Elemental Gelade
Volume 2

Starring (voice): Akira Ishida, Mikako Takahashi, Nana Mizuki, Naoko Suzuki and Yuji Ueda
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 02 July 2007

Coud Van Giruet is a sky pirate of the wind, a rather inept member of the Red Lynx gang, who hopes to one day to become the boss. On a raid against another ship Coud rescues Reverie Metherlence (Ren) who turns out to be one of the Shichiko-hoju, an Edel Raid, who, in conjunction with a human being can become the ultimate fighting machine...

Volume Two of Elemental Gelade contains episodes six to nine of this twenty-six episode show. Like many other shows the major premise is the exploration of a set of characters on a quest, especially between Coud and Ren, though it is early days to decide whether their ongoing sexual tension will be sustained across the twenty-six episode before it becomes tired and staid. In these early episodes the show still holds promise.

Episode six: Eyeing the Pleasure. Coud is not having a good time; Ren is literally on his back as Cisqua trains him hard. Coud is still learning to use the powers which melding with Ren gives him. Well, to be honest, nothing really much happens in this episode as the characters are still getting to know each other. If Coud is trying to get Ren back to where the Edil Raids are born, he's taking his sweet time about it.

Episode seven, Determination, and the quest continues. Coud and Ren witness the destruction of a Sky Pirate ship. Initially this seems like manna from heaven, as Coud is able to cannibalise the ship for transport. However, the Edel Raid, which had caused the destruction is, on their trail with a mission to kill Coud and Ren, leading to the inevitable confrontation with the Chaos Choir. Finally the show gets off the ground, literally, with an episode that advances the overall plot.

Episode eight: The Edel Hunter. Having survived the attack by the assassins, Coud and his friends continue their journey. Having been forced to land their plane to refuel, the gang discovers another Edel Raid trying to escape from the mysterious Edel Hunters. Ren and Coud decide to help her return to her village, whilst Rowen takes on the Edel Hunter.

Episode nine, The Secret of Razfe Ankle, and the gang has come across a certain practical problem of going on a quest, money. Cisqua volunteers Ren and Coud to enter Razfe Ankle to get jobs, the others are then attacked to stop them entering. This means the town has a secret, a secret that Rowen and Kuea mean to discover.

Audio is English or Japanese stereo with subtitles. Both the Japanese and English dub do a good job with this fast paced, frantic show. The extras consist of a textless opening sequence and a nice interview with three of the Japanese voice actors. The show is presented in a very clean 4:3 aspect ratio.

Although I had my doubts about the animation on the first disc, I do find myself warming to it. Generally, the show is starting to pick up, let's hope it just keeps getting better.

Charles Packer

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