Also Known As: EL, Elf Song
Genre: Drama
Format: 13 Episodes
Allegiance: ARMS/GENCO
Director: Kanbe Mamoru
Vintage: 2004
Intelligence Agency Report by: Kuzu Ryu Sen
The course of evolution has produced a variation of Homo sapiens sapiens referred to as diclonii (sing. diclonius). Unfortunately, diclonii are genetically programmed to cleanse the world of humanity, and can do so very efficiently by way of “vectors” – additional invisible arms. As a result, diclonii are either exterminated upon birth or isolated for research. Inevitably, disaster strikes as a diclonius named Lucy escapes from a lab. However, she is seriously wounded in the process, and is discovered naked on a beach in a childlike state by Kouta and Yuka, two local college students. Lucy is taken in by her new guardians, and christened “Nyuu.” However, the organization who has been conducting the research will not allow her to escape… and there is the possibility that Lucy could reawaken and carry out her genetic mission.

Field Agent Report by: Orax 
Plot
Characters
Impact
Visual
Audio
7.25
8.75
8.75
8.75
8.50
Overall 8.50

Whether you can bear watching all of Elfen Lied will be answered by your reaction to the first episode. This show certainly has no issue with showing blood, nudity, and extreme violence. Despite this, Elfen Lied is hardly just an excuse for some cheap fanservice, but rather, contains ample substance behind the bodily fluids.

The first thing I noticed about Elfen Lied was the music. The opening theme “Lilium” is absolutely a glorious piece that fits the series perfectly. The instrumental melody alone was enough to heighten the atmosphere and elevate the drama level. While the art is not particularly noteworthy, it is detailed enough to force some kind of reaction from the viewer, especially when limbs are torn off in crisp fluid-like motions.

What made this show truly enjoyable to watch were the characters. Seeing Yuka and Kouta develop into some kind of family, making decisions and taking responsibility that could overwhelm others of that age proved that this series was more than just diclonii killing people. Some of the scenes toward the end were truly emotionally driven, and as such, easily able to enter into the ranks of my favorites. Unfortunately, there were several plot problems. Some of the necessary history behind the diclonii and the company who studied them was not fully explained. As a result, we know a lot about the main characters, but not enough of the ones who started the whole mess. Overall, this series dealt with the prejudice and violence that comes from being different, and while it depicts brutal violence with little reservation, it also displays how far a little act of kindness and/or caring can go.

Although the viewer might seem disappointed at the end given the lack of background supplied, this captivating drama is worth giving a try. Once you set the potentially offensive material aside and get a feel for what this series really is about, you’ll see how powerful Elfen Lied truly is.