As always, my Review FAQ is in my blog, check it out if you want to know more info on how I do my reviews.
An excellent story, well conceptualized. Serious most of the time, there are very funny scenes, as well as highly emotional times where even the most stout-hearted viewer feels the pain of the characters. Without giving away anything of the plot, be prepared for some major plot twists, and some heavily gut-wrenching scenes.
The characters are highly developed and conceptualized. Each has a distinct personality that never goes away. The character Lucy/Nyuu even has her own personality traits that makes her a lovable character, despite the atrocities she has committed. The supreme innocence displayed by Nyuu is comical and lovable. Kouta is another character one might develop an attachment to; his strong love towards those who cannot help themselves is a driving force. Even Nana, Diclonius #7 (by the way, nana means seven in japanese, so there's a bit of symbology in her name), isolated and abused since birth, has her qualities. The only character I'd say I didn't like is Yuka; she is suprisingly one-dimensional, given her surroundings. you will see why as you watch the series.
The art is one of the only things that is troublesome. The art itself is decent, but isn't as clear as the other titles made in the same year as Elfen Lied. Also, the special effects used to animate the vectors is strange; it doesn't blend well with the art, and is actually somewhat distracting.
The music is enchanting, from the opening theme (Lilium by Kumiko Noma) to the music found throughout the anime itself. A good portion of the music found within the series itself is based off of the Lilium theme, but it is varied and widespread enough to not adversely affect my liking of it. It is very chilling hearing Lucy hum the tune in the first episode. The ending theme (Be Your Girl by Chieko Kawabe) as a stand-alone song is good, but within the context of the anime it makes no sense (at least until the last episode). It is too cheerful for an otherwise saddening anime.
PERSONAL CHOICE: 10/10
Everything works so well; the funny parts are funny, the serious parts are thought-provoking, the depressing parts make the viewer incredibly sad. The plot twists were also unexpected, which is a plus.
Personal Choice 10/10
This is one of my top favorites, maybe THE favorite. I am left wondering what happens to Lucy after the final scene. I will have to read the manga now, to see how its different.
WATCH AGAIN?: Most Definately