November 24, 2007

Elfen Lied

It's cold and raining here, so this was a good weekend to stay inside and watch anime - the series of choice today was Elfen Lied. This was my third time to watch it, and it's still impressive. My first time was in Japanese with english subtitles, and I've since watched the dubbed version twice with my wife (who hates moderately dislikes subtitles). She loves this series, BTW.

The OP theme "Lilium" is extremely haunting, and is one of those things you wind up humming to yourself at odd moments. The Klimt-inspired paintings that accompany the song don't hurt either.

It's basically a version of the frankenstein tale, except that (a) the monster is an attractive and occasionally-nude young woman with mysterious powers, and (b) she truly is murderous and insane. To make sure the audience is absolutely clear on this point the first episode starts out with a 10-minute-long bloodbath as the monster chops her way out of prison.

Then she gets shot in the head at the last moment during her escape and loses her memories, and the story takes a 180-degree turn as our newly-autistic, non-potty-trained nubile young Frankenstein starts life anew, with some significant complications along the way.

It's a short series (only 13 episodes plus an OVA that takes place in the middle episode 10), but tells a rollercoaster of a story with some really heartwrenching moments along the way (and lots of blood and body parts on occasion). Many of the main characters are psychologically damaged in one way or another, and this series tells many of their tales through some disturbing flashbacks. Some of these are very disturbing - child molestation, animal cruelty, etc. But amidst the horror these characters find a measure of healing over the course of the series.

The OP "Lilium" theme is actually a plot element - it's a tune from a music box that pops up occasionally, and the Monster Lucy occasionally hums the tune during her killing sprees.

Oh, and the other major departure from the Frankenstein tale? Elfen Lied is also a surprisingly touching love story.

Posted by: mparker762 at 03:42 PM
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