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Elfen Lied: Vector 1 (2004)

Director: Ho Ching Jin, Ho Ching Jin
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: A.D.V. Films
Genre: Anime, Horror Anime, Science Fiction Anime, Drama Anime
Running Time: 100 min.
Languages: English, Japanese
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

In the not-too-distant future, a crop of humans emerge with extremely powerful mutations, lending them telekinetic abilities. Fearing the power that these new people possess, the government institutionalizes them at early ages or even birth, calling them dicloniuses. In these facilities, dicloniuses are cruelly experimented on until the day that they are executed. One diclonius, however, escapes. A young woman named Lucy, mired in hatred and rage from years of abuse, breaks free from the numerous forms of restraint placed on the facility and, killing some guards in the process, flees into the night. Lucy experiences some kind of psychological break during her escape, however, and when she is found, unconscious by Kouta and his cousin Yuka, her personality has split. Lucy's wrath is sectioned off into her existing personality, but another persona emerges in her that is innocent, gentle and so childlike that she even lacks the ability to speak. Kouta and Yuka call this sweet girl Nyu and decide to take her in. Eventually, other dicloniuses also find their way to the haven of their house, seeking refuge from the government. Elfen Lied deals with the issue of human evolution but more strongly focuses on matters of trauma, identity, and compassion, begging the question of what kind of happiness Lucy/Nyu and all those with painful pasts can hope for. ~ Cammila Albertson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

a good anime, just not my taste by futurecat999 November 26, 2005 - 8:20 PM PST
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
i have written some harsh reviews in the past, but i try to be fair. This is one of those moments when i have to step back and say 'this is good, even though i don't personally enjoy it'.

There are many animes i have watched that i can, without guilt, consign to the scrapheap. This is not one of them. Unlike the many animes i have heaped savage abuse on, this one does not lack for good characters, good art, or good writing. I simply didn't enjoy the vibe of it.

If you like anime that is kinda bloody and depressing and slow, this might be your cup of tea. The colors are amazing, and the dialogue is above average. I can think of several of my friends who would probably give this an 8. I usually like more upbeat animes, or when i do watch darker stuff i like for it to be more romantic and less clinical. For example, i thought Gunslinger Girl, while very sad and quite bloody in places, was more subtly nuanced than Elfenlied. The characters in Gunslinger Girl were more real and alive to me. So, when i watch depressing anime, i suppose i ask for deeper emotional involvement. Elfenlied reminds me a bit of Evangelion in that, though it is good, the characters are used more like pieces on a board, and less like protagonists.

Amazing characterization by Battie June 20, 2005 - 8:44 AM PDT
8 out of 8 members found this review helpful
The opening song for this anime is very haunting and lovely...and when combined with some brutal scenes, extremely creepy. Yet it really fits.

I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's something about this anime that seems very unique. There is massive amounts of violence and gore, and quite a bit of nudity, of course, but that's not it (and the nudity doesn't seem to be for titillation). The character designs aren't incredibly unique, though they are very nice (and the backgrounds are usually beautiful). The psychological aspects of the story are...well, for an anime, darn fine.

Lucy (main character) is a brutal killer who, with a few exceptions, seems incapable of anything but brutality. Those few moments are what strike me as so very odd, considering they are completely at odds with her earlier actions. I can't figure out if she's evil and I should hate her, or if she's justified in striking back at those who represent her imprisonment. It'll be interesting to see which as the series progresses.

Nyu (the personality she has after head injuries?), on the other hand, is sweet, innocent and barely able to communicate. She seems to have no idea of her destructive capabilities.

The "main" guy at...forgot the name of the company...let's just call him the villain. Well, he's not entirely someone you can hate. His actions are sometimes redeeming.

Then there was a soldier who was utterly sadistic. A complete sociopath. I was rather horrified by him, somewhat more so than Lucy.

However, two other main characters, Kohta and Yuka, seem like your normal young adults. So far, the only thing extraordinary about them seems to be Yuka's devotion to Kohta. But I suppose there do need to be "normal" characters for an anime like this, and it does make a nice contrast to Lucy and her problems.

I'm always, always, going to love any movie or series with a character(s) that isn't totally good or evil. The greyer the area, the more I enjoy it. Elfen Lied is one of the best examples I can think of now, and it's entirely creepy due to the extremes of the characters' actions. As for the plot that drives everything that I've seen so far...I consider it quite distinct and incredibly interesting. Even if I weren't fascinated by the stark characterization, the plot would get me.

Also, the English cast is very, very good. No stiff acting. The voice actor that does Lucy sounds familiar, but she's very well cast. I couldn't see Lucy as having a high-pitched voice; they gave her a slightly deep voice instead.

Elfen Lied just climbed to the top of my favorite animes list.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 8.07)
111 Votes
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