This week on N00b Reviews I am going to look at Elfen Lied after being repeatedly recommended it by friends, especially as I liked Full Metal Alchemist and Death Note.
Elfen Lied is a manga series written and illustrated by Lynn Okamoto. Elfen Lied revolves around the interactions, views, emotions, and differences between human beings and the Diclonii, a mutant species similar to humans in build but distinguishable by two horns on their heads and telekinetic powers. The series focuses on teenage Diclonius girl “Lucy” who was rejected by human beings and is seeking revenge.
After not even finishing the first chapter I am already engrossed! While we know very little about the characters, the story is written in such a way that we already empathise with them. One example is Kisa Ragi who is the chief’s clumsy secretary that gets captured by Lucy and is killed by the men she is working for. The art style is quite simple but the manga’s use of big, anime style eyes definitely gives more emotion to the manga.
Also, WOW! This manga is violent and truly brutal, so much gore and excessive amounts of blood. Do not be fooled by the cute looking girl on the front of the manga!
What I liked:
What I initially liked about Elfen Lied is the pacing of each chapter. They were short but left you in a place that made you want to carry on reading to find out what happens to Lucy. I also liked how two almost consecutive pages can make you have completely different feelings for her character. On one page she is scary and the next we are fearful for her and reminded that she is the one being scared.
I liked how the manga comments on the darker nature of humans especially in regards to our need to control everything, or have everything under control no matter what the price might be. Our willingness or lack of edicts regarding non-human life. How social misuse influences one’s growth and maturity. The topic of pedophilia and abandonment is even covered through the Maya character; a young runaway girl .
What I disliked:
I disliked how every character seemed to have had gone through some traumatic experience, as I felt it wasn’t necessary to make every character to have suffered through some horrific event. I also felt the sexual content in the manga was awkward and inappropriate especially considering the ages of the characters. Whilst I understand the reasons behind the use of it, it still wasn’t needed in order to understand Lucy’s lack of understanding of normal social interactions. Also why does Kouta’s house turn into an orphanage for traumatised girls both Human and Diclonius ?
How did it compare to the anime:
Talk about starting as you mean to go on! In the first opening seconds of the anime we see a man lose his arm and head. I think the anime is going to be just as violent if not more so than the manga! I like how the Diclonius vectors are also not seen in the anime where I was expecting them to have a ghostly sort of appearance like in the manga but I think the way they don’t appear but we do see bloody hand prints makes it so much more eerie and creepy.
As you can probably tell by reading my review of Elfen Lied, I really enjoyed the manga. Whilst I didn’t enjoy the violence and gratuitous amounts of blood and gore in Toyko Ghoul, it was different in Elfen Lied as it added extra understanding to the story of the Diclonius and actually served a purpose. I found Elfen Lied emotional and heart-wrenchingly good. I was really sucked into the story and sympathised with Lucy and the other Diclonius. As mentioned above, one of the only things I really disliked was how every character seemed to suffer a horrible fate. It is another series I’d definitely give a thumbs up to!
Written by Jess Harcastle, Marketing Whizz-kid for Cosmic Anvil.