One of the most controversial animes of all times, Elfen Lied (which means Song of the elves) surely lives Upto the reputation. Sadly though the anime lacks enough substance in itself and the absence of a gripping storyline is felt throughout. On top of that, the characters are at best moderately amusing, leaving no deep impact on most viewers. Which is why the series will always be known more for its bizarre and bold depictions rather than clever direction, good storyline or heart touching moments.
“Complete forgiveness is a rare thing, and requires a lot of courage, patience and understanding of the perpetrators’ pain.”
So what really is this anime about. If this is to be answered in a single word, the answer is Gore. The series is full of decapitations, nudity, blood splashing, tortures and molestation, and no way in hell is recommended for anyone with a weak heart or stomach. There’s a good possibility that after each episode you will need a small break to get your mind over some awful things you just saw, making binge watch very difficult. Through all this gore you can see some decent moments as well. The direction is better than average, and so is art style. The opening score is also very pleasant, and perhaps the only pleasant thing in the series.
The story of the anime begins with the escape of a young, fully naked girl, Lucy, from a high security prison, where she kills off everyone who obstructs her way, as well as those who she comes across. It is soon revealed that the girl actually belongs to a subspecies called Diclonius, and has special powers called Vectors. As she swims away from the prison island, she is shot in the head which causes amnesia. She is found by a girl, Yuka and a boy named Kouta. The amnesia makes her forget herself, inducing a second personality of a child who is named Nyu. Yuka and Kouta take the helpless girl child with them, while the hunt for Lucy is launched. And so the story begins, with frequent switching of personality of Lucy /Nyu at critical times, introduction of other diclonii, and many other characters who play their part in a forgettable way. Unless you are super hooked to the show, you won’t be remembering the characters for long. But the circumstances they go through are brutal for sure, which is the main driving element of the series.
The storyline and direction of the series are pretty mediocre, and the series relies heavily on the violence and gore. The art style is decent, and so are the action sequences. Later, after some episodes the story definitely takes an interesting turn, and finally gets a little gripping. But overall, Elfen Lied is not going to make it on anyone’s must watch list, although its decent entertainment for sure.