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Elfen Lied

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4.273 out of 5 from 47,049 votes
Rank #275


For Kouta and Yuka, finding the bloody naked young girl on the beach would change their lives forever, for better or for worse. Unable to speak or function as a normal human being, she is named Nyu by the duo, and taken into their home in an effort to save her. But what neither teenager knows is that this innocent young girl is actually a killing machine -- an experiment gone terribly wrong -- and it is only a matter of time before the murderer in her awakens again...

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related anime

Anime Name Type Year Relation More Info
Elfen Lied: In the Passing Rain DVD Special 2005 Side Story

related manga

Manga Name Year Relation More Info
Elfen Lied 2002 Original Manga
Name Role
Seiji KISHIMOTO Character Design
Mamoru KANBE Director
Lynn OKAMOTO Original Manga Creator

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Official Editorial Reviews

Title Author Score Date
Elfen Lied vivafruit 8/10 Aug 1, 2007
Elfen Lied sothis 8/10 Oct 25, 2004
Elfen Lied DistMan 9/10 Oct 24, 2004

Community Reviews

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Title Author Score Date
Elfen Lied Gandeloft 10/10 Mar 22, 2014
Elfen Lied bunnyta12 8/10 Jan 28, 2014
Elfen Lied TallyCrow 7/10 Dec 20, 2013
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Shows to Rewatch bologna121121 14 Apr 19, 2014
My anime watchlist Ryanb23 33 Apr 19, 2014
Explus yasar 447 Apr 17, 2014
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KuroKami69 rated the Elfen Lied anime 4.5/5 stars
KuroKami69 watched Elfen Lied at 13 of 13 episodes
Jessinomnom rated the Elfen Lied anime 3.5/5 stars
Jessinomnom watched Elfen Lied at 13 of 13 episodes

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In world where flesh-eating monsters roam the streets, only one organization has the means to save civilization from annihilation: Red Shield, a specially-organized unit designed to fight these monsters, and the only weapon that can destroy them: Saya. Awakened from a 30-year sleep, Saya is thrust into a modern world which she has no memories of, and is troubled by a past filled only with bloodshed and sadness. With the undying love and support of her family and friends, she struggles to gain the strength to move forward and regain the pieces of her shattered memories.

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Blood+ and Elfen Lied deal with the definition of what it means to be human and humane. In both cases, a super-evolved species represented by an apparently frail female lead, presents a menace to mankind. Yet humanity is to be blamed for much of the violence that follows. While EL is occasionally borderline ecchi and Blood+ maintains a very serious tone through and through, both series are emotionally-moving exercises that allow emotional bonds to be forged, despite the deeply violent world-scape they present.


Though Blood+ is not as gory as Elfen Lied, there are still a lot of similarities in terms of plot, flow, atmosphere (at times) and characters. Keep in mind that Elfen Lied leans more to the fanservice side and has a bit of everything, while Blood+ sticks more to its serious story.


There's just so much in common with these anime, both in feeling and characters. They both revolve around an alien species that is living amongst humans. These girls are an evolved version of humans but still want to attain normality, which causes a dilemma. Elfen Lied is bloodier and somewhat lighter, while Blood+ focuses more on emotions and character relationships; but if you liked one, you will surely love the other, as they are kindred stories.


Elfen Lied and Blood+ are both a bit dark and have gore. They also have cool fights, although Blood+ is more focused on fighting while Elfen Lied is focused on guns and gore. They are both very good anime and have a lot of sad moments. If you liked one, then you will like the other. ;)  


Elfen Lied and Blood+ are both very intriguing Animes with big background storys. In the beginning the viewer gets thrown in a complex story where most is unclear. But with continuous action the background is revealed steadily. And the viewer gets in contact with a very tragic childhood of the leading characters an begins to understand what leads in the presence to such a sorrowful ongoing developement. Also the cruel abuse of several charakters is a great silimarity between these both series.


Both of these series have really good action in them. Granted, Elfen Lied is a lot more bloody, and it has about half the episodes, but both of them were really good animes. There's a little behind the scene secret story in each!


How to put it delicately.... Blood+ and Elfen Lied are not in any way similar in main plot. Granted they're bloody, gory and feat powerful, demon-like creatures but that does not necessarily mean they'll be enjoyed by the same kind of viewer. So why the recommendation? It is this greater sense of inner turmoil both the female leads are going through whilst surrounded by a greater sense of unfortunate destiny or call of duty. The way they must suffer in a world that's not truly theirs, the impact of their existence within this world on their sanity and on others is surely reason enough to identify the two together. The progression of horror lies not in that of their actions but the destructive nature in their heart.


The biggest thing I look for in an anime is a serious tone and a solid enveloping story (and none of that 'Naruto Effect Kawai stuff'). Elfen Lied drew me into it. The characters were developed in such a way you became attached to them. You understand and sympathize with the characters and the situations presente, despite how insane they may be.

Blood+ is similar in this reguard (although a much longer series). They evoked the same emotions from the viewer. A complex story is presented. Despite it not being hard to understand or overtly complex, it is more hard to absorb than anything.

The closings in both of the series hit me rather hard. They left me with a sense of completion, but yet still things left open ended enough for you, the viewer to draw your own conclusions (and not neccisarily a happy ever after ending). An anime can be ruined completely by an ending that doesn't seem to give the series justice. Where as in Blood+ and Elfen Lied, it ends quite as beautifully as it began.

All in all, if you're looking for a solid, serious, mature, deep story then I believe these 2 series are for you.


Blood+ and Elfen Lied have female heroines that take part in a battle not only with the demons around them but also within themselves trying to figure out who they really are.  They are not humans but are trying to take place and live in a humane world in which the lines of what is right and wrong are tested.  Both series deal with a great deal of violence and questions about humanity as a whole and the ideals humans’ represent.  Both deal with hardships of the main characters and tests the powers of each individual.  


They are both very explicit, and in both cases, the cause of this ecrude violence is usually female. Not to mention both have detailed emotional plots. So, for most people, if you liked the idea of Blood+, Elfen Lied won't disappoint.


Both animes are different in their own ways but just the feel of one is very much like the other. If your into dark animes and things of that sort then check em' out


if u are the kind of anime fan that loves the mix between hot girls, blood and a good story, these are the points in comun between thos to animes.


Both story lines include a girl who has forgotten about her past and needs to "wake up" to remember, but it's best for both girls if they don't remember. Both have actoin and lots of gore, both are amazing and have some sad scenes too.


I fully believe that the two heroin within these animes are just simply trying to find thier way in this world like anyone else, and though Lucy had more of a direct approach to it, Saya was more laid back and more family oriented.  I did enjoy both of these animes to see how the characters also changed throughout the series... Though Elfen Lied could have been longer IMO. But oh well, Still a great series :) Probably will watch it again in a few months when i have time. 


If you like action, drama, romans and to get that little extra, you will love those anime. Both of them are like each other but also entirely different.


Both of these anime contain violence(obviously). Beneath the violence, are two tales of emotional insecurity from the past. They are both very intersecting and I would recommend them to anyone.

Gunslinger Girl

Gunslinger Girl

Henrietta is a young girl who works for a "welfare group" that does the government's dirty work. Cybernetically-enhanced and specially-trained, she is one of a group of elite hit-girls, remorseless killers with no memories of their past. Jose, her partner, has taken care of her since she was brought into the organization following the murder of her family, and struggles between his affection for her, and his opposing duty to his employer. But, time is running out.. for with each bullet they fire, Henrietta and the other girls lose a little more of their humanity.

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I saw Gunslinger Girl before I saw Elfen Lied, and as I was watching EL, I found myself thinking it was a lot like Gunslinger Girl.

The plot is similar in GG where little girls who are not fully human are programmed to kill on command. The story evolves to tell each girl's story and you get to know them and care for them, and all they want is, in some ways, just to be normal.

In EL, Lucy is also born to kill, but her intentions weren't always that way. The story also goes into depth on her feelings and struggles as a killing machine.

The two stories also have similarities in tone (deep and thoughtful), sad beauty, penetrating music, excellent art, and bloody action.


IMHO, GG is the closest parallel to EL. Both stories are centered on children deprived of everything and doomed to die early and kill until they die. Both demonstrate that, even under these conditions, it is still possible to remain human and find love and happiness. They show how little is actually needed for it. Both share the atmosphere of sad beauty and bright fatalism. Even in death there is life, and even in such desperate life can be a purpose.

GG is much more calm and light than EL, which is entirely torn apart by painful emotions. GG tells of a silent acceptance of one's destiny, whereas EL depicts a revolt against it.


Both series immerse their viewers in a moral dilemma using children and/or young adults. For Elfen Lied, the questions are tied to the survival through harsh brutality and the ability to forgive in a cruel world. For Gunslinger, the questions involve the ethics of using (and possibly abusing) children as well as the ethics of each girl's relationship with their handlers. Both are great series for fans of mature anime with a healthy dose of graphic and implied violence.


If you liked Elfen Lied, you'd like Gunslinger Girl because both anime have a bit of violence in them; however most of the story involves the development and relationships between the characters. Also both series have the same kind of contrast in them: a little sweet girl who's killing people in Gunslinger girl, whereas in Elfen Lied it's Nyuu, the sweet and innocent personality, and Lucy, the violent personality.


Both of these movies have a darker theme and slowly introde you to girls who have had a very tramatic childhood. Although, one lies in fantasy (Elfen Lied) and the other in a more sci-fi world. In both cases you find yourself feeling sorry for a girl who is a cold blooded (and very good at it) killer.


Both Gunslinger Girl and Elfen Lied share quite a few similarities when it comes to the basic story. What separates the two is the tone that they take. While Gunslinger Girl is a straightforward realistic future approach to the girls with guns genre, Elfen Lied is a more whimsical, and slightly ecchi take on a common horror theme. What really brings these two stories together is the glimpse of innocence that prevails even through a storm of blood and destruction. The love that forms between seeming strangers in both series is shown to be a fragile thing which is sometimes stronger than the hate that the heroines must inevitably fight against.


While watching Elfen Lied, I kept thinking about how similar the series was to Gunslinger Girl due to it's character's personalities and interactions. In Elfen Lied, Lucy is born a killing machine, with really no choice as to who she is. The same could go for Gunslinger Girl as the girls are raised to be assassin's and machines existing solely to kill.Another similarity that Elfen Lied and Gunslinger Girl have is their tendency to show a bit more blood than a normal series would have. While some series' tend to go overboard, it's a bit more necessary in these two series to help build a believable "environment" and explain just how deadly these characters are. Both series also go deeper into who these characters are and their interactions with each other more than just showing violence and action. Watching the characters interact and watching their personalities build up is a bigger plot focus with their violent tendeciess being more of an addtion as to who they are.


Gunslinger Girl and Elfen Lied are both about adorable little girls who are merciless killers. Ethical question are brought up about killing and love and what is right. The fights in both are well animated and drenched in blood. If you like this, watch the other.


Both series are about young girls forced to face things that normal girls their age should never have to deal with. This, of course, leaves them troubled in ways they do not understand and ultimately tarnishes their views of right and wrong.


Both anime's are surrounded around young girls who kill. Frankly that should be enough, but if not... They both have had circumstances that caused them at a young age to be used and through that they develop a connection to someone close to them, thus creating a series of events that usually ends in chaotic killing.


I watched Gunslinger Girl after having seen Elfen Lied and I would be surprised if anyone who likes one of them won't love the other as well.  They both have beautiful animation with a realistic style, evocative music, and good action elements.  However, what really connects them for me is the tone.   Both stories revolve around mistreated children now enmeshed in violence and both stories evoke not only a sorrow, but also a true tenderness in their characters and tone.  The stories and pacing are very different, but if you find yourself moved by either EF or GG, definitely watch the other as well.


Both animes go through the same objective, where the two main characters are fighting for their goal with all his strength. We see a similar style, whether in fighting techniques as in the backstory. The fights are intense. Naruto is a story of ninjas in action, while Hunter x Hunter is more real, but both good stories worthy of being seen.


They both have people - girls actually - who are treated as weapons when they actually have feelings as well, the only difference between the two really is the greater violence factor of Elfen Lied and having more intense sad stuff.

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In the not-so-distant future, mankind is at war with itself. The lives of Chise and Shuu are torn apart when Chise is chosen to become the ultimate weapon to fight for Japan against their enemies. Death, sadness, and the hardships of love accompany Sai Kano in its grim look at war and its consequences.

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While the tone of these two series is not very similar they both feature extremely violent situations in which apparently fragile female characters are revealed to have a potential for being highly destructive. Little girls as weapons form the main premise of these series, although it is carried out differently; EL opts for a more graphic approach that maximizes the use of colour, while Saikano is more subdued, using a mostly grey palette to convey a feeling of hopelessness. In both cases romance blooms and is put to a ferocious test. These two series may differ in a lot of aspects - the ecchi factor that is predominant in EL is absent in Saikano, and the apocalyptic impact of the latter is non-existent in the former - but they are similar enough to warrant this recommendation.


Both Elfen Lied and Saikano give you a similar feeling. They both have two main characters that are in love but it's a hard relationship to maintain, seeing that the guys are both normal and the girls are not completely human. They also have other women that are in love with them but don't confess it. Each anime has amazing character development and a great love story. They also have action, but Elfen Lied has more violence. If you liked/loved one you'd love the other.


Elfen Lied and Saikano are similar anime, and are two of my personal favorites. Both will give you goosebumps, will make you uncontrollably shake, and will likely make you cry before the end.

Saikano features a slightly more obvious love story (when compared to the Nyu-Kouta affair) and it takes place in a world war environment.

Both anime are really intense, well-paced and have well-written stories; but what makes these two on top of a lot of Top 10s is the fact that you REALLY feel for the characters. You feel like crying every time you see them shed a tear. Trust me, if you liked Elfen Lied, you'll love Saikano and vice versa.


Saikano and Elfen Lied are similar in the way they portray their characters and their interactions. In Saikano, Chise's body is the home of a military weapon, turning her into a seemingly unstoppable force, used to defend Japan from unknown forces. However, the story is more about her relationship with her boyfriend, her coping and living with her abilities and their relationship because of who and what she is.Elfen Lied shares this aspect as Lucy reverts to her other personality, Nyu, and how Kohta and the other characters react to her. The series focuses more on their relationship and the love triangle between Kohta, Nyu, and Yuki more than other series' would, just like Saikano, making the series more often a drama series rather than action.


Both series will give you pretty much the same feelings. They're both heart-wrenching to watch.

They also have a few common points: both have a principal non-human female character with destructive powers and both have a common nice guy who fall in love with them.

If you love one, you definitly won't be disappointed with the other.


If you enjoy girls who wield unnatural and devasting powers then both Elfen Lied and She: The Ultimate Weapon fulfill this with ease. Add in the main character romance with the weapon means that liking either one will result in you enjoying the other.


I don't know why no one stuck EL and Saikano together yet. The sad fate of the female characters, that was brought upon them against their will, and also the male protagonist dealing with the problems that arise because of their girlfriends are things that connect those two anime. There are other similarities, e.g. a love triangle.

If you liked either Saikano or Elfen Lied, you'll definitely like the other one!


Both series are about a girl who has a close relation to a boy :) but they have other part (a secret), that they do not want to tell him, but it is a secret that will come out eventually. Elfen Lied is a strange evolution of mankind into dicolnius, and Saikano is a man-made womam-to-ultimate-weapon-transformation. Both girls are dangerous and used for other purposes, but they do not want to obey others but themselves. With the vision of peace in the hands of a boy - EL Kouta, S- Shuiji, they go they own path, but still followed by "the Boss."

Both hearth-touching, full of love and death, worth watching.

Elfen Lied has a happy ending, if it coud be calld that, but saikano has a sad ending, so prepare your handkerchiefs, they might come in handy for saikano.:)


If you liked this for its main characters' fight for thier love, then you sure like the other, plus, the female character is a weapon for the military force in both stories. At the times when they act as a weapon, their behaviour changes into a laconic, determined style.


Both shows feature girls as weapons, but the real connection to me is tragedy and death. Elfen Lied has more gore, but Saikano is just brutally sad because it mixes tragic death and a complex romantic relationships together and its just... extreme depression.

If you're into that type of show and you enjoyed that element of Elfen Lied, you will love Saikano.


both Saikano and Elfen Lied feature female protagonists used as weapons in wars or in military force, both of them are very romantic dramas, featuring female protagonists fighting for the beloved one, changing their mood and personality battle after battle until their love seems to become agony. If you liked the bloody Elfen Lied then for sure you will enjoy the melancholic Saikano and vice-versa.


Both Animes have a striking and sad storyline and determined characters. Both show the hardships of relationships during hard times, be it a war against the rest of the world (Saikano) or a battle against scientists attempting to reclaim an "Experiment gone incredibly violent" (Elfen Lied).

Shadow Star Narutaru

Shadow Star Narutaru

While visiting her grandparents on a remote island, Shiina Tamai, our young protagonist, inadvertently finds a strange star shaped creature, which she names Hoshimaru. This creature, while seemingly harmless and unusual, holds many secrets. As Shiina and her new friend Akira soon find out, their creatures are much more than they seem to be...and against their will, they are thrown into a dangerous and hostile situation of trying to save the world from others who would use their dragonets to enslave it.

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"there is nothing wrong with me us... but the universe around us is wrong"-Narutaru. "The monsters, the inhuman ones, are you"-Elfen Lied. As can be seen from the above quotes, both animes are tales of the monsters in this world. And the monsters are us humans, and the struggle of the few to survive. In addition, elfen Lied and Narutaru share many mature themes, particularly exessive and brutal voilence
Both series are extremely weird. Personally I'm not a VERY big fan of this type of series, but something tells me that people who like either of these series should also love the other one. You might give Narutaru a little more time than just the first few episodes.

Seemingly harmless creatures are more dangerous than anything you can think of. Though I did consider Elfen Lied to be more cruel, it might be because Narutaru builds its story up slower. You'll like this one!

Disturbing is the one word that comes to mind when I think on either of these series. And it is as good a reason as any to connect them. Although they are more similiair than just that. Violence experienced by children and dealt with in very adult ways is the real similarity in these shows. You will surely experience the same strange emotional roller coaster with this one.
These two gory, blood-filled anime are extremely similar in that they share the recurrent theme of monsters, darkness, and of course, blood.

Elfen Lied and Narutaru share a similar atmosphere, where the situation constantly goes from normality to something deeply disturbed.

Of the two Elfen Lied is the far superior show. I got the feeling Narutaru is often disturbing for the sake of being disturbing, but in Elfen Lied it is an integral part of the plot.


Narutaru and Elfen Lied contain a certain shock value that is really rare to find in most anime. They are very dark animes and they are both about the same length if I recall correctly.

They tell rather tragic tales that can be very nerving to some. Narutaru is more spastic and weird where as EL is more violence and gore. Still they are alot alike in principal and those who enjoy dark anime should give both of them a watch.


Both Elfen Lied and Shadow Star Narutaru are mystery series with grabbing plots. The similarities between the two are very numerous, ranging from superficial things (cuteness and everyday life mixed with suspense and gore) and certain plot elements to shared themes.


Narutaru and Elfen Lied are easily related, as far as the sheer shock of how messed up and disturbing they are. Combine cute animation with horrific acts, both violence of the highest degree, as well as moral situations that will make you cringe, and you have a very unusual watch. You easily would like one if you liked the other.


Creatures that have never existed are fighting weapons in both of these anime. As per usual with dark anime, their is someone who craves power and seems to be willing to kill and destroy everything to get it. While the creatures in Elfen Lied are more complex and have more of a seperate will from their creators, they all ending fighting either to save themselves or because of the whims of others. Both animes also contain a military theme. Difference is that the military in Shadow Star is trying to stop the creatures, while the military in Elfen Lied is the reason that the creatures exist.


One word: Disturbing. Both Narutaru and Elfen Lied have their fair share of sick scenes, usually executed by teenagers with an extraordinary power. Elfen Lied is more showing with the gore and bloodbath, but Narutaru makes up for it with... err... more "creative" ways of suffering. Basically, if you want to sick back, relax and feel your stomach turn, I'd recommend both these shows to you.


If you want something extremely violent and shocking than both Elfen Lied and Narutaru are the animes for you. However both these anime suffer from a similar problem; the manga is vastly superior and expansive. Give both a shot and if you find yourself wanting more, read it and you will not be disappointed.

3 x 3 Eyes

3 x 3 Eyes

Yakumo was just a normal boy... until he died in a tragic accident. Now, resurrected by the last of a race of powerful creatures, he has become her Wu, an immortal servant. Together, they must battle against Benares, the all-powerful Wu of the dark lord Shiva. What dark secrets from Pai's past will this battle unearth?

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Very similar animes in several respects. Lead female (Powerful, non-human characters in each) have two personalities. One overly cute, the other serious or even evil. Their lives become entwined with those of an ordinary lead male and an ackward relationship develops. Both contain a quite a bit of blood. Animation style is one of the biggest differences. If you enjoyed the plot or character relations of one, I'd definitely recommend watching the other.

Both Elfen Lied and 3x3 Eyes feature lots of blood and have a very similar main character. If you liked one, try the other.


Both Elfen Lied and 3 x 3 Eyes have a female with two personalities as the lead character, and both contain a fair amount of gore. What sets 3 x 3 Eyes apart from Elfen Lied is that it doesn't contain any of the relationship humor (changing nyuu, anyone?) nor a wicked government theme as Elfen Lied does. Instead, 3 x 3 Eyes focuses more on magic and beating the really evil guy. To sum it up if you liked the split personality and the gore of Elfen Lied you definitely will like 3 x 3 Eyes.


In both Elfen Lied and 3x3 Eyes, an ordinary male protagonist is shoved into abnormal circumstances and thus tied into the life of an unusual girl with two personalities. There wouldn't be any story if love didn't sprout from this, nor the occasional humor, but the gore and violence definitely makes these not lighthearted. They both share a similar feel and are both excellent; you can not go wrong with either of these if you like this type of show. Though 3 x 3 Eyes doesn't have the ecchi qualities of Elfen Lied and has more horror elements.


The overall mood in each of these anime is dissimilar, but they share lead female characters that go from dangerous, and even evil, to sweet and completely innocent in a heartbeat. Both series are violent, Elfen Lied being much more so. Both anime develop a romantic relationship involving an ordinary boy and an extraordinary girl. 3x3 Eyes has a supernatural element that is absent in Elfen Lied's more realistic setting. The split personality of the main characters, and the problems they cause is the main reason to justify this recommendation.


Both 3x3 Eyes and Elfen Lied have a main female character with a double personality; she is either a cute and innocent teenager or a deadly and powerful creature who seeks to have a normal human life.


3 x3 Eyes explores the innocent yet very powerful Pai in the same way that Elfen Lied does with Lucy. Both Lucy and Pai have two personalities, one being cute and innocent and the other being very powerful and ruthless.


Both leads have 2 very different personalities. One is a pretty clueless fun loving girl. The other kills without remorse. Both anime have a lot of bloodshed. 3x3 eyes doesn't have any of the ecchiness that Elfen Lied does. If you liked one check out the other.


A powerful girl with a split personality disorder, a clueless boy, and powerful forces looking to destroy the girl. With a mixture of drama and graphic scenes, the feel of the animes are similar.


Both main characters Lucy and Pai have split personalities. And they are different from humans. Lucy being a Diclonius and Pai being a Demon.


The main female character in both Elfin Lied and 3x3 Eyes have very strong forceful personalities, not to mention the fact that neither one of them is human!  There are some awkward developments with the hero of the story because the personality of the heroines changes from nice to an entirely different character altogether, one that is stern and even antagonizing.  The charm of the innocent girl verses the serial killer aspect in both Pai (3x3 Eyes) and Nyu (Elfin Lied) is very intriguing.