I really, really, really...yes really got hyped up to watch this anime. On a scale of 'one to insane' people have been ranting on about this show for a while now and I've only just gotten around to watching it now....
The Story Thus Far:
Let's delve into the world of well earth I guess. The only real change between our earth and this shows earth is the addition of Diclonius..Diclonius? Diclonius! (try saying that 10 times in a row)...a thing that strangely resembles many older, richer men's fantasies..a devil in disguise ;)...unfortunately these devils pack creepy tentacle hands that can rip you in half, not to mention tear away 'that part' that all you horn dog fans will be thinking of using whilst watching the main girls.
Continuing, we are thrown into 10 minutes of death and torment as our anti-heroine Lucy casually struts around nude whilst decapitating and mutilating people...sound intriguing? Well yes! Of course it is! Everyone knows that we as human beings are equipped with a thirst for curiosity and something as brutal and as shocking as this is what draws us in most.
After a series of unfortunate events our friendly Diclonius Lucy just happens to escape her life-prison and winds up meeting our oblivious playboy (yes he gets the girls) Kouta and his cousin on a beach. unfortunately she has lost her memories so the stupid, yet cute, character Nyuu is born as Lucy's split personality..who funnily enough can only say 'Nyu'.
Of course Diclonius can't just casually stroll around town so your usual big and evil organisation is looking to take Lucy back. And an encore please as a large number of good/bad and downright dirty characters are introduced..most with the aim of capturing Lucy or playing some sort of role in assisting her capture/escapes.
The Unfortunate Event of Elfen Lied:
Aside from some very colourful, and brief, fight scenes much of Elfen Lied is just talking coupled with Ecchi (lots and lots of Ecchi) and Romance. I made the initial mistake of taking those first 10 minutes as ZOMG LOTS OF DEATH WOOHOO...but it kind of fizzled out into Nyu..Nyu? Nyu!!!!!!!!!
The main story of capturing Lucy is still prominent in much of the anime but after the 'herp derp next shit plan to capture her' speech it once again fades into the background as daily cleaning routines, or going for walks and the like come into the major spotlight.
I would say be weary that the anime isn't just a total bloodbath..it wants you to sympathise with the characters and love them for who they are...Not a bad thing, in fact i thoroughly enjoyed it....just a warning ^_^
Nyu and friends:
Aside from being a ruthless, heartless murderer Lucy is quite loveable. Delving into her past helps to explain why she's an insane freak of nature. The good thing about this anime is Lucy isn't portrayed as the biggest piece of shit on earth (congratulations Batoh for that trophy) and thus you will actually feel a deal of sympathy for her once all is revealed.
Kouta is your run of the mill loveable guy. Kind, gentle, loving and totally oblivious he's everything every single anime girl seems to love. So to all you awaiting the time when you can marry cartoons, remember to be an absolute moron that just chases whimfully after obviously dangerous women.
I won't lie Kouta pissed me off on a few occasions, the most tedious was near the end when he asks 'Why?' for about the 50th time in a row...it's like 'Look dickhead if she wanted to tell you she would've done it in the first fucking place. Repeating the same inane question won't just open her up'.
There are obviously lots of other characters in this anie that play sort-of-important roles....leading me to:::
The Melancholy of the Rest of the Cast:
See my biggest grope with this anime is the very weak supporting stories. Some argue 'oh but each character has their backstory delved into so we can see why they're so fucked up'.
True...very true! However all their 'significance' is opened up but then just dropped on it's head. What I mean by this is that the stories are given but not drawn upon.
A very strong example is an evil little bitch named #35..She is introduced, backstory quickly explained, she fights, she fucks off. It's simple yet unsatisfying....yes the story was explained, yes I get everything BUT DEAR GOD can't we draw upon this!!!!!!!
A similarly sick example is of Mayu's past, which is briefly shown. This made me realise just how fucked up our earth is seeing as the portrayment is probably not far (if off target at all) from real life situations. However I was still left wondering 'Just what the absoulte hell', they disgusted me for five minutes then dumped her backstory altogether....it's like 'oh look this sick thing happened, OK story explained...moving on'!!
NO! JUST NO!
There is one last major gripe I have with the characters of this series....Yuka....as a seemingly important character in the beginning she very quickly pisses off to the realm of whateverness. I swear to God the producers must have interviewed their just-discovering-crushes 10 year olds because the amount of times she cries grows exponentially with the number of episodes in the series.
Seriously, first off I'm not a big fan of giving a fuck but is cousin love cool? Maybe if your a hick...but some on guys...I was creeped out. Not once did I think 'OMG they are so cute and beautiful together I could just fall in love with this moment'.....it was more along the lines of 'Dear god I swear I saw a similar story on crimewatch'
Some Final Thoughts:
Is Elfen Lied the best thing to hit my life since sex? Is Elfen Lied a giant pile of shit that erupted from some guy's asshole? I'd say on my scale it fits somewhere below alcohol and a bit above sitting on my ass pondering on life...earning it a solid 7.5/10
I highly recommend this anime to anyone looking for a romantic tale coupled with a more real-life feel (over the usual dramatic shit that's dished out), a solid helping of violence and ecchi and a dash of rape....
All in All an enjoyable, but not ZOMG WOWFULLY insane
Everyone has been raving to me about Elfen Lied. They all have recommended it to me a thousand times over and I thought I should do their opinion's justice and finally watch it for myself. Unfortunately, I do not hold the same opinion as that of many of my peers. Please bear in mind that whenever an anime has a plot like this, I inevitably compare it to Now and Then, Here and There. And let's be honest... nothing can compare to the latter.
The STORY was one that could have been so successful, but there was a flaw in itself. I do not believe the flaw was in the way it was delivered, which was also ineffective, but the way it was created. This flaw being that the nature of humans is so horrible and so terrible that things like Lucy are born to destroy us. Let me elaborate:
Humans are inherently evil - I truly believe this. However, pitting them off against another race that is inherently evil and could arguably be even more evil, is just not a good delivery. I never felt sympathetic towards Lucy/Nyu. When she was young and those awful, awful boys killed her dog, she kills the boys. She always has to one-up the violence and this doesn't create sympathy - it creates fear. I cannot appreciate a plotline where the party you're suppose to be sympathetic towards is the antagonist and is truly an antagonist. This is terrible writing.
Another aspect I just couldn't overlook was the God-awful amount of violence. Don't get me wrong: I love some violence every now and again and have stomached much worse than this. I love violence when it adds to the plot, but in Elfen Lied, I felt like it was taking away from the plot. It became so focused on the violence and the gratuitous nudity that i forgot what the orginial story was about. I was bored and what was originally shocking became dull and desensitized. In order to use this kind of violence properly, it needs to be tastefully and sporadically displayed. Instead it seemed like every episode was trying to one-up the previous episodes with how much gore and guts it could display.
The ANIMATION was quite nice. I was very impressed with the backdrop and I do think that for an '04 anime this was ahead of the curve. I especially liked Lucy's character design as it was different from the other girls. The other girls did start to look the same (Nyu, Nana, Yuka, etc) with their huge eyes and innocent faces. I liked that they kept Lucy hard and cool. Really, the impressiveness comes from the background. This anime had some of the most beautiful views I have ever seen.
The SOUND was beautiful, especially in the OP. It was haunting and melodic and set a beautiful and dark tone. I never did listen to the ending, so I can't make a judgement on that. My biggest complaint is that the background noise sometimes just felt too strong for the scenes. I understand that Elfen Lied is not an anime of subtleties, but it could have been so effective to at least make the music subtle. I feel as if the scenes would have held more potency. Instead it was overpowering and drew away from the drama unfolding.
**I am automatically biased towards English voice acting (I just don't like it) and watched this dubbed on Netflix. Because of that, I completely have taken that aspect out of the review to keep this review as unbiased and objective as possible.**
The CHARACTERS in this anime range from incredibly dull and one-dimensional to astounding. I don't have much to say for Yuka, Kohta and Lucy: I found them all to be tedious and one-sided. That's not a good thing, considering those are the three main characters in the anime. Nana was an interesting character who showed a different side to this murderous race - one who didn't want to kill humans. Really, though, the gold medal lies with Kurama. The scenes that held Kurama in them were always my favorite. He had an interesting past which created interesting motives and I was always looking forward to seeing more of him.
(On a side note: I absolutely despised the fact that right after Kohta remembers that Lucy murdered his family, they have an awkward scene where he falls on her and they blush. That completely ruined what could have been a powerful moment between them. It was fillers like this that ruined this anime for me. And the fact that, regardless of what she had put him threw and how many people she had murdered, he still kissed her. And so soon after discovering what she had done. This was not realistic in the slightest).
My PERSONAL ENJOYMENT of Elfen Lied might fall more under the 6.5/10 range. When I think about it subjectively, I did have some fun watching this show and Kurama was just so awesome. I wished the violence had been used more effectively (because it could have been so well done) and the last three or so episodes had a lot of issues that ticked me off, but I would say I enjoyed this. I never felt like pulling out my hair or anything.
OVERALL, I probably would never recommend this anime because I believe there are other animes with the same message that are delivered in an unrivaled way. However, this is a highly recommended anime and there are glowing reviews on it, so I encourage you to check it out for yousefl and see what you think.
Gratuitous. If I had to write a one word review (As I often do), it would be gratuitous.
But not, and I repeat NOT, in any enjoyable, redeemable, or sensible way. This show is pure excess, and I have no idea who has the gall to suggest it even be shown to kids.
Take other animes, they are wholesome, safe, funny, and family friendly, as all cartoons should be. I come home one day, and find my little brother watching this...Elfen Lied.
Breasts, blood, coarse language and nonsensical drivel. That is all that awaits our viewer. Even if a kid could get past the former without becoming deranged (They can't), even they would realize the latter is a poor excuse for any kind of plot.
So get this: Demons were created in a lab, feel an unhealthy need to slaughter, lose memory in the trite plot device of amnesia, and hijinks ensue. Repeat for 10 episodes too many, and you have this abomination.
By this point it's well understood that no one is watching this for the story. It is simply perverts and deviants sticking along for the nudity and gore. And to be fair, these depravities are well drawn. Not sure why those crazy Japanese would use so much attention to detail over something so horrible, but here we are.
And of course, for irony's sake, the screams of the mutilated (And whatever other dry dialog bits there are) are somewhat well acted. Why the parts of this show that no one would ever want to see are the only redeeming qualities is beyond me. But again, irony.
Aside from those two.."pleasures" (?), there isn't much else here. Paper-thin characters, shallow "plot" and uninspired music litter our trashy landscape. But who cares? The only fans of this show can't hear above their wrists pounding their junk, or see beyond their eyes closed in ecstasy. The voluntarily blind love this show, but us with sight see it as the trash it is.
It really is just a benchmark of how far Eastern animation has fallen below Western. Turn on Nickelodeon, or Cartoon Network. What will you find? Cartoons will suitable for kids. And even in the more mature shows of today (Family Guy, etc.), most of the naughty bits sail right over kids' heads.
In Japan? Nope, they smack down any hope of being family friendly. They defeat the very point of cartoons in favor of pulp-smut. And the worst part? A sea of perverts lets them get away with it.
Ugh the world sucks
From what I've heard, this anime have caused some controversy. Still, it was the first anime I saw(officially), and has remarkably been on the top of my list since. First impressions are hard to beat.
The story really caught my eye. It is heavy, sad, dark and moving and contains a deep morale. It shows some pretty serious things about exclusion, prejudices, abuse, repressed memories and mental terror, which really sets the mood for the series, and keeps it in a serious aspect.
The animation is very good. It has good details where it's focused, though some moments are better animated than others. The colouring is very well and the characters are very nicely done. Especially the "vectors" and the dismemberments are very "nicely" animated. Good transitions and shading combined with great lighting.
The sound is pretty good. The voice actors did their job, and sound effects are pretty good too. But what really got me was the music. The classical piece "Lilium" was a very moving experience, as it is a sad, yet beautiful tune.
The characters are very lovable, well most of them. Others are easy to hate. The main characters you'll get to know, and empathy can easily grow, especially for Lucy/Nyu. You'll get to know their past and their personalities. You also get to know some of the secondary characters, as their story is intertwined with some of the main characters story.
Overall, this series left a big impression on me. Maybe as a first impression of anime, but the story really gripped me, and I wanted to cry for some of the characters. I really recommend this anime to anyone who wants a strong story with a deep morale, as it is the best I have seen.
If you're looking for an anime with pure gore, one must know 'Elfen Lied'. No one can missed this anime.
'Elfen Lied' starts with a facility, who locks up mutant creatures called Dioclonus who has special abilities of having invisible hands to use in destroying mankind. One of the Dioclonus called "Lucy" has escaped and starts brutally killing guards who locked her up. By far means of escape, she was shot by a .50 Cal Sniper in her head (but doesn't kill her) and fell on the cliffside, leaving her floating on the waters below.
Hours later, a college boy Kohta and her cousin Yuka were on the beachside when they spotted a naked girl who have horns on her head, blood dripping on her forehead and can't speak anything aside from 'Nyu'. Since left no choice, Kohta calls her Nyu-chan for obvious reasons and later found her to be the missing Dioclonus but her memories were partially gone as Nyu. Lucy still prevails inside of her and the facility starts to gain control of the situation to kill-capture Lucy.
To start with, the concept of the story was amazing. About a mutant who can kill anybody, yes, anybody with a single second. They can split bodies, decapitate heads or even mutilate arms and legs from a distance and was treated as enemy of mankind. The Dioclunus were captived, tested and imprisoned on an island facility that serves as a study about the said creatures. Then, the unthinkable happened. Lucy has been released from its chains and starts killing who stands in her way. Pretty good concept I say, one of a kind. The story has an excellent flow and a great run on showtime. Never left out any details and the story was well elaborated. Although the show was disturbing, the concept of it all was one anime that can never be left behind.
Like I said, 'Elfen Lied' is one of the animes that features strong violence and gore. This is basically the whole show, blood splashing and tearing skin. Dioclunus' mission is to destroy mankind and prepare a new world where humans are extinct. To do that, they precide on to the old-fashioned way - annihilation. Yes, by killing them violent and turn the whole place into blood paint. A marvelous plot and a disturbing one you may say.
Let's talk animation. This is not your typical visual anime. The blood looks like red house paint, the colour seems plain, the detailing wasn't focused enough and the cheesy 2D invisible hands make things worse. Yes, animation was a bit old-schooled and not that good nor bad (in between you can say). The background setting however was a good one. The designs on the setting was a spectacular sight but needs more detail to make it a good shot. Opening animation was in fact, a different approach. It was a great art concept from old century time. A perfect combination to its opening theme that makes 'Elfen Lied' an anime that can't be forgotten.
Aside from its setting, the character designs was well, okay. Not bad nor good but the characters' bodies and models were one thing to look at but its not much compatible with the background itself. Also, the movement was spectacular. The flow was a bit astonishing and the pacing of every character seems connected in their roles. Every character was a good sight on detail, although not much realistic though and needs improvement.
Sound. If you gather all the themes of 'Elfen Lied', you come up a musical piece of an orchestra which was sung on an choir church. The opening song was one of the songs that can be remembered for a long time. It was a hymn of a Christian church somewhere which was sung in Latin that features the worship of God but the background of a corrupt human. Sound of worship at the same time, darkness. It's one dark melody and the good thing was, it never changed. Yes, you will keep hearing the music in every episode and a perfect fit for an anime that revolves around sadness, despair and hatred and 'Elfen Lied' is all of them. Voice acting was great. From the cute, curious and cuddly Nyu-chan which shows an innocent side of a killer, which was done in a fantastic voice; to the vicious Lucy who you can really feel her melancholy. I say, not bad. Sound effects weren't much suprising as animation, especially on the guns which wasn't specialized enough.
The characters have their on perspectives. It was really interesting to see their motives and their stories in life. Let's start with Kohta.
Kohta - He is the cousin of Yuka and is now in college. He witnessed a brutal murder on to his father and sister Kaene right in front of him. He was then traumatized in a hospital for a year and tries to forget and doesn't think that it happened to him.
Yuka - She is the cousin of Kohta who studies in the same college as him. She takes care Kohta and happens to remember all the promises that Kohta made for her. She has feelings for Kohta and acts selfishly when she sees Kohta with another girl, especially Nyu. One question: Is it orthodox to fell in love with your cousin? If it is, what dynasty am I watching and why?
Mayu - A runaway girl who was sexually abused by her stepfather. She was picked up by Kohta near the beachside and accepted her as part of their family.
Nyu or Lucy - Apparently, she is a lost childhood friend of Kohta. When she was young, she brutally murdered her classmates in a school house. She then meets Kohta and becomes her only faithful friend to be happy with. Lucy develop strong feelings to Kohta since then and was sorry when the two reunited again.
The characters were amazing enough. Although, there was one thing that never phased out on the show - nudity. Most of Dioclunus are female and most of them, from the start, doesn't wear any essential clothing making them barenaked. Nyu was an amazing example, for she was also from the start a symbol of Ecchi on 'Elfen lied'. She has the most screen time being nude and has a scene where she fondles her breast with the use of Kohta's hand. There were also panty shots and candid poses on the show, causing to make it a real Ecchi one. Apparently, the nudity of Dioclunus in 'Elfen Lied' wasn't about sexually but humility itself. True fact. Either that or they like breast so much.
'Elfen Lied' never leaves you bored and a great impression you can get from watching this. Even how disturbing it may be...
+ Amazing concept of all time
+ One of the best gore in anime
+ An outstanding opening
- Old fashioned animation
This anime can leave you stunning or shocked. Either way, 'Elfen Lied' is one of the anime that cannot be forgotten. Only one question remains: Who the f*ck thought the concept to make Yuka fell in love with her cousin? Can you call this incest? Anyway, very recommended.
Overall: 8.6 out of 10.