Manga Review: Elemental Gelade, vol. 4, by Mayumi Azuma

elemental_gelade4Check here, here, and here for reviews of previous volumes in this series.

I have a love/hate relationship with this issue.

It’s not bad. In fact, it’s great. It has some strong character development and it shows a lot of new characters. The reason why I don’t like it is because they go through the trials and fails of Cou to get him to be stronger. Frankly, that in itself is fine. It plays well… it’s very enjoyable; but for some reason, I have a very horrible feeling about the first 100 or so pages as Cou trains. That’s not the main focus.

You learn a lot about Edel Raids in this issue, and it’s a lot of interesting mythos. It’s interesting to learn about the universe and how these people/weapons work because it does show that they are people through this knowledge. The thing about it is that this is no longer about practice, and Cou goes back to the arena and fights for money. Of course, being that this is the hero’s story, he wipes the floor with them; in some cases it’s total domination– until he fights the champ, Rasati. At this point, I would add an epic soundtrack and just watch how epic this fight is.

This is a really good book in this series, no matter how I feel about it. I really liked the second half over the first half, due just to the fact that I prefer the combat. This is the first issue that Rowen and Keuea wear normal clothing. Personally I like the change; it adds more of a humanizing effect. And somehow Keuea is wearing more clothes now then in the first two issues; I never noticed this until now.

I give this volume a 9/10. I loved this one a lot, and it has a cliffhanger, setting up for what could be an epic battle for this. I’m really excited for it and if you liked this one, you should be too!

-Cameron S., 12th grade

Manga Review: Elemental Gelade, vol. 3, by Mayumi Azuma

elemental_gelade3Check here and here for reviews of previous volumes in this series.

This is a character-developing book. It takes one character and for the majority of the time there is only focus on one character: Cisque. This takes place around the time of the end of the second book, which this series makes a habit of doing.

In this volume, Cisque has to save Kuea and the others. While she battles the hunter Wolx, Cou has to save them using Ren, which doesn’t really work, as normal. He works to keep off the guard while the buyer is watching the fight. Of course Cisque just barely wins by pulling out a pistol. Wolx’s Elemental Raid jumps in front of him and takes the bullet for him. Of course, being that this is the happy story, Cisque makes a deal where he finds elemental raids and sells them to her agency so instead of being sold on the black market they will be protected. Once they arrive at the town, they go and meet up with the agency. This is also the first time we will see Rowen and Cisque in regular clothes as they go on vacation.

Onto the book itself; yes, it is very good. I liked it a lot, like the second one. And seeing Cisque in the regular clothes is a nice change of pace for her. Rowen doesn’t really change; he just wears a suit instead of the work outfit. Cou and Rin don’t change by the end of the book, but they do play a major part in the next book.

I give this volume a 8/10; it’s a great book and fans should keep reading on and if you’re still sketchy, it’s still doing really well, so read on– it only gets better.

-Cameron S., 12th grade

Manga Review: Elemental Gelade, vol. 2, by Mayumi Azuma

elemental_gelade2Note: this manga contains mature content and may be best suited for an older teen audience.

The second volume of Elemental Gelade takes place mere seconds after the first volume ends. The tyrant is holding onto Ren and Cou is having a minor breakdown over the fact that his Edel Raid is saying horrible things about him, and that she is considering working for the enemy. After Ren uses her powers to blind the leader; his Edel raid is now hurt and betrayed that he would choose to pick the “object” he was about to sell over her, and he lashes out at her to work properly. This gives Cou and Ren time to unify and she turns into her weapon form. They take care of the bad guy with haste and they all leave the village. The steam factory is destroyed and the windmill is spinning again providing free power to the villagers.

The story of this issue is given far more room to work with than in the first volume, as there is already a basis for the plot and characters are defined well, with more depth. The comedy in issue is also slightly better, but still the main focus is on the characters and the action– and there is plenty of action.

Out of the first two, this is the better issue and if you were only “meh” on the first issue give the second one a try. It broadens the universe and frankly it’s worth checking out if you liked the first enough to finish it. (See my review of volume 1 here.)

Overall: 8/10. A great read.

-Cameron S., 12th grade

Manga Review: Elemental Gelade, vol. 1, by Mayumi Azuma

elemental_gelade_coverI should start out saying this is my first real manga that I ever read, or at least, entirely to as much as I could. It helped form my current opinions on the style of Japanese comics. It is also the first time in a long time I wanted to skip reading a part in my book.

The main plot of the story is about Eldel Raids, or one of the 7 Glittering Jewels known as Ren. In the Glittering Jewels line, she is the last. She is the only living member now, and this is where the journey begins. After a very good start, I find the middle to be slightly lacking. However, it picks up extremely well when the story takes a sudden twist. Sadly the first issue ends on cliffhanger, but the Mission Viejo Library has all of them available up to issue 9! (Shameless plug.)

Now onto the book itself which is overall very good and done well. The art style isn’t well used outside of the weaponry in my opinion. That being said, when it is used well it is downright fantastic. The weapons all look unique and special giving them all a reason to be remembered. I think the characters could be a bit more fleshed out, but it put them at a great starting point. The story is well crafted in its entirety, and I personally really like it. The next issue is even better, and this one is worth a look.

Overall, I give this volume of Elemental Gelade a 7/10. A great manga. If you think it’s worth a shot I give it a full recommendation.