Friday, December 3, 2010

Elfen Lied

So, I know this anime's a few years old, but I wanted to give my take on it. Elfen Lied, for those of you who don't know, is an anime about a girl named "Lucy" who is a new type of human: a diclonius. These are humans who have horns on their heads and invisible arms named "vectors", which allow them limited telekinesis. These arms can also be used to cut things very cleanly, as you can see from the above picture. They've evolved from humanity in a sort of "hive" structure, where all but one is sterile. This "queen" can seemingly deactivate the powers of the others if she so chooses, and can mate with any human male to propagate the species. Lucy is the queen of this new race of humanity, and the story follows her adventures.

Now I'm not gonna get into too much detail in this review, because I'd prefer to give away as little as possible (well, no more than what I have given away) but I will say this. If you like tragedies, watch this anime. To say it's tragic is an understatement. So much happens, and while the ending could be considered happy it's only happy in a strong bitter sweet sense, the type of happy that you find after a tragedy because you need to find something to hold onto. The story is strong, the characters are really well done, and the music....

... is flat out amazing. If you watch this anime for anything, do it for the music.

Now that I've gotten the good out of the way, I'm gonna hit the stuff that anyone should know if they've never seen this anime before.

This anime is gory. None of your smarmy 300 crap here, this is actually dark, graphic, and disgusting. People die on a fairly regular basis with tons of blood to accompany it. So if you have a weak stomach or something like that do not watch. This isn't like a few anime where if you close your eyes it'll be over soon. Blood is a part of this story, and to ignore blood is to ignore the show.

There's an exceptional amount of nudity in this show as well, almost all of it being full frontal. Nothing sexual happens, which makes it easier to bear, but understand that there's almost as much nudity as there is blood (which is saying something). If you don't want your kids seeing a whole tone of boobs, butt, and such do not watch this show. The nudity does have a curious effect on the tone of the show, however. It brings a sort of innocence to it, and I'm not entirely sure why yet. I think it has something to do with the constant vulnerability that's insinuated by the nudity that makes the difference here. For instance, there's this point where two kids (guy and a girl) are playing in a stream and get soaked. They take off their clothes to have them dry, and sit down, back to back. The girl's emotional because it's the last time she'll see the guy for a long time, so she tells him so. Now (and this is a rarity) you don't see anything, but just the implication that these two are naked while having this conversation hits home a lot harder than if they were clothed. The same goes for the first five minutes of the show, where you see a naked woman tear soldiers limb from limb. The presentation is not pornographic (they don't zoom in or anything like that), but the scene of pure carnage is accentuated by this feeling of intimacy, like you're in the character's head, experiencing the things that would make them do something this nutty. Just keep these things in mind should you decide to watch the show, because if for any reason you're uncomfortable with nudity (regardless of if it's sexual or not) then you're gonna have a huge problem with this show.

Overall, I'd rate Elfen Lied an 8.5 outta 10. A damn good show that doesn't feel out of place with anything that it does.