Elfen Lied
Type: TV Series
Genre: Fantasy, horror
Version: Region 1 DVD
Reviewed: 12/21/05

Elfen Lied is an anime that frequently displays very, very graphic content. Straight up, if you don’t want to see severed limbs and decapitations, then this isn’t for you. The story follows Lucy, a member of a sort of mutated human race called the Diclonius. Her kind have the same physical attributes as humans, with the exception of some extra, invisible arms. They call these things “vectors,” and they extend from their bodies and can virtually destroy everything in their path. The story takes an interesting twist when Lucy escapes the Kanagawa facility that she is imprisoned in. Through all the commotion and excitement of the escape, Lucy ends up with amnesia and forgets all about the danger she’s in. Kohta and Yuka (two mutually forgotten acquaintances from her past) end up finding Lucy on a beach, lost and all alone, and decide to name her “Nyu.” …Very unaware they have just adopted a killer.

Elfen Lied has much bloodshed, but what comes with it is an in-depth storyline, told with enjoyable characters. There were obviously some creative writers on board, and Mamoru Kanbe (Executive Director) does a good job in creating a story on its own terms of style.

Lucy in her prison attire!

All the characters have an interesting meshing together to form the main storyline. A great example of this lies with Nana and the interesting relationship between her and Kurama, a chief scientist at the factory. Nana calls him “Father” even though she’s another Diclonius sent out to capture Lucy. Maybe there’s more to that relationship than meets the eye? You would have to watch and see. Kohta, the main boy in the story, invites the strange cast of Diclonius and humans to all live with him. Through the series, Kohta’s role becomes more dominant in the fact that he shares a past with Lucy/Nyu, but was so traumatized he forgets all about it. As a matter of fact, Elfen Lied uses a lot of flash back imagery to explain critical aspects of the story. What evil bloodshed did Kohta see the Killer Demon Lucy do so that he forgets about his past?

This then leads to self discovery for both Kohta and Lucy/Nyu. One thing they both shared and seemed to remember was a musical score Kohta got in a box when he was younger called the “Lilium.”

Kohta and Yuka

This brings me into the musical overtones of the series. The “lilium” composed by Kayo Konishi and Yukio Kondo, was used excellently throughout the whole series. This tune wasn’t overly used, just at key points throughout the story, and at the beginning of each episode. This was a nice, although really dark, tune to match the anime’s overall feel. Especially so at the beginning when Lucy was escaping…this music fit the scene of her murderous rampage to escaping the facility flawlessly. It was almost as if one could feel her saying, “You better just stay out of my way if you know what’s good for you,” right through the TV. The music wasn’t the greatest in dramatic impact, because the “lilium” is the only musical score that tends to stick out when thinking back on this anime. Everything else was just there, in the background. I found myself humming this tune out of the blue!

To sum things up, Elfen Lied is a fun, little dark anime, if you’re interested in seeing guts and limbs being ripped apart. It’s entertaining just to watch the gruesome fight scenes between the Diclonius. The series starts off fast, and then continues throughout every disc of the set with every episode leaving viewers anxious to know what’s going happen next. And it shows boobs.

-Jerome Armstrong