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Thread: Thematic Implications of Elfen Lied

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    Otaku dark_glaive may be famous one day dark_glaive may be famous one day
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    Post Thematic Implications of Elfen Lied

    Most of you probably know Elfen Lied as only some show with gratuitous death caused by pink/purple haired anime girls. Well, I myself see it as a story of forgiveness, love, that debates the age old idea of nature versus nurture. Here's why:

    Lucy, as a child, begins her killing spree only after she is harmed by others. Had other people left her alone Lucy probably would have never killed anyone. As a child "gifted" with superhuman abilities, Lucy was not yet capable of understanding the moral implications of the mass death she caused. Notice that once Lucy escapes, she only harms those who seek to recapture her or hurt her friends. She seems to be bent on getting Kouta's forgivness. We never see her even come close to killing Yuka, yet if she were just a cold-hard killer we would expect Yuka to be one of the first victims of Lucy.

    The nature versus nurture thing comes in when comparing the three diclonius Lucy, Nana, and Mariko (Number 35). Lucy definetly seems to be a product of her environment. Nana on the other hand seems to have been born with an inherently good personality. Tortured and imprisoned, she would never harm an innocent despite what has been done to her. Nana only uses her powers for the protection of the innocent. Mariko on the other seems to have been born with evil tendencies. When exposed to the outside world, she only wishes to kill, maim, and destroy. Yet, before she and Kurama perish, we see a vision of the world as it "should have been." Kurama, his wife, and Mariko are smiling happily as she leaves for school. It seems she, like Lucy, would have had a bright future had other humans not tried to use/abuse her power.

    It is my understanding that in the manga, once a diclonius horns are removed, they lose their killing tendencies. I find this very boring. The human drama of the anime is much better because the killing tendencies are not due to some external force like horns, but because of bad experiences and the diclonius having the ability to automatically kill those who would harm them physically and emotionally.


    Well, I just thought I'd post all this because all I ever see people say about Elfen Lied is "girls kill everyone," or talk about how hot Nyuu is. The anime is deeper than that, and Lucy is much more of an overall beautiful character than the simple Nyuu to me. Also, Kouta doesn't get anywhere near the amount of credit he deserves. This guy helps those in need, and FORGIVES Lucy. He's the nicest guy in the world, and if I'm ever half as awesome as him I'll be satisfied.
    Last edited by dark_glaive; Mar 20, 2005 at 10:43 AM.
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    Newbie Ultimaterra2005 may be famous one day Ultimaterra2005 may be famous one day
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    Don't forget to mark the title was spoilers because sometimes this anime is hard to talk about without giving away major critical plot points.

    Anyway, a very good explaination as to what Elfen Lied is really about and is exactly what I see in it other then the gruesome slaugter staring a naked chick of doom complete with red hair and red eyes witch represent the color of blood obliterating anyone that stands within that 2 meter radius of her.

    Elfen Lied has to be watched with a open mind to really appreciate the fact that there is a story behind all of the mainstream explict content that everyone else seems to portray "That is what its only about." Its not for everyone witch is understandable if your for instinse, a Action fan or something else. You may be bored to tears because the dialouge is the player so in other words, its more then what meets the eye.

    Diclonius have many diffrent cases. It's hard to break down if their killings are justifed (witch I can name a few that are), because their are two sides to them They either carry out homocidal tendiences by the provokeness of their inner demon (Unable to supress them most of the time), or of course, their life is threatend.

    Elfen Lied goes from start to finish when it comes to story telling with just about no fillers what-so-ever while it does leave a few questions unanswered witch might be covered up in episode 14. In the end its not all melodramatic. It focuses on where there is a sign of happiness and a chance to escape the drama and start over a new life. Mayu and Nana fit this case very well.

    As for the romance between Lucy and Kouta, He didn't really forgive her but he sure as hell did not want her to just walk away. Its hard to explain what kind of emotion it is in words but I diffently understand it completely while others may simply say, "Ok, you killed my family and I should kill you," or "We are threw. Stay as far away from me as possible." Some people have the intension of beleiving on how easy it is for you just to end a relationship just like that. It is a mixed bag but it happened so long ago and kouta was at a physcological disorder, it came to a point where it was time for him to move on and he was sane enough to know that Lucy didn't have any intension of killing his family. It just happened because of all of the drama that was shoved in her face all at once and kouta's lie was probley the point where she finally just snaps. She knows though as well as Kouta that it was the biggest mistake in her life she wish that didn't happen.

    Thumbs up for Elfen Lied man. Its one my personal favriotes of all time.

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    Grouchy Old Anime Otaku LenMiyata has become well known LenMiyata has become well known LenMiyata has become well known LenMiyata's Avatar
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    Untouchable Raven Omega may be famous one day Raven Omega may be famous one day Raven Omega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dark_glaive
    Lucy, as a child, begins her killing spree only after she is harmed by others. Had other people left her alone Lucy probably would have never killed anyone. As a child "gifted" with superhuman abilities, Lucy was not yet capable of understanding the moral implications of the mass death she caused. Notice that once Lucy escapes, she only harms those who seek to recapture her or hurt her friends. She seems to be bent on getting Kouta's forgivness. We never see her even come close to killing Yuka, yet if she were just a cold-hard killer we would expect Yuka to be one of the first victims of Lucy.
    Well I hate to burst your observations but... they're wrong.

    The fact is that in an evolutionary sense, Diclonius' are the next step in Human evolution and the theory is relating to the Missing Link part of Human evolution, we're missing a step in the evolutionary process. Why? Because it's damn possible that we humans killed off the previous species we came from. Lucy (and all other Diclonius for that matter) has been bombarded by thoughts of killing humans showing zero concern about their lives, such is shown when Nana asks Lucy how many (people) she has killed by this point. Lucy replies none because she does not find humans to be worthy of counting, they're worth nothing more than Ants to her.

    Another bit I would like to throw in there is the fact that Diclonius' don't kill anything OTHER than humans. It's been stated in the series before and they showed a little bit where they say that a diclonius would kill thier parents without a second thought, however they don't kill other diclonius' and animals. Basically, humans are the equivalent to some kinda nasty huge ass spider or whatever bug would freak you out and not let you rest until you know it's dead.

    The fact is that Lucy would have started going on a killing spree eventually whether those little bastard kids triggered it or not. Even before they did the act to set her off she was having dreams and the killer instinct was forming inside her as a trapped second individual. In other words, the fact that she was a Diclonius also included the extra added bonus of turning her into a sociopath. No matter what she would have snapped eventually, the kids in class may have just triggered it a little bit earlier.

    Finally, one more point I would like to make is that Lucy has killed people other than those who were after her. While a child she kills off several families in order to live in their homes, at the festival she goes nuts on all the people running around, and for personal vengeance she takes out Kouta's Sister and Father. Moreover, as an adult, I do remember an instance of her killing an innocent girl passing by who was mumbling about her perverted boss. Lucy put a vector in the back of her head and severed an artery, thus she collapsed, dead, and Lucy kept walking on her merry little way after the College professor incident.

    One more thing I would like to include, but, in the manga, and not the anime, there's a small arc that was left out from animation, where Lucy goes after the remaining family of Kurama in an obvious attempt to make his life even more miserable before she offs him herself. That most definately isn't in self defense.

    And one more thing still, The fact that Lucy didn't kill Yuka and instead batted her aside was because she was indeed trying to seek forgiveness from Kouta. But she knew damn well that ripping her in half like she did his sister wasn't gonna earn her any more brownie points.

    Alright now I'm pretty sure I made all my points.
    Last edited by Raven Omega; Mar 28, 2005 at 05:07 PM.

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    Otaku dark_glaive may be famous one day dark_glaive may be famous one day
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    Well, how do you explain Nana and her not killing anyone? Sure, we see her close after Bando tells her a lot of bad things, plus the fact that life hasn't been too kind to her lately, but she never attacks anyone who isn't a threat. I don't even remember her killing anyone. If Diclonius have the killing instinct, why isn't she trashing people left and right? She doesn't seem to struggle constantly to surpress some urge to kill. And for that matter, why isn't Lucy blowing Kouta into small pieces?

    As far as Lucy having a killing instinct before the kids set her off, I assume by the cold way her family/guardians spoke about she had been treated like crap up until that point in her life anyways. I'd be more willing to believe you, had Lucy been nurtured happily from birth. We hear those scientists say how Diclonius always kill their parents, but we don't know if any of them were treated well. Kurama at least seems to realize that he had made a mistake by killing every single diclonius child he came across. I'm willing to trust Kurama's judgement in this situation.

    Finally, some intelligent discussion on these forums.
    Last edited by dark_glaive; Mar 29, 2005 at 08:38 PM.
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    Untouchable Raven Omega may be famous one day Raven Omega may be famous one day Raven Omega's Avatar
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    Nana's situation is a mystery to me indeed, but she's definately got the killer intent within her, but she somehow represses from the hope of pleasing her "papa," Kurama. It's true that Lucy wasn't brought up in the most happy households ever, but then again we really don't know about the background lives of other diclonius's. The only ones they really go in depth with are Lucy and somewhat Mariko and Nana.

    In Mariko's case as soon as she was let go she approached the woman who had talked with her her entire life and immediatly said "not mama" and SHANK, she's in two halves. Mama or not, randomly ripping a person in half and throwing away the upper torse isn't a very nice greeting to an old friend. Although it's safe to say that being stuck in a giant container all your life and never having human contact would make anyone a little cranky. =p

    There is one diclonius I would like to point out though who had a very probable chance of a nice family. And that's the one that was caught by the Swat team during the flashback about Kurama's past in the later episodes. She killed her entire family and lured in the team for a clever little sneak attack all while looking like the innocent victim the entire time. Seeing as how the apartment itself was looking in good shape, she was wearing a good set of pajama's and was without a single mark on her. It's safe to assume that she had a normal family life and then just snapped and went into killer Diclonius mode.

    Although Diclonius have a type of killer instinct when it comes to human that doesn't mean it's impossible for them to form a bond with some. Nana/Kurama, Lucy/Kouta, Mariko/Kurama. All of them somehow managed to form a bond one way or another. It's like a human with a giant spider, that's something that I would normally stomp the hell out of in a second, but someone else is able to form a bond and keep it as a pet.

    Lucy was able to form her bond with Kouta before snapping and thus was able to keep it in tact to a certian degree afterwards as well. Hence why she spares his life on the train and later on she doesn't kill him in the house, and even goes as far as not killing Yuka, Nana or Mayu even though the opprotunities presented themselves. Even though Lucy has a bond to Kouta and she tries to restrain herself from killing the people around him (again) it doesn't stop her from going ballistic on other humans if need be. She was able to form a bond with one human and still hold the rest in regard no higher than an ant.

    Mariko and Nana both form a bond with Kurama because neither of them knew of a father figure and desperately wanted one. Their more human emotions were able to overcome their killer intent of being a diclonius. Uhh way more successful in Nana's case, but then again, we never saw Mariko kill anyone after she was reunited with Kurama (not that she had the chance).

    I believe that in a basic case with a Diclonius that they basically do develop a disreguard for human life and a killer instinct, but there are cases where their still human emotions can interfere with that instinct, whether something happens before or after they snap, thus leading them to not hurt other humans whether they feel it's wrong or don't give a damn.
    Last edited by Raven Omega; Mar 29, 2005 at 09:54 PM.

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    Otaku dark_glaive may be famous one day dark_glaive may be famous one day
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven Omega
    There is one diclonius I would like to point out though who had a very probable chance of a nice family. And that's the one that was caught by the Swat team during the flashback about Kurama's past in the later episodes. She killed her entire family and lured in the team for a clever little sneak attack all while looking like the innocent victim the entire time. Seeing as how the apartment itself was looking in good shape, she was wearing a good set of pajama's and was without a single mark on her. It's safe to assume that she had a normal family life and then just snapped and went into killer Diclonius mode..
    This is more of a humorous note than an actual point, but in the Elfen Lied world its probably better to assume she was a horrible victim. Example: At the festival, Lucy trips and falls in front of some guy. Instead of him trying to help her up, or just avoiding her he starts yelling "WHY IS SOME DUMB KID IN MY WAY?!" Apparently, everyone in that universe is an asshole by default.

    I don't know how much we disagree to be honest. Like I said, I see the show as nature versus nurture. Nana could be by nature (DNA if you'd like) a very good person, thus preventing her from going ballistic after her horrible experiences. Mariko seems to want to kill everyone by deafault. Although, after being locked in a dark room and having no real contact, it doesn't surprise me that she behaves in a savage family. Lucy seems to be the character who falls in the middle. She can go either way. Lucy definetly killed a lot of innocent people, but I just don't see her as predisposed towards it. And seeing her as only respecting one human life, namely Kouta, would ruin the show for me. It'd mean that basically her character went absoulutely nowhere.
    Last edited by dark_glaive; Mar 29, 2005 at 10:23 PM.
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