Elemental Gelade
Volume 3

Starring (voice): Akira Ishida, Mikako Takahashi, Nana Mizuki, Naoko Suzuki and Yuji Ueda
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 03 September 2007

Coud Van Giruet is a sky pirate of the wind, a rather inept member of the Red Lynx gang, who hopes 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. Together they search for the lands of her people...

Volume Three of Elemental Gelade contains episodes ten to thirteen of this twenty-six episode show.

Episode ten, Love and Greed, sees Cou and Ren still struggling to find money to pay off extortionists, and they nearly loose Lilia to a band of thugs. Meanwhile, Cisqua is desperate to know if Ren and Cou are making wads of cash for her. Nothing comes for free and Cou discovers this when he is informed of a secret fight club, where he could earn big money.

A bit of a slow episode. It seems that at this point the show has become a little side-tracked from the main story arc. With the show being at its midpoint a lot of the drive and impetus built up from the earlier discs seems to be disappearing. There are some amusing points, like Cisqua attending the fight to break it up only to win a heap of cash betting on Cou, though I thought that the tension in the build up to the fight between Cou and Rasati could have been handled better - after all the stakes are high. Rasati fights for her sister's freedom and Cou for money to get Ren home, and this is a fight between friends and allies.

Episode eleven, Revenge of the Krasfighter, and the fight between Cou and Rasati begins with no quarter given or expected. Things do not go as planned as Rasati discovers that the fight is rigged.

This episode is little more than a protracted fight scene, which any anime fan could have written in their sleep. A few good moves, with the inevitable flashback to remind the audience what they are fighting for.

Episode twelve, Sprint to Freedom, and having fought off all comers, it looks like Rasati still cannot win, that is until Cisque reveals herself as an agent of Arc Aile and all hell breaks loose. It looks bad for our heroes until reinforcements from Arc Aile turn up.

So finishes a rather pointless trilogy. However, interest is tickled again after Arc Aile removes Ren from Cou. Though Cisque tries to reassure Cou that everything is all right, you just know that something odd is afoot. By the time they arrive at Arc Aile, Cou is having serious doubts about the trustworthiness of the Arc Aile people.

Episode thirteen, Arc Aile, and Ren wakes up to be told that she has been asleep for several years and the Cou and the others have left. Not only is this a lie, but Cou is having serious misgivings. Arc Aile seems more like a prison than a sanctuary, but what is the truth and will Cou work it out before it is too late?

So the show picks up again, hopefully it's not a case of too little too late. The actual realisation of the Eldil Garden is a little underwhelming, with some very basic backdrops.

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 the original promotional trailer, which was shown at the 2005 Tokyo Anime Fair, as well as the Comiket trailer. The rest is the DVD credits and a collection of trailers. The show is presented in a very clean 4:3 aspect ratio.

Although the show picks up in the last episode, it did feel like the show had kinda lost its way in the first three episodes. Hopefully the next disc will get back to the main story.

Charles Packer

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