Lucy is a special breed of human known as a Diclonius, sporting a pair of small horns and telekinetic powers. All her life she has been held captive in a government facility. However, after staging a bloody break out one night, she is hit in the head and sent tumbling over a cliff. Washing up on shore with amnesia, she is taken in by some college students who are about to be pulled into the bloody world of government conspiracy.
Is it deep? Is it just gore and nudity? It is the topic of much debate when it comes to Elfen Lied, but one thing is for sure, it created some damn good drama. Can these anime recommendations do the same?
For Fans of Crazy Girls
Higurashi: When They Cry
Keiichi Maebara just moved from Tokyo with his family to the small town of Hinamizawa in the summer 1983. As the town is so small, school children of all ages are lumped into one class. There he becomes fast friends with four girls where he spends his days after school idly playing games. However, as the town’s annual festival approaches, he learns about a series of murders, disappearances, and other mysteries that surround it. When he confronts his friends, he finds them mysteriously tight-lipped.
Elfen Lied has its crazy women, but for the most part, they were driven crazy through circumstance. In Higurashi, there are other forces at play that make the girls murderous and generally insane. However, while Elfen Lied has its mysteries, it generally solves them pretty quickly while Higurashi can easily leave you confused if you don’t know that it is told in several paths or you aren’t paying attention.
Lonely high school student Yukiteru Amano spends his days writing the events that happen around him in his diary rather than participating in them. Considering himself an observer, he only has two friends, both imaginary gods. However, when the god Deus Ex Machina gives him a diary that tells the future, he proves more than imaginary by thrusting him into a survival game with his godhood as the prize.
Like in Elfen Lied, the crazy women in Future Diary are basically driven there by the nature of the circumstances around them. However, while Elfen Lied is told in a deeper story setting, Future Diary is just a survival game. Rest assured that there is plenty of gore in both though as well as lovable pink haired crazies.
It had to have been fate. Makoto Itou caught the eye of Kotonoha Katsura on the train and it was love at first sight. However, their shared bashfulness prevents one from approaching the other. Only with the push of his friend Sekai does he start going out with Kotonoha. Unfortunately, once a person has a taste of affection, it can be hard to quench it.
Certainly School Days and Elfen Lied are different in their settings with Elfen Lied having a more supernatural twist. However, both shows utilize the same tactics of using emotions to cover up the other things within the characters. You also have your standard loser boys, heart broken girls, and generally romantically motivated violence in both.
For Fans of Extreme Cruelty
When Ganta Igarashi got on a bus with his classmates for their class trip, it was gearing up to be an amazing day. They were going to Deadman Wonderland, after all, an amusement park where convicts perform death-defying stunts for their amusement. However, when Ganta’s class gets brutally murdered before his very eyes by a man in red, he finds himself the sole survivor as well as the suspect. Now he’s been sentenced to the same amusement park he was just enjoying.
In both Deadman Wonderland and Elfen Lied you explore characters who are put in extremely cruel circumstances and watch as they adapt in different ways. Some shut down while others deal with it by making gore and body parts fly. Of course, both try their hand at being emotionally deep but Elfen Lied excels a little better in that respect since Deadman Wonderland got a little rushed at the end.
In this world, humans are forced to coexist with demons called Yoma. These beasts feed on humanity and take on a human appearance. In order to fight them, an order of women called Claymores were imbued with Yoma essence in order to stand against the tide.
Ah, what is more pitiable than making girls girls fight for various purposes? Both the race in Elfen Lied and the women in Claymore are expected to lead short and very cruel violent lives and are expected not to care about it. They do, of course, and it really highlights the dark tones of both. However, while in Elfen Lied there are some light-hearted moments, there are none to be found in Claymore.
Ever since 1972, class 3-3 in Yomiyama North Middle School has had a strange tradition of pretending that one of their students did not exist. When Kouichi Sakakubara transfers into the class, he finds himself drawn to a girl that no one seems to notice. Not paying heed to the warnings of his classmates, all hell is about to break loose.
Both of these shows are about girls being neglected and expecting them to just be fine with it. However, when given attention in both shows, things go horribly, violently awry. Both shows have their nice moments, but always soon go back to something that is horribly and beautifully violent.
For Fans of Races Like Humans, But Better!
From the New World
After a small portion of humanity suddenly developed psychokinetic powers, the world underwent a rapid transformation. After 1,000 years of turbulent history where regular humans struggled against those with powers, we focus in on Kamisu 66, a small town where 12-year-old Saki Watanabe finally awakened her powers. This awakening means she is finally able to join her friends at the Sage Academy. However, things in Saki’s life do not remain as simple as those precious days. With missing children in the village, rebellious rumblings, and a world steeped in myth and mystery, Saki and her friends are about to face the shocking truths of their peaceful society.
In Elfen Lied, the Diclonius is rather new to the world and definitely not given the chance to thrive. However, From the New World follows the next step in human evolution far into the future where they have won and the regular human race is all but extinct. Both series feature an excellent look at dealing with new evolution of humanity, but Elfen Lied is way more violent about it.
Brynhildr in the Darkness
In an incident ten years ago, Ryouta set out with his best friend Kuroneko to find alien life, but an accident happened that left him injured and Kuroneko dead. In her memory, Ryouta continued his search until one day a new transfer student showed up named Kuroha Neko, who looks just like his dead best friend. Despite being dumb as dirt she manged to pass the transfer tests and after saving his life, he also discovers that she has supernatural abilities. Is this really his friend or something else?
Both shows start off with a mystery about a girl who is not quite human. While Lucy is nice in her amnesiac form, Kuroha is less so. However, both shows are about discovering who this girl is and why she is the way that she is.
Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne
For Rin Asogi, things like getting stabbed are just an inconvenience, not a death sentence. Rin has eaten the time fruit from the world tree, rendering her immortal. While she has lived long, she suddenly learns of someone that is hunting down other immortals like herself.
Although the immortals in Rin aren’t necessarily an evolution or new race like the Diclonius in Elfen Lied, they are both the same minority in the world. While the Diclonius might have never lived peacefully, the immortals enjoyed some peace, but they are soon threatened. In both shows, you watch these unique breeds fight for their lives.
Did we miss any anime recommendations for Elfen Lied and you could just slice some finger right off? Well, save the fingers and use them to tell us about them in our comments section below.