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Elfen Lied

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The Diclonius (two-horned human) are mutants created by humans. It has a special ability that can be described as a sixth sense. These mutants have enough power to exterminate the whole human race. Afraid of their powers, people isolate them in research labs to be studied.

One Diclonius girl, Lucy, breaks out of confinement, kills her guards and escapes. She falls into the ocean after being shot and ends up on a beach. There, she meets Kota and Yuka. They name her Nyu and begin to live with her.

By Lynn Okamoto (Elfen Lied)

Main Characters

Main article: List of Elfen Lied characters

Kohta (Kota, also romanized as Kouta)
Voiced by: Chihiro Suzuki (Japanese), Adam Conlon (English)
Kohta is one of the main characters of the series and is first introduced in Volume 1 when he arrives in Kanagawa Perfecture to attend college; having previously arranged to stay with his cousin Yuka while at school. Kohta enters the story when Yuka's family rents him a closed down inn as long as he maintains it, and begins living there with Yuka while going to a university. Kohta has repressed traumatic memories of witnessing the deaths of his father and sister, which later in the plot is revealed to be by Lucy's hand when she believes he's in love with Yuka and feels betrayed.. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder brought on by the trauma of this event, caused him to end up in a psychiatric ward for over a year following the event. Due in part to his loss, Kohta is sympathetic towards girls in trouble and is extremely generous and protective to the girls around him, because he can relate to them and they remind him of his late younger sister, Kanae.

He meets Lucy in his childhood when she is burying her dead puppy and running away from the orphanage where she killed 4 children. In the anime, he was visiting his cousin with his family and decided to go to the mountain to draw, taking with him a music box he had recently purchased which played Lilium. He strikes up a conversation with her when she apparently likes the song from the music box. He finds her horns fascinating and gives her a hat to cover them up while in public, believing Lucy hates them. He asks her if they could be friends and spends time with her. He takes her to the zoo, telling her that he likes to look at the "weird animals." In Lucy's hallucination, she perceives this as a reason to why he was so nice to her. He lies to her about the gender of his cousin by saying that Yuka is a boy so Lucy wouldn't be upset or jealous. When she finds out that he lied to her, she stows away onto his train, where Kohta is initially happy to see her. His sister, however, is terrified of Lucy, having seen her kill several dozen people at the fair. While attempting to protect her brother, Lucy rips her in half and decapitates his father. Before she goes to kill Yuka, a traumatized Kohta knocks her down and begs her to stop killing people.

In the anime version, Kohta's repressed memories are triggered when Lucy kills a whole army in front of him, afterwards singing Lilium, the song that brought them together. He is more forgiving in the anime, effectively stating that she became a monster because everyone treated her like one, even kissing Lucy and stating that he still loves her and her Nyu persona though he proclaims that he cannot bring himself to fully forgive her for the murder of his family. However, once he gets his memories back in the manga, he is truly unforgiving towards her for killing his father and sister.

Voiced by: Mamiko Noto (Japanese), Nancy Novotny (English)
Yuka is Kohta's cousin around his age and moves in with him at the inn. She is in love with Kohta (despite repeatedly hitting him in comical fashion), and is therefore jealous of Kohta's attention to Nyu. However, it is later shown that she is jealous of any girl (regardless of age) who she suspects may be close to Kohta, to the point of being irrational. However, at one point her feelings are returned by Kohta briefly, meaning he could've been with her, if Lucy hadn't returned. This occurs when Lucy goes missing and the two of them are resting under a shrine. Holding her, Kohta apologizes for not remembering anything about his past, or how he once felt about her. The two share a kiss, but shortly after Lucy appears their relationship is halted. Mayu once described her as the "mother" at Kaede House, and Kohta as the "father". Yuka does possess a caring and mature side, and seems to be protective of both Nyu and Mayu, and later on Nana; however in quite a few ways, she is a typical teenager, particularly when it comes to dealing with her feelings for Kohta and friendships with the girls who come to live with them.

Voiced by: Emiko Hagiwara (Japanese), Cynthia Martinez (English)
Mayu is a young homeless girl of around thirteen years old (In the manga she is introduced at age twelve and turns thirteen; but in the anime she is introduced at age 13 and turns 14.)

The viewer first meets Mayu when she arrives at the inn being inhabited by Kohta, Yuka and Nyu to return an umbrella she found at the beach. Mayu lives on the beach with stray puppy whom she refers to as Wanta; susbsiting mostly on bread crusts from a nearby bakery . When the bakery closes down though, she reluctantly accepts Kohta and Yuka's offer to stay at the inn .

It is later discovered that Mayu had run away from home after enduring repeated molestation by her stepfather . Her own mother would not protect her, because she was jealous of her. Khota and Yuka later contact her mother who seems eager to let her daughter stay with them; they are officially given custody over Mayu and she begins to go to school in their area.

Mayu is also responsible for saving Bando's life when she discovered him lying on beach dismembered and blinded after his first confrontation with Lucy. In the manga, it appears that Mayu either loved Bando or thought of him as a father.

Voiced by: Hitomi Nabatame (Japanese), Shelley Calene-Black (English)
She is a scientist that works very closely with Kurama. Though her personality on the surface reflects a business-like demeanor, she holds a secret affection and genuine concern for Kurama . The manga portrays her personality as mostly servile and submissive, to the extent of letting Chief Kakuzawa sexually abuse and humiliate her (to get information from him). It is also revealed she has feelings for him and considers admitting it before being decapitated by Lucy. However in the anime, her character plays a less prominent role.

Voiced by: Osamu Hosoi (Japanese), Jay Hickman (English)
He is the chief of research working for Kakuzawa, aged in his mid-30's, of the diclonius children in the research containment facility. He is also the surrogate father of Nana and biological father of Mariko. His wife, Hiromi Kurama, died from Caesarean section complications shortly after she gave birth to Mariko. Although he had previously been tasked with killing all diclonius births, he falters when he must kill his own daughter. Lucy carries a deep hatred toward Kurama, stemming from his failure to save Aiko Takada (seen in the Elfen Lied OVA); however, she states that she will not kill him but will kill everything that loves him. It is revealed late in the series that the General Director of the diclonius research program kept his daughter alive, increasing Kurama's perceived debt to him. Near the end of the series, Kurama makes a deal with Bando to repair his damaged arm in exchange for his help in killing Lucy. Kurama dies in the final episode of the anime as he cradles Mariko in his arms, lamenting his failure to give her the warmth and love she needed in her life. The explosives implanted inside her are detonated at his command, and he perishes along with his daughter. It should be noted that right before the explosion, Kurama has a series of images flashing in his mind. In them, his wife is still alive and Mariko is a normal child, and together the images make up Kurama's idea of how life presumably would have played out if Mariko had been born normal (Mariko as a toddler, Mariko on her first day of school, etc.).
Kurama does not die in the manga; Mariko (worried about the safety of her father) confronts Lucy and clings to her as the bomb inside her detonates; this results in Lucy's horns being destroyed and turning back into Nyuu, as well as Mariko's death. Kurama, depressed by his pathetic ability as a father, attempts to commit suicide with a nearby MP5, but is saved by Bando. Kurama now lives in a small shed on the beach and is partially insane. He clings to a dead body of what he thinks is his daughter, Mariko, and won't let anyone come near him. Later, Nana finds him but he shuns her away, still clinging to the clone Mariko. Another clone Mariko shows up and Kurama tries to embrace her too. She however attacks him and fights with Nana. When she is about to finish Nana off, Kurama shoots her in the head and regains his sanity. He survives throughout the rest of the series.

Voiced by: Jouji Nakata (Japanese), Jason Douglas (English)
He is an operative in his mid-30's who worked for the National Police Agency's Special Assault Team (SAT). Though he is fully human, he is as homicidal and apathetic towards others, and does not hesitate to kill anything to accomplish his agenda. Despite his outward nature, he always feels obligated to return the favors others have done for him. However in the manga, he also shows compassion at rare times. He is a hardy and effective soldier, with an excellent aim able to kill several targets in only a few seconds.
After being defeated by Lucy, Bando is repaired with weak bionic, cybernetic and prosthetic implants, and escapes on a quest for revenge against her. Heavily armed, Bando' returns with weaponry powerful enough to pierce the shield created by vectors; however, this is less effective at long range. Bando is so determined to win that he cleans up the garbage on the beach ahead of time to prevent Lucy from utilizing the objects as weapons . Bando is driven by the will to fight and to prove his superior ability in combat, and to avenge the wounds he suffered at Lucy's hands, however at the end of the anime he is defeated again by Lucy, who leaves him alive instead of killing him .
In the manga, he is shown to have a compassionate side, for example saving Kurama , and feeling obligation to bury the dead . He is reluctant to accept positive emotions from others, such as Mayu and Nana and while he is violent, ruthless and all too willing to kill; he takes great offense to acts of perversion, such as child molestation. When Mayu asks for help when she is attacked by the Unknown man, Bando expresses intense disgust over the man's actions . Later, Bando is almost killed while protecting Mayu from Lucy, who attacks Mayu after she is exposed as a killer . Lucy rips off his remaining arm, cuts him in half then flees . As he dies in Mayu's arms, Bando reflects that he had always wanted someone to cry for him after he died, since he had isolated himself from society his whole life . In his memory, Mayu continues cleaning the beach where Bando had come to live. In the last chapter, Bando is seen approaching Mayu on the beach, telling her there was no way he could die. Mayu runs towards him in tears and embraces him .

Voiced by: Maria Yamamoto (Japanese), Monica Rial (English)
Kohta's younger sister, already deceased by the time of the story. Kanae was protective of her brother and became jealous whenever other girls showed him attention.
It is later learned that she was brutally murdered by Lucy along with their father on the train leaving Kamakura. However the trauma of witnessing their murders has caused Kohta to repress his memories of the events; in the manga, he believes that Kanae was killed in a car accident, whereas in the anime he believes that she simply got sick and died .

Voiced by: Eriko Ishihara (Japanese), Jessica Boone (English)
She is a young researcher in her mid-20's who is also Professor Kakuzawa's partner who works alongside him to create a vaccine in order to counter the threat of the Diclonius virus. She along with Kouta inadvertently discovered Professor Kakuzawa's severed head and warned the boy not to disclose anything of what he saw or heard with anybody else. Afterwards, she reported her finding to Director Kakuzawa at his compound facility, but he wouldn't let her go scot-free after seeing his son's horns. She was threatened by Chief Kakuzawa to take charge of his deceased son's research or else be killed. She is also seen ripping a picture of Kouta out of a book and stashing it in her coat when Director Kakuzawa's back was turned so he wouldn't know of his association with Lucy.

In the anime, Arakawa is a minor character whose role provides little or no contribution at all for advancing the plot, as later she's often seen complaining about that being so busy does not allows her to take a shower which becomes a recurrent gag in the series. However, her character eventually plays an important, key role for humanity's salvation in the last story arc of the manga.

Lucy/Nyu (Rushi)
Voiced by: Sanae Kobayashi (Japanese), Kira Vincent-Davis (English)
Lucy is a teenage diclonius girl around 18 years old. Lucy has four vectors with a limited range of about two meters. However, she can be swift and lethal within that range, and will use any nearby objects as high velocity projectiles to kill at greater distances. She is also capable of stopping or deflecting most standard ammunition when she concentrates on the task.

Lucy hates humans mainly because of how she was treated by her human peers as a child, killing several, including her only "friend," after they captured a puppy Lucy had been caring for and beat it to death in front of her. Consequently, she discounts non-diclonii, claiming they are not real people, to the point of telling Nana that she has "not killed anyone yet". She seems to lack empathy, kills without much concern and normally as a first reaction, and is incredibly sadistic, normally amputating limbs and blinding foes, leaving them to bleed out, rather than killing them. Despite this lack of concern for human life she will not harm Kohta, and crys and apologizes for killing his family in a fit of jealousy. It's obvious that she loves Kouta to no end, but due to her vengeful nature, she believes he will be content without her existence. As such, she refrains from killing in his presence, except in the anime at the end when she kills a whole army in front of him, which reminds him of his suppressed trauma. Lucy never refers to herself by that name, and is usually known by "Kaede" to herself.

She is a split personality of Lucy that developed after an .50 BMG round peirces the metallic helmet encasing her head. Nyu has a childlike personality and infantile knowledge of the world, and lacks spoken language skills, only able to say "Nyu" and "Kohta" most of the time. Near the end of the anime, she develops a wider vocabulary, being able to say phrases like "Don't cry, Kohta!". Nyu is innocent and incapable of violent acts, a foil to the normally cold and sadistic Lucy; she is the manifestation of her "good side". When Nyu is attacked violently (or hit on the head), she regresses into Lucy; likewise, when Lucy is treated with love and kindness, or wants to hide herself from Kohta, she will uncontrollably switch back into Nyu. While Nyu exists first due to trauma, it is believed that Lucy subconsciously encourages her presence due to her feelings of guilt towards Kohta and to prevent her from harming him (directly or indirectly). In the manga, this is confirmed by Lucy herself. During the final episode, Nyu cuts her hair to try to remind Kouta of them when they were younger and apologizes for killing his family (coincidentally, this is the same hairstyle Lucy donned in her youth.)

Voiced by: Yuki Matsuoka (Japanese), Sasha Paysinger (English)
Nana, also known as Number 7, is a young Silpelit girl who has the physical appearance of being 12-14 years old (though because Silpelits age rapidly and she really is about 6 years old ). Her name, 'Nana', is Japanese for the number seven, the number by which she was called at the research facility ("Nana" is also a fairly common female name in Japan). Most diclonius babies are euthanized at birth in sweeps of hospital maternity wards, but Nana was one of a handful kept alive for use as a test subjects and has spent her entire life in the diclonius research facility. Nana sees Kurama as her father, whom she calls "Papa," because she needed something to keep her from going insane during the torturous experimentation, believing that she is making him proud. Kurama in turn sees her as his daughter and cares very much for her. In an attempt to recapture Lucy, Kurama sent out Nana to find her (diclonii can telepathically sense each other), then retreat until Kurama could arrive with soldiers, but Nana wanted to impress Kurama so she tried to capture Lucy herself. Lucy and Nana engaged in a brutal telekinetic battle that ended with Lucy dismembering Nana. Kurama personally came to stop Lucy and save Nana, then also disregarded Director General Kakuzawa's order to kill her by giving her new prosthetic limbs (a running gag is that they always fall off at some point) and setting her free with money to survive. Unlike many other Diclonius, because Kurama treated her with kindness, she is not homicidal or sadistic. She has the ability to temporarily disable other Diclonius' vectors by having her vectors go through their pineal gland. Although her vector power is slightly superior to Lucy's in terms of range (5 meters to Lucy's 2) and certain abilities, she lacks Lucy's sheer strength (Lucy can lift and throw many times heavier objects than Nana can), and violent nature; Nana's empathy for others does not allow her to fight as vigorously. With her vector arms, she is later able to manipulate prosthetic appendages and even throw them like a rocket punch.

Nana can be seen as the exact opposite of Lucy. While Lucy's default personality is serious and cold, Nana's is friendly and kind; Lucy's split personality "Nyu" is similar to Nana's default while Nana sometimes goes into trances and acts cold like Lucy's default personality. One time in particular was remarkably similar to Lucy's fall into the path of a cold-blooded killer, and it literally took the force of a magnum bullet grazing her skull to knock her back to her senses. Nana is in the middle of the spectrum of Lucy's split personalities: she's not as mature as Lucy, but more mature than Nyu.

Mariko Kurama
Voiced by: Tomoko Kawakami (Japanese), Luci Christian (English)
Also known as Number 35, she is a young girl described as the only surviving "third generation" Silpelit (a Silpelit born from one infected by another Silpelit, as opposed to one born from one infected by a Diclonius), and the daughter of Kurama at five years old. She is described as the most powerful of the Silpelits. During an escape attempt by Number Three (who was actually Nana's sister), Kurama was infected by her vectors and thus turned into a carrier of the diclonius virus, and his daughter was born a silpelit. In the anime she possesses 26 vectors (up to fifty in the manga), each with an approximate range of 11 meters (the number and range is much higher in the manga). Mariko was imprisoned as an infant and raised inside a steel container with human contact consisting of nothing more than a scientist acting as a sort of foster mother through speakers and monitors. Her physical impairment is seen in her atrophied limbs as she moves around in a wheelchair.

Despite the environment she was raised in, she is relatively well developed psychologically. She is extremely homicidal and sadistic, and enjoys torturing and dismembering her victims. However, her personality is not blatantly evil. She is only having fun, seeing killing as a game, and the pleasure she gets from it is equivalent to a child ripping the wings off of an insect or burning ants with a magnifying glass.

In order to keep Mariko under control, the research institute implanted at least two bombs (probably more) in her body during infancy; one is used to remove her right arm after she attacks scientists at the institute. When she is sent to kill Nana, Mariko is also given a prosthetic to move with her vectors. Kurama later orders the other bomb(s) to be detonated as he walks away embracing his daughter, killing not only Mariko, but himself as well.

Since Mariko possesses 26 vectors and has a range of at least 11 meters. Also she was able to tear off one of Lucy's horns, leaving Lucy in possible shock, being as after their battle, Lucy is unconscious and is completely white-eyed.

In the manga she and Kurama maintain their love for each other and Mariko attempts to kill Lucy (who looks as if she will kill Kurama though it is unknown what she was planning at the time) by using her bomb as a kamikaze method. She only however manages to destroy one of Lucy's horns and return Lucy to her Nyu state. But nonetheless Kurama is agitated by her death.

Number 03 (3, sanban)
Voiced by: Mikako Takahashi (Japanese), Allison Sumrall (English)
She was a Silpelit child of around 3-4 years old whose name is her designation number given by the human scientists at the research facility, as she does not possess a personal name of her own in the series, but many call her "San Ban" or "Sanban". She appears only in episode 10 of the anime when Kurama experiences a series of flashbacks back when he became director at Chief Kakuzawa's island facility .

Kurama's flashbacks give insight into the experiments the scientists were performing on the Diclonius to measure the range and power of their vectors. Number 03 was shown chained to a wall, and on a far end a machine shot small iron balls at her with increasing force to evaluate the maximum force a Diclonius' vectors could deflect.

When the experience became too traumatic for her, Kurama voiced his protest of such inhuman activities. Afterward, Number 03's restraints were mysteriously unlocked, and she went on a killing spree until she found Kurama; it was later discovered that she had concealed the true length of her growing vectors from the research team, aiding in her escape. She placed her vector on his head and thanked him in a haunting manner, before being shot dead in the head by Professor Kakuzawa with a FAMAS rifle with armor piercing rounds.

Several months later, Kurama's wife gave birth to a Diclonius baby (Mariko), much to Kurama's fear and astonishment. But, it made Kurama to quickly recall his near-death experience with Number 03 and he finally realized that the virus is passed on through the vectors.

Anna Kakuzawa
Only appears in the manga. She is Chief Kakuzawa's daughter. She looks up to him in a similar fashion to Nana and Kurama's relationship. She was good at running and struggled to meet her father's expectations, for he considered her "superior" due to her Diclonius heritage. Her grandmother apparently did not agree, stating that Anna's performance was disappointing when compared to that of her brother's.

She underwent an operation on her father's request, to make her "more superior". The results of the operation have increased her mental capacity and therefore she can predict estimates of what the future may be. However the operation has turned her into a giant deformed Diclonius. Her previous self is seen in a number of flashbacks.

At the end of the manga, she is returned to her original self, some time after Kaede's death.

Number 28
A manga-only Silpelit, who was selected to undergo a monstrous surgical procedure to turn her into a portable 'Diclonius radar'. Prior to the operation, she was sexually molested by the Unknown man (see below). Her lower body from the chest down and arms were removed entirely and a device was implanted in her spine to cause her continuous pain, so she could not concentrate to lash out at the person carrying her. Her body was then encased in a metal canister, which the Unknown man (see below) carried on his back when he went to search for Lucy. When Number 28 led him to Nana instead, the Unknown Man killed her out of petty irritation by kicking over her canister.

Prior to the operation, Number 28 was described as having a submissive personality and her vectors had not yet developed. After the operation, despite (or possibly because of) her agony, she displayed far greater telepathic ability than has been demonstrated by other Silpelits or Diclonii. She was capable of transmitting a warning to Nana to flee the approach of the Unknown man, projecting an image of her own mutilated body. In the end, she also begged Nana to kill her to end her hideous suffering. She is later buried by Bando.

Chief Kakuzawa (Kakuzawa Chokan)
Voiced by: Kinryu Arimoto (Japanese), Andy McAvin (English)
He is the head of the research center at 70+ years old performing experiments on diclonius. He is from a long line of diclonius ancestry that has been watered down by inter-breeding with humans (much of this is, however, only revealed in the manga). As a result, he has no vectors and much smaller horns on his head, which he hides under a wig. His and his son's aim are in part to replenish their bloodline with the diclonius they are experimenting on (of which Lucy is the first to be able to reproduce) and thus gain power as "kings" of the new race, which would wipe out humanity and replace it entirely. In the manga, he even claims to desire the position of a god of the new, Diclonius-ruled world he envisions. He is the father of Anna Kakuzawa, professor Kakuzawa and Lucy's Diclonius half brother. Even after revealing to Lucy all his plots to terminate mankind and to fill the world with Diclonius, he is decapitated by Lucy along with his Diclonius son. She then reveals that he is not a Diclonius at all, and that his horns were the result of an unrelated mutation.

Professor Kakuzawa (Kakuzawa Kyoju)
Voiced by: Hiroaki Hirata (Japanese), John Swasey (English)
He is the 30-something son of Chief Kakuzawa. Like his father, he is a watered-down diclonius with small horns and no vectors. When he and Kurama were younger, they both went to university together. It was Kakuzawa who originally got Kurama involved in research on the Diclonius. He is the lecturer for a course at the university in which Kohta and Yuka are enrolled. He was the one responsible for releasing Lucy at the research center. He is later beheaded by Lucy after abducting and attempting to rape her.

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