Elfen Lied

Title:Elfen Lied
Elven Song
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - ARMS
NOTO Mamiko
Production - GENCO, Inc.
R1 License - ADV (Renamed)
SUZUKI Chihiro
Kouta has moved back to his childhood town to start his first year in college, and his female cousin, Yuka, has set him up to live in a big ten-room vacant house. Later on that night, the two encounter a naked girl with horns wandering on the beach. She appears to be very innocent and very helpless, so Kouta takes it upon himself to take her home to keep her safe, unaware that his guest has just escaped from an experimental lab and that both the police and military are searching for her, with orders to shoot on sight.

[TV series, 2004, 13 episodes, 25 min, R1 by ADV Films]

[see also: Elfen Lied OVA which serves as "episode 10.5" in this series.]

"Elfen Lied" is German, which when translated means "Elven Song"; German "ie" is pronounced as long "i" in English, thus the title is pronounced "Elfen Leed" (or "Elven Reed" due to the ambiguity of "l"/"r" in Japanese).

2:59min Opening Song (Lilium) - YouTube Video
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 8 8 8 9 8 Mienk [series:838#3125]
This has to be one of my favorite animes that I've watched yet.

Once you get past the gory first episode the show really comes out of it's shell, and is much less gory, though it still has it's moments.

One of the reasons I loved this anime is because the story is fairly complex, in that it has undertones and a non-typical ending. The show also pulls at the heart strings, isn't afraid to show a little skin, and has some interesting fight scenes.

The intro song and art is amazing and really sets the tone for the whole anime, which is uniquely beautiful even with the action and gore.

Last updated Monday, May 18 2009. Created Monday, May 18 2009.
Rent 8 8 7 8 8 8 Dreamer [series:838#2279]
This is another one of those titles that I kept hearing about but didn't take the time to sit and watch. Finally, one day after much boredom, I decided to pick it up and watch it. My reaction? well.........

Art, Animation & Character Designs
The start of it was very, very gory... I mean, heads flying, limbs twisting and torsos spliting in two. Seeing that, I figured I was in for a bloody experience.... and I guessed right. The art and animation wasn't that bad. It wasn't great either and at times seemed below par. But as is most of the time, you get used to the animation/art as you get engrossed in the plot. The character designs were nothing out of the ordinary. However "Nyu" looked and reminded me a lot of Chobits.

The opening theme song was an opera-ish style, slightly haunting. It seemed to fit well with it's animated opening. Not bad. The ending theme song was okay... at least it was bearable. The rest of the music was nothing to chat about.

Series and Episode Stories
This whole anime is quite disturbing. The series story involves inhumane treatement of children, unspeakable gruesome acts made to them. As disturbing as it sounds, it's what catches a lot of people's interest...... in a morbid sense. As mentioned earlier, this anime reminds me a lot of Chobits. I mean, "Nyu" (Lucy) has pink hair, has cat-like ears (horns) and is ignorant of the outside world... including speech; though not ignorant in a bad way. With all that said, I do have and issue with this one. First off, why is Nyu "ignorant" while her "relative" Nana (as found in episode 4) is "normal"... almost. Nothing was really given to explain this quirk. In episode 4, the fight scene in the cemetary was pretty gory.... upclose arm ripping and such. However, at the end of the fight, I was left confounded as to why they let Nyu go so easily. Episode 5 is somewhat sad after learning of Mayu's background. One thing to note in this series is that most of the key figure's backgrounds are explored so as to explain why they do what they do, except for "Number-35".

Overall, it's a good anime to sit through..... if you can stand the gruesome scenes, disturbing story line and a bitter-sweet ending.

Last updated Thursday, December 25 2008. Created Thursday, December 25 2008.
Buy Xenoknight [series:838#2967]
review coming after I rewatch the anime...

Check out my award list to see some of the best anime titles in the world!

Never forget Xenosaga.

Last updated Friday, December 05 2008. Created Friday, December 05 2008.
Rent 9 9 8 8 8 7 Ggultra2764 [series:838#1552]
The Pros: Elfen Lied is an anime that explores the dark impulses of the human mind that people fail to acknowledge. The anime explores such negative themes like prejudice, torture, and savagery through the interactions between diclonius and human characters, especially through the perspective of Lucy whose memories the viewer will experience at some points of the series. The series makes use of gratuitous violence and nudity to show the savage nature of both the humans who torture the diclonius and the diclonius who brutally murder their torturers. Kohta’s interactions with Lucy represent a world of acceptance and trust that Lucy desired away from the people who imprisoned her. Besides diclonius-human relationships, the series also delves into psychological conditions that affect some of the characters, which help make the series more than just a gore fest. In terms of animation, Elfen Lied features smooth, bright animation that flows quite well in action sequences with diclonius. The opening song, “Lilium”, goes well with the dark environment that Elfen Lied tries to establish.

The Cons: There are some major flaws in the dark environment that Elfen Lied tried to establish. First, the series used some cliches that are commonly found in shounen romantic comedy anime such as fan service and putting in romantic interests, especially during the peaceful scenes involving Lucy and Kohta. These served no relevance to the themes of the series and can be quite an irritating distraction. Second, the series left some plot points open or unclear when it ended which include the true nature of the institution Lucy was kept and Lucy’s fate in the end. In addition, there is a lack of variety in the show’s insert music as good amounts of the music are variations of “Lilium.”

Facts on the Series:

-Based on the manga series made by Lynn Okamoto, which is unlicensed in America.

-An OAV of the series was later made to help clear up some of the show’s plot holes.

Last updated Wednesday, January 09 2008. Created Sunday, January 06 2008.
Buy Anonymous #2715 [series:838#2715]
I am just saying that I don't know where you all are getting this ELF SONG. The opening theme is a latin gregorian chant that was once chanted by monks roughly during the mid-middle ages of history in England. The name of the song as it is listed in the credits is LILIUM. The following is the original latin and the translation.

>Os iusti meditabitur sapientiam, >Et lingua eius loquetur indicium.

>The Mouth of Justice meditates wisdom
>And His language, the tongue is made clear.

>Beatus vir qui suffert tentationem, >Quoniqm cum probates fuerit accipient coronam vitae. >>Bless man which suffers temptation. >>Since, he, with striving, will have received life's crown.

>Kyrie, ignis divine, eleison >>Oh Lord, Fire Divine, have mercy!

>O quam sancta, quam serena, >quam benigma, quam amoena >O castitatis lilium >>Oh, How Holy! How Serene! >>How Kind! How Pleasant! >>Oh Pure Lily!

Last updated Saturday, August 25 2007. Created Saturday, August 25 2007.

Buy 8 8 8 7 9 0 KBanger1 [series:838#1694]
Right off the bat (after watching the first few minutes) there's some major gore and violence which caught my attention. In the back of my mind I'm thinking this will be pure blood and guts throughout the series. Turns out that the story is more deeper as it progress amidst the body parts flying. The story is about an girl named Lucy. She's not your average girl since she's a product of experimentation and is called a Diclonius. She has a prominent set of horns on her head which sorta look like cat ears but that's not important. The real important part is that she possesses an invisible set of arms (vectors) that can literally rip a person into shreds. She escapes the lab she has been created in and sets out into the world only to be shot in the head and fall right into the sea. Kouta, a college student, and his cousin, Yuka, end up finding Lucy on a beach only to notice that she can only say 'Nyuu' and has no recollection of her past.

Let me stop at that point to summarize the series. It's pretty much a story of boy meets girl, girl has no memory and with a split personality, boy feels need to protect girl, girl ends up killing a lot of people. Kinda simple, but when you go through the series, you'll see a lot of flashbacks and stories with every character involved. I like the fact that the series (although short) doesn't make minor characters so minor. Most of the minor characters have a past that's explained. It makes the series more intimate than just having forgettable characters. Even though the main plot revolves around Lucy and Kouta, the other characters are links to their pasts which explains more of the plot.

This series I watched out of curiosity. Normally, I try to stay away from sci-fi genres (except for Robotech) because I'm not into it. However, Elfin Lied is a very good series which I highly recommend. If not worth the buy, at least rent it.

Last updated Friday, March 30 2007. Created Friday, March 30 2007.
Buy 9 10 9 9 10 9 dirtyd12 [series:838#1785]
This series is without a doubt on my top list. For those of you wondering, this one is definately a keeper. Elfen Lied IS very violent and has plenty of nudity. I think the reason this series sometimes gets a lower rating is because the explicit content. But if you're old enough to handle it, you'll find the story captivating and that the nudity and violence are sort of necessary to the plot (with one or two exceptions). Then there are probably people like me who enjoy nudity, violence, and especially nudity AND violence. However, it is rare to find a series like this one that combines the two with a great plot and even an overall theme. Elfen Lied gets an A+ from me.

Last updated Saturday, October 28 2006. Created Saturday, October 28 2006.
Avoid 8 7 6 7 4 oogenesis [series:838#2208]

The best I can say for this is that it's only thirteen episodes long, so it's over quickly.

What plot there is basically consists of standard-issue 'abused child's revenge': Lucy is a farm-raised military(?) test subject who somehow escapes her bonds and mentally rips to shreds any unfortunate soul who happens to cross her path in the most gratuitous, cold-blooded way possible. I note here that the sight of tremendous amounts of blood or high body counts do not distress me in the slightest, but the violence here is just absurd. And repetitive.

And this is only the beginning of the first episode.

Someone manages to shoot her down, but not kill her, leaving her with a split-off repressed personality. The Lucy that does manifest herself when two cousins find her floating naked in the surf has all the monosyllabic appeal of Chii from Chobits, right down to the stupid ear-like horns and cloying pet-like cuteness. Instead of seeking help from the police, they of course take her home with them, where her 'evil' persona threatens to surface every now and again.

Elfen Lied will make cheap, dirty grabs for your heartstrings: a gratuitous subplot involving another abused child to which the cousins give shelter; a gratuitous subplot centering on a love relationship between our cousins; and another nearly gratuitous subplot that has little reason to exist beyond that it connects her with one of the cousins, involving abuse from other students in Lucy's school days (Why would a highly dangerous test subject actually be let out of the institution to interact with other people if she presented the risk to humanity that the series claims she does? And why is further justification for her present character necessary given the treatment she endures at the hands of her 'father'? ARGGGGH). By the time Lucy's youngest sister is brought out of her isolation tank to help secure her back to the institution at any cost, I stopped caring. You likely will too.

Elfen Lied gets a seven for the music solely on the strength of 'Lilium', the opening track, a haunting adaptation of a Psalm in Latin set to Gustav Klimt-like imagery. The rest of the music is not even worth comment, save the ending theme, which is so atrociously jarring it's laughable.

If you like splatter-vendetta-fests, or if you're easily shocked, you might actually enjoy this series. But I would advise you otherwise to give Elfen Lied a WIDE berth.

Last updated Friday, March 17 2006. Created Friday, March 17 2006.
Buy 7 8 6 5 10 9 manganime [series:838#1633]
This series is preety awesome and a bit crazy with how much blood there is- which is quite good. However you may wanna think twice if you don't really like exploding heads or dismembering of limbs.

The story however is great and don't be fooled by the beginning 10 mins or so as it seems that this anime will be just about killing (as usually explicit things don't focus much on story) but I really liked it. There is one thing however which I didn't really like- it may spoil the ending so I'll keep quiet about it- but I've heard that this somewhat downfall is mended in the manga. may have to look into that.

Great series non the less.

Last updated Wednesday, December 14 2005. Created Wednesday, December 14 2005.
Buy Forbin [series:838#1573]
Drama : High
Comedy : Low/Med
Action : Med
SciFi : High
Ecchi : High

Elfen Lied just finished it's run in Japan on 10/18/04. And what a INCREDIBLE RIDE!
13 Episodes to keep you on your toes. BLOOD! Guts! Naked Girls! Stupid Male Lead! Guns! Psychics! This anime has it all. (I STRESS the blood - This is on scale of Gantz).
From the First to the Last I was hooked. Lots of unfinished business in the last episode to warrant a second season too, but it's a complete run, none of this My Dear Marie or Buttobi CPU endings that aren't really endings.
If you can take the blood, this is the show to watch in 2004. If you can't? Well don't watch, there a bloody scene every 5 minutes pretty much.
Hurry up R1! It was licensed before it was even released!

Edit : Now that it is R1, I'm a happy camper as I think ADV did a great job! (Unlike Maburaho or Madlax). Except for Yuka (Who has a deep voice) everyone else is a good match from their Japanese Counterparts. BUY BUY BUY!

Edit : 3rd Disk Watched. A disappointment as ADV made chibi Lucy and chibi Kouta sound like they were chain smokers. /doh. They are like 4 and both sound like they are 25. That sucks.

Last updated Thursday, October 06 2005. Created Wednesday, October 20 2004.
Buy 9 8 10 10 10 gom sama [series:838#1463]
This is a no-holds-barred anime with extreme violence, some nudity, and a gripping plot. As for the nudity... I wouldn't call it ecchi or fan service, because it never goes out of the way just to show some.
Although this could have been a typical sci-fi/horror anime, the story and characters are what sets Elfen Lied apart. From the beginning, the story is fast-paced with plenty of twists. I've seen the first 6 episodes so far and it's already better than some full length series. From the opening song to the end, it simply entrances you.
Like I've mentioned before, Elfen Lied is not squirmish about violence and nudity. So it's not for everyone. But for those who can stomach lots of blood, occasional naked girls, and some limbs (and heads) getting torn apart... I highly recommend Elfen Lied.

Last updated Monday, September 06 2004. Created Monday, September 06 2004.
Rent 9 8 6 9 7 9 Devil Doll [series:838#752]
[Score: 76% = Rent]

As this anime has been lavished awards on in anidb I had to finally watch it, despite its stunning violence. This is a spectacular merger between cutesy and gore with a dose of nudity (but not really ecchi or fan-service, it's "just there"), and not in a funny way but in a very depressing one. My simplest short description would be "splatter version of Chobits", although the comparison doesn't exactly work (no computer stuff, no silly-funny scenes). This is truly gruesome stuff, not for the faint of heart (think Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan times two, and not funny), well on par with Ima Soko ni Iru Boku as for its effect (two scenes are really shocking, the child abuse and the killing of the dog) - but it's not gore for gore's sake. This story apparently requires the use of that immense degree of forcefulness. (Then again, Ima Soko ni Iru Boku provides the better story and the much better characters.)

There`s a lot of Nudity in this story, such as bare breasts and panty shots. Yet I don`t consider them as ecchi or fan-service in the usual way - I don`t see their purpose being to tease the audience. Instead they rather symbolize the surprising naiveté of Nyuu IMHO (much like Chii in Chobits). There are other series like Aika or Girls Bravo where the nudity is on a similar level but where it is the main message of the show, which isn`t the case with Elfen Lied.

Music is marvelous at times; the OP song is a beautiful chant sung in Latin, giving the story a touch of church atmosphere, appropriate for another "scientists playing god" scenario (which you learn about right at the start of the series), not unlike Shin Seiki Evangelion: In both series it takes a while until you understand the motives of the people pulling the strings. Art looks very good, most notably with marvelous colors; Animation wasn't that special so far.
Episodes show strong elements of action and suspense, reasonably switching between the two story lines with cute and funny scenes now and then, making the contrast even stronger. Half-way through the show you begin to see how these two stories are intertwined and begin to suspect what happened years ago. The narration style is good, the cliffhangers are used efficiently, although the timing of episode 12 was not that good, repeating lots of scenes from earlier episodes when the climax came near. Which leaves the two IMHO most important aspects...

A good Story has to be two things - understandable and credible. As for the first aspect, Elfen Lied delivers. Step by step we're given more and more information about the past events, starting in episodes 3 and 4 already. Basically two story lines, the first one a SF thriller about the Diclonii (see OP song), the second one a touching romance about Kouta and Yuka (see ED song). You can see the development coming (the reason why Kouta doesn't remember isn't quite new in anime). Unfortunately the ending leaves more questions open that I'm willing to accept - Lucy's final decision isn't quite comprehensible. The OVA episode (to be inserted as episode 10.5) fills some gaps about the past but still doesn't help that much.
Then again, credible it is not. That's where the anime is failing. Some Characters are immensely stupid and arrogant, others (Mayu, most notably) are too good to be true. And the only realistic character (Yuka) isn't that influential. But most of all, too many coincidences happen to permanently make people who should never come in contact (again) run into each other. During the last third of the series I was mostly wondering how implausible it was that things developed exactly the way they did. But the worst aspect of this series is that all of these killer characters lack one significant ability: The will to kill. All of these battles become ridiculous because despite their immense killing potential they're never actually killing any real opponent (they're only slaughtering the cannon fodder) - they're talking and bragging instead. Whenever there's a "you or me" situation the answer is always "none" - it becomes boring in the end. This isn't a real shocker, it's Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon in tomato sauce.

As for the posted German lyrics (from 1828 by the German poet Eduard Mörike), you may find an English translation at some page I linked below.
The story of the song is based on a pun / misunderstanding: The night watch of a village is shouting "Eleven [o'clock]!" (German: "Elfe!"), and some cute and tiny Elf hears that and believes he has been called by his name...

By the way, elves are known for the long ears that might look sometimes like "horns". "Diclonicus" means "provided with two hooks/horns"; so the Diclonii in the story are the Elves of the series title.

Last updated Saturday, June 14 2008. Created Thursday, August 26 2004.
Unevaluated Jan-Chan [series:838#967]
When I picked up the first episode, there was a warning disclaimer, which read that this series is - Extremely violent and 'should be restricted to 16+ year old viewers'.

This series is perhaps the bloodiest and most violently disturbing anime series that I have yet encountered (and yes, I do have Hellsing in my collection...) If chopping up limbs were not enough, there are some very nasty people who do some very nasty and violent things. And if that were not enough, this series has LOTS of female nudity, just to keep the boyz attention.

The opening song is a solo voice singing in Latin, (very pleasant) with a slide presentation of a naked girl and naked boy together, that is vaguely reminiscent of a mixture of Greek Orthodox Icons, and the Medieval paintings of seven layers of hell. (Can you guess that I was impressed?)

It appears that a secret government lab has been playing with the genetic-genies, and have given birth to a number of very cute mutant girls with incredible powers. One of their strongest Diclonius specimens, a eighteen-year-old-ish girl named Lucy, has gotten free by slaughtering the lab and security crew, and escaped the lab. But during her escape, a killing shot went astray, and she suffered a blow to the head, which may have caused an injury.

The secret lab people identify the escaped mutant as being a fertile female, whom if allowed to remain free, would jeopardize the human race with her mutant genes and abilities. They get the military involved with orders to keep everything secret and to shoot to kill the mutant on sight.

As Kouta just moved to this town to start as a first year college student, his childhood friend, Yuka, has made arrangements for him to stay in a large vacant ten-room house. Later in the evening of his first day in town, Kouta is on a walk with Yuka, and they find a naked girl with horns wandering on the beach. The girl appears to be unable to speak and behaves like an innocent kitten, so Kouta decides to protect her and takes her to his home. Kouta finally names her after the one sound that she does makes, Nyu. And when Yuka understands that Kouta intends to let this girl stay with him, she decides to move in too, to keep them honest, (well, actually she has a childhood crush on him and is jealous of the attention he is giving Nyu.) When the police come by waiving a picture of Nyu, Kouta gets very suspicious and decides to keep her presence a secret.

Using the current anime story line trend, in which the sweet and innocent young girl has some very serious and very strange powers (Miharu of Girls Bravo, or Ren of DearS), Lucy/Nyu with her two horns, could easily be mistaken for Chi of the series Chobits. Come to think of it, both Nyu and Chi are mono-syllabic, very cute and very powerful .. (humm I wonder, sisters?).

Well, this gets you up to about episode two. You have the flavor of this series and you have been warned as to the content. I honestly do not know were this series is going, but I will admit being intrigued and entranced enough to be waiting for the next episode.

(and for those of you who speak German, let me share this...)

Elfenlied by ↗Eduard Mörike (1804-1875)

Bei Nacht im Dorf der Wächter rief: Elfe!
Ein ganz kleines Elfchen im Walde schlief
wohl um die Elfe!
Und meint, es rief ihm aus dem Tal
bei seinem Namen die Nachtigall,
oder Silpelit hätt' ihm gerufen.
Reibt sich der Elf' die Augen aus,
begibt sich vor sein Schneckenhaus
und ist als wie ein trunken Mann,
sein Schläflein war nicht voll getan,
und humpelt also tippe tapp
durch's Haselholz in's Tal hinab,
schlupft an der Mauer hin so dicht,
da sitzt der Glühwurm Licht an Licht.
Was sind das helle Fensterlein?
Da drin wird eine Hochzeit sein:
die Kleinen sitzen bei'm Mahle,
und treiben's in dem Saale.
Da guck' ich wohl ein wenig 'nein!«
Pfui, stößt den Kopf an harten Stein!
Elfe, gelt, du hast genug?

Elf song Translated to English by Eric Sams.

At night in the village the watchman cried "Eleven!"
A very small elf was asleep in the wood -
just at eleven! -
And he thinks that the nightingale
must have called him by name from the valley,
or Silpelit might have sent for him.

So the elf rubs his eyes,
comes out of his snail-shell house,
and is like a drunken man,
his nap was not finished;
and he hobbles down, tip tap,
through the hazel wood into the valley,
slips right up to the wall;
there sits the glow-worm, light on light.

"What are those bright windows?
There must be a wedding inside;
the little people are sitting at the feast,
and dancing about in the ballroom.
So I'll just take a peep in!"

Shame! he hits his head on hard stone!
Well, elf, had enough, have you?
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

Last updated Monday, February 01 2010. Created Tuesday, August 24 2004.

Other Sites
Wikipedia entry (English) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elfen_lied
Wiki listing contains a fair bit of interesting info about this series.
Elfen Lied - Official Website http://www.vap.co.jp/elfenlied/
Official Website in Japanese (requires Flash player)
Elfen Lied page by ADV http://www.advfilms.com/titles/elfenlied/
Official Website by the R1 releaser

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