If you're looking for anime similar to Elfen Lied, you might like these titles. All recommendations are made by Anime-Planet users like you!
Cross Academy is a school with a difference: in a unique and experimental setup designed by the headmaster, it has a Day Class consisting of ordinary humans and a Night Class filled with vampires. Yuki Cross and her friend Zero Kiryu are school prefects whose job it is to make sure the secret of the Night Class is always safe; they patrol the school grounds at night and supervise the switchover of classes at dawn and dusk to prevent any 'accidents' from happening. While Zero is suspicious of vampires and hates the idea of sharing the same space as them, Yuki admires the Night Class for their beauty and sophistication; she is especially intrigued by their charming leader, Kaname, because he once saved her life. However, as Yuki quickly learns, not all vampires are amiable like the Night Class, and as terrible events unfold, Yuki must ask herself whether in a world where vampires are the hunters and humans are the prey, peaceful coexistence can really be achieved.
Vampire Knight is an anime mostly based on romance with action as well. With a rather surprising turn of events in the series, I highly recommend that you watch this anime. It is not as bloody, disturbing, or awesome as Elfen Lied (then again not much is), but it is still a great anime with a very good plot line.
26 years ago, something terrible happened in a middle school’s third year classroom. A popular, talented student named Misaki suddenly died, and the ramifications of that incident have caused each third year class since then to live in fear. It is now 1998, and Kouchi Sakakibara has just transferred into the notorious classroom, curious about the mysterious secret that his peers are hiding from him. He’s drawn to one enigmatic girl named Mei Misaki, a quiet student who wears an eye patch and warns him about getting involved with her, and continues to seek her out against the pleas of his classmates. And that’s when people begin to violently die...
Both Another and Elfen Lied have a slightly haunting feel to them, and an element of questioning morality in situations where murder(s) is concerned. Another and Elfen Lied's female protagonists are received in similar ways by other characters, and both have deeper pasts which are explored as each series progressed.
There is bloodshed in both of these series, so fans of yandere might appreciate this element(!)
Keitaro Urashima is somewhat of a failure. In order to fulfill a promise he made to a girl fifteen years ago, he has tried time and again to get into Tokyo U but has never managed to pass the exam. However, fate smiles upon him and he ends up working for his aunt, managing an all-girls dorm! Living with the feral Kaolla, the timid Shinobu, the sake-loving Mitsune, the blade mistress Motoko and the punch-happy Naru, can Keitaro keep his focus and keep his promise? And will he ever end up meeting that girl from his past?
This may be an unexpected suggestion. But if you subtract the blood and gore and flying limbs, and other objectional topics such as sadism, child abuse, and torturous "research", Elfen Lied is an ecchi harem anime at heart, with a hint at comedy. It reminds of Love Hina in how one socially awkward virgin guy lives together with a number of young girls in a traditional-style house, with all complications that could arise from this fact.
Akiyuki lives on post-war Sentan Island, always rushing between the demands of his separated parents and his friends at school. But his carefree days come abruptly to an end when his school bus suffers an explosion, the first attack to plunge Sentan back into war. Akiyuki lives to find himself turned into a Xam'd, a mysterious creature, by the suspected cause of the explosion. Engulfed by Xam'd, Akiyuki is eventually saved by a red-haired girl, Nakiami, only to find himself torn away from those he loves. Now he must work to control and understand the creature within him, all while searching for his family and friends in a world steeped in the secrets and chaos of war.
If you enjoyed X'amd: Lost Memories, you will probably also enjoy Elfen Lied. These titles share many common elements, including examining what it means for a human, a non-human and a dark overarching figure to exist in a world that is 'not for them'. They are not welcome to be anything other than a tool, or to be destroyed. The non-human element of Elfen Lied is seen similarly to X'amd: Lost Memories in being just as hapless, helpless and ultimately only harmful to humans who get too close to their alien nature.
Elfen Lied is a very dark trajectory which displays similar sources of conflict, pain, empathy, trauma, learning and sacrifice as the other title. X'amd: Lost Memories is not quite as graphic in its portrayal, but serves as an interesting alternative view in the form of alien blood and misshapen flesh to the straight close-to-home humanoid flesh and blood of Elfen Lied.