles similar to how Coud fights with Ren like that before. This anime is pretty clean so if you are one of those people who are specifically hoping that this has some or a lot of ecchi/panty shots/nudity or anything, then you won't find it in this anime.
PROPER MINDSET For some reason the title of the anime is killed by Engrish. Erementar Gerad actually translates to Elemental Gelade and was left as such in the manga version. Go figure… It is otherwise an almost children’s adventure about a sky pirate protecting a magical girl used as a weapon. So far, so good… of a corny premise. ART The only thing that is worth looking at is the overall setting. Flying fortresses, flying ships, flying islands… It is just for flavor but, hey, it got my approval. All the rest are otherwise typical of the genre and easily skippable. The character figures, although nicely drawn, ain’t memorable. The battles, although nicely made, are full of repeating transformation scenes, bloodless violence and a predictable outcome if you have watched a few standart shonens. All that water down the seriousness of the very central theme of war and racism it is supposed to criticize. An anyway, I went past the age were lolis with machineguns and people turning to flaming swords feel cool anymore. All I can say is that the series looks nice without being anything special and the production values are not of amazing quality to begin with. Plus, people turning into weapons or a world full of pirates are done far better in other anime, such as Soul Eater and One Piece. SOUND The music department has nice tunes and decent voice acting. Still, nothing memorable. A thing that bugged me is the announcer who introduces us to the story in the beginning of the episode. He sounds so dorky, while trying to sound nostalgic or something. I was immediately put off just by that. SCRIPT First impressions are positive as I was seriously hooked (minus the narrator of course). A world of flying airships, sky pirates, people turning into weapons, a war waging on, some issues around racism and a few others themes and elements thrown in to make it feel like like an Jrpg, of which I am quite fond of. Unfortunately, the feeling didn’t last for long, as the plot was quite predictable for the most part and the characters were talking in a very childish way, leading to just scrapping the issues of what the story revolved around. It may feel multi-layered from a distance but down to it is a somewhat generic children’s adventure with a few pseudo-serious matters, always resolved with simple willpower and the power of love and justice, or something childish like that. You could easily sum the whole scenario in just six episodes if you were to remove the unnecessary middle episodes, and head straight for the finale with not much being lost. Most of the duration was wasted in short story arcs, introducing secondary characters that had little to no role in overall. All of them didn’t develop or progress the story in a significant way (sometimes they didn’t even offer anything past background decorations), so they can even be considered to be fillers. Even the conclusion is not that rewarding, as it is something you would expect out of a lame Saturday morning cartoon. CAST Typical cast 101. The male lead is a kind-hearted pretty boy that never gives up and always protects his girl. He has a hook-hand as his signature attack and that is the only minor detail that sets him apart from any other generic shounen hero. The main girl is the usual beautiful, young, gentle… super weapon used as the deaus ex of the whole thing, as everybody is after her hax powers. Because of her power she feels like nothing but a damsel in distress and a plot devise to keep things going. The rest of the good guys are your average Jrpg sidekicks, with the loli-with-machinegun being the most noticable. Although there is plenty of superficial colorizing for the secondary cast, it ain’t much to lose your sleep over and by the end of the day nobody is memorable or that note-worthy. Admitably, the main evolved their relationship as weapon-wielder and their somewhat romantic side quite a lot in just one season; something which is rare in anime, as they are usually oblivious of one another. As for the villains, they are somewhat more evolved than the usual bunch, as they are not generic evildoers that want to destroy the world for no particular reason. Even they have their share of drama and somewhat excused behavior. Still, no real development for them during the events of the anime. LEGACY There is no replay value, as a story so simple and generic has nothing worth revisiting. I felt like the whole setting was nothing but pretty images and was not exploited in the least. Even the main couple, which is the best part of the whole thing, ain’t really that special and the whole idea of people turning into weapons has been done better *Soul-cough-Eater-cough*. So, no, it isn’t a must-see; not even a worthwhile watch. SUGGESTION LIST One Piece (well, it has pirates)Soul Eater (people transforming to weapons)Ar Tonelico (the games, not the OVA)And now for some excused scorings. ART SECTION: 6/10 Analysis: General Artwork 1/2, Character Figures 1/2, Backgrounds 2/2, Animation 1/2, Visual Effects 1/2 SOUND SECTION: 6/10 Analysis: Voice Acting 2/3, Music Themes 2/4, Sound Effects 2/3 STORY SECTION: 5/10 Analysis: Premise 2/2, Pacing 1/2, Complexity 1/2, Plausibility 0/2, Conclusion 1/2 CHARACTER SECTION: 5/10 Analysis: Presence 1/2, Personality 1/2, Backdrop 1/2, Development 1/2, Catharsis 1/2 VALUE SECTION: 1/10 Analysis: Historical Value 0/3, Rewatchability 0/3, Memorability 1/4 ENJOYMENT SECTION: 1/10 Analysis: Art 0/1, Sound 0/2, Story 1/3, Characters 0/4 VERDICT: 4/10 Nah, it could very easily be of Seinen level, if the producers were serious with the story. But they weren’t and headed for a generic adventure full of silly moments and bloodless action. So sad…
Elemental Gelade has a beautiful story, be it sometimes awarkd or clumsy it is sarcastic and actually fine to go along with. The animation is modest and that works perfect for it too.The sound is avaialbe in English and the characters seem to get their role right from the studio, meaning they are believable in their interactions and flow pace. When it comes to characters am just amaze as to how many distinct ones this is. Can also sympathise if there is nothing as it, the Reverie green with Coud the blue might not seem to be a match on paper but when seeing on the screen that idea is twist thwart away as clearly they do fine together. An overll 10 out of 10 am excited to see its future, hope it will continue and Flag of Blue sky to add more of what is love here to its greatness the way this original one has. Awesome, giving it a perfect ten!
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