The crimson eye of Lucy looks upon us…

The Bloody Tale of Elfen Lied

Our bloody tale begins with Lucy being held in captivity and that instantly reminded me of Mewtwo from Pokémon: The First Movie. In the next moment guards are getting dismembered and decapitated. I praise Elfen Lied for not holding back when providing unadulterated horror. People who dislike gore should stay away from this anime, but I give credit to the creators for satisfying bloodthirsty fans.

Lucy has escaped and she brings death with every step she takes. The gruesome deaths of many guards captured my full attention. I mean, blood was everywhere! When you start listening to Lilium (The Male Version) it adds a somber feeling to this massacre. The song seems to be encouraging Lucy to kill these people. It makes me wonder… Does Lucy have this song playing in her head and once it starts playing she cannot resist the urge to kill people. I know one thing for sure, I would have run for my life.

From that opening scene the last thing the guards saw was Lucy’s naked body and I think that’s meant to establish some sort of arousal for the audience. The nudity in general might be arousing, but don’t be surprised if things take a turn for the worse and you might find yourself in an uncomfortable position.

Elfen Lied does a great job in messing with your mind. Psychologically Elfen Lied wants you to look into the abyss and figure out what will it take for you to stop liking what you see. You know that moment when you turn our head away and realize…

But, wait I’m forgetting something really important.


Right when I thought Kisaragi was going to be a main character her head gets ripped clean off her shoulders.

She was so distraught about messing up and she really was sorry for spilling that coffee. Lucy why did you do it?! She only wanted to be the best assistant she could be.

*Cries for at least an hour*

Kurama was literally telling Kisaragi to run away with so much fear and concern. I think that was the trigger for Lucy. You see, Lucy has a sadistic way of killing people and once Kurama showed so much concern for his assistant that sealed her fate. Lucy was going to make sure to take things nice and slow.

Seeing that crimson hand print and Kisaragi completely unaware of what was going to happen next instilled fear. I’ll admit the first time I saw this I thought maybe Lucy was going to spare her?

Boy was I wrong… Before things went to bloody hell Kurama said, “No Lucy don’t do it!” Then off goes Kisaragi’s head and you could feel the malicious intent to hurt Kurama. Oh and I loved how the head was facing the audience at home. Thanks for the nightmares Lucy…

Adding insult to injury Lucy uses Kisaragi’s headless body as shield. Lucy literally walks through a firing squad and leaves that handprint on Kurama’s back.

Okay, when Lucy was heading toward the cliff I knew her escape was guaranteed. Of course a sniper gives Lucy one last parting shot which was meant to kill her, but she lives because she turned her head at the right moment.

Kohta and his cousin Yuka end up finding Lucy the next day as she washed up on the beach.

Lucy’s naked glory is worth mentioning because of how unrealistic Kohta’s and Yuka’s first encounter was. First of all… No one else was on that beach? But, then Lucy was treated like a puppy when Kohta and Yuka attended to her. Kohta was dumfounded, but all he says is “Excuse me?” I know he was turned on when he saw Lucy’s naked glory! It’s okay for Kohta to get excited since that’s a naked girl after all. He didn’t even blush at that moment.

Elfen Lied slips up by their lackluster storytelling and sometimes the characters reactions feel awkward. Sometimes events in Elfen Lied may feel forced, but overall the action and gory scenes satisfied the closet sadist in me. I loved that Lucy performed fatalities that would make Ed Boon take notes.

But, back to the first encounter. Yuka’s reaction was even worse. She demands her cousin to take off his clothes on the spot. Hello?! Am I the only one thinking maybe they should just walk away? Leave the naked girl alone? Yuka, you and your cousin do not have any obligation to put clothes on Lucy, but I guess they did the right thing for courtesy’s sake.

When you think about it Kohta and Yuka take in Mayu and I believe they take in Nana too.

I have mix feelings about Kohta and Yuka basically running a shelter for the homeless & trouble youths.

I also, should mention that it’s no shocker that Kohta knows Lucy/Nyu from their childhood. I’ll get more into that and puppies later.

Nyu pees the floor?! Bad Nyu! Bad!

*Rolls up a newspaper*

The Intimacy of Elfen Lied

Okay it’s time to discuss the intimacy that Elfen Lied has to offer. Now, the Diclonius are a new species that threatens to wipe out mankind. Therefore, humans have naturally developed a hatred toward Diclonius.

Diclonius telekinetically control their invisible vectors. The vectors are capable of severing limbs from a distance and launching projectiles with deadly speed and force. The only visual difference between Humans and Diclonius are the horns.

Lucy kills you with an intimate touch that you cannot see. Before Lucy ripped off Kisaragi’s head Lucy’s bloody vector print was on her shoulder. Kisaragi was trembling and it wasn’t an instant rip, it was a slow decapitation.

Lucy wants to be intimate just before killing you.

In Bando’s case Lucy is standing over him and she asks him, “Do you enjoy this?” Lilium was playing again which is basically the music that puts Lucy in the mood. She slowly stabs out his eyes and follows with the creepy words, “Fun’s over” before choking him with her vectors. For the most part choking someone is the most intimate way to kill someone.

Some Fun Facts

If you’re a male and you survive being attacked by a vector you are now infected with the “vector virus.” Men infected with the “vector virus” can now only sexually reproduce Diclonii.

Kurama has the “vector virus” and he produced the most powerful Diclonius ever, his own daughter Mariko.

Diclonius born from humans are called Slipelits from the German poem “Elfenlied” which is translated as Elves’ Song.

Darker Themes Explored

The thematic themes of social alienation and prejudice are present and serve as the driving force throughout Elfen Lied. Lucy was turned into a murderer because she was tormented all her life.

Lucy hates humans because when she was a child she was alienated and bullied. These bullies took things way too far when they killed her puppy. Needless to say Lucy’s murder cherry was popped and she killed the bullies. I remember blood being splattered everywhere.

Vengeance was so sweet and I was right there with Lucy. Those bullies were assholes and Elfen Lied made me believe they deserved to die.

However, that’s Elfen Lied’s brilliance in a nutshell. Whenever you genuinely start liking something they make it so that you don’t like it.

I like that Lucy kills the bad people until she kills an innocent person. But, wait… I’m contradicting myself.

Just a minute ago I was on board with her ripping out Bando’s eyes and choking him, but when she kills an innocent office assistant I’m crying my eyes out.

I also felt horrible for poor Nana…

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In those hollow moments when you have no legs or arms you look back on your life and wonder what were you fighting for? It’s okay Nana. Look up at God because he has forsaken you.

In general Elfen Lied wants you to become selective and conflicted over what you want from Lucy.

I should mention that Lucy killed Kohta’s family and her reasons for killing Kohta’s family was due to misguided jealousy. Kohta claims he cannot forgive Lucy, but then they share a heartfelt kiss and hug. Kohta understands Lucy has lived a life of suffering and it seems like they can be together if they put the past away. But, alas romance and happiness are fragile things in Elfen Lied.

I should note that the anime and manga have key differences. Lucy dies in the manga while in the anime she might be alive? Kohta and Yuka get married in the manga and they have a daughter named Nyu. (WTF?!)

The theme of children being manipulated or abused can be really scary to dig into. I mean, Kurama experimented on his own daughter and as a result she has bombs implanted in her body.

Kurama took advantage of Nana’s affection and made her believe he was her father as a means to motivate her. He knew Nana had no chance in defeating Lucy, but Nana’s love and affection was her downfall. She paid a heavy price for trying to make her “papa” proud.

Elfen Lied isn’t afraid to say humanity has done some unforgivable actions such as child molestation. Mayu was the victim of child molestation from her step-father and her own mother would not protect her, because she was jealous of the attention Mayu was receiving.

The greatest evil mankind has ever done is either child molestation or genocide. Both of which are prevalent in Elfen Lied with genocide being mutual. Humans want to exterminate Diclonius and Diclonius want to exterminate humans.

The Diclonius on Diclonius violence was definitely Elfen Lied’s strongest aspect. Diclonius are being taught to hate themselves. Both Nana and Mariko had their perceptions clouded before fighting Lucy and humans hope Diclonius kill themselves.

Humans are cowards because they fear the Diclonius. Humans try to control what they fear and humanity’s attempt to control the Diclonius comes across as deplorable.

Final Verdict

Overall I can say Elfen Lied was memorable and it confronted darker themes with visceral imagery that can make some viewers feel disturbed. The storytelling could have been better and Kohta and Yuka are obscure. By the end of the anime they feel like distant family members for Lucy and it makes me wonder. Did Lucy found serenity once the grandfather clock started ticking again? Does she have a home and family waiting for her if she’s still alive?

The animation quality was creative and certainly leaves nothing to the imagination. Nudity and blood came together quite well. I will say the voice acting was indifferent which is not good enough for this anime. If we got better voice acting and more realistic reactions to certain situations this anime could have been a masterpiece.

We have good sounds because the music box of version of Lilium was extremely emotional. The music box version of Lilium juxtapose to the Lilium in Lucy’s mind presents Elfen Lied as a bloody tragedy.

The psychological horror goes beyond the dismemberment of human flesh and uncovers the actual horrors humanity is capable of. Elfen Lied takes us through the darkest corridors of the human mind. The audience should question their own humanity, but even more so attempt to sympathize with the suffering of others.

Elfen Lied for me accomplished a lot in thirteen episodes and even with a cliffhanger ending I believe we have a good anime that’s just not for everyone.

Score/Grade: 9/10 (Good)

Positives

Amazing Imagery

Lucy’s cold demeanor toward humanity

The dark thematic content explored

A Bloody Tragedy worthy of discussion

The Diclonius Characters are fully brought to life and they inspire real sympathy.

Negatives

Indifferent voice acting

Awkward reactions mostly by Kohta and Yuka

Storytelling stumbles

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