Disclaimer: I tried something a little more analytical this time. As a result this post may come across as a bit more rambly and incoherent as usual. Sorry!
Of all the Anime series that came out during the Winter Season of this year, ēlDLIVE was most definitely an instant favourite, being beaten only by Scum’s Wish because… It’s Scum’s Wish.
I had a great time with this series. Sure, its early storytelling was flawed, there were a couple of episodes that could have been removed entirely and the ending was Anime original which destroyed all my hopes of the series adapting the best parts of the original Manga, but in the end, it had its share of fantastic moments which helped outweigh the issues I had with it. In terms of quality, and as an adaptation of one of the greatest Manga I’ve ever read, ēlDLIVE was fairly inconsistent.
But one thing that was consistent was how the series utilised transitions between every one of its scenes. Seriously, these transitions were brilliant and are the directorial highlight of the series.
I’m not kidding.
In movies or series, the purpose of a transition is to shift the focus from one scene to the other, seamlessly. Personally, I feel this is done mostly to ensure that the film or series is constantly moving in a natural fashion, to prevent the scene change in question from feeling too stiff or sudden. Without some kind of natural transition, it can often feel weird when a series suddenly jumps from one location to the other with no prior indication that such a shift was going to occur. For me personally, this feels tiresome, as I feel the series isn’t providing me with a “break” between scenes. I don’t get a moment to breathe or process what just happened in the previous scene.
And ēlDLIVE handles this whole thing in the best way possible.
Not only does the series make great use of transitions between every single scene, but it does so in an incredibly natural and creative way. ēlDLIVE does everything it can to shift the current episodes focus to a particular scene or place in the world.
Whether it be having the protagonists legs appear at the end of a scene, and having them walk across the screen to create a “wipe” effect to move into the new scene or having a palette shift occur to move from an external scene to an internal monologue, ēlDLIVE doesn’t simply move between scenes, it moves between scenes with style.
As a result the series manages to maintain a sense of momentum throughout the entirety of its 12 episode runtime, while also splitting up each moment appropriately to prevent coming across as too intense. The presented events flow into one another seamlessly and it’s excellent. While watching ēlDLIVE I never once felt confused where the show was taking me or the emotions being conveyed by a particular part of the story because the show directly went out of its way to present the shift in focus.
And this creativity never gets stale. With each episode the series consistently manages to showcase ingenious ways of transitioning between scenes that every shift in focus was an exciting thing to bear witness to.
It’s a minor detail, but it made all the difference when it came to both the pacing and visual style of the series. It may sound a tad ridiculous, but as a result of these well executed transitions, I genuinely feel that ēlDLIVE is far better paced than it would be without them. The narrative feels more cohesive and immersive and aesthetically, the transitions just look really nice.
This is something I’ve never really seen from any other show before. ēlDLIVE is far from the first series to have creative scene transitions, but I’ve never seen it done with such grace or with as much creativity and ingenuity as this.
If you’re a fan of this sort of stuff, I’d highly recommend checking the series out, even if the narrative and other aspects of the series don’t appeal to you all that much. It makes for an interesting watch visually.
Are there any series you feel did things similarly? I’d love to see other examples of this sort of thing. Let me know below in the comments!
Interested in my scores for ēlDLIVE and other Anime titles? You can find them on my horrendously incomplete MyAnimeList page.