“A Pursuer From the Past: Part 2”
After blaming himself for his friend’s untimely demise, Chuuta is suddenly confronted by a ghost from his past. Mizogucchi “Gucchi” Ken survived the accident after being rescued by members from the crime organization, DeMille. Now, he is tasked with taking down the ēlDLIVE police force, including his former friend Chuuta.
Between this episode and the events from part 1, ēlDLIVE is slowly becoming more engrossing to watch. WeekendOtaku mentioned in his last review that these episodes break from the formulaic 3-step plot in an effort to develop a more dramatic narrative. I completely agree with this. In the past, ēlDLIVE has focused solely on introducing a conflict and resolving it by the end of each episode. The present arc introducing the DeMille crime organization and supporting character, Gucci, has been steadily carrying over elements into each episode.
The only real criticism to be had is how the development of Gucci has been handled. Gucci was introduced as a main antagonist last week and viewers learn this week he is actually on Chuuta’s side. The suspense that comes with questioning Gucci’s motives and loyalty, carried out through a few episodes, would have increased the narrative appeal dramatically. It also makes sense from a stylistic standpoint. Since the DeMille organization was instrumental in Gucci’s survival, it is natural for him to feel loyalty towards them. Witnessing Gucci struggle between remaining faithful to the people who rescued him and questioning the morality of their actions (targeting Chuuta no less) would have added depth to his personality.
Another positive note was how realistic Chuuta reacted to the circumstances surrounding Gucci. In exchange for allowing Gucci to take Dolugh, he would return Misuzu and Inspector Chips to Chuuta unharmed. In addition, he would forgive Chuuta; freeing him from the guilt of contributing to Gucci’s ‘death’ years prior. Chuuta takes a considerable amount of time to weigh the pros and cons of this. He would no longer suffer from his painful past.
Overall, the dramatic shift in narrative has made ēlDLIVE far more compelling to watch. I’m looking forward to seeing how the series will wrap up as it enters the second half of the season.
– Narrative is developing in a dramatic, intriguing way by breaking from formulaic plot.
– Introduction of Gucci and his connection with DeMille is an added disruption for Chuuta.
– Misuzu actually complimented Chuuta this episode (yay for this tiny bit of character growth!)
– Missed opportunity to add suspense to the narrative (?)
– The idea that the remaining two friends are also alive seems a bit contrived.
The show wastes no time this week in getting back to the tense situation that it left off at in the last episode. Gucchi’s actions make it clear that DeMille is a dangerous threat, and gives some real weight to the offer he makes Chuuta. Having his companions released, being forgiven what happened on the cliff, and being able to return to a normal life without elDLIVE for the mere price of handing over Dolugh sounded temping even to me. In defying the strong feelings of guilt that tormented him all this time, Chuuta cements his place as a hero by rejecting the offer. It was a nice way to culminate the growth we’ve seen in him these last few episodes, and gives assurance that his anxiety won’t be a hindrance to Misuzu and the others anymore.
Letting the ensuing fight, both on ground and in space, take up the entire episode was an interesting choice that served the series well given it’s initial predictable direction. By eschewing the temptation to jump into another arc until the end, DeMille is given its proper recognition as a threat to elDLIVE. Knowing where Guuchi’s true loyalties lie does kill some of the tension, but the action was impressive to see in any case.
On the topic of Guuchi, I’m not sure what to feel about his revelation at the moment. For Chuuta to understand that his friend doesn’t hate him was an important step in moving his character along, but Gucchi’s motives are a little hard to read if what he’s saying is true. Couldn’t he just join elDLIVE if his interest lies in finding their other two friends? What exactly does he owe DeMille? Could it be that there are people in the organization that are important to him (looking at you, blondie). The questions will have to wait for another time, as another twist near the end takes the focus away from Guuchi for now.
– A good fight between Misuzu and Guuchi. Not Pierrot’s best by far, but quite serviceable.
– Chuuta has some legitimate growth in how he deals with Guuchi
– Guuchi’s true plans are poorly reasoned out thus far.
– The second cliffhanger in a row has me wondering if this will be the shows’ MO for a while, but I hope that’s not the case.
This post is part of our seasonal episodic review series. To view all the posts in this series, click the following link: Viewing Party