Written By: Lynn Okamoto
Artist: Lynn Okamoto
Translation: Michael Gombos
English Adaptation: Megan Walker
Lettering: Steve Dutro
Published By: Dark Horse Comics
Humanity is evolving, with some born with horns on top of their heads and psychic powers beyond imagining. Feared for the power they possess, they are either disposed off or taken inside secret research facilities, in order to both protect the public, without them knowing of any such threat. Lucy is one such evolved being, known as a Diclonius, she has been trapped with the research facility all her life, constantly experimented on. Until one day, she escapes.
Elfen Lied has been around for almost 17 years, ever since the manga first debuted back in 2002. Known for being an incredible science fiction horror, it’s anime adaption was beyond bloody and filled with gore. This is my first time however reading its’ manga form. This Omnibus volume, contains the first three volumes of the manga, making it a nice start to your collection and far easier to find now that it’s being republished.
Lucy is seen as a monster in the series from the human perspective, with uncontrollable psychic powers that can not be easily manipulated. Upon Lucy’s initial escape from the facility, she suffers a head trauma resulting in the emergence of her split personality known as Nyu. Portrayed as an innocent young girl with amnesia, her other self is a ruthless killer. Taken in by the main male protagonist, Kouta, who is a freshman at college and has just moved into town on the day he meets Nyu. Having experienced his own tragedy as a kid, he seems to have blocked out the majority of which or indeed remembers it quite differently from his female cousin Yuka. More of this mystery is slowly revealed as the manga progresses. Which is sure to intertwine with Lucy’s at some point.
Now this manga, and certainly that of the anime, is not for the faint hearted. Filled with terrors, beheadings and butchering limbs, I am surprised it is not in the 18+ age bracket. It is however a great read from start to finish. Now I am aware there are some deviations between the anime and the manga, so as of yet everything still looks to be the same. So it will be interesting to see what Volume 2 of the Omnibus has in store.
Elfen Lied was created by Lynn Okamoto, the same author behind Brynhildr In The Darkness. Elfen Lied debuted in Weekly Young Jump back in 2002 and was published as a total of 12 single manga volumes. Is they stay going with a total of 3 volumes in each Omnibus edition, Dark Horse Comics will have the entirety of Elfen Lied comprised into four nicely complied volumes. Following the mangas’ growing success, it wasn’t too long before it was adapted into an anime, just two years later by the animation studio known as Arms, which later adapted Okamoto’s other manga series I mentioned above.
The art style used in this series reminds me a bit of that used in Neon Genesis Evangelion, whilst the shocked looks and scenes of terror make me think of Junji Ito’s work. There are various styles used throughout the volume, from the terrified looks of the unfortunate guard, to the monstrous first look at Lucy, shortly followed by the cute and very innocent look of Yuka. To me, the art style quickly changes with the emotions of each character, allowing us to see the sheer terror they are experiencing even more profoundly following the once angelic look they showed just moments before.
This series is best enjoyed by a slightly older audience who enjoy their horror and science fiction, but this is definitely a strong series to add to your collection. Volume 2 of the Omnibus will be hitting stores this September.