Elfen Lied

(ended 2004)


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Elfen Lied
out of 10
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956 votes

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Show Summary

The Diclonius, a mutated human that is said to be selected by God and will eventually become the destruction of all of mankind, possess two horns in their heads. In addition, they have vectors, or invisible hands, that can kill their enemy in an instant. Due to this dangerous power, they have been captured and isolated in laboratories by the government. Lucy, who is said to be the first Diclonius, manages to break free of her confines and brutally murders most of the guards in the laboratory where she was being held. She eventually gets shot in the head and drops into the ocean. She survives and manages to drift along to a beach, where two teenage cousins named Kouta and Yuka discover her. Having lost her memory, she was named after the only thing that she can now say, "Nyuu”. The two cousins allow her to stay at Kouta's home. However, it appears that Lucy is not dead just yet, and the government is not going to sit back and let her run free…! Elfen Lied (エルフェンリート) ran for 13 episodes on Japanese TV in 2004, adapting roughly the first 60 chapters out of the107 chapters (12 volumes) of the manga. The series was re-broadcasted in 2005 and was licensed by ADV Films in the United States in 2004, but not released until 2005. According to ADV, the anime was one of their best-selling releases of 2005. General Note on Airdates: The airdates for this guide are the Japanese airdates. Elfen Lied does not air on American TV, except for on ADV’s the Anime Network (TAN). Furthermore, it will most likely never air on general cable TV due to the extreme violence and nudity. The Title: The title 'Elfen Lied' was taken from the German song 'Elfenlied' by Eduard Mörike (1804-1875). The song plays on the similarity between the words for 'elf' and 'eleven', and takes place at eleven o'clock. The Manga: The manga is 12 volumes and 107 chapters long. Episodes 1 to 11 of the anime follow the storyline closely and adapt the first six volumes. The last two TV episodes, which were supposedly based from volume 7, drastically drifted from the manga's storyline. In addition, an original ending to the anime was implemented. The Anime - Opening Theme: Also see Epsidoe One's "Allusions" ~ The images of the opening theme are images from the paintings of Gustav Klimt (1862-1918). Most are from his most famous painting, "The Kiss" (1907-1908). ~ The text of the opening theme is "Beatus vir", an excerpt from the Latin Vulgate edition of the Bible. The passage is from James 1: "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." ~ The opening theme’s lyrics include: Psalm 36:30 - “Os iusti meditabitur sapientiam et lingua eius loquetur iudicium" or “The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom: and his tongue shall speak judgment” "Kyrie Fons Bonitatis" (also known as the trope chant) - "Kyrie, ignis divine, pectora nostra succende, ut digni pariter proclamare possimus semper, eleison" or “Lord, divine fire, inflame our hearts, so that together we may worthily proclaim forever: have mercy” "Ave Mundi Spes Maria" (also known as the medieval sequence hymn) - “Oh, quam sancta, quam serena, quam benigna, quam amoena esse virgo creditur” or "Oh how holy, how serene, how benign, how delightful is this maiden who believed!" All three pieces can be found in the album “Chant” by the famous Benedictine Monks of the Santo Domingo de Silos Monastery.moreless
Adam Conlon

Adam Conlon

Kouta (Eng.)

Andy McAvin

Andy McAvin

Director Kakuzawa (Eng.)

Jay Hickman

Jay Hickman

Kurama (Eng.)

Sasha Paysinger

Sasha Paysinger

Nana (Eng.)

Jessica Boone

Jessica Boone

Arakawa (Eng.)

Mamiko Noto

Mamiko Noto

Yuka (Jap.)

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  • Elfen great anime

    people who say that this anime is bad should rot in hell, Lucy had a tough time in school,she was abused by Multiple pedestrians and kids in that cruel world,kouta and yuka and mayu helped her by giving a her a place to live and eat. When i saw episode 8 with lucy in school being harassed by the kids and them beating the crap out of that puppy, i was like,WTF?!!!!??,They did a great job making this anime,10/10 and i hope they make season 2.moreless
  • i like it!!

    i love this

  • An anime worth a thousands pictures.

    I love this anime and the song "Lilium", and really do hope that they will make a second season for it. maybe next year, 8 years after "Elfen lied" release date would seem appropriate considering the number 8 has a little story behind it. Gotta have hope right?
  • Only excellent production values save this series from complete mediocrity.

    Much like the series I'm reviewing this review is not for the faint of heart. If by any chance you have a low tolerance for opinions, read no further.

    Elfen Lied attempts so many things and could have succeeded but it feels as though in the end it tries to hard to be profound and instead of real intruige we are treated to scenes for the sake of pure morbid shock value.

    First of all keep in mind that the visuals and sound for Elfen Lied while not breathtaking are great, the animation is very smooth even if the art style is uninspired,and the music fits well along with most of the voices. As anyone who has even heard of Elfen Lied probably knows it's most famous for its immense amounts of macabre slaughter, which is primarily how we begin the story. At least half of the first episode is lead character lucy mangaling guards to escape from a high security secret lab. Gore is fine in itself but here it is employed only to make you squirm and not really add much. Sure you might be horrified at first but in time the never ending violence is all most humorous. Most of the time you'll be caring about backround characters only when they die a grisly, horrible death. Amputated limbs are not actual compensation for non-existant fleshing out of such characters. Along the lines of racy material there is also quite a bit of unclothed women, while I aprove of the opening credits depictions I thought that many of the bathing and other similar scenes were counterintuitive to what the series is supposed to be trying to accomplish, while pretending to be a truly inspiring series it also wants to attract the barely pubescent crowd of boys that just want to get off on cartoon chicks. This along with the addition of added pedophiliac rape cements that the series is doing things to be as blatantly adult as possible.

    The actual story is of course the most important thing in any work of fiction. Heralded as a supposed horror story, I found horror elements in the series lacking, suspense boils down to whetehr Lucy will kill someone or not, while this is sometimes fine you never find Lucy to be all that frightning, the only scary thing about her is her sheer proficiency in killing which means there isn't any more to fear from her then from a guy with a gun. The action falters a bit as well, even if the animation is very fluid, not only are fights few and far between they are generally short and unsatisfying. Oddly the aspect that probably got the most people to care is the romance/tradgedy aspects of the story, throughout the entire cartoon we see countless sob stories of tragic past's and tragic present. Characters are introduced just to convey an extra sad story about how evil the world is and we as the audience are expected to care. The romance portions while still sort of rare aren't to bad but they have definantly been done before and done better.

    Whether or not you can apreciate the show comes down most importantly to whether or not you like the characters, while they can be seen as one dimensional they generally fall under the category of depressing flashbacks leading to present day psychosis, whether you think schizophrenia, memory regression and developmental problems make the series psychological, or so its supposed to be, it feels as if these crazy characters is just a writers excuse to get the characters to behave a certain way. Ultimatley if you're sappy enough to sympathize with these train-reck characters then you've probably already watched this anime, if you don't feel like wading through tremendous gore and endless flashbacks to find anything resembling a plot then stay away.moreless
  • My first thought after watching Elfen Lied was: What the hell were they trying to do here? A dark romantic drama? A splatter movie to rival Hokuto no Ken? Some mindless entertainment for perverts? A mystery thriller? Elfen Lied flip-flops between all of these more often than John Kerry in a Republican TV ad, and to everybody's surprise, it still doesn't suck. At least not entirely.moreless

    The main reason for that is that the series still has quite a few redeeming values, the first being the opening. The theme song "Lilium" is absolutely beautiful: a slow, almost pastoral piece of music with mysterious lyrics in Latin, which instantly conveys a gloomy mood. The visuals during the opening are a blend of perfect animation and high artistic quality, combined with a symbolism that can only be described as "haunting". The initial impression of Elfen Lied is so much of a mystery drama that you're basically expecting this to become an intricate, confusing story.

    Of course, the very next minute, the series surprises you with a multitude of ultra-violent action sequences. People are literally torn apart, blood sprays everywhere, characters are introduced as cute and cuddly only to die horribly mutilated during the next scene. In Elfen Lied, those deaths can happen during the most peaceful and tranquil moments. Everyone can die, true evildoer and innocent bystander alike, and you're almost grateful if people die quickly for a change and not enduring horrible pain up to their final breath. And these are just the violent moments–in the flashback episodes, things are becoming even more disturbing as the series slowly reveals the common past of Lucy and Kouta. To some extent, I was reminded of Narutaru, only with the difference that this time, there is a hands-on motivation for all that bloodshed.

    All of this is conveyed nicely by the seiyuu, most prominently the voice of Lucy/Nyuu, Kobayashi Sanae. You wouldn't believe that both personalities are spoken by the same person; she does a splendid job of portraying both aspects of the murderous woman. The other voice actors don't slack off, either, and both Kouta's seiyuu Suzuki Chihiro (best known as Arima Souichiro in Kare Kano) and Yuka's seiyuu Noto Mamiko (known as Elsa in Gunslinger Girl) carry the strong emotions of their characters almost to perfection.

    Unfortunately, the good things end here (yes, the overwhelming violence is one of the good things). Whenever a female character has more than three lines in a single episode, chances are you're going to see her naked. Full frontal nudity is a common thing in Elfen Lied. This wouldn't really hurt the series if it were explained or at least appropriate. Unfortunately, it is not–women are naked whenever the script thinks they should be, especially when they are mutilated or killed. Yes, it's that bad. First you get to see their boobs, then you get to see them die. Snuff movie, anybody? Maybe the series tried to take a page out of Quentin Tarantino's book; unfortunately, they didn't choose a good one.

    The weirdness doesn't stop at the mixing of nudity and gore–Elfen Lied even manages to crack a few jokes on the ever-present violence. Someone gets her legs torn off? Hey, let's make a joke about legs that fall off later in the series! We have someone with a serious psychological trauma? Let's give her a few weird dreams and hallucinations everybody can laugh about even if the dreams are terrifying as hell to her. That's just tasteless in my book. And then there are some weird reactions from people to show how cold and uncaring the world is, which are so far from realistic human behavior ("Oh, thank you a thousand times for saving my little dog. Now bug off, you stink!") that it hurts to watch them.

    All of this would be forgivable considering Elfen Lied does a great job as a mood setter if only the initial mystery–where does Lucy come from–had any relevance to the plot. Unfortunately, it doesn't. Essentially, the series is a love story between two characters separated by sins of the past, and everything else just isn't important. Even the ending which tries to offer a last moment of shock and surprise doesn't work any longer as soon as the relationship part is over. Maybe the creators decided to do it this way to clear the field for a possible sequel, but it's still a weak conclusion.

    All in all, Elfen Lied is only worth watching if you like nudity, extreme violence and/or a combination of both. This anime is not for the squeamish, and it's definitely not for children. Watch at your own risk.moreless

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