6 January 07
Do you want action and adventure right from the get-go? Then Elemental Gelade is definately the manga for you … just ignore the somewhats bland front cover. Each page of this graphic novel is so jam packed I couldn’t put it down. When I did finish reading it, I had to re-read it again, and this time I noticed so much that I didn’t see to begin with. This is a real treat, especially if you like to go back and look for new hidden things.
After a recent raid, rooky sky pirate Coud Van Giruet (nicknamed Cou), discovers that the Red L ynx crew have stolen an incredibly rare treasure; Reverie Metherlence (nicknamed Ren) an ‘Edel Raid’. After waking her from a cryogenic like sleep, he discovers the ship is under attack. The attackers, claiming to be from the Society For The Complete Protection Of Edel Raids (Arc Aile), storm the ship and try to take Ren. We discover that Edel Raids are living beings who can become one with a human and become a dangerously powerful weapon.
After a crash landing to Earth, Cou agrees to protect Ren and try to take her to her desired destination, Edel Garden. The Arc Aile tag along as they have no means of contact with their headquarters and decide that monitoring Ren is the next best thing to catching her. When Ren gets taken from them by black market trader, Beazon, Cou realises just how valueable Ren is. However when the group catch up with Beazon and Ren, a twist in the story occurs that makes you wander who is on whose side. Who’s good and who’s evil? Thats something you’ll have to find out for yourselves.
This manga by Mayumi Azuma also contains one of my favourite extras in graphic novels; conceptual images. This gives you an insight into what the artist was thinking when creating characters, namely Cou and Ren. The drawing styles are very inspiring with fantastic attention to detail. There’re even some heavy lined chibi moments which bring a little comedy into a very action based comic, especially when Ren is getting tired.
On the whole I throroughly enjoyed this manga. My only quarrel would be the cover which is very plain and doesn’t really do much justice to the action and adventure that lie within. That being said there’s an old saying “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, and I hope that people do enjoy Elemental Gelade when it comes out.
But for now, you can read chapter one on TokyoPop‘s website.