Elemental Gelade - Reviews

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ThatAnimeSnob's avatar
May 22, 2012

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…

5/10 story
6/10 animation
6/10 sound
5/10 characters
4/10 overall
simonprasad's avatar
Aug 26, 2013

My first impressions of this anime were positive because of all the flying ships, flying islands, pirates, etc. It reminded me of SOUL EATER for obvious reasons (characters changing into weapons). It was suprisingly good but the plot was very predictable.

As for the story/plot, it was neither great nor dull. It was, well... good. The cast consists of your usual MC who is very kind hearted, protective, heroic which you find in any other shounen anime. And as for the girl, she is your average good looking, damsel in distress kind of character. The supporting cast consists of this ANNOYING loli, a dude and an other girl/weapon. In the entire anime, that loli pi**ed me off the most. I almost stopped watching for that reason.

The voice acting, except for that annoying loli, was good. The MC is voiced by Ishida Akira who happens to be one of my favorite seiyuus. As for the other characters, the voice acting was good. The music and animation were good but not great.

IMO, the bad guys were all talk but no stuff. They talked big but when the time came, they got defeated pretty quickly. But, the bad guys are mean't to be all tough and all. So, I will let it slide (lol).

I would recommened this anime to all you romance/fantasy/action, SOUL EATER fans. One positive aspect of this anime is it's not boring although the plot is very predictable. If you get bored of watching your usual anime, this anime is good to break the flow.

5/10 story
7/10 animation
6/10 sound
6/10 characters
5/10 overall
Wingedkratos's avatar
Sep 11, 2010

(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.

9/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
9.5/10 overall
animegirl99's avatar
Apr 28, 2011

This is by far my favorite anime so far it has romance action comedy and just pure awesomeness. I love the characters they are all funny but rin who is serious and doesn't talk much, is shy, doesn't know how to express her feelings because she has never felt them before. But all of that goes away by the end of the show. They end will have you crying for rin and cou to be together and over come all. I would recommend it to anyone who can deal with romance if you're a guy because there is a lot of action. I LOVE THE SHOW <3<3<3<3

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
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KA24DERACER's avatar
Feb 10, 2010

STORY

Well, what can I say?  This anime has an interesting story to say the least (if not the MOST original ever).  Basically, a young sky-pirate named Coud (or Cou for short), pretty much just wants to "become a man", you know, find a girl, become a full-fledged member of the "Red Lynks" (the pirate group he is a part of) and earn the right to have a proper weapon, go after adventure, find treasure, all the usuals that young upstarts aspire to.  After a usual raid of another ship, onboard was found a coffin which contained a legendary "weapon" in the form of a pretty young (or at least young looking, as they dont age as we do) girl named Ren, otherwise known as an Edel Raid.  Edel Raids are a species which look like humans except they age much slower than we do, have an "Elemental Gelade" (hence the name of the show) or gemstone somewhere on their bodies, and they can merge with a human to become a very powerful weapon (Ren turns into a sword and has wind abilities), along with other powers that vary from one Edel Raid to another and ancient "spells" or chants of great power.  And, of course, as all of these stories go, thats when the trouble begins.  While a trio from the organization "Arc Aile" (an Edel Raid protection agency formed to keep humans from abusing Edel Raids for their powers) try to barter for Ren, which Cou takes much offense to, ninja from an unknown source attack looking for Ren.  With no other option, and because of Cou's heartfelt words and actions in protecting Ren, Ren decides to "React" or merge with Cou (which forms a so called "contract" with Cou until his death) allowing Cou to defeat the ninja and escape with the help of the Arc Aile from the crashing ship.  Cou's captains final orders were for him to protect Ren, and if he does so, he will earn the right to become a full-fledged pirate.  Not wanting to let his captain down (or leave the beautiful Ren alone and defenseless) Cou decides to follow and protect her on her trip to the "Edel Gardens", and the Arc Aile members decide to tag along.  So begins their journey across continents to get Ren to her "home" safely.

I must say, the plot was pretty good, its a pretty original story and theres plenty of action and twists abound to keep you interested.  Not much filler or dull spots as the pacing was done well.  And all the important characters (and even a couple of minor ones) have plenty of back-story to be told.

ANIMATION

For a 2005 production, the visuals were not the most outstanding around, but their certainly nothing to scoff at.  The colors are all vibrant and look nice, the backgrounds are pleasant to look at, and at times (mostly when Ren and Cou are alone together watching the stars and such) are beautiful, all the characters are done well, if a little simple and the action sequences and CGI effects are all very good.  My only real gripe about the animation in this anime is its simplicity, with a little more detail work, the visuals would have been outstanding, but the style fits the light-hearted theme and its done well so Im not going to complain too much about it.

SOUND

The sound was very good.  All the voice acting (at least in the Japanese dub, I couldnt get past the "narrator voice" in the opening sequence to give the English dub a chance) was spot on.  Cou's VA was every bit the young, confident (but not overly so) optimistic, rough-neck sky pirate, Ren's VA was an exceptional compliment as the shy, quiet girl still afraid of the world, and all the other VA's were well chosen as well.  Sound effects were done very well and everything sounded crisp and clear.  The best part of the audio was the music though.  Although nothing stood out especially in particular, and Im not really under any inclination to find a copy of any of the tracks, whenever there was music, it fit the scene and the mood perfectly and so subtly you almost cant tell its there.  From romping accordion and fiddle pirate tunes and subtle echoing string melodies to epic synthesized beats, every choice was spot on and well done.  The OP is an upbeat techno mix which suites the light-hearted theme perfectly, while the ED is a slower melody with an acoustical guitar which plays perfectly to the softer and more serious parts of the anime.  All in all, a very well done audio experience.

CHARACTERS

While none of the characters were the most original and dynamic characters Ive ever seen in an anime, they were well made and progressed very nicely throughout the anime.  The most development was given to Cou and Ren (obvously) but with plenty of time for most of the others to grow and develop as well.  Cou is a pretty damn good male lead, not conforming to either of the usual male stereotypes of "dumb as a post and pretty much useless" or the "silent badass."  Instead he is upbeat, outspoken, confident but still willing to learn and admit mistakes, skillful and steadfastly courageous, especially when it comes to protecting Ren.  While by no means is he an all powerful super-hero, hes got it where it counts and never hesitates in taking on overwhelming odds to do what is right.  And as he comes to learn how to use Rens powers and deals with his feelings for her, its plain that he is determined to grow as a man.  Ren on the other hand, starts off as the usual shy, cautious, quiet, almost oblivious mystical female, but spurred by Cou's kindness and genuine caring for her, slowly comes into her own as she grows more and more in love with him, along with building friendships with and learning to trust the rest of the group.

OVERALL

Overall, this was a great watch.  While nothing stands out as OMG FANTASTIC!!!. its solid where it counts and was a very enjoyable watch that you just cant help but like.  I would recommend this anime to anyone willing to overlook its minor shortcomings and slightly childish presentation for a lovable story and an enjoyable watch.

7.5/10 story
6.5/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
7.5/10 characters
8/10 overall
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