It is like a tradition now – to re-watch Elfen Lied every summer – to engage in the story of my favorite anime – a story filled with tragedy and also darkness. I remember the first time I saw the anime – home – in the afternoons – and I was captivated by the rich set of elements that put together the plot. And after completing it I was left with this sense of sadness – which I experienced each time I finished the series.
Elfen Lied – which refers to a German poem translated as the “Song of the Elves” – was originally a manga series created by Lynn Okamoto. It presents the story of a species of super-humans called Diclonius – which are extremely violent by nature and enjoy tearing apart everything that they can reach. From the very beginning we witness the destructive powers of the Diclonius – as the main character – Lucy – escapes the facility she was kept in. The Diclonius possess a number of invisible arms called vectors, which varies from one individual to another.
The Diclonius also can be differentiated from humans by the set of horns they present from birth – and as they reach the age of three – they become killing machines lacking consciousness.
On the other hand – we see another fragment of existence – in which we see the Diclonius kept in laboratories and studied through various experiments. Through various violent tactics – the humans wanted to examine their capacities, boundaries and their way of thinking.
The themes in the series range from the double personality cliché and social identity to torture, regret, family life, perception of the past and present. The series follows the psychological evolution of the characters, which are deeply marked by their past (sadly otherwise). It is like a group of individuals which are rejected by the society end up living together and making the best of their remaining days- while still battling this rejection.
The predominant genres in Elfen Lied are drama, horror, psychology and some elements of comedy. The evolution of the characters is marked by their way of thinking, the way they perceive reality. The drama of the existence of these individuals is explained episode with episode. From orphans, people with mental disabilities, unconscious assassins, all these characters can be found during the 13 episodes. Elfen Lied involves themes of social alienation, identity, prejudice, human conditions, revenge, abuse, jealousy and regret. The series also has graphic violence.
List of Episodes
01 – “A Chance Encounter ~ Begegnung (lit. Meeting)”
“Kaikō” (BEGEGNUNG 邂逅)
02 – “Annihilation ~ Vernichtung (lit. Annihilation)”
“Sōtō” (VERNICHTUNG 掃討)
03 – “Deep Feelings ~ Im Innersten (lit. At Heart)”
“Kyōri” (IM INNERSTEN 胸裡)
04 – “Attack ~ Aufeinandertreffen (lit. Encounter)”
“Shokugeki” (AUFEINANDERTREFFEN 触撃)
05 – “Receipt ~ Empfang (lit. Reception)”
“Rakushō” (EMPFANG 落掌)
06 – “Innermost Feelings ~ Herzenswärme (lit. Heart Warmth)”
“Chūjō” (HERZENSWAERME 衷情)
07 – “Confrontation ~ Zufällige Begegnung (lit. Coincidental Meeting)”
“Saikai” (ZUFAELLIGE BEGEGNUNG 際会)
08 – “The Beginning ~ Beginn (lit. Beginning)”
“Kōshi” (BEGINN 嚆矢)
09 – “Reminiscence ~ Schöne Erinnerung (lit. Beautiful Memory)”
“Tsuioku” (SCHOENEERINNERUNG 追憶)
10 – “Infant ~ Säugling (lit. Infant)”
“Eiji” (SAEUGLING 嬰児)
11 – “Complication ~ Vermischung (lit. Intermixing)”
“Sakusō” (VERMISCHUNG 錯綜)
12 – “Quagmire ~ Taumeln (lit. Tumble)”
“Deinei” (TAUMELN 泥濘)
13 – “No Return ~ Erleuchtung (lit. Illumination)”
“Fugen” (ERLEUCHTUNG 不還)
“In the Passing Rain, Or, How Can a Girl Have Reached Such Feelings? ~ Regenschauer (lit. Rain shower)”
“Tōriame ni te arui wa, shōjo wa ikani shi te sono shinjō ni itatta ka?” (通り雨にて 或いは、少女はいかにしてその心情に至ったか?)