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Some Information Obtained: The story involves human mutations called "Diclonius", who grow horns on their heads and possess telekinetic powers, in the form of invisible "arms" called vectors.
The tendency for violence among Diclonii varies among characters. Certain scientists contain them in a Facility in cells, where they are subject to inhumane experiments to test their abilities or where they await execution for being too dangerous.
An infectious virus is also associated with the mutation. This virus is spread through non-lethal contact with the vectors of a diclonius.
The main non-mutant character in the story is Kouta, who ends up becoming increasingly involved with these dicloniuses, as they seek refuge from the scientists.
The main diclonius character is Lucy/Nyuu, a killer whose alter ego is a hapless and very cute child whose vocabulary and intelligence are quite limited.
After a large amount of choice occurrences, the lives of these two characters become inexplicably intertwined.
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Elfen Lied is bad. I have enough objectivity to see this. Art, story, characters, depth ... it's all rubbish.
That aside, it's also entertaining, and throws up enough illusion of story, characters, and depth to fake it. It should be read for the badass posing and unsettling imagery. Just let all the shonky parts bounce off your brain and cheer whenever Lucy takes control to tear everything apart.
There are crater sized plot holes and a great deal of stuff that makes absolutely no sense. Just roll with it - it's one of those things that has to be accepted for what it is.
I don't understand why the overall score for this manga is so high.
Artwork The artwork is below average, nothing special going on there... true, it get's better over time, yet it still remains subpar. Especially in the first volume facial expressions were a luxury.
Fanservice Since I have a general dislike of fanservice of any kind I won't bore you to much with this. Simply said, there is too much senseless nudity completely unrelated to the story and it is adding nothing. Is it too much trouble to simply slap some rags on those nude 'slaves'. Clothes do serve a function you know... And not just for modesty.
Characters I'm assuming the 'protagonists' of the story are Kouta and Nyuu since those two are the most recurring and appear to be the 'good guys'. Sadly, because they don't get enough 'screentime' and give any sense that they are 'telling the story' or the 'focus of the story', I'm unsure about that. There are lots of references to Nyuu/Lucy and most flasbacks involve her, yet no explanation to who she is and more important why is fore-coming. Knowing more about her past does not change my impression or understanding of her. Also, as also mentioned by others, there is pretty much no character development and any changes in the characters are brought through a convenient excuse called 'split-personality'. The antagonist is nothing special: cruel, twisted, makes no sense, has a superiority complex and primarily uses minions to do the work (which all pretty much fail horribly and get killed).
Depth There has been some attempt to add depth to characters (mostly through flashbacks)... alas, this changes nothing and does not help to 'understand' the characters better.
Story The story itself is pretty generic and offers no originality
Spoiler (highlight to view)
Yet another 'Kill all humans, create a new race and rule the world' story
Also, no explanation about what these so called 'diclonius' actually are, where they came from and how the world is reacting to them is given... Which would seem pretty crucial to me in understanding the story, some of the plot twists and ultimately the characters. I understand this manga focuses mostly on gore and violence... Yet no reason why is offered. (and please stop with the sappy/crappy 'cruel youth' flashbacks). If the whole 'kill all humans' part is justified by a few flashbacks that indicate bullying in the past I'm even more disappointed, this could have been done much better.
All in all, waste of time that could have been much better spent... like by banging my head against the wall, same degree of entertainment (none) and annoyance (much) but at least I'd have gotten some exercise.
If you like Naruto / Bleach / One Piece or any other of those senseless shounen manga's this is probably pretty much up your ally... at least whilst waiting for the next chapter of any other manga. If, like me, you don't. Just skip it... there are many other manga out there that at least offer some sense of fulfilment.
You still want to know what happens and what not... Watch the anime, or skip random chapters (seriously you won't miss anything).
Best manga I'VE Ever Read
This is the craziest manga I've ever read (trust me, I read fooli cooli) There's blood, violence, and a whole lot of awesome.
The plot is just the half of it. These characters are amazing. Especially Nyu. Now, that's just adorable. And her alternate self, Lucy...well let's just say my sister Mary is going to have a child and she's naming her own baby Lucy after this character (I'm not kidding)
I might not have liked Yukka all that much but she's okay. And Nana is amazing.
But the ones I liked most in the story was Mayu and...that other guy. You know, the one from the beach. I honestly can't remember his name right now. Total blank. But you know who I'm talking about, If you read the manga.
Character development was amazing too. This story left no stone unturned. Everything had a meaning, and nothing was unsaid in the end
This is still the best thing, manga wise, that I've ever read. Yeah, think about that.
The manga is all about what happens when someone emotionally unstable possess a insta-kill weapon. It's a almost perfect combination of drama and action, a real worth reading piece. Great storyline, great characters, great art.
Spoiler (highlight to view)
The only thing that bothered me is that, in the end, lucy get too much of an awesome-uber-godly powers and owns humanity. That was TOO much, and i didn't find it necessary.
I liked the manga more than the anime, the manga was more detailed and had a better storyline all around. The ending was so depressing, but you feel better when Kota finds what he was waiting for.
i watched the anime 1st and then the manga, but i was too lazy to read the rest of chapters 61-102 so i read the last couple of chapters, i really f*cked up because i spoiled it for myself so i was really confused at it but i still was moved emotionally by the ending, i hated the ending though
Tragic with vague hope story
If you read the first volume of this manga... you will think this is seriously fxxked up manga because of blood, gore, and nude. However it's volume one... so reading on it gets interesting.
This manga is majorly reflexed with 'Discrimination' with a horn on a girl's head, named Lucy. People with horn on head are called 'Diclonius' and they have a invisible arms that are very fearful because in manga Diclonius killed a lot people for as ripped them in half with their arms. Yep, this is why I said 'fxxked up manga'.
So because of the horns this girl was lonely and the story added with love, misunderstand, and betrayal. This is why I love this manga with the concept of 'Tragic with vague hope'.
I want to stop here and recommand other people to read this manga. Just don't stop and volume 1 or 2.
Although I have to give 9 because of too much nude appeal and that was not necessary in my opinion. But again, I love the story of this manga. So please give a try and don't quit in vol 1 or 2
In my honest opinion, this manga/anime was all boobs and no story. The action isn't even intense and these "hands" and Lucy's "ears" are plain traits in this anime. Yes--I only saw the anime but it seriously sucked. I hope the author does a re-do in this story. I would've liked it if the characters aren't so bubbly-eye; maybe if the characters would've been drawn like Black Lagoon or something.
Akira1982 is better
Talk about ecchi-ness ,first 6 volumes is worst than B-rate hentai manga because too many naked body be show and horny acts without good reason. Talk about violence , Lucy,the main character, deserve to die since before this story begin against all odds.And we all should re-read or start read "akira" (http://www.mangaupdates.com/series.html?id=2113) for better plot & creative. Even akira is created since 1982 (yes 1982) it's better than Elfen Lied.
Elfen Lied will be better in my opinion if 1.If fan service is a must to be used, let it have some reason behind it.(i talk about pure fan service things,not about naked fight) example : Nyu need to reproduct her species. don't random put it in every now and then. 2.Main male character, did anyone feel his behavior is same as makoto from school days in various way (except from volume 12)? Character with this personality is not good example for children,said i like you with one girl today, said i like you with another girl tomorrow,that's bad. 3.What the point of character named nozomi except than pxx and song "Elfen Lied"? or just more girl for more fan service ? and i saw one raper too...more fan service again
Once again, if possible,please read "akira" good plot don't need any fan service.
'Elfen Lied' comment
Good originality, theme, and setting. Sadly as story goes, too much plot gone to waste. I could say failed plot development and character development. Story twist mights seems good, but there is only few good counter plot solution to it.
The protagonist seems to be doing nothing from my perspective (yet miraculously accomplish something) , even towards the end (except for finishing). Only few character got significant character development. Plot development revolve more upon the 'surrounding' rather than the 'character development' so much that if you were to analyze it properly, sometimes it will seems illogical here and there, especially with the development.
At first I put much hope in this manga, but it eventually failed my expectation. Art is changing as story goes, but on overall almost stay on the same level. Nevertheless, if you got nothing to read, might pick this one up as side manga.
Rather than one whole story, it would be nicer if they are separate stories with different character each time revolving around a main plot. The author is indeed great (I like some parts of it), just that this work seems to be rushed or not properly planned.