The story was amazing... Except that the anime stops before it ever gets into the main plot of the manga, which was a huge letdown for me so I'm bringing it down from a 9 to an 8
The animation was okay. There were not obvious screw-ups and the movments and motions were good. With just this it would be about a 7 but they do such a good job at portraying the gory scenes in a very effective way that I am bumping it to an 8. It's almost like that is where they put most of their effort into animation, while neglecting the finer details of the rest.
While some may disagree I think the opening and closing songs were very fitting. Other than that the sound isn't strikingly good or terribly bad. It's just right around par for the course so instead of a 7.5 I'm giving it a solid 8.
For me this is where Elfen Lied shines brightest as far as the anime is concerned. The characters are very nicely done. The psychological aspects are very accurate, this is, for the most part, how they should act given their background and what they have or have not suffered. My only grievance is the character’s actual design. To me the eyes are just ugly with a majority of their expressions. But this is just a small aspect of the overall character so I'm giving it a 9.
This is a good introduction if you plan on reading the manga, just don't expect to watch just the anime and get the full Elfen Lied experience. However it is a "par for the course" anime and is worth the watch even if you do not plan on reading the manga.