Story: Being a lover of any anime with a significant amount of gore and violence in it, as soon as I heard about Elfen Lied I started watching it, and I certainly wasn't dissappointed. The first 10 minutes of this show are the most gore-filler, graphic moments I have ever seen in any horror anime, or in anything for that matter. Limbs flying, corpses falling, this anime gets you gripped to the edge of your seat for more, and there definitely is more! The general story of this anime is very gripping also, what exactly are these Dicilionuses (Or is it Dicloni?)? Where did they come from? Many questions arise in this short anime, yet it fills out the 13-episodes very well and all questions are answered. This story really is very good, and I for one, found it very hard to stop myself from watching episode after episode for hours on end.
Animation: Admittedly being fairly clueless about how to rate animation, I feel a little uncertain about giving this show an 8 as I've read reviews giving it quite a deal lower, but I can't say I saw anything particularly bad about the animation. The gore was enough to make me go ''ouch'' and to cringe a little, the ecchi looked very realistic- sure, at rare times in unimportant scenes the animation went a little sloppy, but overall it was very good.
Sound: The sound in this anime was also very good- it conveyed the correct moods and didn't play music in innappropraite scenes. I didn't sense any moment when the music was out-of-place, except for the first few episodes when I heard the opening sequnce, when hearing of the blood-splattering of the show and the explicit content I wasn't quite expecting what I thought at the time was an ''Operatic'' opening, but I soon got used to it and liked it, realising it actually DOES indeed suit the anime.
Characters: This, for me was the downfall in this show, that prevented it from becoming one of my favourites. Ah yes, characters- which usually, I fall in love with in 3 seconds flat. Where to start? Some characters, I DID love, such as sweet little Mayu, whos been through more trauma than anyone should ever deserve, then theres Nana, the poor girl who just wants love from her father, who ends up leaving her for another little kid and ends up getting blown up- which quite frankly I thought he deserved. But then theres the other characters- Kouta and Yuuka. Yuuka I hate for a reason may others do, she has a whole incest obsession with getting into Kouta's pants, and won't seem to take no for an answer, she just becomes a pain for me to watch, and everytime I see her come onto the screen I just want to lob something heavy at her to throw her out of my view. Then theres Kouta, the boy whos dad and sister were brutally murdered by Lucy. But does he care? No he doesn't, he still wants Lucy, and I'm in a mixed perspective about that. Even if you loved the muderer of your family, would you want to be with them? Could you stand it? I just found it a little hard to believe that he seemed to care so little about loving his relatives killer. As for Nyuu/Lucy, I just thought ''Meh, she's ok'' Its a mixed bag concerning the characters.
Overall: A very good show, there are no big pitfalls and its all-round a very good anime, especially if you're a lover of gore and ecchi.