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Erementar Gerade, Vol. 2

Erementar Gerade, Vol. 2Erementar Gerade, Vol. 2
by Mayumi Azuma
DMP, 184 pp
Rating: Teen (13+)

The second volume of Mayumi Azuma’s Erementar Gerade picks right up where the last one left off. Cou, Ren and the three members of an Edel Raid protection group, Cisqua, Kuea and Rowen, clash with a warlord who’s taken over a small town and traffics in women and Edel Raids. Afterwards the unlikely band finds themselves against.. another guy who kidnaps and traffics in Edel Raids.

I’m starting to notice a theme here. The first two volumes have both featured Cou and company facing off against a male antagonist who kidnaps Edel Raids and sells them to another buyer. Ten to one the buyer for Wolx, the second Edel Raid hunter in this volume, and the buyer mentioned by the first Eden Raid hunter are the same person. While it does seem to hint at a big bad for the early part of the series, I’m just not sure rehashing the exact same story we just read is the best way to go about it. Beyond the basic story the series continues its weird pseudo-commentary on gender relations and the treatment of women by society. It’s hard to not look at these stories about men kidnapping Edel Raids, which are always women so far, and then selling them and abusing them and not think of human trafficking problems. The abusive relationships between the antagonists and their Edel Raids, complete with them calling them objects, is hard to miss and at times I think it’s a rather clever and subtle commentary on the way society views and treats women. But then the series turns around and gives us weird fan servicey bits, like a scene with Cou which echoes his abortive attempt at molesting Ren when they first met, only this time he’s peeping on Ren and the other female cast members, Cisqua and Kuea, as they’re bathing at a hot baths spa.

Maymumi Azuma’s artwork continues to be a bit hit or miss with me. The character designs are serviceable but none of them jump out as being amazingly memorable or fantastic. The action scenes in this volume are also a bit clearer then those in the first. The scenes with Rowen and Kuea battling the second Edel Raid hunter are much more coherent and flow far better then any of the other action scenes that have turned up so far. Unfortunately the over the top comedic reactions still abound and that’s something that almost never works for me and Erementar Gerade is no exception.

The story continues to be a weird mix of interesting ideas and concepts and fairly bland shonen tropes. Ren gets threatened, Cou spouts dialogue about how he’ll protect her, fights ensue, etc. Right now the underlying ideas of the series interest me more than anything the characters are actually doing or anything happening within the plot.

Erementar Gerade, Vol. 2 is available now from Digital Manga Publishing and Emanga.com. Digital review copy provided by the publisher.

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  1. March 21, 2012 at 8:15 am

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