ELEMENTAL GELADE (?????? ?????(Erementar Gerad)) • Mayumi Azuma • Tokyopop (2006-ongoing) • Mag Garden (Comic Blade/Comic Blade Masamune, 2002-ongoing) • 17+ volumes (ongoing) • Shônen Fantasy Action • 13+ (mild language, violence, partial nudity, infrequent sexual situations)
“Edel Raids” are humanoids who, when paired with the right person, transform into powerful living weapons. Cou, a young sky pirate, discovers Ren, a female Edel Raid, inside a box while raiding an enemy ship. Accompanied by gun-happy girl Cisqua, dull handsome guy Rowen, and Rowen’s busty, food-obsessed Edel Raid Kuea, Cou wanders the world searching for the legendary “Edel Garden”…meanwhile encountering Edel Raid Collectors, Edel Raid Hunters and villains who are mean to their Edel Raids. Although Elemental Gelade features polished anime-style artwork by former Capcom designer Azuma, the vestigial plot is full of shônen manga clichés and mostly consists of food jokes and the characters going from town to town fighting bad guys. There’s a faint romantic tension between the Edel Raids and their human partners (the equivalent of a romance between a human and a Pokémon), but it’s undeveloped like the setting and everything else in the manga. Cou bears a suspicious resemblance to Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist, a manga running in the directly competing magazine Shônen Gangan. Ultimately, the series seems most notable for its tie-in merchandise–anime, light novels, video games, etc. A 2003 spin-off series, Elemental Gelade: Ao no Senki (”Elemental Gelade: Flag of Blue Sky”), remains untranslated.
* 1/2 (one and a half stars)
Today’s winner is John C. of New York! We also have another photo of one of our previous winners, Tyhana J.:
Congratulations, Tyhana! The seeds of manga that you planted will return to you manyfold! See you tomorrow!