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.