Monday, April 16, 2007

Elfen Lied: Episode 1

Bachelorette #1: We meet Lucy, doing what she does best, ripping limbs off people. The very first image after the opening sequence is a severed arm, bleeding on the floor. After taking out two guards, a naked Lucy, save an iron mask, hums the theme song and slowly walks away. The next seven minutes of episode one is dedicated to her killing fifty mall cops as she calmly escapes from a sleek, high-tech detention center. We get not-so-important exposition from one guard saying, "As long as you stay over two meters away, there's no danger! It said so in the manual!" Lucy quickly launches a pen she levitates off a corpse, and kills the guard. It figures we'd finally find a woman with a manual and she turns out to be a super-powered, mutant murderess. Just before she can finally escape the walls of the center, Lucy has to face 20 men with automatic rifles. Using not only her ability to block bullets with an unseen force, but the headless body of a secretary, Lucy guards herself from each bullet. The mall cops empty their clips then one pronounces that they don't have anymore bullets. It seems to me like they weren't adequately prepared for this to happen. Maybe you probably shouldn't hire mall security to guard your super-powered, mutant murderesses.

Leaving only the unarmed, be-suited man in charge - who I shall call, 'Mr. Glasses' - Lucy, very slowly, walks away towards an open door. Mr. Glasses orders her to be sealed in, but a mystery man at a console hits a button, and a door to the outside is opened. Mr. Glasses is left with one option: a sniper with an anti-tank rifle holding a 50 caliber bullet. The sniper, of course, messes up the shot, and only manages to wound poor, murderous Lucy, and knock off her iron mask. Lucy falls off a cliff, lands in the ocean, and triggers a title card to appear:

Bachelorette #2: Yuka, cousin to our soon-to-be protagonist, Kouta, walks around town looking for her cousin. Kouta has just, this moment, arrived in town, where both he and his cousin will be attending college. She finds him walking up a set of steps where he 'always used to go' to look at the ocean. Once they arrive at the beach, the two reminisce about Kouta's dead little sister, Kanae, who used to search for seashells there. After the flashback to prove to us young Kanae did in fact search for seashells, the cousins find before them a naked young woman, bleeding from the head. A head, by the way, we can now see is housed with two, short horns. And while she may look like Lucy, she is in fact:

Bachelorette #3: Lucy's brain-damaged alter-ego, Nyuu. After dressing Nyuu in Kouta's shirt, Yuka decides for Kouta that they should bring Nyuu home with them. I guess that's what you do with naked amnesiacs in Japan. Upon reaching Kouta's new house, it's explained that the house used to be a restaurant and has several rooms. This may become important later, seeing as how the two kidnap confused indigents. Shortly after entering the house, in what I hope is an attempt to illustrate her brain-damaged innocence, Nyuu falls to the floor and pisses herself. Which is immediately followed up by a two second bath scene with Yuka and Nyuu. Draw your own conclusions.

Back at the detention center, Mr. Glasses looks over the bloodied floor in Lucy's former room. The giant, metal restraint system that used to hold her, crumpled up, useless, and covered in blood. Trés chic. Mr. Glasses decided that Lucy must be destroyed, and they'll employ the SAT team to do it. Why does Lucy need destroying? Mr. Glasses: "If Lucy's memory is freed, mankind will perish." Ooh...

Cut-to: SAT team member Bando trains in a virtual reality game of Hostage Takers. After taking out the hostage takers on level one, Bando shoots the hostage. He still makes it to level two for some reason, where he switches his gun to automatic, and just shoots everyone. Because, how else would we know he's the bad guy? Bando yells at the control room that he wants to kill real people. 'Cause, 'bad guy.' After some small talk, a secretary walks up behind Bando and politely asks for his attention. He replies, by twisting around and breaking her face. Again, 'bad guy.' He should just wear a nametag. I'd have to cringe less.

Back at home, Kouta talks about a particular shell that his little sister found at the beach. The flashback tells us that she was pretty damned proud of it. "Soon after that," Kouta says, "she died from some illness." Yuka quietly questions this whole 'illness' story, but doesn't really speak up. The whole time, Nyuu watches Kouta tell his story, getting sadder and sadder, staring at the shell. So, she inches forward, grabs the shell, and breaks it in half with a smile. Kouta flips the fuck out and Nyuu runs out crying. Yuka informs Kouta that she broke the shell because Nyuu is kind of stupid, and thought the shell was making him sad. Aww. Yuka starts off to go look for her, because she's somehow their responsibility now. I guess.

On a helicopter, presumably nearby, Bando and team are geared up for battle.

On the beach, Nyuu is crying in the rain.

To be continued...

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