Elemental Gelade is a 2005 anime produced by Xebec that makes us wish our love confessions were as fancy.
February 24, 2022 at 15:55 PHT by Nicole S. Castro
The Valentine's mood is still in the air, and at this point, couples have probably used the word "forever" in their love confessions at least once this month.
But in 2005 anime Erementar Gerad (English title: Elemental Gelade), "forever" is more than just a cheesy line. It's the title of the anime's catchy opening song AND a promise between human protagonist Coud Van Giruet and Edel Raid Ren/Reverie Metherlence!
Okay, we're here for the catchy opening song, Forever by Savage Genius. Truly one of the best from the 2000s.
Elemental Gelade (known in Japan as Erementar Gerad) is set in the world of Guardia where beings called Edel Raids co-exist with humans. Edel Raids are highly valued for their ability to fuse with a human and become a living weapon. Protagonist Coud "Cou" Van Giruet (CV: Akira Ishida) is a young sky pirate who discovers Reverie "Ren" Metherlance (CV: Mikako Takahashi), one of the rarest and most powerful Edel Raids known as the Seven Glittering Jewels (Shichiko-hoji), while onboard the Red Lynx's airship.
Various parties are out to retrieve Ren, including Cisqua (CV: Nana Mizuki), Rowen (CV: Yuji Ueda), and Kuea (CV: Naoko Suzuki), who are members of an Edel Raid protection organization called Arc Aile.
After getting attacked by a third party of assassins, Coud reluctantly agrees to team up with Cisqua, Rowen, and Kuea so he can better protect Ren and learn how to wield her efficiently when they transform (or "react" as is the term in the anime). Coud, who is the first person to treat Ren as more than just an object, vows to help her return to her homeland, Edel Garden.
Note: In the TV anime, Ren ends up at Edel Garden after being abducted by the main antagonist, Chaos Choir. The leaders of Chaos Choir attempt to perform a ceremony to make Ren the new queen of Edel Garden, but Cou rescues her in time and chants the lost song that ends the war between humans and Edel Raids. Ren chooses to stay with Cou as a member of the Red Lynx sky pirates.
Elemental Gelade (Japanese: エレメンタルジェレイド) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Mayumi Azuma. The manga was serialized in Monthly Comic Blade from 2005 to 2009, while the anime aired in Spring 2005 with 26 episodes. It was produced by animation studio Xebec.
Elemental Gelade was also adapted into two light novels, two video games for PlayStation 2 and Game Boy Advance, and four drama CDs.
In addition to the opening song that triggers all of our nostalgia, here are three more things to look back on from the series.
1. The battle scene transformations ("reacting") are spellbinding
Reacting is a very intimate experience for both the Pledger (the human bound to the Edel Raid) and the Raid. We admit it's also fanservice-y (not that we're complaining!), especially since "Pledger" sounds like "Pleasure" when pronounced in Japanese (plus, you will come across English subtitle translations that use "Pledger" and "Pleasure" interchangeably).
But more importantly, this act of chanting to trigger the merge between the Pledger and the Raid really drives home the point that love is a promise you constantly make.
2. Cisqua is the comic relief who makes us enjoy the journey throughout this series
Despite her small size, Cisqua is the intelligent and fearsome leader of one of Arc Aile's Edel Raid Complete Protection Association squads consisting of Rowen and Kuea. Though she is not bound to any Edel Raid, Cisqua is well versed in martial arts and gunmanship, enabling her to go head to head against pledgers and their raids.
While Cou and Ren drive the plot and the romance, Cisqua brings in the comedic relief as she rants endlessly about their group being broke, scolds Cou for slacking off or doing something stupid, and freaks out whenever Kuea is chewing on her head due to hunger. She probably gets just as much screen time as the main couple, and we love her for being a strong female character and mentor when that wasn't as common in the 2000s.
More importantly, Cisqua's character development concerning her childhood friend who was also an Edel Raid brings an additional touch of closure to the series after she realizes how Edel Raids are not tools but equal to human beings.
Side note: Is it just us, or does Cisqua resemble Sakura Kinomoto of CCS (but with angrier energy and an intense desire for money 😂)?
3. Cou and Ren make "speaking from the heart" feel extra special
Elemental Gelade had a touching, poetic finale when they chanted the lost song that concluded the final battle. Even though it was obvious from the beginning that Ren and Cou would end up together, we honestly can't fault it when they look so good and in love!
Elemental Gelade is equal parts shounen and romance with a group of powerful fighters encountering equally powerful characters throughout their adventure. Every supporting character features some version of the Pledger-Raid relationship which challenge Cou and Ren to think about what they truly mean to each other.
If you're up for an adventure with a happy ending couple, go down memory lane with Elemental Gelade!
Digest by AniradioPlus
NICOLE S. CASTRO
Nicole is based in the Philippines and works as a freelance Japanese Translator/Interpreter and copywriter (English). She is a JLPT N2 passer who watches anime to "study" for N1. She has a long career history on LinkedIn (with primary focus on media and translation), but her anime watchlist is much, much longer.