After having been accepted into the Kaede Inn, Nana attempts to fit into the household while struggling to find a daily chore that she can do. In addition, she attempts to get used to Nyu's presence, whom she only knows as Lucy, and faces a new dilemma because of this. Meanwhile, the past between Lucy and Kurama is revealed, showing the tragic events of how the two met.
Well, I went into this expecting a continuation of the ending. I was very disappointed in that regard, as this ends up taking place during the series, and doesn't do much of anything to resolve some issues that were left unexplored. It's more an exercise in light-hearted comedy with minimal background information (the only useful thing we really find out is how Lucy got captured in the first place). At times, this feels like another series entirely.
The art and music and seiyuu rawq just as much as they do in the series proper, so I'm not going to elaborate.
All in all, a nice side story, but I would've liked to have seen more exploration of the ending, or at least resolution of some of the hanging plot threads.read more
Its basically a crime that this wasnt included in the show originally , since honestly this is probably the best episode of the show .
The episode has easily the best mixture of drama and comedy . Its doesnt try to emotionally manipulate you with constant meanspiritism and bloodshed like episode 9 did . The only time there is killing in the episode , its well executed and the creators atleast let the character go with some dignity instead of exploading her into pieces .
The comedy is definetly the best part . Its a greeat mixture of lighthearted to kinda dark , wich sums up the shows comedy in a whole. Overall its definetly a must watch for the fans.
There are many times when I feel like I should utterly despise Elfen Lied, due to the poor handling of subject matter, the desperate means for any form of attention, and the production values that have unfortunately become famous to the identity of anime. But every time I watch it, I still get pulled into the tornado of absurdity when all of these bad points end up forming a surprisingly fun and entertaining identity.
But if I could pinpoint my hatred for all the bad values that Lied presented on some other form, it would probably be this OVA.
Taking place in the middle of the 11th episode, this special adds in a couple plot elements that weren’t shown in the anime. While Nana is trying to fit into the cousin’s household alongside the homeless kid, Nyu is suddenly on the verge of turning into Lucy again, leading to a flashback that shows more of young Lucy’s battles with maintaining friendships and her encounters with the police who want to capture her.
The special is divided into two parts: Nyu exploring how to help out around the house, and Lucy in a coma remembering more of her past. Part one is excessive anime cuteness with overly kawaii faces and some bizarre attempts at dark slapstick. Some of the scenes were so cringe-worthy that I debated just walking away altogether from a mere twenty minute special. And now that I know some of these famed expressions firsthand, I’ll probably dislike them even more. Luckily this part doesn’t last the majority of the special, but it’s fairly slow compared to the entire show.
I ended up liking some bits of part two, despite how it shot itself in the face by the time it ended. We see yet another fragment of Lucy’s backstory when she meets yet another friend, eventually leading to her capture and restriction in the laboratory, which proved to be interesting as usual. However, it didn’t feel like an important part to the overall story. It ended up creating a bit of an unbalance, almost as if the special was lighting up way too much of the story in a poor attempt to tie things together. It wasn’t essential to perfectly connect plotpoints in the show that weren’t explored fully, and how they do it creates even more aspects that are barely explored, so it just feels pointless once it’s over. It’s just another small bit of tragedy that feels slow and tame when put next to everything the anime pulled.
As far as production values go, there’s very little unique sequences or pretty backgrounds this time around to disguise some awfully sterile animation. The voice actors still don’t bring much to the table, but the soundtrack still provides a couple good songs for our listening enjoyment.
As expected, once you remove the gore, the botched subject matter, the energetic presentation, and the overall shock factor, nothing is there to hold Elfen Lied up. Granted these methods were poor ways to hold it up in the first place, at least it was fun to get lost in whenever the anime used the most extreme methods to keep from losing viewers. Everything that made Elfen Lied annoying is rounded up in this special and drained of any aspects from the anime that at least made them tolerable. So when everything is added up, this special doesn’t change anything, and actually ends up being an especially boring insert episode in a show that just can’t stop moving forward in a rampage of ridiculousness. The bonus explorations in the story aren’t worth shedding light on, the events that get focus raise even more confusion, and the saturated anime cuteness at the beginning is enough for me to turn it off before we even get to the meat of the OVA.
I give this anime (just the special) a score of 3.0/10 (1.5 stars), and an Unrecommended rating.read more
I actually reviewed this OVA a few months ago, but I wrote a joke review entirely for laughs. Now I will actually give my real opinion on it. The OVA is a mixed bag honestly. There was a lot more backstory that the Director and writer of the series Mamoru Kanbe wanted to put in, but he only was given the budget to barely make one 20 minute OVA with drastically inferior animation. He knew there wasn't time to fit in the subplots he really wanted, so the OVA focuses mostly on lighthearted comedy. Unfortunately, it decides at the last minute to tease us with some really interesting backstory, but it runs out of time to explain several hugely important details and leaves anyone that didn't read the manga with more questions than answers. The ending of the main series was intentionally ambiguous, but gave enough hints and felt complete on an emotional level. The OVA on the other hand, just suffers from poor "clock management" to borrow a football term.
Story and characters: 8/10
We see Nana trying to adapt to life at Kouta's home for girls with serious psychological issues. This results in some actually pretty funny shenanegins and heart warming moments. Nana is slowly starting to realize that there is world outside of the hell she has endured her entire life. We also see Nana's internal struggle on how to handle Lucy/Nyuu. Even the saintly Nana, who is basically anime Jesus, struggles to forgive the girl that tore her limbs off in slow and sadistic fashion. However, Nana realizes that Lucy has been reborn and killing this alternate personality would be like killing a child with a clean record. Nana contemplates taking Nyuu to Bando and getting her killed in order to protect her new found family from Lucy, who Nana believes is simply evil. Honestly, I don't see how we could blame Nana for thinking that way. However, Nana being her extremely kind hearted self has second thoughts and abandons the plan.
We see Lucy have a flashback to 3 years before the start of the series and 5 years after the festival massacre. Lucy has been laying low for years and living on to one day apologize to her beloved for her crimes. She continues to wear the ski cap that he gave her as a momento. Lucy has met a new friend it seems, a girl that is roughly her age. This girl like Kouta before her treats Lucy with kindness even after seeing her allegedly "hideous" deformity. Lucy seems like she is beginning to trust mankind again and is clearly trying to turn over a new leaf. Unfortunately, the 2 girls are on the run for reasons never explained. The girl, who is never even named has blood on her shirt, but what happened is never explained. It is hinted that she killed someone in self defence, which indeed is the case in the manga, but in the anime you pretty much have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure that out. Lucy tells her new friend that she will go to the police station in the morning. Apparently Lucy is getting ready to take the blame for her friend's crime as a final act of repentence. In a symbolic scene, Lucy gives her friend the ski cap of friendship and humanity, which will soon lead to her tragic demise when the police mistake the girl as another mutant. Kanbe really liked his metaphors between the hat and the damn clock. Did anyone else notice the last thing Lucy does in the main series before listening to her hallucination and slaughtering the festival goers? She takes off the hat and throws it to the ground, abandoning her humanity and desire for love. I guess she went back and got it after the massacre? Anyways, Kurama has been spying on Lucy for some time now and decides this is now the right moment to move in and capture her. Did he know she was going to the police? Is he psychic? How the hell did he even find Lucy when all the clues he had was a picture of Lucy from 5 years ago and the knowledge that she was born in Kamakura? Maybe he just assumed she was still in town and looked for people wearing ski caps in the summer with red eyes. Lucy fights off the guards but shows restraint and doesn't kill anyone, because this new penent Lucy has no desire to kill anymore. Tragically, Lucy's friend takes a bullet to save Lucy, leaving our mutant anti-hero completely devastated. Lucy agrees to surrender peacefully as long as her friend is saved.
Lucy is dragged off in undignified fashion and her ski cap momento was left behind. Kurama promises to save the friend, but callously tells Lucy later that day that her friend has died. Having lost her friend and her symbolic momento, Lucy hardens her heart and filled with extreme rage, starts to become the cold blooded murderer that we are introduced to in episode 1. Lucy vows while crying through her mask that she will make Kurama feel the pain of losing the only people that love him. I have one question. Why the HELL did Kanbe leave in those silly comedy scenes with Bando instead of explaining JACK SHIT during the flashback? Wouldn't that have been a more effective use of episode time? What the HELL was Kanbe thinking? You directed Baccano! You worked with Miyazaki himself on Nausicca! You're better than this Kanbe!
The animation took a nosedive from the main series and any seen where characters are actually walking are pretty painful to look at. The animators try to mask the lower quality with the wild facial expressions and chibi style that anime is known for, but this was never done in the main series and looks completely out of place here!
It still has that awesome opening, but this episode mostly uses the comedy tracks, which are the weakest part of the OST and are fairly grating at times.
Overall : 8/10
This OVA has some moments where it shines, so firstly I will explain the good. It explains Lucy's capture and why she didn't kill Kurama in episode 1. It shows Nana's moral struggle over whether it is right to kill Lucy and allows the viewer to better see into the psyche of Nana's character. The OVA also does have some cute moments and some fun comedy that gives us a break from the extremely dark and brutal tone of the series. Lastly, the OVA also manages to do fine with virtually zero blood and no nudity, shutting up the obnoxious haters that think that is all the series has. On the negative side, the OVA squanders many of its precious few minutes on goofy comedy like Nana trying to cut vegetables rather than explain some background that easily could have been summed up and left viewers far more satisfied and less confused. It is too bad Kanbe will never be given a mulligan and allowed to make more episodes to fill in more story.