Elemental Gelade
Volume 4

Starring (voice): Akira Ishida, Mikako Takahashi, Nana Mizuki, Naoko Suzuki and Yuji Ueda
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 12 November 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. Together they search for the lands of her people. But now, following the intervention of Arc Aile, Ren and Cou have been separated...

Volume Four of Elemental Gelade contains episodes fourteen to seventeen of this twenty-six episode show.

Episode fourteen, The Return of the Hunter, and Ren is determined to find the Edel Garden, even if she has to travel there on her own. Close behind her is Ren, trying to catch up with her. The treatment of Ren and Cou does not sit well with Cisqua, Rowen or Kuea. Although they can do little officially to help, they take off in pursuit, under the guise of going on holiday. Before he can catch up with Ren, Cou runs into Woix, the Edel Hunter, whose use of his own Edel disgusts Cou. During their fight it is Xoix who get a revelation about the relationship between humans and their Edel. It's a bit of a filler episode really. Ren appears only fleetingly, and the point that the symbiotic relationship between humans and Edel takes too long to arrive at.

Episode fifteen, The Village of the Large Window, and Ren makes it to a town where she meets a boy that reminds her of Cou. Cou meanwhile is having trouble catching up with her, which is odd really as she is on foot and they are zooming around in a van. Cisqua visits an old friend only to discover that it is the Chaos Choir that is after Ren. So, it's another slow burner of an episode - whose main purpose appears to highlight just how much Ren misses Cou - which really could have been dealt with much more economically.

Episode sixteen, Memory of a Wildbird, and having been reunited at El Blanca, Ren and Cou, having defeated members of the Chaos Choir, continue their journey towards the Edel Garden. Together, with Cisqua's group, the two take passage on a cruise ship. All seems fine until Cou is hit by a poisoned dart; whoever shot the dart is still aboard the ship, which means that Ren is in danger.

Episode seventeen, The Rocky Fateful Encounter, and the group finally reaches the continent on which the Edel Garden is supposed to be, but before they can press on a new girl, Viro appears who seems to be very enamoured of Cou. After getting away from a group of sailors Viro joins the group.

The disc is presented in 4:3 ratio with a Japanese or English stereo track. Extras on the disc are pretty good for an anime. You get the usual, watch once, textless opening, a bunch of trailers and the DVD credits, but you are also treated to a full length commentary, for episode fifteen, from the English voice director and sound engineer.

The show continues on its merry way, with not too many distractions from the main arc, though it still hasn't quite found that certain something to raise it to 'must watch' status.

Charles Packer

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