- Trailer: Official trailer
- What it’s about: A subspecies of humans have begun to appear in isolated pockets around the globe. Distinguished by a pair of cranial nodes granting them immense telekinetic powers, they display an apparently universal tendency towards sociopathy and violence. For the safety of the public, their very existence is a closely-guarded secret and any specimens discovered “in the wild” are brought in to be studied in heavily fortified laboratories. One day, something goes wrong with the base security, and one of these “Diclonii” escapes back into society
- Why you should watch it: Elfen Lied is infamous for its incredibly high level of violence, and it lives up to its reputation in every regard. The story is both dark and compelling, and you truly get a sense that no character is safe. The mystery surrounding the main character is teased out masterfully, balanced with a decent dose of action scenes and funny character moments, and overlaid with a haunting soundtrack.
- Caveats: The series has a weird approach to narrative tension. It’s essentially “all or nothing”, transitioning straight from brutal action scenes to domestic humour and then back again. It’s also slightly forgetful, spending a lot of time introducing characters that have little actual impact on the story or presenting plot twists that are then never built or expanded upon. Finally, a moderate tolerance for moeblobs is recommended.
- Themes: Nature vs Nurture. The various ways that people deal (or fail to deal) with emotional trauma.
- Similar works: If you’re looking for something of a similar violence level, Hellsing Ultimate or perhaps Deadman Wonderland are your best bets. Story-wise, Brynhildr in the Darkness and Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom offer the closest parallels.