Am I alone in having a love hate relationship with Elfen Lied?

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Am I alone in having a love hate relationship with Elfen Lied?

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Postby AdamMalkovitch » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:16 pm

It's such a good show, so very dark and overly violent. With incredible animation and delightfully creepy visuals- and then it turns into moe slice of life. I know it gets better as it goes on, and I love the mood whiplash the first few times it cuts between kawaii catgirl and blood, just blood everywhere, but it gets really obnoxious after a while. For instance, compare the opening song with the ending song.
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Re: Am I alone in having a love hate relationship with Elfen Lied?

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Postby pwhodges » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:43 pm

An excellent show; it has flaws, of course, but I don't have any hate for them.

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Re: Am I alone in having a love hate relationship with Elfen Lied?

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Postby Ray » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:36 pm

Elfen Lied along with other such shows and movies as Berserk, Evangelion, Now And Then Here And There, Barefoot Gen, Grave Of The Fireflies, and Plastic Memories are classified as 'Feels Anime'. After watching them you will either love them. Or you will DESPISE THEM. Depending on the kind of person you are and what your tolerance for effed up content is.

Personally though. I don't really get Elfen lied.

"It has a beautiful story!"

"Yeah. A beautiful story that I can't take seriously because of all the unrealistic Mortal Kombal levels of Absurd Gore and nudity!"

This show could have benefitted from restraint. For all my gripes with NATHAT and Eva it at least kept the violence involving human beings as close to real life as one could possibly get. So when the pain did hit. IT HURT.

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Re: Am I alone in having a love hate relationship with Elfen Lied?

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:05 am

I remember loving it the first time I saw it about a decade ago. I marathoned the show and felt it was this great unheralded classic.
But, then I remember I tried to revisit it a few months after that initial watch having impulse bought the entire series on brand-spanking new high quality DVD discs - at the time only the second anime series I had purchased with the first being Evangelion naturally - and it was a whole new tiresome experience.

I think the thing about Elfen Lied is since there's so little actually there the show can only grab you the one time if you're in the right mood and are unaware of what you're getting into. I can't recall what I expected when I started the show but being confronted with full lifts of Gustav Klimt's artwork (works I was already in love with) and then a nude woman mowing down soldiers with ease was not what I expected and I was fully on board. It helps that from what I recall the the show was basically an escalated series of "they can't go there can they?" moments and of course, they always go there.

But, on a revisit now that the initial twists of the story were out of the way I remember that second viewing was just tiresome because underneath all the superficial blood, gore and breasts there was nothing being said. It's thirsty desire to be so dark while initially shocked me on first viewing and cheering them on for going there - those kids straight up fucking murdered a puppy, take their fucking heads off - on a second viewing only left bored and asking how did they get there - Do they really have to go this far to show people are evil? Why would these kids straight up murder a fucking puppy? .

I'm sure of course, as the resident over-thinking bi-dude here, if I rewatched the show now I would have a million other issues regarding gender, sex, age, theme, moral, etc but from what I can recall the show on rewatch revealed it was about nothing but shock. It was effective as shock and gore but by trying to be something more without saying anything of merit rendered it as something lesser.

The love/hate just goes with the viewer's preferences. If the viewer just loves narratives that go to those dark places then they'll adore it. Me, I've personally found that going to dark places in a story is the easiest thing possible but if there isn't a thematic point or thought gone into why the story went there it feels empty.

I don't know much else about Elfen Lied but I do understand the anime was an adaptation of a then currently running manga and that the show only dealt with like a fourth of the manga's eventual story. Perhaps the story told in the comics with more room to breath and more plot to tell provided context and reason to why the story went to such dark places.

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Re: Am I alone in having a love hate relationship with Elfen Lied?

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:30 am

^ I was kinda in the same boat when I first saw the anime. I had fun watching it at first. Then, about a week after I finished it, I thought back on the show and realized just how many dangling plot/story threads there were and how none of it really amounted to a whole lot.

The OP is still one of the best things I've seen. Any reference to Gustav Klimt is a worthwhile one. And the first couple episodes are solid based only on aesthetic and gore progression. But everything after that is D-grade show. A friend of mine would enjoy it only when drunk and watching the God-awful English dub, because then he feels as though the show becomes so-bad-it's-good. I must say, that certainly would be along the lines of an early-90's Cannon film or something like that, and might actually be enjoyable on that level. But, other than that, I couldn't be bothered to revisit it.

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Re: Am I alone in having a love hate relationship with Elfen Lied?

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Postby El Squibbonator » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:09 pm

I'm currently reading the Elfen Lied manga, and the biggest issue I have with it is that it simply cannot decide what kind of story it wants to be, tone-wise. I'm serious, it's like the manga has as much of a split personality as Lucy herself. One moment, it's a creepy, chilling tale of sci-fi horror and Man's inhumanity, but the next it's a lighthearted romantic comedy. The interesting part is that if you were to completely remove all the cheesy romance and harem shenanigans, you'd be left with a decent horror series. And I suppose if you took away the horror aspects you'd be left with good romantic comedy, but I haven't read enough of those to judge. But as it is, Elfen Lied is an attempt at mixing genres that just doesn't work for me.

I've seen other manga with this issue before (Akame ga Kill, for example) but this is probably the one that gets it the worst. Speaking of Akame ga Kill, there's another thing that both it and Elfen Lied have that bothers me: all of the characters are cardboard cutouts. Kouta is the socially awkward teenage male lead, Lucy is the mutant/artificial/"special" girl, Bando is just there to kill things and look tough, and Nyu and Nana are nothing but moe fanservice. Even the plot: a person with psychic powers escaping from a lab who turns out to be the next stage in humanity's evolution, has been done before.

So why am I reading it? Partly because I think that once I start something, I should finish it, and partly because I find it so mystifyingly bad. It's like watching a train wreck in slow motion: it's disturbing and sickening, not to mention in violation of all good taste, but I can't turn away. In short, it's So Bad It's Good.
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Re: Am I alone in having a love hate relationship with Elfen Lied?

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Postby silvermoonlight » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:44 pm

I liked this on first viewing as a young teenager because it was ultra violent and new but I can't stand it now as an adult and I think the problem is the over all message that human's are just shitty and you can't change it, because I like to think that humanity is better than that and I don't like that Lucy just get's away with murdering everyone at the end and gets to walk away scot free it felt off to me as she had crossed well over the line of anti hero and killed innocent people and I wish they could have cut Nyu out and put her personality in another body as she was innocent where as Lucy deserved to be killed for all the pain she brought others as she became no better than the abusers who harmed her. Please note I have not read the manga and I realize that it maybe very different as it wasn't finished when the series was filming from what I've heard.
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Re: Am I alone in having a love hate relationship with Elfen Lied?

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Postby TehDonutKing » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:42 pm

I get angry every time i remember that this show exists. It's so unbelievably stupid; it has so many moments where it's almost good, it almost does something that makes the pointlessly edgy bullshit, unlikable characters, and confused messages actually worth it, and then it shoots itself in the foot. Yet, i couldn't stop watching it until i finished it. I was an edgy 15 year old who got easily impressed by tits and gore when i watched it, and i still thought it was shit. It's a classic example of everything that can go wrong when writing a story, to the point i wonder if it were intentional.

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Re: Am I alone in having a love hate relationship with Elfen Lied?

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Postby VUX » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:45 pm

I saw the scene were the kids killed the puppy, and it makes me want to strangle them until they burst!
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Re: Am I alone in having a love hate relationship with Elfen Lied?

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Postby Shinji Ikari Expy » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:30 pm

Elfen Lied was a pretty cool horror anime that influenced Stranger Things (much better show imo). It's more style than substance, I guess, but I still found it entertaining. A lot more than I can say for than all the shows I've attempted to watch and then dropped.

I consider it a guilty pleasure.

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Re: Am I alone in having a love hate relationship with Elfen Lied?

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Postby Guy Nacks » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:52 pm

View Original PostShinji Ikari Expy wrote:Elfen Lied was a pretty cool horror anime that influenced Stranger Things (much better show imo).


I had to look this up to make sure this was real, and holy shit, I can't believe I've never made the connection between 11 and Lucy before.


I've only watched Elfen Lied once, about 7 years ago, and liked it, but not enough to the point where I was going to read the manga. I can agree with some who feel that Lucy is given unearned pathos by Kouta for what she did, and that the dog-killing scene is wholly unrealistic, unless she was in some sort of juvenile hall for psychopathic children. However, I don't think that if I ever watched it again that it would undergo what I call the "Boondock Saints effect" whereby a movie's initial likability decreases to the point whereby I actively avoid the film whenever I'm flipping channels on TV because it just seems so juvenile for me to have liked it in the first place.
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Re: Am I alone in having a love hate relationship with Elfen Lied?

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Postby VUX » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:41 pm

I watched Sage reviewthis anime, and i agree with him that one of its problems is that they make some characters unrealisticly evil just so they can have the excuse of brutaly mudering them
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Re: Am I alone in having a love hate relationship with Elfen Lied?

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Postby pwhodges » Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:34 pm

You mentioned above seeing one scene; have you in fact watched the whole show end to end?
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Re: Am I alone in having a love hate relationship with Elfen Lied?

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Postby VUX » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:39 pm

No, but watching this deranged girl tearing bystanders limb from limb dosen't sound pleasant to me, not by a long shot
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Re: Am I alone in having a love hate relationship with Elfen Lied?

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Postby Mr. Tines » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:01 pm

^
It's really not that bad; most of the splatter is front-loaded into the first quarter of the first episode; and it's so cartoonishly over the top, with the usual anime physics of the human body being filled with ten gallons of blood under high pressure, that it's easy to sit through. If you want unpleasant, the vastly more under-stated violence in the second episode of Texhnolyze is where it's at.

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View Original PostVUX wrote:and it makes me want to strangle them until they burst!

That's why you're cheering Lucy on when she skips the strangling step.
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Re: Am I alone in having a love hate relationship with Elfen Lied?

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Postby pwhodges » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:08 pm

And although I cheer for Elfen Lied, I would certainly say that Texhnolyze is a better show. However, you need to steel yourself for the most quietly depressing ending possible.
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Re: Am I alone in having a love hate relationship with Elfen Lied?

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Postby VUX » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:02 pm

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:That's why you're cheering Lucy on when she skips the strangling step.

I know i was cheering on Lucy earlier, but i also hate watching animals suffer
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Re: Am I alone in having a love hate relationship with Elfen Lied?

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Postby El Squibbonator » Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:27 pm

I suppose I should elaborate on why I don't like Elfen Lied, since I actually read the whole manga, not just the infamous puppy-killing scene. See, I like smart stories. And I like dumb stories. But if there's one thing I can't stand, it's a dumb story that thinks it's smart.
And that's the biggest problem with Elfen Lied. This is supposedly a "serious" manga. It's trying to deal with themes like prejudice and xenophobia (in much the same way as an overfed chicken with its wings plucked is trying to fly). But half the time, the tone of the manga is not serious. It does not treat its subject matter with the appropriate gravitas and nuance. The whole story switches genres from harem comedy to over-the-top gore-fest at the drop of a hat, giving it almost as much of a split personality as its main character.
Speaking of the characters, pretty much all of them are cardboard cutouts. Kouta is the Average Guy, and the various girls who live in the Maple Inn (yes, even Lucy) are all ultimately archetypes of the harem anime genre. Think about it-- how often have we had this "ordinary teenage boy becomes guardian to a bunch of girls who all have tragic pasts" setup? The fact that Elfen Lied combines it with gratuitous blood and guts doesn't make it any more original.
And then there's the villains. Remember what the bad guys in Captain Planet were like? How they'd do things like deliberately cause an oil spill just because they were jerks, even though it wouldn't be profitable? That's the level of competence we're dealing with here. They supposedly want to rule the world with the Diclonius, so what do they do? They send a Diclonius to capture Lucy, who has already been established as the Queen of the Diclonius who can control all other Diclonius.
So that's why I can't bring myself to really enjoy Elfen Lied. It talks a big game about being high-brow and sophisticated, but it's really anything but.
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