Kyora Reviews: Elfen Lied [Anime & Manga]

Is it a comedy? Is it a horror? Is it a romance? Who cares, it's freaking VIOLENT!

Elfen Lied is the anime based off of the manga by Lynn Okami, and let me tell you, it does not fail to represent. The first seven minutes of the first episode are known for being the most risque ever put in a non-hentai syndication - it involves the main character Lucy, completely naked save for the mask covering her face ripping to shreds anyone who gets within her range. From there the series only gets worse. Allow me to say with certainty that if you are a minor in this anime, then may god have mercy on you because you WILL be either tormented, raped, abused, betrayed, or any combination of the four. It almost seemed like the creator of the series got a stiffy out of abusing small children, and especially girls.

So, onto the plot. The plot follows the mutant Lucy after she escapes a research facility where apparently the doctors get their jollies by abusing small people with horns. Lucy is the only pure Diclonius (That's the name of the mutation), meaning she's the only one who can give birth and help the evil overlord bad guy fill the world with their kind. The question becomes 'if this guy wants to have the world overrun by them, why does he lock them up and torture them?' but whatever we'll roll with it. Anyway, during her daring escape, Lucy gets pegged in the face with a 50 caliber anti-tank sniper rifle, which causes her to develop a second personality literally incapable of going to the bathroom on her own who is eventually named 'Nyu.' I don't want to spoil too much, but allow me to say the plot in and of itself is good. The problem is the anime cuts off halfway before the actual story was ever finished, so a lot of loose ends are left needing some serious tying, but they'll all be tied up if you read the Manga. Yes, you have to read the manga if you want to finish the story. That kind of defeats the purpose of having an anime, but it's due to executive meddling so there's not much to be done. We should be grateful anyway. The manga gets worse then the anime. Much, much worse.

And now to the characters. The story being largely character driven, it has to have good characters if it wants to be good. And, while some people may be annoyed that every single character has some horrific trauma (sans Yuuka, but we'll get to that in a moment) I didn't mind it. Some of their pasts border on Dues Angst Machina, but it never really crosses that line, which I'm thankful for. I think the author's ability to have numerous tragic characters without them being whinny little primps about it all the time is admirable. My favorite character osculates between Lucy and, of all people, Bando. In fact, Mr. Tough-Guy-Gun-Blazer is probably one of the most developed characters in the series. He really doesn't shine as much in the anime as he does in the manga, but his tough guy attitude attempting to hide his soft heart is still there. He's also one of the most bad-ass characters ever, but once again, we only get to see his bad-ass-itude in the manga. There is one character who I want to kill though, and that's Yuuka. Yuuka is a whinny bitch. All of the characters are, all of them have problems, but there are actually several instances of her complaining about the fact she's complaining. Given the history the other characters, she has no right to.


All of this, and Yuuka's only problem is - and I'm not making this up - that Kouta isn't spending every minute of his life with her. I'm not kidding. Yuuka is upset and starts crying several times because Kouta isn't completely infatuated with her. Damn it, even manga only character Nozomi has it harder, her parents forcing her to stay away from her lives dream and what with her...bladder issues (I wish I was kidding). Her dream was to fall in love with and then marry Kouta when they got older, and live happily ever after. When her dream doesn't come true, she gets all upset and starts crying. And then she starts crying about the fact she's crying because she knows she's being selfish. I mean, I guess I can understand why she would be upset, anyone would be if the one they loved didn't love them back, but its something everyone goes threw, and I really can't have any sympathy for her when she's crying about being selfish to a little girl who had to run away from home because her family hated her so much.

I guess it makes for true-to-life characterization [predictable joke]. I actually found one of the many joys of RPing with canon characters recently because of her: I can now run Yuuka over.
With trains.
Forever.

Speaking of blood, there's a lot of it flying around, as there's at least one decapitation per episode, and the animation of it is absolutely scrumptious. In fact, the entire imagery is simply marvelous. The people who translated this into anime format were very good at what they were doing. So horrah for them. Also the use of Gustav Klimt's work made me very happy.

The music is also wonderful, and allows to add a lot more elements to the story that the manga couldn't. The song that plays before

made me cry, and the opening theme, Lilium, is wonderful. The voice acting is kind of meh, and to be honest Nana's voice gives me a headache. But I can forgive that because of the nature of the anime. (Please note I watched the English version AND the Japanese version. I had that much time.)

Now, I know I've been berating the anime, but I actually like it as much as the manga, oddly. The first reason being fanservice. The author of this series truly loves to get his readers reaching for their sock drawer. The Manga is good, but it just pushes his little fetishes too far. At one point I was certain the only reason any of the female characters bothered putting on clothes was so that they could later be ripped off. I dislike fanservice in anime, it makes me upset at being a women. If it's not hentai, I don't want boobies. However, this doesn't mean it was bad. It was always kept a relatively tolerable level, and only became seriously detracting from the story now and again. I can forgive that though because of how the story works out. Even though the anime finishes earlier, the parts that it did change were done for the better.

was far more appropriate and far more beautiful in the anime - in the manga, both of them The battle drags on then too. Another advantage is that the anime has sound. This explains why Lucy would have trusted Kouta in the first place. At that point, Lucy was a lot like Xander from PSYC Ward: You have to give him a cookie (or in Lucy's case, a pretty song and a hug) if you don't want him to kill you. The anime handles the story a lot better, realizing its a story as opposed to attempting reality. Which, if I wanted that, I'd be outside rather then sitting in my house starring at various screens all day. Its

EDIT: Also, while I think of it, allow me to add that the Manga does do one thing better then the anime in terms of story. Kouta's reaction to remembering what Lucy did. In the anime, Kouta quickly and easily forgives Lucy for it, something no sane human would do. He demands an explanation, and even though he says "I can never forgive you" he still holds her and says she lives with them. In the manga, though, Kouta is literally two punches away from pushing Lucy off the tallest tower and sending her to the ground in an epic splat of death. He cannot forgive Lucy, but seeing as he still wants Nyu around (Given that by that time, Nyu had developed the ability to stop being such an annoying git and saw things other then 'NYU' all the time) he said she could stay. While my last comment may have made it seem like I didn't want realism in stories, there's a difference between realism and just plan stupidity. Your characters act how they should act, and breaking that breaks story flow.
Still, it was nice to see their final scene.

All in all, the series is pretty polarizing. You either like it or hate it, and even though I found myself disliking it at times, I certainly enjoyed the series to the point where I recommend it. It has its issues, but you can't expect anything to be perfect. I guess that's really all I have to say.

Pretty damn accurate, I think.

I'll add an anecdote for good measure.

I binged this series inside of three days. The violence really started to get to me around the 10th episode, to the point of nausea. It's still fascinating, and one of my favorite series. Keep a paper bag nearby if you're faint of heart, though. Even if you're not - might not be a bad idea.

I started hating Lucy after she killed the little family during her childhood to find shelter in their house, and Kouta's sister and Father. So, even if I understood the situation she was in, I lost all empathy for her, and was pitching for the 'bad guys' to put her down.

I could not really get into the series. Was just non stop violence and fan service. Then suddenly switched to non stop fucking "Nyuuuuu~~~" which annoyed me even more. Of course at the time I watched it it was at the peak of its hype when everyone and their grandma was talking about it. I will have to try the manga. Anyway enough being cranky >.> I just want to add after you watch the series be sure to get ghetto-subs Elfen Leet 13. Was the april fools parody ep where they just change the subs for the final ep. Kind of a much needed pick me up after such a heavy series.

cainx10a:
I started hating Lucy after she killed the little family during her childhood to find shelter in their house, and Kouta's sister and Father. So, even if I understood the situation she was in, I lost all empathy for her, and was pitching for the 'bad guys' to put her down.

Yah. Lucy is a bit of a Karma Houdini when it comes down to it in the anime. The manga is better because she doesn't get forgiven by Kouta.

I can't empathize with her, but I can sympathize. Remember, her first time killing was an accident. And then she was forced to kill the people in the house just for a place to live. A confused little child, she was worried if anyone found her they might think she was the murderer. She didn't enjoy killing at first. Remember her reaction when she finally grasps the totality of what she's doing?

"Oh god! Did I just say kill?"

From there, she's in constant battle with her inner voice, up until she sees Kouta with Yuuka. (Reason #30401 I hate her: She was the one who royally fucked her up. Kouta did wrong to, but it was mostly Yuuka.) At which point, she's convinced she has no home, no future, no friends, no family, and no love. That humans had taken everything from her, and that she was going to die cold and alone if she didn't do anything. At that point, the nameless little girl surrenders to her darker half and becomes Lucy. Lucy and the girl switch psyches off and on after that night because of Kouta, up until she gets caught at the lab.

A great review of my favourite media of all time. Well done. :D

KyoraSan:
You either like it or hate it

well I for one HATE this show. Bando was the only redeeming aspect just on the cheese factor of how "awesome" he made himself. Honestly I think the guy who made this just did so to get himself off to it. Gore, lots of nudity, incest, child abuse, hell there's even femdom. Either this guy just has a twisted imagination or he's got some sick fetishes...

Plus parts of the core story are extremely similar to one of mine, like the breakout from the lab or the new species development.

I personally loved the series and loved this review some parts of the series were lolable like when she escapes the lab naked >.<.

KyoraSan:
Is it a comedy? Is it a horror? Is it a romance? Who cares, it's freaking VIOLENT!

Elfen Lied is the anime based off of the manga by Lynn Okami, and let me tell you, it does not fail to represent. The first seven minutes of the first episode are known for being the most risque ever put in a non-hentai syndication - it involves the main character Lucy, completely naked save for the mask covering her face ripping to shreds anyone who gets within her range. From there the series only gets worse. Allow me to say with certainty that if you are a minor in this anime, then may god have mercy on you because you WILL be either tormented, raped, abused, betrayed, or any combination of the four. It almost seemed like the creator of the series got a stiffy out of abusing small children, and especially girls.

So, onto the plot. The plot follows the mutant Lucy after she escapes a research facility where apparently the doctors get their jollies by abusing small people with horns. Lucy is the only pure Diclonius (That's the name of the mutation), meaning she's the only one who can give birth and help the evil overlord bad guy fill the world with their kind. The question becomes 'if this guy wants to have the world overrun by them, why does he lock them up and torture them?' but whatever we'll roll with it. Anyway, during her daring escape, Lucy gets pegged in the face with a 50 caliber anti-tank sniper rifle, which causes her to develop a second personality literally incapable of going to the bathroom on her own who is eventually named 'Nyu.' I don't want to spoil too much, but allow me to say the plot in and of itself is good. The problem is the anime cuts off halfway before the actual story was ever finished, so a lot of loose ends are left needing some serious tying, but they'll all be tied up if you read the Manga. Yes, you have to read the manga if you want to finish the story. That kind of defeats the purpose of having an anime, but it's due to executive meddling so there's not much to be done. We should be grateful anyway. The manga gets worse then the anime. Much, much worse.

And now to the characters. The story being largely character driven, it has to have good characters if it wants to be good. And, while some people may be annoyed that every single character has some horrific trauma (sans Yuuka, but we'll get to that in a moment) I didn't mind it. Some of their pasts border on Dues Angst Machina, but it never really crosses that line, which I'm thankful for. I think the author's ability to have numerous tragic characters without them being whinny little primps about it all the time is admirable. My favorite character osculates between Lucy and, of all people, Bando. In fact, Mr. Tough-Guy-Gun-Blazer is probably one of the most developed characters in the series. He really doesn't shine as much in the anime as he does in the manga, but his tough guy attitude attempting to hide his soft heart is still there. He's also one of the most bad-ass characters ever, but once again, we only get to see his bad-ass-itude in the manga. There is one character who I want to kill though, and that's Yuuka. Yuuka is a whinny bitch. All of the characters are, all of them have problems, but there are actually several instances of her complaining about the fact she's complaining. Given the history the other characters, she has no right to.


All of this, and Yuuka's only problem is - and I'm not making this up - that Kouta isn't spending every minute of his life with her. I'm not kidding. Yuuka is upset and starts crying several times because Kouta isn't completely infatuated with her. Damn it, even manga only character Nozomi has it harder, her parents forcing her to stay away from her lives dream and what with her...bladder issues (I wish I was kidding). Her dream was to fall in love with and then marry Kouta when they got older, and live happily ever after. When her dream doesn't come true, she gets all upset and starts crying. And then she starts crying about the fact she's crying because she knows she's being selfish. I mean, I guess I can understand why she would be upset, anyone would be if the one they loved didn't love them back, but its something everyone goes threw, and I really can't have any sympathy for her when she's crying about being selfish to a little girl who had to run away from home because her family hated her so much.

I guess it makes for true-to-life characterization [predictable joke]. I actually found one of the many joys of RPing with canon characters recently because of her: I can now run Yuuka over.
With trains.
Forever.

Speaking of blood, there's a lot of it flying around, as there's at least one decapitation per episode, and the animation of it is absolutely scrumptious. In fact, the entire imagery is simply marvelous. The people who translated this into anime format were very good at what they were doing. So horrah for them. Also the use of Gustav Klimt's work made me very happy.

The music is also wonderful, and allows to add a lot more elements to the story that the manga couldn't. The song that plays before

made me cry, and the opening theme, Lilium, is wonderful. The voice acting is kind of meh, and to be honest Nana's voice gives me a headache. But I can forgive that because of the nature of the anime. (Please note I watched the English version AND the Japanese version. I had that much time.)

Now, I know I've been berating the anime, but I actually like it as much as the manga, oddly. The first reason being fanservice. The author of this series truly loves to get his readers reaching for their sock drawer. The Manga is good, but it just pushes his little fetishes too far. At one point I was certain the only reason any of the female characters bothered putting on clothes was so that they could later be ripped off. I dislike fanservice in anime, it makes me upset at being a women. If it's not hentai, I don't want boobies. However, this doesn't mean it was bad. It was always kept a relatively tolerable level, and only became seriously detracting from the story now and again. I can forgive that though because of how the story works out. Even though the anime finishes earlier, the parts that it did change were done for the better.

was far more appropriate and far more beautiful in the anime - in the manga, both of them The battle drags on then too. Another advantage is that the anime has sound. This explains why Lucy would have trusted Kouta in the first place. At that point, Lucy was a lot like Xander from PSYC Ward: You have to give him a cookie (or in Lucy's case, a pretty song and a hug) if you don't want him to kill you. The anime handles the story a lot better, realizing its a story as opposed to attempting reality. Which, if I wanted that, I'd be outside rather then sitting in my house starring at various screens all day. Its

EDIT: Also, while I think of it, allow me to add that the Manga does do one thing better then the anime in terms of story. Kouta's reaction to remembering what Lucy did. In the anime, Kouta quickly and easily forgives Lucy for it, something no sane human would do. He demands an explanation, and even though he says "I can never forgive you" he still holds her and says she lives with them. In the manga, though, Kouta is literally two punches away from pushing Lucy off the tallest tower and sending her to the ground in an epic splat of death. He cannot forgive Lucy, but seeing as he still wants Nyu around (Given that by that time, Nyu had developed the ability to stop being such an annoying git and saw things other then 'NYU' all the time) he said she could stay. While my last comment may have made it seem like I didn't want realism in stories, there's a difference between realism and just plan stupidity. Your characters act how they should act, and breaking that breaks story flow.
Still, it was nice to see their final scene.

All in all, the series is pretty polarizing. You either like it or hate it, and even though I found myself disliking it at times, I certainly enjoyed the series to the point where I recommend it. It has its issues, but you can't expect anything to be perfect. I guess that's really all I have to say.

I had the pleasure of watching the elfen lied anime a few days ago, and am now reading the manga because I just cant get this story out of my head, Ive encouraged 4 other friends to watch it, and a few more to come, this series is just so emotionally powerful that you cant forget it. And Lucy/Nyu ends of being one of the most addictive characters Ive ever met.
My biggest regret about this series is that I cant experience it for the first time ever again.

 

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked