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Elfen Lied

 

Grade: A-

Genre: Action, SciFi

Reviewed: Sub

Episodes: 14 eps - 13 plus one special more comedic ep that falls after ep 10.

Notes: Lied means song in Latin

Introduction:

A humanoid wearing a metallic helmet escapes from a laboratory, killing and maiming all those who stand in her way without even touching them. But "Lucy" is then shot in the head and falls off a cliff. Kouta and his cousin Yuka find Lucy on the beach. But Lucy loses her memory and reverts to the personality of an innocent child, unable to take care of herself or say anything except "Nyuu" so Kouta names her Nyuu. Will they be able to protect her from assassins and other diclonius? Or will Lucy emerge to kill them all?

Animation/Music/Voices

The first thing you'll notice is the superb, haunting, memorable opening song. But if you don't like the Latin religious hymn "Lilium," it might drive you mad hearing it throughout the series. Overall score is good, mostly because of Lilium. Animation is above average with good fluid, bright animation and typical shoujo character designs. They don't skimp on animating the blood and body parts. Voices are tolerable though some of the younger and older female voices suffer a bit from being too high pitched. But Lucy's voice is low and deadly.

Review:

Even before the gripping gory opening escape sequence with lots of flying body parts and blood, the opening theme song and art will captivate the viewer immediately.

Lucy is a human mutant born with two horns (diclonius) who appears to have telekinetic powers. The government believes these diclonius will eventually replace mankind. The diclonius seem to innately want to kill humans, even their parents. Then again, humans don't treat them very nicely. So any diclonius born is either kept confined and isolated in a laboratory for torturous tests, or killed upon birth.

There's some silly ecchi humor and this series borders on being a harem anime. Kouta's cousin Yuka moves in with him to help out with Nyuu/Lucy and then they pick up a homeless girl, and then another diclonius, Nana, who was sent to find Lucy. There's a lot of diclonius angst from being rejected by normal humans, some good bloody exciting action scenes, and some sympathetic characters. Kouta is the typical sensitive put upon male in a harem anime and his naivete is a bit annoying. Yuka is in love with her clueless cousin and suffers from constant jealousy. Nyuu is basically the comic relief who goes around fondling boobs, but her counterpart Lucy is deadly cool. Nana is a sweetie and the one you'll most sympathize with and root for. The bad guys include a psychotic assassin, a beleaguered director, and a ruthless head administrator who oversees the project.

To fully enjoy this anime, you must buy into the diclonius angst and ignore the silly ecchi humor. Yes, it's typical angst, (boohoo no one loves me!) but the diclonius are so cute and pitiful when they're not ripping heads off.

Rated R, not for kids despite the cute character designs. Both genders should find this an exciting and emotional series. Each episode ending keeps you on the edge of your seat as more of the diclonius' pasts are revealed and should be seen in order.