First Impressions: ēlDLIVE — Episode 1

It looks like this anime season will be continuing its trend of lackluster series. Nothing really stands out in ElDlive apart from the fact that the protagonist talks to himself. It would be amusing if it weren’t for one problem: The series, rather than letting the audience think about its unique qualities, points to it in a way that might as well have a big sign that reads, “Look at me, I’m special.” Much like other shows this season, ElDive could be improved upon if it used subtlety to convey its themes. Well, that and if you overlooked its overall lack of direction in subplots. Studio Pierrot really dropped the ball with this series.

Many of the events in the first half of the episode have little purpose in the overarching narrative. I can’t talk about the series’ shortcomings without minor spoilers, so be wary. It begins with two women in space outfits who are attempting to arrest an alien criminal on the run. The rest of their space crew joins them to take the alien out. With this event, we have some semblance of what’s happening in the background, but it’s not enough information. The only purpose the scene had was to explain the existence of space police. That specific criminal does not make a reappearance. Then we meet out protagonist, Kokonose Chuta, an average schoolboy with one thing that makes him special: Talking to himself. Kokonose’s scenes at school are laughibly unimportant. Mainly,the moments in school are used to establish how he’s always talking to himself and how much of a loner he is. You could probably skip it entirely and not miss out on much. Every character interaction in every scene points it out until it begins to grate on you. EldLive practically forcefeeds this down your throat.

It’s boring and wasted potential. The series had plenty of opportunities to plant the seed for this plot point earlier on. It had no problems at hinting at a traumatic past with minor glimpses. I don’t understand why it couldn’t do the same for the whole talking to himself gimmick. Not to mention, the dialogue between him and the voice in his head is largely weak. Most of it sounds as if it’s only there to stir drama between characters for cheap laughs.

Kokonose also suffers from the whole ‘chosen one’ gimmick, where he’s recruited by the space police simply because some mysterious entities known as ‘the mothers’ say so. In large part, he is a passive character that’s dragged into situations, rather than making any firm decisions himself. This is especially troublesome when you’re introduced to a cast of characters that are all equally mundane. His friends and aunt are minorly touched upon. It’s laughable how brief his interaction with his aunt is. His love interest, Misuzu, rarely speaks and when she does it’s only one or two lines of dialogue. I can only hope the characters will be more fleshed out with time.

So you may start to ask yourself, “is there anything worth watching in this ElDlive?” To that I’d have to say, it’s barely watchable. The art and animation are at the level of anything you would expect from the season. This was largely a disappointment for me, as I have been a fan of Akira Amano’s work. I was in love with her manga, Katekyo Hitman Reborn! for quite some time. Her original character designs for Psycho-Pass were also great. It’s a shame the adaption of her newest manga seems to lack the same punch. As an aside, you should definitely consider giving the Reborn series a glance. It’s a fun shounen series with great characters. On top of that, Akira Amano is a fine draftsman that shows her artistic capabilities with a masterful use of bold ink lines to make her characters pop. Her clothing design has a sleek polish to it that’s captivating to look at. But I digress. Admittedly, Katekyo hitman Reborn! did have a slow start, so I’m still somewhat optimistic. Who knows, maybe EldLivewill turn around in a similar fashion.

2017-01-11 20_10_10-[HorribleSubs] elDLIVE - 01 [1080p].mkv - VLC media player
But hey, at least there was a cool nod to the Reborn series.

— Palpable (゚д゚)

3 thoughts on “First Impressions: ēlDLIVE — Episode 1”

  1. I was wondering what that news story was about. It’s a nice little homage.

    Now that I think about it, the thing about him talking to himself really is belabored a lot, but after this episode it might not be as prevalent. I don’t know how many people can see what he sees anyway, so who knows.

    His sudden introduction to space police is reminiscent of Green Lantern, though it is nice to see him being utterly confused at first as to what to do. He’s basically tossed in with no instruction, and it doesn’t seem like the group has no idea how he’s supposed to pass the test either. All anyone has to go on is that “Mothers” thinks he’s cut out for the job. It’s a little more relatable than another ‘suddenly, powers!’ episode I watched this week.

  2. Indeed, it is!

    I hope so. There are a lot of issues EldLive needs to iron out before it becomes a quality series.

    I liked the bit of him in space, since as you mentioned, his confusion to the situation was amusing to watch. Now that you mention it, I get the same Green Lantern vibe. I just felt the events leading up to it were rather rushed. Maybe I haven’t watched enough series for the season, but this felt like the whole ‘suddenly powers’ deal to me. I wonder if I’m just expecting too much though.

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