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  1. #1

    Default Torkuitsu's In Depth Reviews: Elfen Lied

    First off let me say, I am heavy into anime. These reviews are going to pretty in depth, or as far in depth as I can go until I start majorly spoiling. That being said, I will make my best attempts at keeping them minor or absent all together.

    Elfen Lied: Infamous for its bloody mess of gore, cruelty and nudity. A combination that could make many a person turn away. Yet, a huge number of people watch this, knowing (to some extent) what they're going into. Some people call it a 'masterpiece', people some call it 'perverted', some people don't know what to say, and some call it 'horrible'. The first is true, the second is an exaggeration, the third is understandable, and the fourth is so wrong.

    The first episode starts off with what is the bloodiest and nuditiest 10 minutes of any show I've ever watched, and I'll tell you this: If you live through that, you'll live through the series. And vice versa. Lucy, a naked girl of the Diclonius race, a species of mutant humans with invisible 'arms' called Vectors, is escaping from a facility (more like assaulting her way out), killing countless guards and whatnot on her way out (all in the nude). When she's finally outside, she's sniped, but she doesn't die. Instead, two teenage cousins (the two other main characters), Kouta and Yuka, discovers her on a beach. She has lost her memories, and is only capable of saying "Nyu", which is what Kouta and Yuka names her. They also decide to take her home, and...

    The story suddenly drops severely in its gore level there, and slowly builds up again throughout the remaining twelve episodes. Along with the gore come cruel events upon cruel events, as more Diclonii and their sad pasts are revealed. Nyuu 'awakens' as Lucy more frequently as the story progresses, in the end completely reverting to her old self. However, there might be an obstacle preventing her from going completely psychotic...

    The characters are all okay, though they do act really stupid at times (if you find a girl with horns lying drenched in blood on the beach, you don't just take her home and decide to keep here there, do you?). They've all got some back stories, which contents are mostly those of cruelty, blood and relationships. Especially note the latter; relationships. It's an important aspect of the series, as they are the main factor as to why the Diclonius are so "cruel" as they are. "Cruel" because they aren't the real cruel ones; that dubious honor goes to the humans. Treating the Diclonius as mere research subjects, being shunned by the very people who should take care of them, and being killed off for stupid reasons. Among the main characters, their love (there is a love triangle between Kouta, Yuka and Nyu/Lucy), broken promises, lies and "lies" have all had their effect on how they are in the present, and what happened some years ago is connected to their development in the present day.

    The series is only 13 episodes long, and in that short time quite a lot happens, which may make it seem rushed at times; it does move forward at a too high pace. The end result however, is actually extremely good, and a really tragic, enjoyable and gory experience.

    The artwork is extremely good, yet very average. While backgrounds and scenic details are very meticulous and a real pleasure to the eyes, the character designs are way below what you'd expect after seeing the backgrounds. There is too little detail on them, the coloring is too bland, and they donít fit in with the detailed surroundings in any way. The camerawork is very good at times though; at the rare occasion it reminded me more of the camerawork used in anime movies rather than anime series. The artwork during the opening theme is pretty interesting too; I think it's based an Austrian painter (Gustav Klimt)'s works.

    The soundtrack is decent, with a marvelous Latin opening theme named Lilium that fits right into the series' overall tone, and an ending theme that, while a bit more cheerful, fits in with the love triangle between the main characters. The background music during the series is very repetitive at first; just a bunch of instrumental variations of Lilium. It gets better a few episodes into the series though, but overall I feel they used the variations of Lilium too much.

    All in all Elfen Lied is a anime that does a very audacious thing by having so much cruelty, gore and nudity in one series, but the end result is a masterpiece anime that wouldn't have been good without it. Just remember that it isn't meant for kids for no reason - events ranging from a man watching his naked daughter to a dog being bludgeoned to death with a vase and live dismemberment takes place.

  2. #2
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    I'm surprised that you're not received some feedback on this article... I guess I'm not the only anime noob here.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dangerboy View Post
    I'm surprised that you're not received some feedback on this article... I guess I'm not the only anime noob here.
    I despise Elfen Lied (The art style is horrible, terribly over-rated although I can't say anything because I like Naruto , characters annoying and or/make me bored. /end bashing) but this article was very well written.
    Last edited by InoxYamanaka; 06-16-2009 at 05:06 PM.

  4. #4
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    Actually I find a lot of the characters in Naruto to be a bit boring. Not the women though! I love all of them... um ... maybe not Sakura much. She's annoying at times.

  5. #5

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    I think that a lot of the characters in Elfen Lied can be interesting, it's just...they didn't appeal to me. Perhaps it was the art style, or maybe the whole plot in general, but I have no clue why everyone gets so worked up on it. The only thing I really like about it is the opening.

    I love a lot of the characters in Naruto. Well, most. It's a matter of preference. The Kunoichi are alright. They lack development, though and they are kind of stale and flat when it comes to their personalities. Some are, not all.
    Last edited by InoxYamanaka; 06-19-2009 at 05:12 PM.

  6. #6

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    I'll just post this passage I wrote in another forum for the discussion of this anime

    I have deduced that Elfen Lied is one the most horribly depressing animes I have ever watched. And I absolutely love it for it. The blood, gore and nudity cloud some people from seeing the sad truth and message this great anime sends to it's viewers. I was literally in tears at some points, despair at others, and even felt fleeting points of triumph, that were quickly crushed by the overpowering psyche that this show enveloped me in. I'm glad I watched it again, and got to witness this true masterpiece in such a way, that I'll never see another anime with such power, with such overwhelming feeling again

    Basically, the thing I liked most about Elfen Lied is the emotion it can cause. Most of favorite series have caused emotional responses for me, whether they be triumphant, depressing, sad, or happy.

  7. #7

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    That was very well written. I've never felt saddened by any Anime/Manga before...and I've read Battle Royale and Gantz...I suppose it would be more enjoyable for me if I felt something more for the characters.

  8. #8

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    Every person has their own way of watching anime. The way I watch anime, i look deeper into the plot and try to find the 'real' message its sending, not just the one that seems like it is sending. The one where you do a little digging and then see the anime in a whole new light. It can change your view on life. The anime Neon Genesis Evangelion was the first to do so. And there have been several since, like Elfen Lied.

    Hope that clears up why I do what I do in terms of anime, and why I see things the way I do.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by InoxYamanaka View Post
    That was very well written. I've never felt saddened by any Anime/Manga before...and I've read Battle Royale and Gantz...I suppose it would be more enjoyable for me if I felt something more for the characters.
    I think you care.
    Quote Originally Posted by Torkuitsu View Post
    Every person has their own way of watching anime. The way I watch anime, i look deeper into the plot and try to find the 'real' message its sending, not just the one that seems like it is sending. The one where you do a little digging and then see the anime in a whole new light. It can change your view on life. The anime Neon Genesis Evangelion was the first to do so. And there have been several since, like Elfen Lied.

    Hope that clears up why I do what I do in terms of anime, and why I see things the way I do.
    Interesting aspect. I never really looked at it that way. I always felt that it was a made up part of the Japanese culture. Like I find the situations to be a little too emotional to be believable, so I never really put a lot of thought into them. The only one I've ever gotten into was Naruto and that has this emotional thing that goes on between characters that I'm sorry to say.. can be quite annoying. Forgive me for that. It could just be me. I crave for more chaos in a story, like just any story. I know there will be the balance but the complications are so much more entertaining. I don't think I'll see much of that so I stick to the characters I like just so I don't get disappointed.

    I actually tried to introduce some serious chaos in the text RPG a while back but I suppose some of the players may have thought it was a bit much.

  10. #10

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    Don't think twice about it. I don't get angry over opinions, that's stupid. I think it's pretty obvious that i have a disdain for Naruto at this point, but I know many people here enjoy it. Naruto is a show where you don't have to look into the plot, it's basically spoon fed to you. It's typical shonen nature. As for chaos, I enjoy it too. My fav Higurashi has much chaos in it. So much in fact that the entire first season is basically chaos. Then the second season comes in and gives you time to think it through, all while giving even more hints, until a resolution is brought about. In my opinion, chaos is what makes many good series as good as they are. Naruto is like that. If it was just fighting, it wouldn't be as good.

  11. #11

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    Halloween bump

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