| Elfen Lied
February 2, 2007
Limbs and bodies
flying, blood spattering all over the hallways, a lone figure walks
through a research center, wearing nothing but a metal helmet. Quickly
slaughtering the guards by using some sort of psychic power, the woman
makes her way outside, only to be shot off a cliff into the ocean by a
sniper. A quick shift of scenery, and we find Yuka, a young college
student, searching for her cousin Kohta in front of a train station in
a nearby peaceful town. Traveling to a beach shortly after their
reunion the two discover a naked, horned girl bleeding form the head
and standing alone in the ocean.
Stare at my gun barrel
With one of the most graphic scenes of violence in recent animation, Elfen
Lied slaps the unsuspecting with complete shock and does a complete
180 minutes later, introducing us to the main characters. Almost as
warning of darker material to come, the opening scene of Elfen Lied
either entices the viewer or repels them
with its sheer bloodlust.
Kohta and Yuka bring the now docile, child-like, horned girl back to
the Inn that Kohta is borrowing from Yuka's parents while he goes to
college in the area. The girl, only capable of muttering "Nyu," is
named similarly as Kohta and Yuka decide to take care of her. Little do
they know that Nyu is merely another side of the Dissociative Identity
Disorder suffering Lucy, a Diclonius considered to be one of the
biggest threats to human existence.
The Diclonius, humans mutated by a strange virus are known for two
things: small cat-ear like horns protruding from their head, and more
importantly for their "vectors." Vectors, or invisible arms capable of
slicing, stopping, and picking up objects, grant the Diclonius with a
form of psychic powers. As events unfold, Kohta, Yuka, and Lucy/Nyu
will now be forced to dredge through the terrible happenings of Kohta's
Past, whether they want to or not.
Elfen Lied explores the dark and
sadistic nature of human beings, from the mistreatment of puppies and
the homeless, to the harassment of the physically different (namely the
Diclonius and their horns) and beyond. The dark themes mixed with the
graphic violence, scenes of child molestation, and incestual relations
make the series obviously intended for a mature audience. And though
the situations may be somewhat exaggerated, they do get the points
across effectively and make a nice tool for engrossing the viewers into
The main story aside, distractions and questions quickly arise within
the first several episodes. The incestual love relationship between
Kohta and Yuka seems to be completely accepted, without any second
thought to the fact that they are actually family. Ignoring Yuka's
unusual childhood crush-gone-obsession, the fact that the two are
family never seems to cross either of their minds, which is far too
unnatural to come off as believably realistic.
Additionally, the use of nudity throughout the series, while working as
an advantage at times, becomes too excessive. Showing inhumane
treatment or child-like innocence with nudity is perfectly acceptable,
but the numerous scenes of fan service are just unnecessary and
distract from the series. There are other methods of easing a serious
plot load without the need to add bunches of fan service.
Despite the flaws, the well-planned story progresses nicely. The viewer
is slowly able to piece together the clues of Kohta's tragic past,
while enjoying the drama and action in the meantime. Sadly though, the
end is sudden and rushed. The drama between Kohta and Lucy may be
solid, but other issues seemed to be put aside and almost forgotten.
The research organization is still alive and well, with the means to
continue screwing up people's lives, and threaten the main characters.
An OVA could easily take care of such matters, but ending on such an
open note detracts from the series as a whole.
Even with the lackluster ending, Elfen Lied proves to offer
enough drama and action to keep almost anyone that watches captivated.
A series worth taking a good look at.
|13 TV Show
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