Does Elfin Lied get better? *no spoilers, please*

Nov 28, 2007
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After hearing about it as a bit of a cult show, I decided to check out Elfin Lied. Honestly, I got a bit bored with it about 18 minutes into the first episode. It just really doesn't seem to have anything going plotwise. I mean, this girl breaks out of a place where she's apparently held prisoner, gets nearly killed, and turns up on a beach in front of a guy and his cousin, who take her in.

There just seems to be no connection to the plot points at all. I mean, she seems child-like when the two take her in, but the intro seems to show she's anything but innocent.

I suppose what I'm asking is, for anyone who has seen it, is this one of the shows that is actually really good later on, or is it just one of those shows that got popular for being "mature" and "adult"?

Edit: Also, I'm a pretty big anime fan, so nothing about the superpowers or anything like that is turning me off. I'm just finding it a bit dull and plotless.
 

evilneko

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Jun 16, 2011
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In a word, yes.

Yes it does.

Elfen Lied is one of the few animes I did not wait for a box set for.
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
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Jul 18, 2009
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Elfen Lied has... something about it, but I wouldn't call it actually good. Honestly, the best thing about it is the opening and the music.

If you don't like emotional manipulation you should probably stop watching right now though, because Elfen Lied doesn't simply tug at your heart strings it jerks them off.

There's puppies in it, too.
 

Lovely Mixture

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Jul 12, 2011
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thebobmaster said:
I suppose what I'm asking is, for anyone who has seen it, is this one of the shows that is actually really good later on, or is it just one of those shows that got popular for being "mature" and "adult"?
It's exactly as you say. Elfen Lied is ok, not as good as people say it its, nor as bad as people say it is. It simply garnered recognition as a gateway anime for being violent and slightly handling sexual themes.

The manga at least resolves some of the questions and actually impressed me by breaking one very annoying cliche (that I can't say without spoiling).
 

Zhukov

The Laughing Arsehole
Dec 29, 2009
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Uhh... it has its moments I guess. That "I've fought entire armies just to apologise to you" scene still sticks in my memory.

However, it also has this decidedly creepy obsession with tearing the clothes off pre-pubesent girls.
 

Rose and Thorn

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I would say no, if you don't like the first few episodes I wouldn't bother watching the rest. The story does evolve to a decent degree, but if you aren't having fun with the show now, I wouldn't bother continuing.

I found the show try to tug the heart strings and question certain emotions we have, but the story doesn't go as deep as some anime. I just found it to be a good experience and overall good anime. Mind you...it has been awhile since I have seen it, maybe three years, so it isn't super fresh in my mind.

I always like to throw random vowels in my words...ugh
 

Jfswift

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Nov 2, 2009
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I thought it got a little better after the first episode. I believe she had memory loss but she regains it slowly as time progresses (been a while since i've seen it).
 

Archangel768

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Nov 9, 2010
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the bullet to the head gave her two personalities.
And yes, the plot ties all the characters stories together quite nicely. Keep watching it.
 

Phlakes

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Mar 25, 2010
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thebobmaster said:
There just seems to be no connection to the plot points at all. I mean, she seems child-like when the two take her in, but the intro seems to show she's anything but innocent.
Yeah, that's definitely explained. I'm not what you'd call an anime fan at all, but I watched (and actually read) and liked it, for whatever that's worth. If you just let yourself get into it it has potential.
 

Clearing the Eye

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Jun 6, 2012
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Zhukov said:
However, it also has this decidedly creepy obsession with tearing the clothes off pre-pubesent girls.
Oh, so you mean like all anime.

*ba dum tish*

OT: It's one of those shows that pretends to be a lot edgier and mature than it ever amounts to. There's a lot of content unsuitable for children, but the given context is much more shallow than they'd like you to believe and it's ultimately all in service of itself. While not bad, in my opinion, it's nothing remotely intelligent or profound and just as easily replaced with any one of the other million shows like it.

Captcha: hot diggity dog
 

StriderShinryu

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It was the first episode of a series so I'm not sure what you were expecting, especially as you note that you are an anime fan. It does definitely get better but I actually quite liked the first episode as it was. I didn't find a lack of plot at all. Yes, it's mostly set up for a continuing storyline, but that's hardly unusual.
 

SuperSuperSuperGuy

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Jun 19, 2010
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It does get better. There is going to be a plot, and a rather interesting one at that. However, it's one of those series that's good-to-great, but not excellent, y'know? I mean, I enjoyed it, but I think it's a bit overrated.
 

thirion1850

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Aug 13, 2008
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Don't judge a series by its first episode. If you're interested to know whether it gets better or not, watch on. If not, don't bother. The anime its self is more or less shock gore, attempts at displaying psychological anguish and can be a bit of a put down, but I still personally find it to be a beautiful display and good at what it's trying to do. It's no Higurashi since it leans more towards the drama and traumatizing pasts rather than trying to give you nightmare fuel.
 

Dr. Cakey

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Feb 1, 2011
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I did not finish it - I got bored somewhere around episode 10 (it's twelve episodes, right? Whatever, I was most of the way through), so there may be some mitigations to my statements.

So: does it get better than the first 18 minutes? Yes. But if you're looking for any kind of, how do you say, "quality" you can probably stop now. Is there action? Yeah, 90 seconds or so. Is there creepy stuff? I guess...it didn't really have any impact for me. There was really only one character I give even the slightest f*** about, and that was Lucy's (er...her name is Lucy, right? Damn, I've forgotten like everything) actually personality, and I even got bored with her after a while. And it's hard to get bored with someone who only gets a minute of screen time in four hours of video.

I dunno, if you're a big anime fan maybe you'll like it? I mean, I'm a huge anime fan but I hate most anime, so I don't have a normal opinion.

P.S. Apparently there were a ton of changes when Elfen Lied was adapted to anime. Maybe the original is better. Who knows. I have Fate/Zero to watch instead.
 

Navvan

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Feb 3, 2011
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It has a decent plot. While it is one of my favorite anime (somewhere in the top... lets say 20) I have to admit it is a bit overhyped, and certainly not for everyone. The first episode is mainly about showing the raw power and brutality of Lucy, introducing the other main characters and setting the... well setting. There is a lot more plot than is apparent in the first episode.

At its core Elfen Lied relies heavily on its themes of human suffering and how different individuals handle that (Primarily Kota, Lucy, Myu, (introduced latter), Nana (also introduced later), and to a lesser extent his cousin and a few others. If that sounds interesting than I'd say continue watching it. I'd watch the first 3 episodes, and if you still think the plot sucks by then I'd leave it. Everything is wrapped up tolerably within the anime, and completely within the manga.

Lucy has some serious personality disorders even prior to being shot. She is later depicted as hearing voices, paranoia, and so forth as a child. After the shot to her head this results in a full split between her original persona and a persona latter known as Nyu which is essentially a newborn child with full motor function. The reasons why the new persona is so blank/innocent is somewhat alluded to as the series develops but is never outright stated but involves Kota.
As previously stated the series is heavily based around human suffering. Almost every character you meet suffers and deals with that suffering over the course of the anime. A lot of this suffering is both physical and mental, but a few cases are one or the other. This makes the characters sympathetic (as someone previously mentioned it jerks at your heart strings) and also serves as a good source of conflict. Finally it does have good animation, and as you mentioned it is fairly "graphic" which does attract a certain demographic. Additionally it is among the few animes/anything that actually depicts a telekentic ability how it would likely actually be used instead of the traditional Lift, Push, Hold that is almost always used. All these things together contribute to its popularity.

TL;DR: Yea it has a respectable plot and is worth a watch for any anime fan. However the manga is better in every way except it doesn't have the motion and colors. There are definitely anime out there with more substance, but Elfen Lied masks the lack of depth well enough that you don't really notice it unless you want to.
 

SkoopMaster

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Jul 4, 2010
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Nope.

actually... well I could go into details but this series has "Those" kind of fan bases and I can already tell that a majority of people on the escapist are "Those" fans and I don't want to start anything.

But I will say that if you don't think about it too hard you might enjoy it a bit. It's not something to get exited and wet about but its ok if you do as I say, because if don't like I did and start questioning everything that happens... whatever.

one day you will look back on it and think to your self "It could have been better... a lot better."

And if you are like me you will go and watch something like Sora no Woto, love it and wish there was more shows like it.