Don't watch this anime for the blood, do not watch it for the nudity, watch it because you can find out how much suffering people in this world can be exposed to. Watch it because it shows how all suffering derives and can be solved only from/with other people. Just look at how those people see the possibility of happienes, what happieness is to them, and aditionaly, how they dealt with their pain.
I decided to watch this anime when I couldn't sleep.
I thot to myself "I've wanted to watch Elfen Lied for more than 2 years now, I should get on with it", thinking that it'll help me fall asleep.
I was so wrong.
I ended up not sleeping the whole night, but rather finishing the whole anime in that one night.
From the moment I started the first episode I got hooked. The opening art style and music combined just made me stare with a weird feeling about it all. I was engufed. It is an opening that is telling the story of the characters by itself.
The first episode itself wasn't as intresting because of the story, but pureley because I was intrested in Lucy's motives. I had seen so many videos(amv's mostly) which included parts of the first episode of Elfen Lied, so I was verry keen on finding out that girl's(Lucy's) story.
This anime, with it's every aspect is perfection(by reading other peoples rewievs, I'm guessing most of people reading this will be surprised by my saying this, but that is the exact reason why I had decided to write this rewiev; I read no rewiev that shared my opinion(s)).
The first episode; this anime is not about the gore, you aren't supposed to be impressed with the gore..
Only my curiosity to find out why she was killing those people grew.. What hell has she gone through to feel such hate? The music background is just amazing for itself. Judgning an anime by it's gore(what it looks like) is like judging a book by it's cover.
Gore is not the key factor in this anime(and the ecchi part of it is even less), but it ALL serves to get you more engulfed in to the story, giving it more realism. This anime tells beuautfuly sad stories.. Stories of Kaede, Nana, Mariko, Mayu, Yuka, Kouta(but that is more of Kaede's story), Kurama and even more in the manga..
My favorite is Nana. So innocent, naive, pure hearted, and simply good.. All of those making her a beauty(not physical, not by the looks).
I like how Kurama is executed in the anime more, but I still haven't finished the manga at the moment (am at 87 chapter) so I shouldn't talk about that.
Manga has a lot of quite different details, and much more then just details. The anime and the manga differ quite a lot.. I like both(but the ecchi in the manga is as if someone else wrote it, and not the writter, because it seriously is completley missplaced in my opinion and it mostly served the purpose to "turn me off" from the "englufness" in to the story I had felt at the moment).
Everything about all of the characters made perfect sense to me, and was extremley well connected in to the greater story.
Up untill now Fate/Stay Night has been my favorite anime(for the last 5 years that anime has mostly not gotten out of my mind), and now, I have a new favourite.
I shed so many tears to this anime, it is just perfect(ly sad), at least compared to what I've uncovered throughout my life so far..
The conclusion: Don't watch this anime for the blood, don't watch it for the nudity, don't expect action. Watch it because you can find out how much suffering people in this world can be exposed to, how those people see the possibility of happienes, and aditionaly, how they dealt with their pain.
Watch it because it will show you what love is.