Anime Amok: Elfen Lied Anime Amok: Elfen Lied
Welcome to yet another installment of Anime Amok in which Stalks here, endures the chaos from watching these insane and very controversial Anime shows... Anime Amok: Elfen Lied

Welcome to yet another installment of Anime Amok in which Stalks here, endures the chaos from watching these insane and very controversial Anime shows and OVAs. It’s also important that I inform the reader that Anime is not all about Mecha, Martial Arts, Cutesy characters and High School Comedies and such. It is my mission to report the dark side of Anime.

Synopsis:  University students Kohta and Yuka (Kohta’s cousin) save a Diclonius girl called “Lucy” when they see her naked on a beach. In fact “Lucy” is a serial killer who is being searched for by the government but they are not aware of who “Lucy” really is because her personality is split.

The Dicloni are of a mutant species similar to that of humans in build but distinguishable by two horns on their heads and “vectors”, transparent telekinetically controlled arms that have the capability to manipulate and sever objects within their reach (up to 2 meters in Lucy’s case).

The sole purpose of the Dicloni, is to destroy Mankind (because of their flaws and imperfections) and repopulate the world. Lucy’s motivation for seeking revenge on humans, was due to rejection of not being utilized as “Research material”.

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Elfen Lied revolves around the interactions, views, emotions, and differences between human beings and the subsequent themes of social alienation, identity, bigotry, revenge, abuse, jealousy, regret, redemption and the value of humanity. In a nutshell, it’s like a David Cronenberg, Stephen King and Alan Moore project but with a sprinkle of X-Men without the heroics.

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Ah, what can I say about this series other than it’s very melancholy?

At first glance, one would be quick to assume that this is some family friendly Anime just by the cutesy character designs especially when it comes to how females are drawn but don’t let that fool you for a second! Despite a few scenes of comedy relief, Elfen Lied packs quite a punch.

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During the first 3 minutes of the premiere episode, the Diaclone protagonist called “Lucy” escapes from a research facility but not before severing limbs and other appendages of security and even a dimwitted staff member. But that pales compared to the shocking themes that are to occur.

Why it's controversial. Spoilers!!

The aforementioned scene reminded me of that infamous Miracleman Issue in which Johnny gets revenge on his tormentors in some orphanage.

Lucy’s backstory/origin (see: Beginnings) was perhaps the highlight of this series due to the fact of how her innocence became lost and in turn, her contempt for Humankind based on her traumatic experiences of alienation.

The series’ protagonist comes across as a schizophrenic Magneto with sociopath tendencies that rivals the Joker (both characters became villains due to unfortunate circumstances).

Unleashed

Underneath the blood and carnage, there are quite a few moments of innocence and that’s from her alternate persona; “Nyu” who comes across as very childlike and can’t speak a word other than her name. I enjoyed a few moments from Mayu striking a friendship with Dicloni Girl Nana to the dickhead Mercenary happens to often run into the main characters in his quest to assassinate Lucy.

There’s also the love triangle between ”Nyu”, Kotha and Yuka  that serves as a focal point to the storyline and tensions often arise due to jealousy and mistrust to the extent of a horrific outcome.

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The animation is the standard fare like you would expect from other series such as Noir, Gunslinger Girl and the like. However, it’s the writing itself that is Elfen Lied’s strongest suit. The Music blends easily with the episodes’ psychological tone especially the melancholic theme song Lilium, which is often used throughout the series.

In spite of its pretentiousness, Elfen Lied is a good series that is worthy of a movie adaptation. Certainly a much better concept than I have seen from the likes of M. Night Shaylaman however, very familiar to classics such as Carrie, Scanners and Firestarter.  The ending is somewhat ambiguous and there are some unresolved subplot threads, but that shouldn’t deduct any of the good qualities from the series.

Well worth investing your time into it.

"Lucy's got a Gun.."

“Lucy’s got a Gun..”

Available on Hulu.

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Stalkeye

Stalkeye= anagram of Stalker and Snake Eyes. Satirist, Gamer, Artist and Pop Culture commentator- Stalks offers his outspoken views on on most things Geek related as well as WTF is wrong with the world today!

  • Scopedog

    A great article on a great series, Stalkeye. Strangely enough, one can look at Elfen Lied as a morality play…albeit one with naked women, blood and guts, and animated.

    It was based on a manga by Lynn Okamoto, who has written/drawn another manga that has been adapted into an anime series–Brynhilder in the Darkness. It does have similar elements to EL, and it should still be up over at Crunchyroll.

    (And yep, this is a late response…apologies!)

  • Scopedog

    Oh man….talk about a blast from the past! A bit more info on this (to anyone who is interested): this was a commission done for an attendee at Otakon in 2006–I and a few friends were selling our works in the Artists Alley then. While the client did love it, and others have too….truthfully I wouldn’t mind revising it or doing another EL piece. Still, thanks for posting this, Stalk!

  • Stalkeye

    Scopo, welcome to the’naughty Naughts!
    Thanks for the trivia and needless to say, that’s great artwork, Friend.

  • Stalkeye

    No need to apologize, Scope.
    Better late than never. Glad ya finally made it here.