My new review will be a series of posts where I do the obvious really, review things. The difference being I share with you all things that are new to me, be it they were released this week or years ago. After venturing to the cinema and reviewing Thor: The Dark World, I’ve decided for my second installment to talk about a genre I love and have recently revisited, namely Anime.
After watching a top 10 of Anime Powers We Wish were Real, on the brilliant WatchMojo.com, youtube page (check it out below) I decided to try out a particular series that caught my eye. Elfen Lied.
As a child and teenager my love for anime was huge, but its kind of gone of the boil in the past few years, to be replaced by American T.V. drama, but I’m sure any anime fan will agree with me when I say this, that it has a special quality you just don’t find in any other form of film or television in the world.
Elfen Lied focuses on a new strain of the human race called diclonius. Similar to human beings but with invisible telekinetic arms called vectors, which hold immense power, they are also notable due to physical abnormalities, particularly a pair of short horn-like protrusions. A diclonius named Lucy is the main character of the series. Initially held in a facility built for experimentation, located off the coast of Kamakura, she manages to escape and wreak havoc, but is injured in the process, an event which causes her to develop a secondary, childlike personality known as Nyu. Lucy is found by two locals, Kohta, who studies at the local university, and his cousin Yuka. They take her in, and become involved with the numerous, often brutal, attempts to recapture her by a Special Assault Team and a number of other diclonius, who shift frequently from oblivious to murderous.
Having heard about the numerous anime series out there, getting back into it was always going to be a particularly difficult choice, with the popularity of series such as Naruto, Deathnote, Cowboy Bebop and many others I wanted to start with something that wouldn’t take weeks to watch. Elfen Lied is based on a manga of the same name and was translated into one 13 episode series. One of my guilty pleasures is anime such as Tenchi Muyo and Love Hina, this is due to the different way they do romance stories and often in hilarious ways, but still with great tenderness. Elfen Lied follows this same formula, particularly in the anime fashion of one male, living in a house with multiple females, all or most of who love him, although he gets beaten up constantly by them after falling into awkward situations time and time again. On this level Elfen Lied doesn’t disappoint. But this wasn’t the element that drew me to the series, more the horror ones contained within it. The opening sequence involving Lucy’s escape from the research facility and is brilliantly done in all its blood soaked, gory and rather inventive glory. Now if your after blood and gore in your anime, this series has it in spades, not to mention the obligatory if not completely needed female nudity, mostly from Nyu who spends most of her time nude for some reason.
The relationships are a little cheesy in areas especially the one between Khoda and Yuka but it works in the anime setting, and you’ll find it hard to not fall in love with Nyu for her child like wonder and Lucy for just how bad ass she is, even if she’s a complete psycho. All these different factors contribute to a great show and the ending pulls at the heart strings unlike any other anime I’ve seen. It’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular anime series ever, even with only one series, for anyone who is looking for something different from the usual American standard of T.V. dramas,I’d definitely give it a try.