Friday, January 30, 2015

Review: Elfin Lied

Elfin Lied is based on a Japanese manga series  originally serialized Weekly from June 2002 to August 2005, with the 107 chapters collected into twelve tankōbon volumes. 

Elfen Lied focuses on the "Diclonius" who's appearance is similar to humans, but with several key differencese, namely horn-like protrusions on the forehead and telekinetic  arms called "Vectors". One such Diclonius, 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.

It is obvious even with this short description, that Elfin Lied has a great deal going for it.  An engaging tale with characters that are both interesting and easy to identify with.  

However the very things that make this series work also work against it.  Taking 107 chapters and making 13 episodes should set off the warning bells quickly.  The main character goes from a quiet introvert to one that exudes confidence and does so in a very short order.   Nyu is a wonderful foil but it is never quite believable that Nyu is the blood drenched "Diclonius" Lucy.   Episode 13 comes quickly, so much so that one is very confused because it does not seem to have a contiguous timeline.

Don't get me wrong, Elfin Lied was far and away one of the better series I have watched to date.  I really think that generally this series will be found entertaining.  However the flaws will be evident early on.  So out of a possible 10 I would list it a 7.

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