Monday, January 21, 2008

Elfen Lied

Full Title: Elfen Lied
Genres: Drama, Horror, Psychological, Romance, Science Fiction

Episodes: 14 (One OVA usually called Episode 10.5)
Uploaded By: Mavrik

My Age Rating: MA (Strong Language, Intense Graphic Violence, Nudity, Disturbing Themes)

First and foremost, I would like to thank Mavrik for uploading the high quality Dual-Audio of this anime, and then for going through the extra effort to get me the final episode when the link was down. Now for the review...
The anime opens with a shot of a dismembered arm twitching on the ground, and the rest of the first seven minutes of episode 1 come well equipped to let you know exactly what you're in for; blood, guts, mutilated limbs, and nudity. This anime is definitely horror to say the least, and it has no problem killing women and children in gruesome fashion either. With that as a warning, I'll begin.

Humanity is faced with a new threat, a different breed of humans are being born, one that thrives on the death and destruction of the earlier race. They are called diclonius, and they're only truely visible differentiable feature from normal humans is the horns that adorn their skulls. As is the case often though, it's what you don't see that can kill you. Each diclonius has invisible arm-like appendages of varying number and length extending from their backs capable of lifting tremendous weights, moving at incredible speeds, tearing limb from limb, passing through solid objects, and deflecting/throwing various projectiles. The story of Elfen Lied revolves around Lucy, a teenage diclonius who escapes from the facility where the new breed is kept in isolation and mercilessly experimented upon. However, during her escape her skull is grazed by a 50 caliber anti-tank rifle, and she falls into the ocean unconscious. Naked and wet, she is discovered on the beach by Kouta, a college student who is headed to his new living facility, and Yuka, his cousin. Fortunately for them, the bullet caused Lucy to fall into a state of amnesia, and all she can say is "Nyu!" The two decide to name her just that and bring her to Kouta's new home to stay with him. Things start getting sticky as the facility, who aren't happy Lucy's gone, send soldiers to find and exterminate her. Mix in a couple more diclonius, an abused runaway girl, her dog, a scientist whose only motivation to live is to make sure no other human being has to do his job, not to mention Kouta's repressed traumatic memories of his past, and things become quite a mess. On top of all this, homicidal Lucy is slowly regaining her memory...

Elfen Lied is an incredibly well written tale interwoven with the threads of loneliness, cruelty, death, greed, hate, revenge, regret, forgiveness, innocence, and, surprisingly, love. The musical score is unforgettable, the animation is some of the best I've ever seen, and the English voice acting is near perfect. Super cuteness mixed with incredibly graphic gore may puzzle/offend some people, but my only complaint against the series lies in the fact that sometimes the level of violence is unnecessary. All in all, Elfen Lied is a must see for anyone who can stomach the affair. It currently resides as number 6 on the list of my top 10 favorite anime. Watch this one folks because it rarely gets any better.

My Rating:
9.4/10 (Masterpiece)

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