Elfen Lied has got to be one of the most overrated animes ever. I decided to
watch this among the scores of reviews online about how amazing this anime is,
how some moments are so sad and tear jerking, that the story is so dark and
psychological and how there is so much emotional depth within the characters.
Well I gave Elfen Lied a go…and came out fully disappointed.
I think what I need to address first is the blood, gore and nudity in this
anime. It's too overdone! Now I have no qualms with horror, if anything I'm
actually quite a fan, but there is a point where it isn't necessary. Clearly,
the director/mangaka did not know where the point was. It felt like every scene
there was someone being beheaded or dismembered for no good reason, it just
seemed like the director thought “Oh yeah, just go on and cut more people
up.” Sure, they had to show the pure violence of these Diclonius and beheading
and dismembering is perfect for that, my problem is that the pure horror that
usually comes with seeing someone beheaded is empty. The blood and gore in Elfen
Lied seems as normal as breathing air after the first episode and just gets
boring and senseless too soon. And the nudity- It's obvious from the VERY
beginning of the anime in the opening song. Extreme fan service anyone- Now to
tie in with the nudity is the animation work, the quality of the art isn't
actually bad but the main characters look like they're 12 years old. Which
usually wouldn't be a problem just an annoyance, but when you've got a a main
character who seems like she's only 12 years old walking around in the nude
for a good amount of the series, you know there's a problem. Speaking of fan
service, why not chuck in a some girls in a bath scene- Sure, that's fine.
It's not bad to have some ecchi stuff here and there in anime. It's not,
however, fine when they're a 12 year old (literally this time) and a
looks-like-12-year-old. I mean, c'mon! Was all this nudity necessary- Of course
not. They just felt like overdosing it in fan service is all.
The one thing I would agree on with the array of reviews out there is that
Elfen Lied does indeed have a dark storyline. It's a girl who kills humans
recklessly, a girl the military wants their hands on, a girl with a seemingly
horrible past – plot elements that actually could have worked wonders. But
this killing humans recklessly thing never seemed justified to me, the military
wanting her story fell flat, her dark past was too predictable and relied on an
overused concept found in many animes.
What made Elfen Lied lose a lot of stars on this review was the characters.
I don't have much of a problem with the male protagonist, although he does get
under your skin a few times. The annoying ones were the female characters,
mainly the protagonist and the Cousin. Are we supposed to feel sorry for
“Nyuu”- Because she comes off as the type of character who needs to pitied,
the type of character that's asking for the label of ‘victim’, which is not
exactly a label you can give her easily. There is a kind of ‘tug-of-war’
feeling towards why we should be feeling sorry for her, which makes liking the
main character hard. Often, Nyuu comes off as rather annoying. And the
Cousin – THERE IS NO END TO THE ANNOYANCE I FEEL TOWARDS HER. I can't even
begin to describe the irritation I feel towards her, she's just…AFHJGEK!!
Without spoiling anything, lets just say; no one likes jealousy on irritating,
looks-like-12 female characters. Seriously, I felt like my favourite character
throughout this story was the dog. A plain, non-talking, can't use jutsu, can't
transform into a giant God-like (or Hell-like) monster dog. Now that, my
friends, is saying something.
I feel as though everyone hears about the good reviews to Elfen Lied and
decide to watch, only to be disappointed so they dwell into the story too much
and depict every detail coming up with the conclusion that it's so deep and
moving. I say that Elfen Lied didn't meet their expectations so they had to
cognitively tune this anime into something that did meet their expectations.
Well try taking a step back and seeing the picture that way.
But they one thing that made me give this anime even one star is the opening
song. “Lilium (Music Box)” is a beautiful song that deserves a better
opening short than that of a naked woman.
To sum up, Elfen Lied is an overrated anime with an excessive amount of
senseless gore, too much try-hard fan service, a lacking storyline and teeth
grinding annoying characters. At first I felt mean for giving Elfen Lied only
1 star, but after all the praise it has gotten, 1 star is perfectly fine