Elfen Lied involves themes of social alienation, identity, revenge, child abuse, jealousy, regret and the value of humanity. At least, thats what Wikipedia says. All of these themes are explored in the most shallow of ways and doesnt leave much for you to think about. Good and bad are clearly distinguished, with the bad mostly being the most extreme forms of sadism and the good being everyone else.
There are mainly two things that makes this manga "Mature". First is gore. Which isnt done badly, but overused alot. Ultimately reducing the shock value of seeing someones limbs getting torn off for the ten tousandth time.
The other is Nudity and Sex, and boy did the Author get caried away on this one. The entire manga is plagued with unnecessary nude/sex scenes. Mostly involving weird fetishes such as girls pissing themselves. Most of these comes out of nowhere and destroys much of the mood by being out of place.
Elfen Lied is a story about Lucy, a teenage Diclonius girl who had been subjected to experimentation, abuse and social alienation at the hands of humans. The story starts off with her breaking out of captivity and gruesomely murdering everyone in her sight with her Diclonius powers.
The plot mainly revolves around her thirst for revenge against mankind. Sounds kinda awesome right? But unfortunately, the need of the Author to include out of place characters and their stupid nobody cares backstories ultimately caused Elfen Lied to have a trainwreck of a plot.
How did this happen? Well, after one chapter of being treated to possibly the most awesome opening for any manga ever, Lucy lost her memories and stumbles upon a couple of teenagers, who decides to take her in. One of them is the supposed Male lead, Kohta. Things go downhill from now on. The plot becomes filled with events that has little to do with the main plot, mostly consisting of Kohta and various girls he takes in to his house. (Explained more in the characters sections.)
These events successfully pollutes much of Elfen Lied's main plot, and just left me having the temptation to skip alot of the pages. But dont worry, i forced myself throough them, so i have read every single page of the manga.
The ending is a severe disapointment for me and destroyed much of what the series is building itself into. I wont go much into detail as it might have some major spoilers with the points i would like to address.
There are about 8 characters in the series i would like to talk about. These characters takes up a significant amount of the manga, or i wont mention them. Some of these make the show, and the others break it, actually, more like break the fuck out of it. I'll start off with Lucy.
I see her as the main character of the story. Mainly because she is one of the most interesting characters in Elfen Lied and the only thing that kept me reading. Her history, sadism, and thirst for revenge are all very much intriguing. Unfortunately, she was reduced to a brain dead retard right after the first chapter and stays that way most of the time.
Only capable of saying the "Nyu?", her main role is degraded to causing Kohta to stumble into sexually awkward situations, and groping the breats of other girls. Occasionaly, she returns to her original persona, which are mainly in short spurts until near the end of the manga. And everytime she degrades back into being a retard, my heart sinks, and i murder a kitten.
In the end though, she does manage to stay interesting for the brief moments of returning to her original persona. Especially in the end, where much of her history is explored.
Male lead. Mostly accompanied by his lovestruck cousin, Yuka. This guy has very little to do with the main plot. His role is to accept homeless girls into his house and forming a mini harem/ecchi series within it, so as to contribute to the nudity/sex in the series. Most of the time, i just breeze through the pages with him because he has very few important things to say.
His most important role is his past(conveniently hidden by amnesia and does not appear until the later chapters), which is the only thing that really allowed me to tolerate his existence.
Still, one of the worst male leads ever.
Kohta's cousin. Is in love with Kohta. Role is to get jealous everytime Kohta finds himself groping other girls. Their half-assed relationship is a shit stain on the pages of the manga. And let me tell you, its one hell of a large stain that would cause most janitors to consider retirement. As such, she needs to die in a fire.
Cant remember her name. One of the girls Kohta takes in. She wears diapers because she got piss control problems. One of the Author's fetishes he so kindly shared. Nothing to do with the plot, die in a fire plz.
Another girl Kohta takes in. Chased out after being sexually abused by her step father. Uninteresting character overall, weak back story and no real significance to the plot. Has several interesting relationships with a couple of characters though, i'll let her slide..
Whew, finally, another decent character apart from Lucy. Nana is a Diclonius, also subjected to experimentation. She also escaped, with the aid of her "father". Unlike Lucy, she does not detest humans as much and even sees one as her father. She wishes to live in peace and coexist with humans, with the ultimate wish of being with her "father".
Another good one. Kurama is one of the staff of the Research Centre which inhumanly operates on Disclonius girls. He is the only one who feels guilty for his actions and has a great deal of history. His story is one of the more interesting ones in the manga, making him one of the most memorable of Elfen Lied charactes.
One of the few characters with character development. Introduced as a bloodthirsty Police Force member sent to kill Lucy. He failed and seeks revenge on Lucy. Over the course of the manga, he changes and begins to show affection for people. Kind of like the Tough guy showing affection to weak people cliche. But, hey, at least hes better than diapers girl.(Or about half of the cast, Kohta included)
This ends my character section.
The art in Elfen Lied is bland, no other word for it. Most panels have white backgrounds, and character designs are generic to the max.
For a series that boasts blood and gore, there really isnt anything impressive. There is definitely lots of blood, but i dont know about gore. The most goriest of images is probably bones shattering and some instentines.(Which dont really appear often)
Most of the times, its just lots of blood spurting out of severed limbs and heads, theres really not alot of details in the gore.
Has a pretty interesting core plot, but becomes too riddled with uninteresting characters and events that caused it to fall flat on its face. Sex and nudity are horribly implemented and the gore is repetitive.
This makes it really hard for me to recommend this to anyone. I read the manga because i heard lots of people saying its superior to the anime. If thats the case, i recommend staying away from Elfen Lied, anime or manga.
Well this manga immediately throws you in the action, with what i'd call the main character, Lucy, breaking out, blood flying everywhere and bullets that can't hit her -except for one.
Because of some logic i don't really get (a bullet to the head makes you get split personalities???) Lucy gets a new personality that will be known as Nyu and is basically a toddler you'd want to get in your bed.
After that, she gets taken in by Kouta and Yuka, who apparently don't think of warning the police about a lost, naked girl.
After that, some shit happens, we get tons of side characters who are of course all female (except for some adult people, most characters are teenagers), we get some fights (which is the main reason i wanted to read this) and then there's also some shallow talk about racism in both directions (so against and from the diclonii: should they be deleted from this world, or rule it?).
The conclusion to the story was kinda boring too.
the only interesting people are the diclonii and Bandou, and in the diclonii only Lucy/Nyu is really interesting. Lucy and Bandou are also the only ones with some character development.
Most of the side characters (like Nozomi and Yuka) are plain unnecessary, and are often only annoying
This is not a review but a question for this website.
You are aware that there is a 108 chapter right.....
The story revolves around the girl Lucy aka Nyu who is the 'queen' of the Diclonius race. Diclonius are mutated humans with psychokinetic powers. This race can be identified by the horns they posses. Lucy has been locked up in a secret hidden laboratory but manages to escape. While escaping she receives a gunshot to her helmet which causes her to lose her memory and fall back into a todler state of mind. Kouta stumbles across her and takes her into his home which causes several problems as the government is trying to recapture her.
The anime follows the manga relative good altough there are some big differences sometimes. For example the part where she escapes. The anime has one of the best openings Ive ever seen where Lucy escapes and kills alot of the employees in a Terminator emotionenless state. She does not hesitate either to kill the directors clumsy assistant.
The manga however explains how she was able to escape and we see more emotions from Lucy and their captors. (The number of deaths in the manga is also alot lower).
When Lucy and the assistant meet Lucy first holds her hostage which made me feel she didnt want to kill an innocent person. However when the director gives the order to shoot them both (with much hesitation) she kills of the assistant while maniacally laughing at her pointless death. The director of the facility seemed alot more human aswell as he didnt want to shoot the assistant at first and was really upset about her death.
The anime however wrapped up the storyline while the manga was not even halfway thus both have a completly different ending. The manga ending was dark and violent but it contained alot of unnesecary plottwist in my opinion. Several characters were unneeded (diclonius male, Anna and especially Nozomi) and some people should of not have returned from their obvious ''death'' to create some sort of happy ending.
Without these twists the manga would be almost perfect.
Even though the manga is very enjoyable and much better as the anime.
It is relative simple which makes it clean and easy to follow. The faces/expressions are in the anime/cartoony style instead of realism (the big eyes, big mouths and big facial expressions). That is no issue for me but I did notice that after reading a manga which had more realistic faces/expressions. But no real complaints here.
It however does contain a certain amount of ecchi. Would be nice to have less of it but not everyone shall agree with me on this.
As said, there are quite some unnessecary characters which cluttered the story and had no additions or just where there for a plottwist. Sometimes suddenly a bunch of new characters appeared which made me sometimes lose track of who I was looking at and what they wanted. These character didnt appeal to me so there was no emotional connection either. While I loved Lucy as a character I had several moments of annoyance with Kouta which is a big drawback as he is the second main character. Some of the side characters as Nana and Kuruma were much better created with alot more connection with them.
Overall I give the manga a 8 as especially the ending was so amazing, even though cluttered with plottwists.
The second biggest thing aside from anime is manga; this is basically how an anime is greenlighted. Manga is simply Japanese comics except not in cover and they're kind of life books, there much longer than your Marvel or Dc comics. Some anime is way better than the manga (I have no examples). However some manga are way better than it's adaptation; and I have one example. Yes, it is true. Today, we'll be discussing Elfen Lied, my favorite manga of all time.
Elfen Lied (pronounced Elfen Leed) was a manga written in 2002-2005 by Lynn Okamoto adapted into a 13 episode anime in 2004. The endings of the anime and manga are a lot different since the anime ended before the manga did.
Elfen Lied is obviously 18+ that contains absolute violence, foul langauge, nudity, violence, and violence (and did I mention violence?). Viewer discretion is highly advised.
The story for Elfen Lied is actually kind of neat. A bunch of human girls in the past have been born as creatures called Diclonius. Dicloniuses have horns on their heads and posses invisible arms called vectors, who people suspect, are killing machines and can grow from different lengths depending on phsyical abilites. The Dicloniuses plan to wipe out the entire human race and repopulate the Earth with nothing but Dicloniuses. One Diclonius, named Lucy, is held captive by a government and plan to keep her there and the other prisoners away from any other humans. Lucy breaks free, heavely kills a lot of soldiers, and escapes. Unfortunately, one soldier shoots her in the head, causing her to pass out and fall into the ocean.
The next day, two cousins, Kouta and Yuka, revisist eachother and find Lucy naked by the shore. The weird thing is, Lucy forms another personnality called Nyu, the near opposite of Lucy. Kouta and Yuka take her back to their house and let her stay. Lucy/Nyu keeps changing personalities as she stays with them. She also has a past that involves Kouta and tries t get along with him after the "incident" between them when they last met. Meanwhile, the government searches for Lucy and she meets new people along the way (examples: Mayu, Nana, Nozomi).
I would say this plot is quite original in it's own unique way and provides a fascinating story about deformity. It's violent but also very depressing.
The characters are the weakest part of Elfen Lied in my opinion because some of them don't provide too much personality as you would suspect, especially Kouta. Plus, every girl in this series is usually naked. You can't go at least one episode or a few chapters without seeing someone without clothes. But those are just stupid nitpicks.
My positive opinion is that the charaters of this show are very emotional and wonderful, main or side. Lucy is suspected as evil but really she was just mistreated. Kouta had suffered through traumatization when he was little so it makes him great, too. Mayu, Yuka, Nana and Nozomi have stories of their own and they provide a great addition to the story. The thing is about the anime is that Nozomi doesn't appear in the anime what so ever, which is kind of sad, I really liked her.
The charaters are great despite my nitpicks.
The art for Elfen Lied is very enjoyable to view and provides great atomosphere for the manga. The charater designs are great, the backgrounds are magnificent, and everything else (if there is) is just marvelous. Yes, I mentioned there's nudity in the manga and anime but that doesn't matter, I still love the art. My favorite thing is too look at the vectors, they look so cool!
The art is perfect and couldn't possibly get any better.
If you like stuff with lots of gore, tragedy, and just a little a bit of excitement, Elfen Lied may be a good choice for you to take a look at. Just make sure your parents don't catch you or else they'll have some interesting questions to ask. Overall, Elfen Lied is depressing yet very touching despite it's cruelty.
Ps: Elfen Lied loves puppies, right guys? Right?
(If you have any questions or corrections about this review or Elfen Lied, contact me! ;D)