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Manga / Elemental Gelade

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Elemental Gelade (called Erementar Gerad by some, including the US copyright holder) is a manga by Mayumi Azuma which ran in Monthly Comic Blade from 2002 to 2009. An anime adaptation aired in Japan in 2005.

Coud van Giruet is a brash and adventurous young rogue who dreams of becoming the greatest Sky Pirate in history. One day, he stumbles upon a strange girl named Ren who turns out to be an Edel Raid: a special type of human able to form a contract with a "Pledger" and become a powerful weapon. Together, they embark on a quest to find the legendary "Edel Garden", which is supposedly the birthplace of all Edel Raids.

Joining them on their journey are members of Arc Aile, a military organisation seeking to put every Edel Raid under their protection. But a common enemy soon emerges in "Chaos Choir", a group of religious extremists that worships the power of Edel Raids and wishes to capture Ren for their own purposes.

A sequel called Flag of the Blue Sky was also released, taking place two years after the original story but with a new set of characters. For centuries, the Edel Raids of the Velsown family have served the regent of the Fuajarl kingdom, also known as the Kingdom of the Sun. The latest Edel Raid to inherit this position is Jelio "Jean" Velsown, a determined and stoic young knight. When a hostile force invades the kingdom to capture Jean, she is ordered to flee with the young crown princess, Princess Acheaburca Fuajarl XIV. With the fall of the kingdom and the murder of the king, Jean and Acheaburca form a pledge of vengeance and plan to restore Fuajarl to its rightful glory.

See also Soul Eater for a similar concept, liberally mixed with the quirky Gothic sensibilities of Tim Burton.

Contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Modesty: The anime takes away nearly all the Fanservice found in the manga.
  • Affably Evil:
    • Orga Night executive Bienenritter is a manipulative, ambitious woman who is capable of anything to obtain what she wants. And she does her evil machinations with the grace of a Lucky Star character.
    • Ronburet counts, as he actually paused his fight with Coud to give him a lecture on the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors of the setting.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Both the manga and anime have a version of this.
    • In the manga, Cisqua receives news that Cou and Ren are still alive, prompting her, Rowen and Kuea to set out in a new journey to find their missing friends.
    • In the anime, the final episode ends with Cou and Ren flying in an aircraft towards the night sky as they promise to continue travelling together until they reach the stars. Cisqua, Rowen and Kuea also join them for new adventures.
  • Animal Motifs: Primarily Rasati, who is heavily associated with tigers. When she's angry or even just aggressive, one or both of her eyes are drawn like a tiger's.
  • Art Shift: How any of the characters is drawn at any given moment can vary widely, but it's usually Cisqua who leads in this regard. A notable example of this is her tendency to crank up the girlish charm when violence called for. Twice, at least, she hits upon a solution to her problem and presents it looking like Cardcaptor Sakura.
    "Lethal Force <3!"
  • Big Eater: Kuea. It becomes a plot point in the Milliard Trey arc, as Rowen points out that if Kuea is enters into the tournament, no matter how much money they win, it will all just go to feeding Kuea. The grand prize in one million gold.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder:
    • Ren and Kuea's weapon forms are blades that cover their partners' arms.
    • In the manga, Greyarts has his arms severed, and is assigned a new Edel Raid that becomes a set of arm blades.
  • Bookends: The anime starts with Cou setting out to raid an airship with the rest of the Red Lynx Sky Pirate crew. The final episode ends the same way, but now Cou is working with Ren, his new friends and the Red Lynx crew to rescue kidnapped Edel Raids.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Cisqua and her various weapons. Lampshaded when she gets paralysed thinking about how much firing her weapons costs.
  • I Know Your True Name: Edel Raids can be easily sealed by those who know their full names.
  • In Love with the Mark: In the anime, Viro, a temporary character who joined up only to get near Coud and murder him, until she realizes that she fell in love with him.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Most if not all Edel Raids appear as beautiful human women, and the name of their human partners (mostly men) seems to be largely a creepy play on words; to the day, you can still translate it from the original Japanese as either "Pledger" or "Pleasure".
  • Interspecies Romance: The series shows humans and Edel Raids that fall in love with each other. The Official Couple is Ren and her Pledger Cou.
  • It's the Journey That Counts: In the final volume, Ren starts regretting traveling to Edel Garden after all it got her was seeing her Cool Big Sis Cia turned into an Ax-Crazy monster and being forced to kill her with Cou's help. Cou, however, comforts her by telling her that even though what she found at Edel Garden made her sad, the time they spent together in their journey and the people they met are precious to him so he doesn't want Ren to think it was All for Nothing.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The first chapter of Elemental Gerade Blue shows that Edel Garden isn't a very nice place which was only stated around 80 chapters into Elemental Gerade Red.
  • Long-Lived: Edel Raids have a lifespan much longer than humans.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Cia's love for Keith turned her Ax-Crazy.
  • Love Triangle: The anime has Viro falling in love with Cou, only to be forced to give up because he and Ren are mutually in love.
  • MacGuffin Super-Person: Ren and Jean are both Shichikouhouju, along with Suuchi, the princess of Runbuuram, and the ice adilraid Range, a very rare, powerful type of adilraid. The enemy tries so hard to get their hands on them, and keep failing.
  • Magic Contract Romance: The story starts with the Edel Raid Ren making a contract with Cou, turning him into her Pledger. They gradually fall in love in their journey to Edel Garden.
  • Magical Girlfriend: The series is about a Sky Pirate boy who meets an Edel Raid girl named Ren who was stolen by his crew during a raid. Ren makes him her Pledger so he can wield her as his weapon and take her to Edel Garden, resulting in them falling in love.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Any romance between humans and Edel Raids falls into this, since Edel Raids have a lifespan much longer than humans. However, aside from a single-episode plot, this is mostly ignored.
  • Not What It Looks Like:
    • In the anime, Cisqua finds Coud and Ren on a bed and draws the obvious conclusion.
    • Rowen is a bit more easy-going when he walks into a scene where it looks like Coud is fondling Ren's breasts.
  • Objectshifting: The Edel Raids are female characters who form a bond with a human to transform into absolutely devastating weapons - mainly melee weapons, but guns are not unknown.
  • Official Couple: Cou and Ren are the main couple of the series, with their growing romance being a recurring plot point.
  • One Cast Member per Cover: Each volume has a different cast member on the cover. The only exception is the final volume's cover featuring the Official Couple, Cou and Ren.
  • Out-of-Clothes Experience: Edel and Sting Raids who reacted are shown nude in their astral projections.
  • Perpetual Poverty: The whole party, but particularly Cisqa, who keeps getting billed.
  • Piggyback Cute: Since Ren usually falls asleep to recharge her power, Coud has to carry her on his back most of the time.
  • Rip Van Winkle:
    • Ren spent centuries sealed until Cou woke her up.
    • A very cruel version of this happens in the anime to one Eden Raid that escaped from Arc Aile's custody and puts the organization's MO into question.
  • Schizo Tech: Airships, floating islands, guns and magic?
  • Sky Pirate: The protagonist Cou was raised by the crew of Red Lynx sky pirates that make a living by raiding other airships.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Has this problem with the show title and other plot elements; for example, Pledgers (initially introduced as either "Preja" or "Pleasure"), Sting Raids (misspelled as "Stream Raids" or "Sitting Raids"), or even the Eden Raid (called "Edil Raid" by the first fansubs of the series). NOT helped by the Geneon US release of the series, which has the series title both ways, one in the English subs, the other in the title sequence itself. Official spelling in the Japanese versions is "adilraid."
  • Stripperific:
    • Kuea's attire. It's more evident in the manga. Her reasoning is that mobility is all-important, even trumping protection. Her outfit consists of a length of chain, a petticoat, a black leather G-string, and a curdoroy mini-tanktop, as well as a pair of long black gloves. When she gets Ren in a similar outfit, all Ren can say is "I'm cold..."
    • For those of you with the Japanese version, see Range's outfit. She makes Kuea look modest!
  • Tempting Fate: Cisqua. During her training session with Cou and Ren, she states that she won't have to worry about an opponent on Cou's level. Thing is, what Cou lacks in finesse Ren makes worse with sheer power, and it is precisely that combo that saves Cisqua from having her head slashed to ribbons. Not as much can be said for the grove of trees the pair logged.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Some characters treat the Edel Raids as tools while others treat them as humans. This is explored further with the Viros.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: At one point, Cou finds himself on the receiving end of Viro's affections; when he glances at Ren, he notices she has her cold eyes out and immediately assumes she's less than pleased with him (though she's actually only a little chilly). To compensate, he runs off with her to explore the ship everyone is on.
  • Years Too Early: Kuea: "It'll take you another eleventy billion years, before you can defeat me in a battle!"