Erufen rîto (2004)
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I did not see too many anime to have an authoritative opinion on this, but I believe that the excellent soundtrack is also one of the sources of the emotional blend of sweet and bitter atmosphere in the movie. The theme of the anime is sung in Latin, has a heavenly sweet voice sing a deeply sad song. The theme is associated with the intro and ending clips, which being symbolically very rich, adds a strong sense of magic and mystery to it.
One of the nice parts, and maybe also of the sources of strong emotions associated with the movie is the way in which the director develops some of the main characters in such a way that they are complete. They have good parts and they have bad parts, they love and they hate. You love them at times and then you hate them at other times. And because you get to know them pretty well, you will eventually get involved to the point that you really fear for their fate.
Besides being complete, the characters are idealized and put in deep emotionally situations: they risk their lives for their loved ones, they die for their loved ones, they hurt for their lost ones, they cry, they laugh with joy and everything at the highest level of involvement. Maybe this is why we like them: in a way they are so much more alive than us!
Inocence and pain, beauty and menace, death and love, blood and hope, all these make from Elfen Lied an addictive series which will leave a long-lasting impression on you. And be prepared to watch all the episodes together, it might be hard to stop before the last one!
Lucy is a Diclonius (two - horned human with telekinetic arms called vectors) hell bent on destroying man-kind to create the next race. Nyu is Lucy's alter-ego / personality whatever you wish to call it, if anyone has seen Chobits just picture Chii and you'll pretty much have a perfect match to Nyu.
Without going into too much detail and spoiling the anime for you, I will offer a little warning this anime isn't for the faint of heart / stomach or children under 16.
There is a lot of nudity, blood, guts and violence, and should be watched at your own risk don't say I didn't warn you.
I hope you enjoy Elfen Lied as much as I did and I hope you find this summary helpful.
One more thing... I haven't seen the English voice overs. I have only seen the Japanese version with English subtitles. Well I hope that doesn't ruin the series... well it's kinda hard to with this series being so great and all...
I'm not going to give a description of what it is about because you can find that elsewhere. What I can tell you is that it is the saddest but perhaps greatest love story I know. If you haven't seen it yet, even if you hate anime, see this movie. I can barely even describe the wonders that are packed into this short series.
And if you are a fan of great anime with great background music that is totally contradictory yet totally appropriate to the series, then you have your helping in "more than you can eat" servings.
The plot is a well thought out one. There are times in the first episode that you think my opinion may be wrong, but, sit through it and you just may be more shocked by the final episode than the first.
I wish I could go into length and discuss it with everyone who reads this review, but that would take away your viewing pleasure.
Although this does stray from the manga (i've never seen the manga, just know its a lot longer and different then how the animation ended) it is still worth watching.
don't forget to grab episode 14, while is really doesn't have much to do with the story (you do find out a little more about Lucy's past) if you're an Elfen Lied fan its nice to watch. It would be fine to watch it either after you've seen the whole series or after episode 10.
Most of what others have said is true. This is a very well done anime. It has an exremely emotional and graphic story. It is as sad or emotional as "Grave of the fireflies" and as bloody as "Berserk" (I would say its worse).
Although it is fantasy because of the special powers the girls have you should not think it would diminish it. It is about not knowing who or what is good and bad, about tragedy and loss, it is about forgiveness.
Just be ready for this is not for the weak of heart.
I would definitely recommend this anime, its one of the best made anime I have ever seen.
The real area that Elfen Lied shines is it's narrative - its hard not to be enthralled by its weaving course and diversity. A Violent and gory encounter will perhaps gives way to another with a contrasting lighter moment. Emotive drama gives way to bloodshed and then back again, only this time bring you close to tears as it does so. It's a strange combination, where you as the viewer are thrown about and manipulated like those in the story line itself, but one that works surprisingly well. It does this all the while without feeling disjointed, it has an elegance and clever subtly when it makes these strong transitions leading to a very mesmorising piece as a whole.
This is carefully finished with a truly memorable musical score, which in my opinion is another great strength. The opening 'Lilium' is particularly powerful, and differing versions feature prominently throughout - lending its intensity to emotive scenes. However, regarding music there's an off kilter over-happy pop song that plays over the credits after each episode. It feels out of place, but never the less is adequate enough, and it could be argued adds a good contrast to what is at times quite a depressing anime.
I must reiterate however, that the violence is somewhat extreme, and I advise you to be prepared for it if you are faint hearted. However by no means avoid this because of it, there's a lot more to it than the violence, and you will be denying yourself a truly wondrous experience by not watching it. It is to any fan of the medium unmissable; a weird cocktail of conflicting ideas - that on paper shouldn't work, but some how is pulled off in spectacular fashion, gripping you from the start to it's brutal conclusion.
Still not convinced? Well ask yourself this; Is there anything else out there that can lay claim to being disturbing and yet at the same time profoundly beautiful? It's worth watching on that premise alone.
Those with weak stomachs better avoid this story in all. My sister at age thirteen (I'm fourteen) was absolutely terrified after watching the first episode. She had a good two weeks of nightmares, but continued watching. The storyline is addictive, so stay away unless you are prepared to watch every last second of gore, tears, and kisses.
Indeed it is bad what she deed. But in the last few episodes we can feel that she truly have changed. Well she still kill some of those soldiers, but this time it is a little more than just doing it for fun, I mean by any instinct. She has to protect Kohta, and in the last episode she finally after eight years have meet with him as Lucy herself and not as Nyuu. She has understand what she has done, and she really sorry about it. Of course Kohta cannot forgive those horrible things, but finally Lucy has truly turned out to be a really good character, who finally get close to her love, and have tolled him everything, everything with one kiss, and in that moment we can see again their childhood, when they two have played with each other eight years ago, without "any" troubles.
After that we can see how cute Lucy is, and she's crying, and next we see Nana as she going home, but in the same time Lucy has to face with the enemy. Well Kohta sad to never hurt somebody again, so I think when her second horn has broke off too, she lost her vectors, and she has died. But at the end until the credits has running, we've see a person outside the door at the Inn. Kohta was surprised when he saw the big antic clock has working again, on which one Nyuu has worked. The Songbox still plays Lilium, but when it stops playing it, the clock has ringing and the anime has ended, The End. Maybe Lucy was that person outside the door? Maybe she have fixed that clock, but she don't want to bother the others? I think we will never get any answer for these questions.
As I have spoked before the anime is full of strong emotions. The greatest emotion which one stand behind everything is the love. Of course this is a really beautiful emotion, but as the anime shows it could make really worse things too. At the end when I saw that Lucy has kiss Kohta I really thought that they could be with each other forever, and when I saw that her second horn has broke off too, my heart has nearly broke too. For the last episode these characters have became my friends and I was nearly cry at the whole night, and I really did, yes. There love cannot be fulfilled, but Lucy's heart truly could get some rest, and each other was really happy in that moment when they have kissed each other, much more happy than everyone could ever be. And at the end that beautiful smile at Lucy's face, it truly looked like she has always waited for that day to come, but that day is much more sad maybe, than any other days before.
The only ones that come even a bit close to Elfen Lied are Death Note and Trinity Blood and those are almost even half as good. If it was possible I would probably give Elfen lied 15 out of 10 possible points.
The only bad and sad thing about it is that it's, like I said before, only 13 episodes. I wish they would make more but I guess it would by now only ruin it.
Elfen Lied had some of the best animation I've seen in a long time. The colors are vibrant, the character designs are superb, and the environments are well drawn and realistic. The animation flows very smoothly and it's a joy to behold.
The series is presented in both English and Japanese 5.1. The English voice actors did an actually decent job of representing the characters and there weren't very many "painful" listening moments in the dub. It's an understatement to say that the music is absolutely phenomenal. The opening theme "Lilium" is great and it really sets the emotional mood for the show; the song itself is gorgeous and is actually very touching in how beautiful it is. The rest of the music in the series, minus the ending theme, is also very touching and well composed.
I won't go on and explain the whole story behind Elfen Lied, i'll just kinda highlight the main points. The story is essentially about the characters finding out where they belong in the world and how they deal with the situations they're faced with. The show deals heavily with the concepts of love, romance, innocence, promises, discrimination, and acceptance. It essentially sums up with that despite all the evil that there is in this world, there is still innocence and love to be found.
The characters in Elfen Lied were superb. They all acted like anyone else would in their situation. They all changed according to their circumstances. They were all REAL characters that people can relate to; and they were very fulfilling to watch.
This anime will go down as one of the best in history because it speaks to the heart of the person watching it. It takes you into the world of the characters to where you can actually feel for them. Elfen Lied accomplishes what most anime doesn't, it actually hits you right in the heart and moves you.
But, like I said, if you disengage your brain (that involves ignoring the sub par voice acting in both languages, awful, redundant, repetitive script, the complete lack of subtlety in it's 'horror' moments, the seedy sexualised nature of underage girls being dismembered, the cheap emotional manipulation, the cast of the most uninteresting and non characterised characters i've seen in a while, the complete lack of moral direction, confused tone and themes, the attempt at a love triangle involving a mentally challenged schizophrenic and the guys sister, nyu, the repugnant daddy complex mixed with insestual undertones, nyu and nyu... and that was from a 2 minute brainstorm) I can see why people enjoy this series.
The things Elfen Leid does well it does damn near flawlessly and can actually have you engaged in the series and emotionally involved enough to overlook the towering monolith of issues this series has looming over it. Now, i've been a musician and wanna be amateur classical composer for a while now and have done a few exercises in composing music to film, so with what little credibility that gives me, I can say that the soundtrack and general sound design of this show are absolutely astounding. most of the people who watch this most likely came to it from listening to the main theme lilium which is such an awe inspiring piece that makes me glad the show was created just so I could listen to it. The mixture of the excellent score and stone dead silence in the 'serious' sections make for some of the most genuinely haunting scenes iv'e seen in anime.
And yeah, the emotional manipulation kinda works really, really well mainly, again, due to the sound. These scenes sneak up on you and explode onto screen leaving an impact similar to that of a getting hit by a truck. However, most of these scenes involve some symbol of pure innocence, whether a child or a little woof woof getting repeatedly ripped apart and stamped on. Elfen Lied has a complete, vice like clamp around your heart but definitely not your brain, but that grasp is usually so strong that your brain does not register nor question what you're witnessing.
I think if you are a horny teenage emo/goth kid you will thoroughly love this series, and thats not an insult, this show seems purpose built for maturing emotional teenagers and from what i've seen meets that target demographic perfectly.
This series has the face of the best art house films but the brain of transformers, with a little nekromantik thrown in for good measure. The mastery of emotions and the astounding sound design knock this series up 2-3 stars. I would say to watch this series with your eyes closed but you would still have to endure the woeful dialogue. I guess I recommend subtitles then.
Unfortunately, this isn't one of those series that only gets better and better. Instead, it got worse and worse. I'm not easily offended by blood, gore & nudity. I don't disagree with romance, nor with visuals that don't match the story. But I am quite disappointed by expecting to get a brilliant anime (judging from all the ecstatic reviews all over the web) and receiving something awfully shallow.
Seriously people, WHY does everyone like this series so much?
The point is, in my opinion, that this anime tries to be everything at once, and fails to be anything at all. It contains a horroresque mix of blood, gore and suspense, it contains action-packed, graphic violence, realistic nudity (i.e. nudity where people are supposed to be nude and it's just silly to put clothes on them), ecchi nudity aka nudity for no other reason than to turn on pervs, super-cotton-candy-sweet-naive romance and even some science and sci-fi related things, never mind the "fantasy" part. Only, none of these parts really excite. There is no depth of story. At the end, you're left with so many questions you wonder whether you actually watched the thing or not. There is no depth of character. One of the main character is mostly absent from the story and replaced by some brainless creature that goes "nyu". And no amount of well executed fights or ecchi (depending on where your favor goes to) will compensate for that.
And then, the visuals. It took me nearly two episodes to figure out that the two kids living together were supposed to be around 20. I mean, what? While the animation is quite good, the naive way the main characters are portrayed grows annoying very fast.
Conclusion? It's not gritty, nor mature. It's childish and perverse. For everyone who seeks a deep, romantic story with gritty action/horror elements, it isn't this!
And last but not least, it reminds me somewhat of Chobits. Though Chobits had a bit more of a entertainment value. So for all you people who DIDN'T like Chobits, stay clear of this as well.