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DistMan

  • Sweden
  • Joined Jul 1, 2002
  • 37 / M

Elfen Lied

Oct 24, 2004

Story
Alright... what we've got here is a messy little story as the synopsis hints at.

What we have here is a species that has evolved further than your normal everyday human being. This species possesses so called "vectors", nifty little telekinetic things which are useful if you want to hang upside down in a tree and make a carrot salad... or let’s say, shred a human into tiny cute little pieces. Now, the problem here is that there are people who don't think that these evolved humans, or "diclonius" as they are called, should roam free. On the contrary, they should be subjected to various inhumane tests. And this will, obviously, anger these vector-equipped beings. You see, if you're too close to one of these creatures and accidentally drop a coin, (a quarter for instance) then expect to have it shot through your head faster than you can say "Barbequeonthedarksideofthemoonisgood" backwards. Or the short version: "Mess with a Diclonius, and you die."

Alright, now we've got the basics down. One of these creatures escapes from this facility and loses her memory in the process. Kouta and his cousin find her naked on the beach, and from there things get a bit out of hand. This organization from which Nyuu escaped will do anything in its power to get her back, even if it means using other evolved humans.

The show is very good. It's a very bloody and messy show: they won't hold back with the blood, bone splinters and intestines when a person is cut to pieces. This is one facet of the show, the killing part of the show. Then we have the drama part which reminds me a bit of Love Hina or (insert a high-school romance anime here). The thing is that Kouta's cousin has got a thing for him, and Nyuu is a very well endowed little girl who also happens to lack any form of common sense. So there are some situations which little Kouta might have a hard time explaining himself, but we'll leave it at that.

There is lots of nakedness in this show, both upper-body nakedness and full body nakedness. It's not done in a forced manner but in a rather believable, understandable manner.

To be honest, I thought a dark angsty violence storyline would clash pretty badly with a comedy/romance genre. but it didn't. It could've been a little less romance-focused though, and some things are quite cliché, but it's fully bearable. The blood/gore thing is a bit overdone at some times as well. All in all I'd say that some things are a bit over the top at times.

The story is quite good and flows well. Characters are introduced nicely into the series and the various flashbacks etc are played at the right time. Nothing feels particularly forced. They also managed to create the "I want more" feeling every time an episode ended. Which resulted in me spending my afternoon watching the last 10 episodes in one go.

The ending was superb and well executed and fit perfectly with the tone of the show. Something to be aware of is that the end isn't definite. The manga will most likely take the story further.
Animation
This is the only part that disappoints. The visuals are alright, but nothing above that. The colors are vibrant and the lighter colors of the palette have been used throughout the show. The detail level is medium and comparable to the later mid-nineties anime shows. The lines in the show aren't knife sharp but rather a little thicker and blurred.

My real gripe with the visuals is the character designs. Don't get me wrong; I think that most of them are very good. Nyuu, when in evil mode, looks great with a more mature look and all adult characters in general also look mature. The problem is the teenage characters. Some of the characters look like the typical H-game adaptation style...together with Card Captor Sakura roundish head design, which I simply don’t think fits. The eyes are way too big and round. One of the children in the show rivals the characters in Shamanic Princess regarding the eye size. The faces are too circular, and the chin-cheek contour is very vague.

I would've preferred the use of sharper lines, both for the eyes and for the head shape, like they did with the more adult characters. The characters are, however, well drawn if we look at them as a whole, with clothing, hair bands and whatnot. The characters display an aura similar to that of their personality.
Sound
The Opening tune is a dark piece of material. It's a classical piece sung in Latin and this tune is used throughout the show in various shapes (piano-only version, string version, male vocal humming version etc). It's not overused, but rather used in passages where it's very fitting. The tune is a bit too flat for me to fully like it; it lacks dynamics and depth. It's well produced, well sung, well recorded and I like it when it's played in the show, but it's not a tune I'd play several times a day.

The ED song, however, is a good happy catchy J-pop sung by Kawabe Chieko. I always found it a bit strange that they used such a happy tune, when the episode usually didn't end in a very happy manner.

The background music is just "there". It's not something I "listened" to during the show. It does what it's supposed to do, nothing more and nothing less.
Characters
We have quite a bit of character development here. The main characters are introduced in a good manner and are then given time to evolve. The flashbacks give further insight into why some of the characters act like they do. This also helps to create sympathy and empathy, something they did quite well. The character personalities are also well executed and they were believable. I never felt that any character acted strangely or forced. The flashbacks certainly help in understanding the characters.
Overall
I give this show a well deserved 9. It kept me wanting more after each episode. It was a very well executed ending. The character interaction is good. The OP and, especially the ED was good. The story was interesting and well paced as well. The visuals are the only thing that drags down the overall score. It could've been better considering that it's a show which was released in 2004.

There is a lot of bad karma in this show, and some people will view this as overdone. I don’t think so myself. There is a very strong "You reap what you sow" feeling throughout this series. The only difference is that when you inflict damage onto a diclonius it will be returned 100 times harsher...
9/10 story
6.5/10 animation
7.5/10 sound
8.5/10 characters
9/10 overall

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Amirotheninja Aug 16, 2019

Quality review also god this is an old ass review

AldeAdonis May 16, 2013

Nice comments. Good job. Only weaklings rate Elfen Lied a suckish score.

Kisumi Mar 12, 2013

Great anime and great review, just wanted to get that out there first.

Yes this anime has a lot of nudity, but it wasn't sexually appealing and it wasn't trying to come off as such. I believe the nudity (In the beginning) was to show how the scientists looked down on the diclonius as less than a normal human being (As a dangerous animal). The blood and gore is a bit extreme but when you look at Lucy's past experiences I think it points out how cruel humans were to her, so her response was to treat humans the same. I did have one problem however, when Lucy turned into "Nyu," It was annoying and didn't fit the dark gory atmosphere this anime has. Besides that, I would recommend this anime for people into dark, depressing animes, it most definitely isn't for everyone.

Esper26 Feb 7, 2013

Ah Elfen lied one of the most love and hated amines of all time.

I love the anime and I love this review.

PinkyI Sep 5, 2012

A great review, I agree with everything except the music part, I lisen to OPsong on daily basis! But since it is a classical peice in latin I understad how a lot of people don't like it. And it is a psalm from the Bible btw.