A thirteen-episode anime television seriesadaptation was produced by the studio ARMS and broadcast on TV Tokyo from July to October 2004. The anime was later licensed in North America onDVD by ADV Films. The anime began airing before the manga was complete; as a result, the plot differed between the two, especially the ending. The
Elfen Lied revolves around the interactions, views, emotions, and differences between human beings and the Diclonii
, a mutant species similar to humans in build but distinguishable by two horns on their heads and "vectors," transparent telekinetically controlled arms that have the power to manipulate and cut objects within their reach. The series is centered on the teenage Diclonius girl "Lucy" who was rejected by human beings and subsequently wants revenge.
Elfen Lied involves themes of social alienation, identity, prejudice, revenge, abuse, jealousy, regret and the value of humanity. The series employs graphic violence. So far, only the thirteen-episode anime series has been licensed in the US, by ADV Films and in Australia, by Madman Entertainment. ADV Films said the series was one of their bestselling and "most notorious" releases of 2005.
Elfen Lied takes place in Kamakura, Japan, focusing on a new strain of the human race, Diclonius, similar to human beings but different at the genetic level and notable due to physical abnormalities, particularly a pair of short horn-like protrusions. One such Diclonius, Lucy, is the main character of the series: Initially held in a facility built for experimentation, located off the coast of Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, she manages to escape and wreak havoc, but is injured in the process, an event which causes her to develop a secondary, child-like personality known as Nyu.
Lucy is found by two locals, Kohta, who studies at the local university, and his cousin Yuka. They take her in, and become involved with the numerous, often brutal, attempts to recapture her by a Special Assault Team and a number of other Diclonius, who shift from oblivious to murderous frequently. Other characters include Bando, an SAT trooper mauled by Lucy and infected with a virus, and Kurama, a carrier of the virus.
While the animated series ends with Lucy confronting a large team of SAT members, after which she disappears, the manga continues by showing the mad plans of Kakuzawa, leader of Diclonii research, and his ultimate failure. The world itself is endangered.
A 13-episode anime television series was directed by Mamoru Kanbe, animated by ARMS and produced by GENCO and VAP. The series' author, Lynn Okamoto, has a brief cameo appearance as a guest in episode 12. Elfen Lied first aired on TV Tokyo's AT-X satellite channel from July 25 to October 17, 2004 and was broadcast again in 2005. A single twenty-four minute original video animation(OVA) episode was released by VAP on April 21, 2005. It takes place somewhere within the timespan of episode eleven of the original TV series. The anime's opening theme song is "Lilium" by Noma Kumiko and is sung in Latin. The ending theme song is "Be Your Girl" by Chieko Kawabe.
The anime was licensed by ADV Films in the US in 2004 and was released on DVD in 2005. During the Anime Boston 2006 (May 26–28) convention, ADV Films acquired the distribution rights of the OVA for release in the United States. However, the OVA was never released on television and was not included with the box set released by ADV Films in November 2006 or in the "Complete Collection" DVD released in June 2009. As of September 1, 2009, all of ADV Films' former catalog was transferred to AEsir Holdings, with distribution from Section23 Films[who?] .
The series was aired in the United Kingdom on Propeller TV (Sky Digital) as part of Anime Network's short-lived launch in the United Kingdom. The series was aired uncut. While it has yet to appear on television in the United States, other than on Anime Network's "On Demand" channel, the DVD box set released by ADV Films confirms that the series has a rating of TV-MAVSL[clarification needed] ; the Canadian rating is 18A. In a posting on the official Adult Swim message board in April 2006, Adult Swim programming director Kim Manning revealed that despite the series' high level of controversial content, Adult Swim actually inquired into possibly airing the series, as Manning was an avid fan herself and watched the entire series in one sitting. However, the censorship board revealed that the series would have to be so heavily edited ("it would have been cut to shreds") in order to air that it would have been "unintelligible", and it does not appear that it will air on the channel at any time in the foreseeable future.
MANGAWritten by Lynn Okamoto, Elfen Lied premiered in Japan in Weekly Young Jump magazine in June 2002. New chapters continued to appear in the magazine until August 2005, when the final chapter was published. The series's 107 chapters were also published in twelve collected volumes by Shueisha from October 2002 through November 2005.