• Elfen Lied

Elfen Lied (エルフェンリート, Erufen Rīto?) is a Japanese manga series created by manga author Lynn Okamoto. A thirteen-episode anime television series adaptation based on the manga (Elfen Lied: Diclonius Report) was produced by the studio ARMS and broadcast on TV Tokyo from July to October 2004; the anime was later licensed in North America on DVD by ADV Films. The anime started before the manga was complete; as a result, the plot differed between the two, especially towards the ending of the story. In 2005, a special original video animation, written to occur between the tenth and eleventh episodes of the series, was released. The title is German for “Elf Song” and takes its name from the poem “Elfenlied“.

Elfen Lied revolves around the interactions, views, emotions, and discrimination between humans and the Diclonius, a mutant species similar to humans in build but distinguishable by two horns on their head and “vectors”, transparent telekinetically controlled arms that have the power to manipulate and cut objects within their reach. The series is centered around the teenage Diclonius girl “Lucy” who was rejected by humans and subsequently wreaks a murderous vengeance upon them.

Elfen Lied involves themes of social alienation, identity, revenge, child abuse, jealousy, regret and the value of humanity.[2] The series employs graphic violence and nudity. So far, only the thirteen-episode anime series has been licensed in the United States, by ADV Films and in Australia, by Madman Entertainment. ADV Films said the series was one of their bestselling and “most notorious” releases of 2005.

Elfen Lied takes place in Japan, focusing specifically onto a new strain of the human race – a species known as Diclonius, creatures almost entirely similar to ordinary human beings, yet greatly different at the genetic level and notable due to physical abnormalities, the most notable being a pair of short horn-like protrusions located on both sides of a Diclonius’ head. One such Diclonius, a girl named Lucy, takes role as the central plot and main anti-heroine of the series: initially held in a facility built for experimentation on the Diclonius race, located off the coast of Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, she manages to escape and wreak havoc in the compound, though she’s injured in the process, an event which help develop a secondary, child-like personality known as Nyu, her name being the very first word she ever spoke.

Brought by the sea to Kamakura’s coast, she is then found and rescued by two local residents, Kohta, who just moved in to study at the local university, and his cousin Yuka. They both agree to take in Nyu (they’re the ones who give her the name), though in doing so they become involved with the numerous, often brutal, attempts to recapture Lucy/Nyu, which counts among them a Special Assault Team and a number of other Diclonius, who shift from completely oblivious of everything to murderous killer frequently, often driven by a primitive, violent instinct bent on survival of her species over the human race, deemed both inferior and extremely savage. Also, several characters who were apparently untied to the plot becomes entangled in it, from Bando, a SAT trooper who was mauled by Lucy and infected with the Vector virus, to director Kurama himself, a carrier of said virus.

While the animated rendition of the series ends with the violent fight between Lucy and Mariko, Kurama’s daughter, after which Lucy disappears while fighting the military sent to capture her, the manga continues on by showing the mad plan of director Kakuzawa, leader of the Diclonius’ research, and its ultimate failure due to its own inconsistency. Nevertheless, said plan still brings about a great crisis upon the world, whose side-effects the surviving protagonists witness in the years after the conclusion of the story.

The story is rarely completely action-packed, and while there are instances of brutal fights, they often end abruptly in massacres perpetrated by Lucy or the other Diclonius, or even the humans themselves. Also, humanity is often portrayed as extremely immoral or cruel, with instances such as the experiments the Diclonius constantly endure or the racist view humans and Diclonius give at each other. In fact, it is often confusing to assert who of the two factions is truly evil, given the fact that while humans are demonized through their cruelty over Diclonius, the latter are depicted as bloody murderers since a very young age – in fact, most of them are young children or teenagers at most.