ēlDLIVE – Preview
Original Air Dates: January 8th, 2017 – ???
Synopsis: Middle Schooler Chuta Kokonose has heard a voice in his head for as long as he can remember. When he’s recruited into the space police force, his life takes a drastic change as he learns the voice in his head is far more than just another personality, but an alien to boot! Now Chuta must prove his mettle to his cold-hearted coworker and school mate, Misuzu, by protecting the universe from otherworldly criminals.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: A huge problem with elDLive (besides its ridiculously stylized spelling) is that it tries a little too hard to have a pathetic/pitiable protagonist. For someone who claims to have heard and had to deal with an inner voice all his life, Chuta does a terrible job of handling it, even though he’s already in his teens. He is constantly responding and conversing to it in public, often badmouthing people right to their face. Even his ‘tragic’ backstory about why he is forever alone seems melodramatic and forced, clearly there for the sole sake of helping explain or justify things that don’t even need to be in the first place. Like why he decides to save a particular classmate. First off, he’s already supposed to be facing off against and capturing the very alien that has his ‘friend,’ so saving him could just be part of the deal. Secondly, what teenage hero would walk away or be able to simply walk away when face to face with an evil monster? It all ultimately ends up feeling like we’re being spoon fed information we do not need or want.
Tom: Chuta is easily the biggest contention of the show. If you have trouble suspending your disbelief over his portrayal, the way he deals with the voice in his head, and his hamfisted back story, elDLive is going to be a difficult watch. The show basically hinges on Chuta and his persona, making up for a majority of the episode’s run time.
Linny: The protagonist can make or break a show and from what we’ve seen so far, he lacks likability for older audiences who might just find him too young and whiny to care about. It doesn’t help that almost everyone else in the episode gets little to no proper time to make a good impression and the supposedly almighty elDLive forces seem more like a bunch of jokers rather than a serious and powerful task force. Sure they have a big fancy spaceship but the officers inside all seem more interested in making quips than providing security against criminals.
Tom: A big issue for elDLive is just how many elements we’ve got competing for screen time. We’ve got the elDLive space police force, Chuta’s inner voice plot twist, his relationship with his friends at school, and more. The episodes does a poor job of balancing all these elements, often interrupting the flow of events to shoehorn in information we don’t need yet.
Linny: There’s so many random elements shoved into this first episode that it struggles to properly balance them. It explains the most random elements, (like the origin of a character in the middle of a fight) and fails to organically establish or explain other more important elements of the story.
Tom: A divisive aspect to the series is its more whimsical and silly designs for the aliens. We’re treated to a plethora of varying odd ball and strange designs. Personally? I find the show’s visuals a horrid miss mash of styles and designs, making the whole thing feel like a random hodgepodge of different works. But I think that’s more a me problem than something that detracts from the series and certainly if you’re looking for something a little more visually unique, well, eLDlive is certainly that.
Linny: About the aliens in the show, they’re given rather comic voices, which makes them hard to take seriously. Add to that the super sappy and angsty protagonist backstory and elDLive feels like a mishmash of varying components that might be best enjoyed by younger viewers. If Shonen is your favourite genre, elDLive might have a chance to win you over but anyone else is likely to leave less than impressed.
Tom: I’d already been familiar with elDLive thanks to its run in shonen jump a few years back as part of the Jump Start offerings. It got three chapters before it was pulled from U.S. Jump’s line up, never to be seen again in the magazine. Apparently it’s been doing well for itself in Japan, but the fact that it failed to hit with Shonen Jump’s U.S. readership potentially speaks volumes about the kind of reception it’ll find here. I feel elDLive is a jumbled mess of ideas, and there’s far better shonen available than what this offers.
ēlDLIVE is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com.