Completed View: Elfen Lied (5)

01Mar08

lied.jpg

Media format: 1-13 (+1) Episodes of subs

Last viewed: 4 months ago

Blah, this was supposed to be a writing exercise for me.  I barely have any time for it now.  Plus I’m freaken out about my grammar now.

Plot and Storytelling:

When I started watching Elfen Lied, I thought it was just going to be boobs and violence.  While I don’t really have anything against boobs and violence, I’m really glad that there is a very good story to Elfen Lied.  The story is tragic, depressing, and violent in every sense of the word.  Elfen Lied is definitely not the anime to show to someone on suicide watch, but it is a very good tragedy that may stirrup new emotions. 

The basic premise is that there is a race of beings called diclonius, which may be an evolution of humanity.  Due partly to their different physical appearance and power, they are alienated, harassed, and the subject of large scale brutal experimentation.  The story mostly revolves around the life of Lucy, possibly the first of diclonius-kind, and her spiral to hatred and vengeance against humankind. 

What I really love about the story is that despite all the negativity in the world of Elfen Lied, there is still a sliver of hope.  It can be seen as a modern take on Pandora’s Box with a new race bringing conflict, barbarism, and slaughter while at the same time offering the hope for peace and co-existence.

Characters:

All the major and minor characters in Elfen Lied are extremely well done.  Instead of having characters that are just developed enough to cause conflict, Elfen Lied really brings the characters alive with their portrayals.  Despite have a brutal setting and plot, all the violence and tragedy is never used as a crutch or substitute for detailed character development.  They all have a detailed personality that makes all of them seem more realistic and help enhance the power of the strong storyline. 

Animation and Audio:

Color and tones vary from scene to scene and enhance the story telling.  The animation of the violence is not dampened and is definitely not for the weak of stomach or pure of heart.  Much of the violence reminds me of butchers and slaughterhouses and humans are reduced to the equivalent of a holiday ham.  However, it is never violent for violence’s sake.  There’s a purpose to the brutality and bloodshed besides making sick people like me very happy.

I love Lilium, the intro to Elfen Lied.  It is one of the few intros that I don’t skip when watching anime.  The soundtrack of the show usually have extremely somber instrumentals and very beautiful, yet sad vocals.  There was one really happy piece from the soundtrack but I have no idea what scene it was used in.  Overall, the music is very haunting and enjoyable.

Afterglow:

The ending was a bit ambiguous about certain details but overall a solid ending covering most of the important issues.  I did argue with my roommate for awhile whether the ending was a happily-ever-after ending or a happy-for-now ending, but either way the ending was satisfying.

Conclusion:

Elfen Lied is an extremely twisted, brutal, and vile anime.  I loved every minute of the story and the solid characters.  While it is definitely not an anime for everyone, it’s still an anime everyone who can handle violent animes should watch.  With it’s solid storyline that isn’t violent for shock value, Elfen Lied may cause a stirring of feelings or provoke some new thought.  That or make you lose your lunch.  Either way, give it a shot.

(+1)

There was also an OVA’s released for Elfen Lied.  It’s basically episode 10.5 and fits in the between (you guessed it) episodes 10 and 11.  It’s more of a day in the life of episode with very little plot advancement or importance.  Still, it’s a nice little extra bit of content after finishing the story.

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