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Anime Info

Creator: Okamoto Rin
Genre: Horror, Action
Length: 14 Episodes
Official Site: View

Summary

+ Tons of blood and gore
+ Diclonius characters were good
+ Very good opening sequence
+ Outstanding soundtrack
– A bit too much nudity
– Sick/stupid love triangle
– Bad story telling

Overview

Elfen Lied is a series in which I watched solely for the bloodshed and action. I learned to like the characters, and I enjoyed watching the story unfold. When all is said and done, I was satisfied, but nothing spectacular really happened - except for maybe more blood spilled than in Berserk! This isn't a groundbreaking series by any means, but if you enjoy senseless massacres, this should be right up your alley.

Public Rating

Our Rating

Score of 3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Elfen Lied Anime Review

Written by: James Lin on 3/6/2005

Introduction

Looking for some of the most horrific, yet at the same time, cute-adorable characters in all of anime? Look no further then Elfen Lied. This insanely violent anime is filled with what looks like your typical shoujo anime girl characters, except for one noticeable difference: horns atop of their head. These two horns lead to experimentations from scientists and alienation from the rest of the world.

Her test name is Lucy, perhaps named after the first human discovered by mankind. The humans testing her lock her away and experiment on the limits of her mysterious powers. We are introduced to one of the goriest, most horrific, yet wonderful anime opening scenes that satisfies our most intense cravings for bloodlust. The introduction quickly shows a glimpse of Lucy's power. Lucy is on the verge of escaping, and the group retaliating against her is being mowed down in a bloody manner. As she walks forward to her freedom, she is stopping a barrage of bullets and simultaneously killing people left and right.

As Lucy escapes, she gets into an accident that causes her to lose her consciousness. She is washed up to a beach shore, where she meets Kota and Yuka. Surprisingly, Kota and Yuka find out that this stranger is naked and can only say the word "Nyu." They take Lucy to their house while they try to understand the situation. Little did they know how dangerous this stranger really is, and how many people are after her. What will happen? Neh? Nyu?!

Review

This anime only spans 13 episodes, but it covers a lot of ground (I have yet to see the 14th episode, which is being released only on DVD). I found each episode pretty intense just because of the fact that Lucy is so dangerous and unpredictable. When rubbed the wrong way she could decapitate someone without a second thought! I absolutely love her character because of that. Lucy's species, diclonius (humans with 2 horns), is really a interesting creation. The diclonius powers are completely original, so don't let their "Chobit-like-appearance" fool you into thinking the characters are just rip-offs.

Despite the awesome powerful creation that is Lucy, I found the rest of Elfen Lied's story not too compelling. There are flashbacks on every major character, something that is necessary to establish where the characters come from, however, there are only 13 episodes, and some of the flashbacks were simply too long. When every little detail is finally told, we are then shown a story that loses its appeal because all of the surprises are gone, and things seems to fit a bit too coincidentally. There is also a love triangle that isn't really developed, which includes one major negative that would make anyone sick: cousin's loving other cousins?! Yes, incest type stuff; this series doesn't hold back. Don't worry though, the love triangle doesn't get too deep and nothing really develops (whew!)

The blood and gore throughout the first episode was something I'd hope I'd see each episode, except it didn't happen. There are still good fights and blood throughout, but nothing as gut-wrenching as that opening scene. It's very tough to top that because it was one of the biggest blood-fests ever! Before I delve further into Elfen Lied, I should mention some the superficial characteristics of the series that did have a lasting impression. The first second you watch the opening sequence, you know you're in for something very unique. This has to be the most stylish presentations I've seen in a long time. It depicts Lucy's character very well, and it includes stylish medieval-gothic type portraits of her that are freaky and cool (as no other words come to mind) at the same time. Why the creators decided to go away from a similar approach for the ending sequence is beyond me. Instead, there is a J-Pop type song/ending-sequence that doesn't match the opening sequence at all.

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Now like many good short anime series out there, I tried to find a deeper meaning to it. Elfen Lied had one, which wasn't too obvious, but I thought existed (I may be the only one on this). In the back of my mind, as I watched fingers and knees get cut apart on the screen, I definitely believed Elfen Lied had a purpose to tell. I felt similar to when I watched Narutaru (no not nausea), in that the story was to talk about how society can treat kids/teens. I thought the meaning behind this series was "if you treat a person like a monster, they will become one". My theory isn't consistent, but I can easily say there is some type of meaning behind this series, and maybe you'll discover it.

One of the most god-awful elements of Elfen Lied was the unrealistic side characters. All I can say after watching this is that the author must think the police are idiots, and that kids are insanely cruel. A few times my jaw actually dropped at what I just saw; I was utterly confused, and questioning what the hell was going on. Not something you want to be doing when watching anime! The story telling could have been much better, and the side characters, like the police, could have been a bit more intelligent to create a more realistic environment.

I believe I am a sucker for tormented girls in anime series. I feel more for them then some idiot boy character who just lost their arm, leg, parents, home, country, planet, etc... and so this series was right up my alley. All of the diclonius are females, and they have a sad story behind them. The rest of the story, however, is either incomplete or just mundane to the main characters. It is only a mere 13 episodes, so you can expect that it has a quick ending, leaving lots of loose ends. As the story unfolds, and as you learn everything about the characters, you really don't need to watch anymore, so the ending is placed at the right time.
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Conclusion

I can't highly recommend this series, but I can say I was satisfied after watching it. There are glimpses of ecchi-type humor early on, in addition to the "rub-your-hands-together-and-smile-evilly" bloodshed that is down right entertaining. Elfen Lied doesn't excel in story or characters, but it does have a nice presentation and animation that makes it better than other series out there. I really did like the character Lucy - she's the star of the series, and she shines brightly leaving the other characters in her shadow. This is also home to one of the best anime openings, along with a great soundtrack. So take a chance, you won't be disappointed as long as you hold your expectations in check.

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