The series was originally released in English by Tokyopop under the name Elemental Gelade, but they stopped production of the series with volume twelve in August 2010. The series is eighteen volumes total and complete in Japan, but has a currently on-going sequel.
“After a routine raid, rookie air pirate Coud Van Giruet discovers a most unusual bounty: Ren, an “Edyll Raid,” is a living weapon that reacts with a human to become a fighting machine. As he realizes that Ren is even more prized than he thought, she is captured by an evil man who sells Edyll Raids on the black market. Can Coud and the agents of the Elemental Gelade Protection Agency team join forces and rescue her without killing themselves… or each other?” – Elemental Gelade (Vol. 01)
Having never read the series, and being unfamiliar with its selling history, I wasn’t sure what and where the demand was which prompted Digital Manga to pick it up. Is there a demand big enough to warrant a re-release? It became easier to understand why the company would take a risk on a title that never seemed to be a big hit when they announced via Twitter tonight that it would be digital only, starting from volume one.
Erementar Gerade is now scheduled to be a part of their Digital Manga Guild offerings where translation, editing and lettering will be done by the guild’s members instead of Digital Manga’s full-time or freelance staff. The title will then, if released the same as their other titles, be available through their eManga website and Amazon’s Kindle.
Any manga license announced as digital-only still leaves a big pit in my stomach as I make no secret of my heavy preference for print. Optimistically in this instance, at least, I’ve met and read of quite a few Kindle owners frustrated by the overwhelming amounts of boys’ love content compared to anything else available to purchase. It’s good to see these individuals will have some more different material to choose from in the future as Digital Manga branches out genres with their guild offerings. With questions coming up regarding the quality of the guild’s work varying wildly group to group (Twitter folks, always food for thought there!), it’ll be interesting to see if any further editorial oversight is given to a series that will likely face a much broader audience.