Andy has been writing for UK Anime since 2006, and was the site's editor-in-chief until August 2017. Contrary to popular belief, Andy is not actually a robot.
Elemental Gelade Vol. 3
So, here we are again, as we move towards the half way point of Elemental Gelade, the story of Coud van Giret (Cou to his friends), and Ren, a very special Edel Raid. Thus far, the series has been pretty standard fare, taking in your usual quest to reach a very important destination, with Cou and Ren being joined in their travels by a trio from Arc Aile, a group tasked with protecting Edel Raids and their Pleasures, and giving them a safe haven to live out their lives happily.
Volume three kicks off where the last volume left us, with Cisqua and company having stumbled across a huge illegal underground Edel Raid fighting establishment, while Cou and Ren befriend Lillia and Rasati, a pair desperately trying to work off a huge debt owed by their deceased parents. As is always the way with these things, the two disparate elements soon come together over the episodes that follow, culminating in fighting and gun battles aplenty. Indeed, this particularly story arc takes up over half of the episodes on this volume of Elemental Gelade - From then on, things begin to take a far more interesting turn, with a darker side to Arc Aile beginning to present itself while the mysteries around Ren begin to deepen...
This change in pace and tone is actually quite a welcome one, coming at a time when the general format of the first half of the series was just beginning to grate. Of course, there's still the odd chunk of humour thrown in for good measure (almost always starring Cisqua), although to be honest even that starts to get a little tiring in its predictability by this juncture. Still, despite all this, and ignoring the animation quality (which, like so many shows, seems to be dropping as the series progresses), the story keeps on moving sufficiently to entertain and keep the interest of the viewer, although the speed of progress in the final episode on this DVD is so fast that the plot threatens to run away with itself.
In all then, this volume of Elemental Gelade sets the same standard of those that preceded it - Entertaining and pretty fun all in all, without ever breaking new ground or finding the opportunity to surprise the viewer. If you've enjoyed the first two volumes of this anime on DVD, volume three certainly won't do anything to disappoint or alter your opinions of this show. Quite decent, solid stuff.
English and Japanese audio with English subtitles, trailers from the Tokyo Anime Fair and Comiket 67.
This series just keeps ticking along at a nice pace, entertaining along the way.