The first two episodes of ēlDLIVE served the narrative purpose of introducing us to the shows protagonist, the narrative he is a part of and how the world of the show works. And while this episode more or less fulfills the same purpose, it also serves as a major turning point in the story.
A lot like the previous episode, this one revolves around yet another alien fugitive who is on the prowl and causing chaos all over the earth. He’s going around stealing gum and committing murder for… Unclear reasons. It’s a little wacky and kind of silly (why gum?), but regardless of his motivations, Chuta volunteers himself to go catch the criminal.
And this is the first of many turning points that occur in this episode. Up until this point, Chuta has more or less been going through the motions and has been thrown into each life threatening situation through no choice of his own. But this time, Chuta is flat out volunteering to catch the criminal because he wants to prove himself to those who doubt him and he’s realised just how dangerous these alien threats really are and believes he can make a difference.
It may be a very subtle and minor change in his attitude, but what matters is that we’re seeing growth and it’s great that in such a short amount of time we’re beginning to see Chuta grow and change as a result of the experiences he’s had during his time in ēlDLIVE.
And to further add to Chuta’s growth, we’re treated to another fight scene this week where he actually shows some guts for a change. In the previous episodes, Chuta was cowardly and survived due to luck or the intervention with others, but this time, he willingly puts in effort and uses his experience from previous battles to actively make a difference and overcome the enemy that stands before him. Misuzu winds up being used as a shield, with the enemy attaching itself to her face as a means of protection and with the creature being made of a gum-like substance, Chuta comes up with an interesting idea. He decides to use his power of imagination by having Dolugh fire a gigantic blast of ice to freeze the gum alien and have him peel off her face. Once again, we’re introduced to another interesting and unique ability conjured up from Chuta’s imagination, and it was awesome.
Then, just when things seem to be over and done, in a sudden, unexpected twist, the criminal self-destructs leaving Chuta and Misuzu together in a near-embrace that signifies the two of them may just be warming up to one another as comrades. It’s not the most original of moments, but as a way of portraying their growing tolerance towards one another, it works pretty darn effectively.
Of course, the biggest thing would be the result of the self-destructive explosion: a gigantic crater in the shape of a strange symbol is left after the debris clears, and it’s the symbol of a criminal organisation named Demille, which implies that something on a much larger scale is going on beyond mere thievery and murder. And Chuta, Misuzu and the rest of the ēlDLIVE gang are caught up in the middle of it all.
As a result of this final revelation, this episode ends on a much darker and somber note than usual. ēlDLIVE is a fairly energetic and colourful series, but the tone and atmosphere of the final scene in particular felt pretty sinister and a lot more serious: which I can assure you all is a sign of things to come.
Visually, this episode was a step up from the last one, and most of the animation issues that were present before seem to have been sorted out. On top of this, the scene transitions remain as creative as ever, and I’d just be repeating myself if I continued to ramble on about everything else. The show looks nice, and although it seems like it’s going to be a fairly inconsistent series visually, depending on the episode, it does a fine job in terms of directing and presentation. And those character designs are still incredible. Akira Amano is so talented. AGH.
As a Manga Reader, it appears that with the next episode the series will finally be starting the first major and serious story arc in the Manga. The introductory chapter (referred to as “Season 1” in the Manga) has now been finished, and if the Anime continues to adapt the source material at this rate, we are definitely going to be getting to the amazing stuff this series has to offer. Exciting times are ahead of us!
We’re about to get a more serious, unique and emotionally engaging ēlDLIVE, and I for one, cannot freaking wait.
I’m still loving this and I sincerely hope that by the end of this, you all will too.