English Dub Review: ēlDLIVE “Our Sympathy”

Out manned, out gunned, sabotaged, and missing their ace in the hole, elDLIVE is sure to come to an end.

Spoilers Below

Chuuta, Vega, Sonokata, and Chips are hiding out in the alien cafe. Daymill is everywhere, looking for Chuuta and Dolough. Naturalized extraterrestrials are divided, with some wanting to turn Chuuta over, and others defending him. When Daymill forces invade the cafe, though, the aliens come together. Even if they knew where he was, the aliens of Earth won’t tell terrorists crap. When the criminals open fire on these civilians, Chuuta leaps into action, with Sonokata right behind him and Vega… Stabbing the lady agent in the back. So, the traitor is Vega? Chuuta offers himself up but tells Vega that it doesn’t matter. Dolough is missing. Ever since he lost his confidence from his involvement in the viral upload, Dulough faded until finally disappearing. Vega gives him thirty minutes to find Dolough, or the planet burns.

Our agents discuss the situation with station headquarters. Vega couldn’t be the traitor! His record has been spotless, he has no connections with criminals, he has no Daymill implants, and his father was a respected elDLIVE investigator known personally by Chief Brick. Dr. Love puts forward a theory. During feudal Japan, there was a group of ninjas who would infiltrate a territory, raise a family, and pass their mission on to their children. It is possible that Vega’s entire family had been Daymill plants, waiting to be activated. The agents are recalled from the field, and a new plan is hatched to take down the enemy, despite being so heavily outgunned. Chuuta steps forward to be part of the battle. The Chief hands him an SPH pistol.

Courtesy: Funimation

The Daymill mothership comes under attack by the station headquarters, a powerful gun underslung. The enemy fires back with its missiles, but they hit nothing but a hologram. elDLIVE uncloaks behind them, unleashing a full volley of SPH energy beams. Using their transporters, elDLIVE teleports the earth aliens from the surface and onto the bridge of each ship in the invasion fleet. Our heroes power up their shield and ram the mothership, agents pouring out into the halls. Veronica and Ninotcha are shredding the enemy like pros, and the background agents are taking down their equal number. Even Chips get into the action, tapping into his battlesuit’s full arsenal and generally looking like Gundam Heavyarms.

Courtesy: Funimation

In the meantime, in a conveniently huge room, Sonokata and Chuuta catch up with Vega. Though she gives it her best, Vega is just too fast and too strong. He pins her to the ground with his energy claws. In a moment of blind courage, Chuuta fires his sidearm as a warning shot. This gets Vega’s attention. Like a Terminator, Vega approaches the rookie. Chuuta pleads for the spy’s motives. Without the Daymill bomb, why would Vega do this? There are things you can threaten other than someone’s life. Daymill is watching Vega’s family. If he doesn’t act the role they want, his family is dead. This doesn’t deter Chuuta at all. He refuses to give in to Daymill. Even if his family were in danger, he wouldn’t waver. Vega starts driving his point home by slapping the practically helpless Chuuta around like a rag doll. You can’t fight evil and save your family at the same time. It’s just selfish. But that’s not how Chuuta thinks. He picks up a pipe that was knocked loose and prepares to fight back. He rushes in, swinging the pipe.

Courtesy: Funimation

Called by Chuuta’s surge of confidence and determination, Dolough wakes up. The monotalien’s Sympathy power transforms the rubble into a blazing sword of energy. This gives him the power to hold his own against Vega’s superior skill. As the battle continues to heat up, Sonokata donates her own SPH cutting disks, contributing her power to further boost the energy sword. The combined sympathetic SPH energy blasts Vega back with enough power to rupture the wall and launch the spy into space. The spy floats out into the inky abyss, ruminating on how he is finally free. Chuuta launches a sympathy beam to grab hold of his quarry’s hand and pull him back into the ship. Vega will have to pay for his crimes, but with Daymill defeated by the combined forces of elDLIVE and the civilian aliens, he will be finally free.

Afterward, while station headquarters is under repairs, everyone meets to bowl. Chuuta and Sonokata can take this quiet moment to address their internal issues. First, she apologizes for telling him his SPH stank. Second, she gives him an honest evaluation of his performance. While reckless and lacking a cohesive strategy for the problem at hand, he proved courageous, determined, and effective. Though saving Vega may have been a wrong move, it got good results. She feels that he is, in actuality, worthy of being an elDLIVE agent. On the other hand, Aunt Mimi is just happy to see Chuuta talking alone with a pretty girl.

Courtesy: Funimation

So, we’re finally here. The series ended up going out like it started, lacking real substance. The wrap up of the Daymill plot came down to Chuuta fighting someone who didn’t even want to be doing what he was doing, and the big boss of the enemy just surrenders! In the end, there is no gravitas to any of the actions being taken or challenges being faced. The content of this episode alone could have been turned into a truly compelling narrative of a planet Earth under siege, and its defenders powerless to stop it, as the protagonist tries to rediscover his self-esteem. Instead, it all gets wrapped up with a bow and a few words of determination. Bleh.

The battle with Vega at the end featured some really great art and cinematography, making the spy look truly menacing, but that doesn’t really follow with what he says his motivation is. Really, he says he doesn’t want to do this but has no choice. The series visually played it as if he was a villain through-and-through. The animation wasn’t all that bad, but they had ample opportunity to show off that they didn’t take. Lastly, the script-writing for the translation started getting sloppy. At the end of the episode, as each of the background characters talks about the aftermath, the dub has them talking in such an unnatural way that it feels like a children’s stage production. They would finish someone else’s sentence, then start their own and stop… then let someone else finish that sentence. Over and over. Really, this episode fell flat, and the art for Vega was the only thing that brings up the rating.

4.0/10

Marshall Daley

One part best-friend/philosopher, one part creepy mad scientist. Shaken, and sprinkled with geeky factoids, quirky humor, and a major case of skepticism towards the world and you might just find a cocktail that changes the way you see... Everything!