Elemental Gelade

Type: Why won’t anyone let these crazy kids be together!?

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Synopsis: A young sky pirate-in-training one day accidentally stumbles upon a legendary “Eldel Raid,” a specifically female race (because anime) that can transform into weapons. They’re mostly an exploited race (because patriarchy), and everyone really wants to exploit this super rare girl for their own purposes. In hindsight, they could have just asked her to join their side instead of trying to force her. It wouldn’t have been difficult. She barely woke up from years of sleep, so she was probably super impressionable. Ew, that sounded kinda gross. Double ew, pointing out how gross it was only made it more gross.

Pros: This is either a super good average anime, or an average super good anime. The animation is right at the middle, and the story is fairly predictable. But for the life of me, I couldn’t help but get invested in the story. Maybe the slight repetitiveness of key plot points did it. In almost every episode, Ren is nearly kidnapped, or Elder Raid is abused, or Cou bonds with Ren more. The constant hammering of the Elder Raid plight as second class citizens and the various situations that could manifest as also helped. Or maybe I just had a light-hearted adventure ich that needed scratching. Whatever the case, I found myself really rooting for Cou and Ren’s relationship to thrive, and was a little anxious when a potential problem occurred (like Ren nearly being kidnapped a lot). The show’s also pretty funny in that older anime style, with gags and off-comment ribbing that’s really been lost in recent years.

Cons: I watched this in a huge chunk, so my own opinions could have a bit of bias. The anime is very bye the books, meaning that if you have a good-ish handle on manga stories, you’ll know what will happen. As mentioned above, the animation is nothing to write home about, and neither is the action. And while the story does its best for explore the different relationships between humans and Elder Raids, from abusive partners to separated lovers, some of the story arcs drag on a bit. The last arc, for example, was six episodes. The show also never explained what where the Elder Raid come from, why they were only women, or why they can live for so long.

Watch it?: The last line was, “I wonder if we can breathe up there?” (4/5)

MVP: Cisqua

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Funny and based on a Darkstaker’s character

Best Episode: Ep. 8 “The Edel Hunter” (added depth to the story)

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