Elfen Lied ep 1-2

What is this, an anime post on toxic muffin? The world must be falling down. Before we proceed, I feel inclined to remind you that Elfen Lied isn’t for little kids, so, obviously enough, this post is quite NSFW (Just in case, you didn’t know that just stands for Not Safe For Work which is the internet politically correct version of: boobs, gore and stuff little kids might not wish to see). In typical Toxic Muffin anime post style, this post is way too long, and contains way too many pictures, but it took a lot of effort , so the least you could do is scroll through, right? Also, I am sure the spelling/grammar kinda suck, but please bear with it, I am too tired to proofread properly.

An iconic image, of a very iconic show.


First, a quick back-story of my relationship with Elfen Lied. I heard of this anime, Elfen Lied many years ago, way back when I was first starting out with anime. Back then, people used to say : “Oh, you though X was violent, well, you haven’t seen Elfen Lied, now that show is gory!”, and in my case, you can replace X with Naruto, Bleach, Shakugan no Shana and maybe some other I can’t recall right now.
So, anyway, I have been hearing about this anime for a long, long time, but for some reason (maybe it was the gore), I put of watching it( I even downloaded it, only to have it sit there for a while), but now, I shall watch it!

or be watched by it....

So, let us dive straight into this gorefest.

The Opening

Booby, I SEE YOU!

Lilium is like Cruel Angel Thesis, in that even people who haven’t seen the anime, listen to and like the song. What’s my opinion?
Lilium is incredible. I do not know if I am willing to call it the greatest opening of all time, or what rank I am willing to give it, but Lilium is really, really good. The soaring beautiful lyrics are a strong contrast to the brutal anime, and yet, even though I have only seen one episode, I can’t help but think that nothing could suit this anime more than this song. It’s so iconic, so very iconic and in it’s own way, it really speaks of the amount of effort put into this anime.
The visuals in the opening are also incredible beautiful, and again, a bit of a juxtaposition with the actual content, which is what makes them even more interesting! I particularly enjoy the spirals, interesting geometry, and fascinating color choices. The characters in realistic coloring hidden amongst a golden themed backdrop consisting of fascinating geometry? WONDERFUL! Random blue figures interacting with the characters? WONDERFUL!
I don’t normally make a big deal out of an animes opening visuals, but I really, really like Elfen Lied’s visual style.

When I was watching the opening for the first time, I got the impression that this was a high quality anime, sure my impression may or may not be wrong, but the fact that the op gave me that impression, meant that the opening did its job, and did it well.
Conclusion: A great opening.

Absolutely glorious opening visuals.

The ending


I don’t really care about the ending so much, it has some of the nice visuals but really it’s just zooming into one picture and not doing much more. I don’t like the ending song as much as lilium either, though it isn’t a bad song, it’s kinda catchy.

This picture is here so some people might have a nostalgic flashback.

Summary
Episode 1:

No boob physics, I don't mind.

Some naked girl with a funky helmet escapes from some military institution and kills almost everyone while doing so. Then she goes for a swim with fishes before waking up with a totally different nya personality and landing in the new abode of our typical weak willed main character. Our stereotypical main character(who is known as Khota) then gets mad at her when she breaks a seashell given to him by his little sister and subsequently yells at her. Nya flees, and out of pity/the goodness of her heart, our stereotypical main character’s sterotypical childhood friend/cousin/fangirl chases after Nya. The episode ends with the uber haxor SWAT or something beginning with S team as they move out to kill Lucy (who isalso known as Nya). A self proclaimed badass in the team yells a lot and likes killing people(he is known as Bandoh).

It's a bit distressing to see the body of an innocent secretary/coffee maker used like this, but it works, so I guess it's okay, reminds of a scene from Shin Angyo Onshi though.

Episode 2:

Just a second, I put that condom somewhere around here...

Police investigate Khota, ask him about Lucy, Khota lies, Bandoh(and goon) finds Nya, Khota finds Nya, Bandoh(and goon mostly Bandoh) attack Kohta and Nya, Bandoh(and goon) drag Nya away, Yuka finds Khota, Khota is sad, Khota goes to the hospital, Bandoh(and goon) bully Nya, Lucy awakens kills one goon ,tortures Bandoh, random poor girl sees it live, police ask Khota more stuff, Khota lies, Nya wakes up, Nya runs back home, Khota goes back home, Khota encounters Nya, Khota takes of her shirt and pants, Yuka comes back and sees an interesting sight, everyone has fun, oh and blood covered papas girl is shown at the end.

Lucy: She had extra hands before they were cool and bijou powered.

If papa is so mean to you, you better get out of there sweetie...

Things I didn’t like:

The characters personalities

Most the characters shown so far are pretty bland, the main character doesn’t seem to have much of a personality, really, I bet he is just a plot device introduced to take care of Lucy when she is Nya.

Generic lead is generic

Same sort of thing with Yuka, she is kinda cute, but quite ordinary and stereotypical, and it’s only the first 2 episodes, and we have already seen the cliche “childhood friend” promise and a misunderstanding (which is probably not going to be a big deal).

Generic leads, generic childhood friend whose face oddly enough reminds me of Nogisaka Haruka.

Nya is also silly, I mean, yeah, she is probably just an empty slate who can only utter the word Nya, but they didn’t have to make her that cutesy, did they? Though, I guess it was done to show the vast difference between her two sides.

Nya haz teh seashells

Other than Lucy, the other only slightly interesting character is Badoh, and that is mostly because he is insane.

He may be insane, but clearly he isn't seeing things.


Oh, and the old police officer to, he seems like he might be a decent character in the long run.

A wise old chief will probably be a thorn in the side later on.

The character models/animation
Some of the character animation is slow and it occasionally feels like the characters are just stuck in a moving picture, but maybe this is because the anime is old, and I haven’t seen many old things as of late, though I have been watching School Rumble these days. In general, Lucy seems to be better animated than everyone else, and that would make sense given that she is the center of this show.

The voice acting
I might only have this complaint because I stumbled onto a DVD review of Lied, and they criticized the voice acting as being flat. Maybe, I am just trying to go with the status quo but I would have to agree. The voice acting is really plain, there is very little genuine expression in any of the voices. Normally, I don’t care so much about voice acting, but it’s noticeable here, oh well, not a huge problem, I can live with it.
The one voice I did like was Lucy’es though, we heard so little of it, so maybe I should hold my judgement on that.

Things I did like:
The style of the anime

Gore, lots of it.

This anime is very stylish, I don’t like gore per say, but it is presented in a most interesting manner, it’s like watching a violent videogame, sure the gore physics are probably far from being accurate, but it looks damn cool.

Some nice animation
There is some nice animation hidden in this anime, again, most of it involves the gore, but some of the action scenes and what not are well choreographed, with an attention to detail (like the bloody hands going around doing stuff). There were some cool effects or rather well used effects.

I liked this angular effect, it gets old very fast, but it was used well here.

I really liked the coloring of this scene, there aren't many shades and they really stand out.

Lovely Lighting

Fantastic Lighting!

More fantastic use of lighting

I am not sure if this counts as animation, but the lighting in this anime is marvelous, like really good. I love how the light emphasizes certain things in different scenes, and I also really like how the lighting changes. This is very apparent in the first episode when the soldiers are firing, and when they stop firing, the lighting could be attributed to the anime trying to maintain a sense of realism, but I think it’s also a stylistic element. Very, very impressive!

With gunfire

Without gunfire

With gunfire

Without gunfire

Lucy
I like Lucy, a lot, I mean, yeah, she is a hot blooded killer and all, but there seems to be a bit more than just that. At first, it was suggested that she was just a walking, killing machine, but I am not sure about that. Even at the beginning, some of her mannerisms, her occasional hesitation like she was just thinking about how to kill in a most fun way would suggest differently.Then, in the second episode, the scene with her picking the gun was an absolute shock, I didn’t think she could talk and her torturing poor Bandho was also quite awesome. An interesting thing to note is that when she was “playing” with him, she stood above him in a very dominating position, and the hand mark on Kurama was interesting for this reason as well. I think, Lucy doesn’t like to lose, and when she wins, she likes to enjoy boast about her victory. Oh and she is hot to.

Yes, I am

One of the best shocks I have ever had while watching anime.

This was the perfect reaction.

and because of it, he gets look up her legs, too bad she isn't wearing a skirt...

Things I found most interesting:

Why so gory, is it fanservice, or does the gore serve a purpose?
This question is kind of important. What is the purpose of the gore in this anime? Does the gore exist solely for fan service, or is there for a greater purpose?
It might be tempting to argue that the gore is just fanservice, but the actual kill itself might hold meaning (as in, why does she kill so many people), but this might not really be the case. It is possible that Lucy is trying to be as violent as possible for a good reason, I mean, not all of Lucy’es kills have been equally gory, in particular that Bandoh fellow. The gore is probably a combination of fanservice, style, and character choice. As for why is she killing so much, well, I sorta know because of a spoiler, but we will find out the answer eventually, so I will leave it at that. 😛

Does Lucy really kill without hesitation? If so, why did she let spectacles guy(Mr.Kurama) go, and why did she take her time killing Bandoh?

It's okay, you tried your best, you don't need to wear that suit again.

I sort of accidentally already talked about this when I talked about Lucy, but I will Speel again.
She didn’t kill Kurama, instead just leaving him with a hand on the back, a bit like saying, “Sorry, pal, you tried, but I won this round”, maybe Lucy is like the kid at the end who thinks of Kurama as sort of a pappa. I doubt Lucy harbors strong affection, but there was some reason she didn’t just kill him, or maybe the creators just needed the character, but I am going to give them more credit than that.
In the second episode, Lucy tries to strangle Bandoh, this method isn’t quick, she is playing with him for some reason, maybe because he was playing with her, I do not know, but clearly, killing isn’t the only thing on her mind.

I don't know if it is, but this scene feels iconic.

Is the nudity just for fanservice?
The opening suggests that the nudity isn’t there just for fanservice, but exists perhaps for a greater sense of grit and realism. The unrealistic boob physics are lacking and they aren’t as big as they could have been (yes, they are big, but in modern ecchi, you might find bigger). Having said that, nudity involving Nya is most likely just there for show, especially when you have the generic Khota blushing over it. That pants pull-down scene was just fanservice, unless of course, Elfen Lied is simply telling us, the viewers, that it takes no chances, and everything is fair game in this anime. My second statement is probably true, but I doubt that’s their intention. Having said all that, revealing scenes that involve Lucy are so much hotter than their Nya counterparts, no, seriously, I know they are one and the same person, but Nya could be totally naked, and she wouldn’t seem as hot as Lucy. Damn, now, I am worried about the kinds of girls I fall for….

The infamous wet boob, quite a turn on, now if only it was Lucy...

I, why I don't even...this is practically a bitch-slap to every other fanservice anime out there

Yuko likes fanservice just like me!

Who the hell is the poor girl?

Even faced with a dying crazy swat team member, she retains her manners, how nice.

I have never seen someone so desensitized to killing and violence as this character, and yet, she tried to help the poor soldier. I was left confused, is this just bad voice acting/bad character design, or is this kid actually helpful but immune to gore and stuff. I am going to give the anime, the benefit of the doubt and say it’s the later. This girl seems to be someone who was born a serial killer, but grew up a saint; or alternatively, born a saint but grew up in a pessimistic, cynical, violent environment, it’s probably the later again.

This anime also doesn’t hesitate when it comes to killing people (e.g. Miss Kisaragi) despite any character development they may have had. I was surprised when Kisaragi dies, only because she had been shown earlier, and normally, you don’t expect people like that or people who make such a comic entrance to be killed so soon and without hesitation. Having said that, I suspect that Lucy might have killed her just to tick of Mr. Kurama, I also really liked the way Miss Kisaragi was killed. One hand on the shoulder, a bit like you are comforting your friend, and then use another hand or two to twist the head of, the hand on shoulder part was actually a pretty cool detail, because without it, the whole body would have twisted, and not just the head.

But I had character development!

In conclusion, I like Elfen Lied so far, it seems like fun, but this is why I don’t write anime posts, over 2300 words and pictures and captions to. Sigh, hopefully, next time, I will write less.

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