Elfen Lied Vol. #1 - Mania.com

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: ADV Films UK
  • MSRP: 19.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Elfen Lied

Elfen Lied Vol. #1

By Paul Jacques     April 14, 2006
Release Date: February 20, 2006

Elfen Lied Vol. #1
© ADV Films UK

What They Say
Nyu is a babe in the woods. Washed up on the shore, unable to communicate, she's discovered by a pair of college students " Kohta and Yuka "and counts on them for everything.

Lucy is a vicious killer. Equipped with a battery of deadly psychic arms, she dismembers her enemies before they have time to scream. The two personalities couldn't be more different- if only they didn't have to share the same body.

The Review!
Nekkid girls and buckets of blood- need I say more? Oh, if you insist then....

I listened in Japanese and English 5.1 and both are good to go. Not a whole lot of directional sound though, so it's mostly front only sound, still, at least it's (crystal clear 448Kbps) with decent bass. As ever, I switched sound tracks between episodes, no problems detected.

The opening theme song Lilium is sung in either a haunting Soprano or Gregorian Chant style The closing song is called Be Your Girl and is a modern up-tempo piece, which at first seems in congress with the series, but does make sense if you think about it.

We get the 16:9 aspect with nice colours " one scene in the hospital looked terrible in yellow though " for the most part. Character lines and details were clean and well drawn, but I did see a couple of blurs during some action scene transitions, nothing intrusion though and no other visual problems were seen.

We have a clear box, with reversible covers. On the front cover we see Lucy, death and beauty incarnate, a monster released from her captivity (and helmet). On the back we have a graphic of a timid Nyu crouching by a gun and pool of blood, plus the usual DVD information. The reverse cover side we have a happy Nyu plus an interview with Exec Director Manoru Kanbe, which is worth a quick read.

The disc itself is red, very red, with more red and a white hand print.

A really creepy main menu- I loved it! Spooky music, blood splatters and one scary Lucy giving you that evil eye look. All links worked and no dead ends were found.

In Extras we get; clean Op & Ed; 4 mins of character art, which is nice if you like looking at nekkid girls ( what am I saying O_o ); 3 minutes of Production art; ADV (USA originals?) previews of PMK, FUMOFFU, Chrono Crusade and Madlax, all presented in a really DEEP VOICE.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain some spoilers)
Episode 1 is as dramatic as they come! A mask woman breaks out of a high security facility. Only she isn't just any woman, she is Lucy and she has very powerful psychic powers and with these "vectors" she can slice and dice just about anything within a 2 meter radius. And this is exactly what she proceeds to do during her escape- buckets and buckets of blood, piles and piles of severed limbs are left strewn along her escape route: is this anime's first true schlock horror movie?

Lucy, having escaped - with some external help we suspect - makes her way off the facility's grounds (an island), only to be shot in the head at the last moment by a sniper, thus she falls into the sea, presumed dead.

Next we meet two nice youngsters, Kohta and his good looking cousin Yuka (who fancies Kohta). And as they stroll along the beach they come across an amnesiac Lucy who cannot speak " she says nyu a lot though " and so they take her under their protective wing, and dub her Nyu which seems to fit her friendly nature.

Meanwhile, the facility send out their best men, headed by psychotic killer Bandoh, to find and kill Lucy\ Nyu with extreme prejudice.

In the next episode the SWAT team track and confront the nice Nyu only to find the killer Lucy personality at home, and after more buckets of blood\ piles of severed limbs, only one person walks away from the battle unscathed, and it's not the SWAT team. During this incident Kohta is injured and wakes up in hospital, only to find the police wanting to interview him about Nyu\ Lucy.

For the 3rd episode we are back at the facility, meeting yet another nekkid girl with vector powers, Diclonius Nana. She seems like a nice person, although quite why they feel the need to chain and torture her remains to be explained. And Nana (mistakenly) refers to Chief Kurama as her Papa, who asks her to go and kill Diclonius Lucy for him- "who's a good girl then?".

We get a hint of a back-story in this episode about something bad that happened at a festival when Kohta and Yuka were young, and it is linked to Kohta's little sister Kanae's death. And if that wasn't enough, we get some good plot detail on what Diclonius are and how they threaten mankind. Not too mention some ecchi stuff between Kohta and Nyu ^_- which prompts Mayu to move in with Kohta and Nyu.

In the final episode of the disc Nana and Lucy meet, and we get to see two Diclonius duke-it-out. Unfortunately young down-and-out Mayu stumbles into the fray (someone think of the puppy!), leading to terrible consequences for Nana. And just when it looks like Lucy is to apply the coup de grace to Nana, Chief Kurama and the SWAT boys turn up- we get some gratuitous scenes of pathos, guaranteed to play your heart strings like a Nigel Kennedy on a Stradivarius.

Back at the house Kohta and Yuka argue, as Yuka thinks that Kohta only likes groping Nyu, and as I mentioned elsewhere, she has a crush on him. Kohta seems oblivious to what's troubling Yuka, and continues to harp on about Nyu's well-being (what a smuck). Will this boy ever get it into his head that Yuka fancies him?

Later Kohta gets a call from the hospital, and arrives to pick up, and then take home an injured Mayu. Of course Mayu gets quite a shock seeing Nyu again, as it was Lucy that injured her in the first place, but she just puts it down to over active imagination. This volume ends with Mayu moving in and this story fast-tracking it's way into harem territory ¬.¬

In summary-
Well, first it's hats off to the backroom boys for excellent use of atmospheric, incidental and title music- nice work guys. And a special mention the OP\ ED credits, the art work is really interesting especially if you like the work of Gustav Klimt, which they so lovingly ripped off.

Although at this early stage it's a bit of a one trick pony with the rivers-of-blood punch lines to most scenes, it does have an interesting character: the Lucy\ Nyu (Jekyll\ Hyde) switching. Let's hope they don't rely on nekkid girls, severed limbs and buckets of blood to keep us entertained during the next volumes- schlock horror only works for short periods.

On a personal note, the whole father-daughter thing doesn't sit well with me, where a child's unconditional love " not unlike Gunslinger Girls - is exploited for our entertainment. If you're not a father, it probably doesn't bother you.

Japanese Language DD 5.1,English Language DD 5.1,English Subtitles,Character & Production art gallery

Review Equipment
JVC 28" Pure Flat Wide Screen TV, Pioneer 454 Progressive Scan code free DVD player, Logitech Z-680 THX DD/DTS receiver & Speakers. Secondary equipment, 19" SM930BF LCD, ATI X700 & PowerDVD v4, Creative Audigy 2 & HS400 headphones and a duck.


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