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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_elfenlied3_4989.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[CoversAlwaysLie Reason #12007 not to trust a series by its cover.]]]]
[floatboxright:
Other manga by Creator/LynnOkamoto:
* Manga/GokukokuNoBrynhildr
* Manga/{{Nononono}}]

-->'''Lucy''': ''When you’re miserable, you need someone more miserable than yourself.''

Lucy, a beautiful but extremely dangerous [[{{Mutants}} Diclonius]], escapes from a sinister research facility, [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill brutally slaughtering anyone that gets in her way]], whether they intended to or not. However, a glancing head shot from an anti-tank rifle leaves her injured, and she falls into the ocean, unconscious...

Later, [[OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent university student]] Kouta and his female cousin Yuka are walking along the Yuigahama beach near Kamakura, when they find [[ItMakesSenseInContext a naked young woman with horns on her head]]. They end up taking her home and calling her Nyu after the only sound she makes.

Between the [[OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness sinister government agency]] [[HumansAreBastards running the facility]], Yuka's jealousy, Nyu's dark and troubled alternate personality Lucy and a traumatic past he cannot remember, Kouta is in deep trouble. Caught between monsters, both human and not, where does his loyalty lie?

''Elfen Lied'', written by Creator/LynnOkamoto, is a ''{{gorn}}ographic'' {{manga}}, which has been likened to a [[XMeetsY combination]] of ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'', ''Literature/{{Carrie}}'', ''[[Literature/TheStrangeCaseOfDrJekyllAndMrHyde Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde]]'', ''Manga/LoveHina'', and ''Manga/{{Monster}}''. In other words, it's a twisted mixture of mutant battles, PsychicPowers, split personalities, pseudo-harem antics, cute girls, the male lead who discovers that the person whom he interacted during that person's childhood is evil, and of course, bucketloads of {{Gorn}} - and it's more than happy to [[MoodWhiplash swing between comedy and horror at the drop of a hat]]. It has also been compared to ''Series/IDreamOfJeannie'' [[XMeetsY as done by]] DavidLynch and Creator/WesCraven. There is also a short {{anime}} series of the same name that follows the first couple of chapters but ends with [[GeckoEnding an alternative ending]] before the real plot kicks off.

The series has [[SleeperHit become something of a]] CultClassic: given the heavy amounts of bloody violence and nudity, not to mention the dark tone overall (which are even worse in the manga), ''even in Japan'' the series only aired on satellite TV, as a glorified commercial for the DVD release. In North America, Creator/ADVFilms didn't seriously think the show would gain widespread popularity, if only for the pragmatic reason that it was limited to mature audiences and could only market it to such. There was actually supposed to be a second season, but the show had to end after only one season largely due to lack of exposure in Japan from its limited TV run. Then, ''purely by word of mouth'', it became one of ADV's top selling North American [=DVD=]s of 2005.

Now has its own [[Characters/ElfenLied Character Page]]. Contributions are greatly encouraged and appreciated.

Compare and contrast ''Manga/{{Akira}}'', ''Manga/{{Saikano}}'', ''Manga/DeadmanWonderland'', and ''Manga/{{Monster}}''. For series that deal with a superpowered species, compare and contrast ''Manga/{{Claymore}}'' and ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}''.

''[[Administrivia/YouHaveBeenWarned Cautious Editing/Viewer Warning]]'': There is a considerable amount of violence, gore, and discussion of rape.

----
!!This show provides examples of:

* OneHundredEight: The number of chapters in the series is 107. Add to this the two special chapters and you get 109. Remove the special chapter that is not canonical and voilá.
* AbridgedSeries: Has one, but is currently on hiatus (see trope page).
* AbsurdlyYouthfulMother: Kohta and Yuka adopt Mayu, despite there only being a 5 year age difference.
* AccidentalPervert: Kouta
* AdaptationDyeJob: Diclonius in the anime all have varying shades of pink hair. In the manga, Lucy's is a light pink, Nana has bluish-purple, and Mariko has blonde.
* AdaptedOut: Surprisingly few people are aware of Nozomi's existence. She was kept out of the anime entirely, despite [[TitleDrop being the reason that the show is called Elfen Lied]] and being a main character. After [[spoiler: she becomes a CuteMute due to injury]] in the manga, less than a page is devoted to her at the hospital. This is despite the fact that there was a ton of buildup to her exam results beforehand, and the latest development [[BreakTheCutie ran the risk of ending all her plans for the future.]]
** The title is taken from a German song/poem of the same name (Nozomi just sings this already existing song) and is a reference to Lucy/Nyu more than any other character. The "Elfen" part is a reference to her horns which resembles sharp ears. The "Lied" part (though actually meaning "song" in German) is symbolic to the English term "lie," meaning deception, a fitting reference to the innocent persona Nyu and the sociopathic persona Lucy. In other words, a reference to her deception to everyone but most importantly Kohta.
* AdultFear:
** Well, too many things to list, so lets just go with bloody [[NoNameGiven Unknown Man]]. He's sadist, a rapist, a murderer, and a child molester, and he nearly has his way with a rape victim name Mayu.
** Mayu's stepfather, who molested her repeatedly, and her mother did nothing to stop him. Result is she runs away with nobody to care about her till she runs into Kouta and Yuka.
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: A recurring theme.
* AllThereIsToKnowAboutTheCryingGame: [[spoiler:Lucy's death]] and [[spoiler:her real name "Kaede"]] are widely known. Somewhat subverted since you wouldn't know ''how'' those happened or revealed. It may possibly be because of the former being MakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext ([[spoiler:[[HilariousInHindsight her powers]] [[Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica exceeded entropy]]]], in other words), and the latter is all the way next to the ending.
* AmnesiacsAreInnocent: Gets worse after she gets the memories back.
* AnArmAndALeg: Lucy rips off the limbs of many people.
* AndIMustScream: Number 28 in the manga.
* AndTheAdventureContinues / NoEnding: The manga leaves off on a wild card: [[spoiler:Anna, who is revealed to be (or regresses nack into) an intact human, awakens to Nousou's {{Bifauxnen}} assistant/bodyguard, Nozomi's voice recovers, and Kouta begins his life married to (presumably) Yuka. The last page shows two twins (who are likely the reborn Lucy and Nyu) about a decade later arriving at the grave of Lucy's pet dog, to an older Kouta and his daughter.]]
* AndYourLittleDogToo: {{Inverted|Trope}}, the female lead does it to the antagonist and [[spoiler: the male lead]].
** Played with early on when Lucy comes across Mayu's little dog. Lucy looks down at the dog, which is barking frantically at her but unable to run away because it's tied to a leash, and we're treated to what seems like a GoryDiscretionShot as we hear Lucy use her powers. When Mayu comes outside, the audience's expectations are subverted when it's revealed that Lucy actually [[PetTheDog cut the dog's leash]]. This was our [[PetTheDog first hint]] that Lucy's not all bad.
* AntiHero: Lucy and Bando (in the anime and manga versions respectively) due to their merciless natures.
* ApocalypseWow: The manga has some fun nearing the ending, including an [[SceneryGorn impressive ten or so pages pages]] dedicated to [[spoiler:Lucy destroying the world when she accidentally thinks Kouta is KilledOffForReal; don't worry, he's not]]. There's also many treats to [[spoiler:the eventual destruction of the research facility, which is ripped apart from ''below the ground'' up with [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Lucy's vectors after she kills Kakuzawa]].]]
* ArmorPiercingSlap: Yuka gives such a hard one to Kouta early in the anime that in the next scene you can still see her hand imprint on his cheek.
* ArtEvolution:
** In the manga the artwork starts off okay, but gets dramatically better. Compare the cover of [[http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_dBHK2FcupH8/TH2O1l4DFXI/AAAAAAAAACY/QBp9ooIax-M/s1600/Elfen%2520Lied%2520Portada%25201.jpg volume 1]] to [[http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/3/39102/800712-3150648_l_super.jpg volume 12]].
** The horns of the Diclonii also had a different look at the start of the manga, though that changed quickly.
* ArtImitatesArt: In the opening credit, Gustav Klimt.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: Lucy's nipples are placed very inconsistently; they're always somewhere on her breast, but "where" depends on the artist.
* ArtisticLicenseLaw: In the manga finale, [[spoiler: the World Health Organization issued a birth ban until the Diclonius birth vaccine could be distributed. The WHO has no authority to order UN member nations to do anything.]] At best, they can strongly recommend actions, but the rest is up to every single national government on Earth.
* ArtisticTitle: "Elfenlied" is German for "elf song", and is the title of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elfenlied a poem by Eduard Mörike]] (but it's not the Latin poem, "Lilium", sung during the anime's opening).
* ArtMajorPhysics + NoArcInArchery: When an enemy is out of reach of their vectors, a Diclonius will typically use her vectors to instead throw objects at them. These thrown objects invariably behave like a bullet or arrow, regardless of the actual aerodynamic properties of the object in question.
** Of course, we're talking about ''very small'' objects thrown at the speed of a ''bullet'', like that pen that's thrown into [[EyeScream a soldier's eye]]. Played straight for extremely large objects.
* AssholeVictim: [[HumansAreBastards Where do we start ? ]]
* TheBadGuyWins: In the anime only, but the way they resolved all plot lines by then, Kakuzawa is the only one who came out unambiguously ahead. And he's laughing like a maniac over his victory. However, the story ends on a CliffHanger [[GeckoEnding of epic proportions]].
* BatmanGambit: Starting immediately after the point where the anime cuts off, Kakuzawa initiates the second part of his plan: [[spoiler:a missile launch with the Diclonius virus that would spread into the Japanese population, and, later, the world; in other words, [[AdultFear the population of Japan would have their future children Diclonius]], ''without them knowing of it'']]. An attempt to actually stop this from happening does not work, and [[ThePlan the gambit]] proceeds as planned. It would have worked if it wasn't for [[spoiler:Arakawa and her knowledge of the Diclonius virus, so it gets foiled later on]]. The rest of the manga is spent attempting to make sure the scenario does not proceed into ''even worse'' territory.
* BerserkButton: It's rare that diclonii care for anyone. If they do, you really ''don't'' want to threaten that person.
* BecauseYouWereNiceToMe: The only reason why [[spoiler: Lucy didn't kill Kouta when they were younger.]] [[ItMakesSenseInContext In a]] SlapSlapKiss sort of way.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: When Bando first mistakes Nyu for being harmless and provokes her into reverting back into Lucy. Lucy repays the favor by chopping off an arm, breaking the other, and blinding him.
** Nearly happens with Nana as well, when he verbally abuses her to the point where she develops DullEyesOfUnhappiness, and very nearly overpowers him.
* {{Bishonen}}:
** Nousou.
** Kurama is a borderline example, but is an older man and later grows a BeardOfSorrow.
* {{Bifauxnen}}: Until the very end when her shirt gets ripped, it's practically impossible to have guessed that [[spoiler:Nousou's sidekick (who shot Kouta) is actually a woman]].
* BigBad: Played straight with Kakuzawa Senior.
* [[BigDamnHeroes Big Damn Anti-Hero]]: When the Unknown Man assaults Mayu and Nana in chapter 75, things look really bad even for this manga. [[spoiler:Cue Bandou's DynamicEntry.]]
* BlankWhiteEyes: [[spoiler:Lucy when her right horn gets knocked off by Number 35 (Mariko)]]. She appears to be in shock/comatose (complete with white eyes) for several minutes.
* BloodbathVillainOrigin: Lucy
* BloodIsTheNewBlack: Frequently ends up being covered in blood after attacking people with her psychic powers.
* BloodyHorror: Lucy is frequently [[BloodIsTheNewBlack covered in blood]] after killing people with her psychic powers. When Kouta finally witnesses this in the anime it's extremely traumatic for him since he had been trying to ''protect her'' and befriended her throughout the series, and because he has PTSD from a traumatic past. Heck even her origin story as noted above involves her being covered in blood this way.
* BloodSplatteredInnocents: On numerous occasions, but most notable is [[spoiler:Kana during Lucy's rampage at the festival]].
* BloodyHandprint: Which [[AdaptationDisplacement isn't show anywhere]] in the manga.
* BodyHorror: Lucy towards the end of the manga. [[spoiler: Half of her face is melted off by that point.]]
* BolivianArmyEnding: In the anime...kind of. [[spoiler:Later revealed to be a plain old CliffHanger.]]
* BonusEpisode: The anime has 13 episodes plus one on the DVD.
* BrainInAJar: Number 28, only in a much worse fashion.
* BreakTheCutie: Every single goddamn one.
* BreatherEpisode: Episode 10.5, the OVA, an extremely loose adaptation of Chapter 85-86, which explains how Lucy was captured in the beginning of the manga. A nice break if one is going through the series in one sitting.
** Sadly the R1 DVD sets don't include it.
*** They do as of 2013, and the Blu-Ray release.
* BrickJoke: In the manga, Nozomi's diaper.
* BulletproofHumanShield: While escaping during the first episode, Lucy decapitates an intern and uses her corpse to block a hail of 9mm bullets
* CaughtInTheRain: Kouta and Yuka in episode six.
* ChekhovsClassroom: Bando remembers the instructions given to him earlier in the episode about the 2 meter effective range of Lucy's weapon.
* ChildByRape: [[spoiler: Lucy's half-brother, the result of Kakuzawa finding and imprisoning Lucy's Mom.]]
* CombatTentacles: Diclonius vectors might certainly count as these.
* CompressedAdaptation: The anime cuts off at around chapter 63, instead ending with a somewhat vague cliffhanger. For those who want to know what the anime missed, well... [[spoiler:Kurama does not die with Mariko. A ton of other characters are introduced. Kakuzawa finally gets the death he deserves. Arakawa's role is bigger. When Kouta's memories return, his reaction to Lucy is... less positive.]] You know, just read it. It's kickass... and very sad.
** Or it ''would'' be very sad, if it didn't keep resurrecting the characters who die. [[spoiler: Kurama, Bando, Mariko, and even Lucy]]--death is so cheap that it takes a lot of power out of an otherwise good story. [[spoiler: The anime still left out Bando's awesome death scene though.]]
* ConspicuousCG: The vectors.
* ContraltoOfDanger: Whenever the protagonist is in her Nyu persona, she is like an innocent young girl. When she switches to her Lucy persona, she has a much lower voice to match her dangerous and threatening nature.
* ContrivedCoincidence: [[spoiler:Once it's revealed that Lucy and Kouta met as children, it gets hard to believe that Lucy washing up on that beach would coincide perfectly with Kouta's return to that village for the first time in several years, and that both would have LaserGuidedAmnesia, and that Kouta's high school teacher is the son of the BigBad, and that Mayu happens to witness the fight between Lucy and Nana... Well, you can see where this is going.]]
* CoversAlwaysLie:
** Compared to the amount of blood and violence in this series, and how mentally scarred Lucy is, she sure does seem calm and serene on the DVD and manga covers.
** Awww, look at that manga cover, with the [[http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1030/882226864_d13ec4f4c4.jpg incredibly moe pink-haired girl on the front.]] This looks like a pretty innocent ser-''WHY IS THERE SO MUCH BLOOD!?''
* CrapsackWorld: Besides the nice-looking coastal city the series takes place in, apathy and discrimination run rampant, where being a Diclonius means a lifetime of being [[BreakTheCutie broken repeatedly]] and being a human means living in fear of the child being born a silpelit, which will accidentally kill its parents by the age of 3 as a result of its vectors.
* CrapsaccharineWorld: The melodrama takes places in a nice little coastal city and a very pretty inn...
* CreatorThumbprint: The openings of ElfenLied and Sora No Woto, both series directed by Mamoru Kanbe, feature recreations of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_Klimt Gustav Klimt's]] paintings, featuring the respective shows' characters.
* CreepyChild:
** Again, Number 35.
** At least two of the unnamed Diclonii
** There's also Tomo (the lead bully at the orphanage), who takes pleasure in beating an innocent puppy to death.
* CrossPoppingVeins: Happens to Yuka twice, once when Kouta was about to mention that her cooking wasn't special, and when his little sister teases her in the flashback.
* CryCute: Probably because of their exaggerated eyes, but all of the main girls when they do it. Even Lucy/Nyu and Mariko in the anime.
* {{Cry for the|Devil}} DevilInPlainSight: The story seems to go to great lengths to show how much of an [[TheWoobie unfortunate victim]] Lucy has been throughout her life.
* CurbStompBattle:
** Pretty much any fight involving Lucy, [[spoiler:although this is reversed in the battle between Lucy and Mariko.]]
** Conversely, pretty much any battle involving Nana will go badly for her.
** In the anime, Mariko pretty much stomps Lucy, and only stops because of Kurama's timely intervention.
* CutAndPasteTranslation: The German dub has less swearwords than the English one.
* CuteClumsyGirl:
** Miss Kisaragi only lasts for a whole ten minutes because of this. Nana lasts longer on account of [[spoiler:being clumsy due to having to control her artificial limbs with her vectors. And instead of stumbling, her limbs fall apart...]]
** Nana is this mostly in the anime. It's much rarer in the manga [[spoiler:which mostly consists of her limbs falling off when fighting]].
* CuteMute: Nyu, after the only word she could speak at first. [[spoiler: Nozomi]] becomes one near the end of the manga in a more literal way, although [[spoiler: she seems to have gotten better by the last chapter]].
* {{Cyborg}}: [[spoiler: Bando and Nana both get artificial limbs. They're prosthetics, though, and they're not as strong as flesh-and-blood limbs, but Nana gets creative with combining their detachable nature and her vectors.]]
* DeadGuyJunior: [[spoiler:In the manga ending, Kouta's daughter is named Nyuu.]]
* DeathByAdaptation: [[spoiler: Kurama]] dies in the anime, whereas he survives in the manga.
* DeathByChildbirth:
** [[spoiler: Hiromi, Kurama's wife]], in a roundabout way: [[spoiler:She had extreme complications with Mariko's birth, then tried to stop Kurama from killing Mariko shortly after her surgery and bled to death.]]
** This happens with any Diclonius that has slipped into KillAllHumans mode.
* DeathIsCheap: Manga only. [[spoiler: Kurama and Bando]] have excellent death scenes but disappointingly survive. [[spoiler: Nyu/Kaede]] has similar treatment. This is one point in which the anime may have been better - if they actually finished it properly.
* DidNotDieThatWay: Kouta eventually finds out that [[spoiler:his father and sister did not die from an accident and an illness, respectively, but that they were both murdered in front of him by Lucy, and the trauma of witnessing this caused him to block the memories out]].
* DisneyDeath:
** [[spoiler: Bandou in the manga. Constantly.]]
** [[spoiler: Also, Lucy]], though it was left up in the air.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Several examples.
* DoesNotLikeMen: [[spoiler:Mayu]] follows this to a degree; [[spoiler:the manga implies that her traumatic experience with her stepfather has soured her on men in general, and finding Kouta in the bath groping Nyu doesn't help. Ironically, she appears to bond most closely with Bandou, who generally treats her like crap, except for when he saved her from the "Unknown Man".]]
* DoubleStandardAbuseFemaleOnMale: Yuka tends to get pretty violent on Kouta several times.
* DysfunctionJunction: Nearly or just as bad as ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''.
** When the most normal and cheerful person in the cast is the one with no arms or legs, expect some serious issues.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Kind of. Could have been ''much'' worse.
** And really, despite it all, the ''very'' end is something wonderful. This is one of those stories that's ''well'' deserving of this trope.
* EldritchAbomination: Anna. She is ironically [[ItMakesSenseInContext more "Eldritch" than "Abomination"]] due to her being a gigantic head with two eyes and a ''very'' masive body [[spoiler:as the result of an "enhancement" experiment performed on her human form by her ''father'', Professor Kakuzawa]]. The reason why you never see it in the anime is due to it's residence, [[spoiler:the radioactive lake underneath the research facility]]. It's also [[AGodAmI equivalent to God]] in power because it has the ability to predict the future, and she knew that [[spoiler:Kakuzawa, and possibly herself, would be ceremoniously killed by Lucy, and, as a result, disrupt the plans of Kakuzawa's plans for being God]]. Creator/HPLovecraft would love to marry it.
* EnfantTerrible: [[spoiler:Mariko]], and Lucy too in her flashbacks.
** The entire GangOfBullies from Lucy's childhood, and their leader Tomoo in particular.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Bandou has lines he won't cross. If he feels in someone's debt he will try to return the favour.
** He also beats a pedophile. It may only be because the victim is his 'friend', but his reaction denotes that he hates this kind of person in general.
** Surprisingly, [[spoiler:Director Kakuzawa kept his daughter human, because EvenEvilHasLovedOnes.]]
* EvilVersusEvil: While by and large, most plot-driving characters are evil, there's shades of evil between them; some have sympathetic motivations or other redeeming qualities, while others completely lack any redeeming characteristics whatsoever. Being the latter does not necessarily mean that you are worse than the former.
* ExplosiveLeash: Done with Mariko.
* {{Expy}}: Not the series itself, but it [[FollowTheLeader has one]]. ''Literature/{{Wolfbreed}}''. It's ''Elfen Lied'' . . . with werewolves.
** In many respects, the doomed secretary Kisaragi seems like one for LoveHina cast member Mutsumi.
* EyeScream: Bando really should've stopped threatening Lucy after she rendered both of his arms nonfunctional...
* TheFairFolk: The diclonii seem to have been influenced by them in many aspect, such as children that are secretly given to human parents but turn out to be monsters, or that they are invulnerable to normal weapons and can only be killed with a special metal (in this case tungsten instead of iron). It's this kind of elves that the title is referring to.
* {{Fanservice}}: A girl with the body of an 18 year old and the mind of a 2 year old. Not hard to imagine all the kinds of situations this creates.
** Also, the scene of Yuka sitting on Kouta's lap and kissing him is taken ''much'' further in the manga, and several chapters have still art of characters in revealing clothing or various stages of nudity.
** Also, {{Panty Shot}}s. Lots and lots of panty shots.
* FanDisservice: Lucy walks around naked in the first episode while slaughtering people and splattering blood and limbs everywhere. Mayu in the scenes where she is molested by her stepfather. Also, many of the Diclonius are naked while they are tortured and the like. It's pretty much a given that if a character is nude or nearly so, something bad is either happening or about to happen, with few exceptions (see the previous trope). Erotic or traumatizing? You decide.
** Also, {{Panty Shot}}s. Lots and lots of panty shots. Usually immediately followed by traumatic slaughter.
* FantasticRacism: Played straight in the fact that humans believe Diclonii to be murderous monsters that will wipe out humanity and hunt them down without mercy.
** Subverted by the fact, that this time humanity is right! [[spoiler:Maybe. Though Diclonii do have a genetic drive to kill humans, there is some ambiguity as to just how much this can be averted by childhood circumstances. Nana is the most obvious example, but there are others in the manga. There is also, it's noted, a genetic drive in ''humans'' to kill humans, but those are normally suppressed by parents '''raising''' their children, not torturing them form their birth, chaining them up, and shooting rocks at them.]] See InformedAbility below.
*** It's a complex problem. [[spoiler: Diclonii begin to use vectors around age 3, when KidsAreCruel as well as intractable and still without inhibitions, notwithstanding that they can't even properly understand death. It's pretty hard for a 3 year old child with the power to destroy anything nearby with minimal effort to NOT commit brutal murders and antagonize humanity, and set in motion the whole conflict. It takes an exceedingly gentle personality, in fact, which is not a survival advantage and therefore rare. Even Diclonii would have trouble raising Diclonius children, except if they kept them at vector's length all the time, which is impractical. Although the Institute completely screwed it up with the whole torture business, the best bet is probably raising such children in isolation and gradually socializing them and increasing human contact AFTER they know that, well, tearing people apart with vectors is... well, wrong.]]
* FestivalEpisode: And a tragic one at that.
* FinalSolution: Pretty much every Diclonii in the series has been abused by humans to the point where their biological survival instinct has fused with their psychosis, which insists that humans must be eradicated or they will eradicate Diclonii. [[spoiler:Turns out that this is absolutely correct. Once knowledge of Diclonii is widespread, all Diclonii babies are killed at birth until human scientists develop a vaccine capable of keeping them from being conceived at all.]]
* ForScience ''and'' [[ForTheEvulz The Evulz]]: LogicalExtreme: all of the scientists want to observe Diclonii, even if it means risking another person's life. When questioning their motives, it usually involves a "What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome" quote.
--> '''Scientist (to Bando)''': ''The human race, [[SurroundedByIdiots full of idiots]]...[[KillEmAll is better off decreasing]].''[[note]]The context for the quote is better off [[{{Squick}} not worth mentioning]].[[/note]]
* FourLinesAllWaiting: Past Chapter 75, the manga relies on taking on individual routes and expanding on multiple characters. In Chapter 87, there's at least ''six'' individual timelines happening at once, and each timeline takes up a page, resulting in a extreme MoodWhiplash. In no particular order:
** A is Nyu [[spoiler:captured by Kakuzawa and learning of Lucy.]]
** B is Kohta [[spoiler:recovering from a gunshot wound in Chapter 85.]]
** C is Nana [[spoiler:finding Kurama borderline deranged after enduring through Chapter 65.]]
** D is Barbara and Nousou [[spoiler:the former who gets promoted to central character after she kills Nousou.]]
** E is Professor Arakawa [[spoiler:developing and finding the cure for the Diclonius.]]
** F is The Agent [[spoiler:finding Nousou's headless body.]]
* FrankensteinsMonster: Manga only, but [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything a young-looking scientist]] scavenges [[spoiler:a dead body blown to bits by an explosion]] and is able to reanimate the dead within his "laboratory" with some AppliedPhlebotinum (it's never clearly explained). [[WholePlotReference Can you guess]] [[Franchise/{{Frankenstein}} what happens next]]?
* FreakOut: A lot of characters. Some get them multiple times.
* FreezeSneeze
* FreudianExcuse: Lucy and Mariko.
* GeckoEnding: In the anime, [[spoiler:Lucy shows up casting a shadow on Kouta's house.]] The manga, however, has a definitive end, [[BolivianArmyEnding maybe]].
** Kurama [[spoiler: is killed in the anime, whereas he survives in the manga.]]
* GenreShift
* GoodAngelBadAngel: Near the end of the manga, [[spoiler:it's revealed that "[[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname Lucy]]" (real name "[[NoLastNameGiven Kaede]]") isn't the Hyde to Nyuu's Jekyll. In fact both of them are alternative personalties of the original Kaede, who was a quite normal girl until she snapped under the constant abuse and death of her dog, where her evil instinct took over and created [[EnemyWithin Lucy]], who only cared about [[OmnicidalManiac exterminating humanity]].]]
* GoodEyesEvilEyes: Used in a very prolific manner, particularly with Lucy/Nyu; just contrast the innocent Nyu persona's wide, bubbly eyes with the narrow, hateful, tortured eyes of the Lucy persona. In fact, a key characteristic of a Diclonius who's been pushed too far is a piercing, glazed-over look in their eyes, signifying their descent into murderous misanthropy (basically every Diclonius in the show goes through this at one point or another, given that HumansAreBastards).
* {{Gorn}}: With so much Gorn, [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Kirk doesn't stand a chance this time!]]
* GoryDiscretionShot: Subverted, surprisingly enough: in episode 3, what ''looks'' like a GoryDiscretionShot implies that Lucy has done her [[LudicrousGibs usual job]] on a puppy that was barking at her. Soon after, it's revealed that she simply cut its leash.
** Subverted so often that after a decent percentage of the manga, if someone isn't dismembered or beheaded in-panel you know they're probably okay.
*** Even being chopped in half might not kill you, [[spoiler: especially if you're [[KarmaHoudini Bandou]]]]
** But there ''is'' a straight GoryDiscretionShot in the first episode.
** And another one [[spoiler: in the eighth episode during Lucy's backstory, the animators were kind enough not to show [[AssholeVictim the three bullies]] [[KickTheDog beating a puppy]] to death]].
* GratuitousRape: It certainly seems like this. There's Lucy who was on the receiving end of AttemptedRape, and Mayu who ran away from a sexually abusive stepfather. And in the manga, there's the Unknown Man. How do we know he's evil? Because of the atrocious rape he gleefully commits on diclonii. Even when he's on a time frame to find Lucy, he still stops to try and rape Mayu.
** The most egregious example is - again, from the manga - the Director and Shirakawa. He finds out [[spoiler: she's a spy]]: He graphically molests her and uses the NotIfTheyEnjoyedItRationalization to humiliate her. It comes out of nowhere, it could be removed and nothing would be lost (save some exposition after the fact) and after that, it's never brought up again [[spoiler: as Lucy kills her soon after]]. At least Mayu had a character arc with her assault, this is just for shock value and more evidence to show that the Director is evil.
* GrotesqueCute: You see almost everybody drawn in the cutest, most SickeninglySweet {{shoujo|Demographic}} style, and next thing you know, you see torn limbs, heads and hearts, and blood sprayed everywhere!
* GroundPunch: The manga has Lucy using her vectors (basically invisible hands) to strike the ground in order to jump long distances, they even leave hand marks and small craters behind.
* HandCannon: Bando uses two Desert Eagles chambered in .50AE, and is actually {{justified|Trope}} in using it: Most handgun bullets bounce off the Diclonius vectors, the heavier and more powerful .50AE round will go right through at a close enough range. The only other option is to use an anti-tank sniper rifle or something equivalent in power.
* HaremAnime: Subverted. What could've been a major harem show is a high-handed drama instead.
* HarmfulToMinors: If you're a minor in this story, may God help you.
* HealingFactor: Diclonius in the manga are noted to have a small level of ability to heal their wounds. This is noticeable when Nana first appears covered in scars, cuts and gashes across her entire body but later appears only shortly after her fight with Lucy completely devoid of those specific wounds. This apparently is also what helps the [[spoiler: clone Diana survive having her own heart gouged out and Lucy is even capable of healing Kouta's own wounds with her vectors near the end of the manga.]]
* HeroicBSOD: Kouta goes through one that lasts for a year, and causes him to repress some painful childhood memories.
* HeroicDog : Both supported and subverted in Mayu's dog Wanta. His loyalty to Mayu (even over a woman who claimed to be his true owner)and the others is stellar. But like his human and otherwise friends, his ability to save them is way limited, and he is nearly killed by the vicious Unknown Man.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:Lucy]], toward the end of the manga.
* HiddenEyes: Lucy often has these when she's the active personality.
* HighPressureBlood: Holy HELL is there HighPressureBlood.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: The Unknown Man and both Kakuzawas die at the hands of Lucy.
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: A huge part of the show, but [[{{Jerkass}} Bandou]] ''really'' [[UpToEleven pushes the envelope]], and the Unknown Man pushes it off a cliff. Sometimes it seems that the Diclonii are more human than the actual humans, but usually not for long.
** FantasticRacism: Basically, more or less every human or Diclonius is pretty unpleasant to its own kind, but especially nasty to the other. It may just be the humans we see that are nasty, but that's pretty much everyone except Kouta, Kanae, Yuka, Mayu and Nozomi.
* HurricaneOfPuns: Chapter 21.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: The episodes of the anime, as well as the title, are in German. And [[GratuitousGerman don't make much sense to German viewers]] either.
* IllKillYou
* ImaginaryFriend: Cruelly subverted. Nana tries to tell the others that CuteMute Nyuu has a murderous SuperpoweredEvilSide named Lucy, but they think that it's just this.
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: Justified. The vectors of the Diclonii make most guns completely ineffective against them. High caliber tungsten rounds seem to be the only thing they have trouble stopping.
* InfantImmortality: Averted.
* InfoDrop: We only learn about Lucy's real name when Kouta reads the letter she wrote as a child. [[spoiler:It's Kaede.]]
* InformedAbility: The diclonius 'drive to kill humans' is ([[TheHeartless almost]]) only ever seen in diclonii who have been [[MoralEventHorizon horrifically]], [[ThisIsUnforgivable unforgivably]] abused by humans. There are very few times this seems to 'not' be the case, and all but one of those could be a situation of [[TykeBomb children with terrible power not knowing how to control it]]. Until the very, VERY end of the manga (as in the last chapter), we are only shown a single example of this not being the case, and even that one is questionable.
** Given the near total '''lack''' of evidence to support this, it's probably more likely that the "voice driving diclonii to kill all humans" is nothing more than the [[TheHeartless internal manifestation of Kaede and Barbara's psychotic break(s)]], and all other such examples are just kids being [[TykeBomb kids with horrifically dangerous powers]].
* InnocentFanserviceGirl: Nyu and at times Nana as well. This trope often veers from [[FanService appealing to the viewer]] to [[FanDisservice freaking out the viewer completely]].
* InVinoVeritas: A bonus chapter of the manga is devoted to this. Mayu is knocked out very soon, Nana gets mad over Kouta's treatment of her, Nyu and Yuka try to have sex with him... [[HilarityEnsues then Lucy awakens]].
* {{Jerkass}} --> JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Bandou. While he's a much bigger bastard than normal of the latter, he has his moments [[spoiler:mainly towards Mayu.]]
** It's perhaps better than nothing that Bandou is simply a Jerkass, given his behavior and the general treatment of most humans in this show!
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler:Kakuzawa and The Unknown Man get killed by Lucy.]]
* KarmaHoudini: Lucy [[spoiler:brutally murdered Kouta's dad and younger sister Kanae]], yet in the anime not only does Kouta more or less forgive her, it's hinted that she survives her last showdown with the army. The manga is a double subversion. Kouta does ''not'' forgive her, but [[spoiler:he does MercyKill her later on (utterly justified by the circumstances) after she shows sincere regret for her actions, and keeps visiting the stone where they promised to meet for years afterward. He even breaks down in tears as he discovers a secret note where Lucy (Real name Kaede) reveals how much she loved him, albeit in a very childish manner]].
** Kouta ''does'' say in the anime that he will never forgive "Lucy" for what she has done, but [[spoiler:that he will always love the little girl he played with, and Nyu. While they are effectively the same person, it is pretty common as a figure of speech. And hey, it's love. It is unreasonable anyway]].
** Mayu's AbusiveParents never get punished for their actions.
* KickTheDog: Taken to the LogicalExtreme, but also subverted early on to show that Lucy's killing was ''more'' discriminate than we were previously led to believe.
* KidsAreCruel: Lucy's childhood, which culminated in her StartOfDarkness when the children in the orphanage [[spoiler: beat her puppy to death]]!
** Mariko is this to a certain extent, as her ruthless killing is more or less the Diclonis equivalent of burning ants with a magnifying glass (at least the way she treats it). Of course, [[InnocentlyInsensitive she wasn't really raised to know any better...]]
* KillAllHumans: Most Diclonii. Whether it's because HumansAreBastards or because of a genetic drive is unclear.
** It's at least very heavily implied that it's a genetic drive. The fact that HumansAreBastards just makes it easier for them to listen to their inner voice telling them to [[KillAllHumans kill everyone]].
*** One interpretation is that the "genetic voice" of the Diclonii to be a simple case of egoism. It's mentioned often in the manga that human beings have a drive to expand and survive that is based primarily on egoism; it is only natural the ''Homo sapiens diclonius'' would have a similar drive. Since they are competing with humans for a place in the world, and since their vectors give them a huge advantage, it isn't difficult for them to associate their capabilities with manifest destiny and a sense of superiority, ''particularly'' after the abuse many of them receive at the hands of human beings. This serves as [[AnAesop a particularly brutal aesop]] regarding both the consequences of mistreating fellow human beings ''and'' the objective insignificance of human life.
*** A different interpretation however is that the "genetic voice" is just regular insanity and the humans simply misinterpreted the Diclonii based on that.
* KillEmAll: Explicitly states that Lucy could singlehandedly cause Diclonii to outnumber humans (guaranteeing their extinction), but doesn't actually occur in the series.
* KilledMidSentence: In the final episode in the anime series, [[spoiler: the scientist (I don't know his name)]] that kills [[spoiler: Mariko and Kurama]] by detonating a bomb inside [[spoiler: Mariko]] gets decapitated by [[spoiler: Lucy]] as he says to Nana when he attempts to shoot her:
-->"You're the only one left. Think of the reward-- [[spoiler: (gets decapitated)]]
** [[spoiler: Professor Kakuzawa]] was also killed this way.
* KissingCousins: Yuka is infatuated with her cousin Kouta. Whether he feels the same way or not is unclear but seems likely. They DO have a very intimate scene at the temple after all...
** In the final chapter of the manga, [[spoiler:Kouta's daughter resembles Yuka.]]
* LargeAndInCharge: According to the full-cast shot in the last chapter, Director Kakuzawa is taller than the rest of the cast by a notable amount.
* LargeHam: Bandou and Kakuzawa.
* TheLastDance: [[spoiler:Kouta has a fatal gunshot wound, Lucy/Kaede's body is already at limits from a abortive attempt at avenging the aforementioned fact '''on a global scale''', and JSDF air and maritime forces are already scrambling to take her out with their ''full firepower''. What does Lucy/Kaede do? She proceeds to sing ''Elfenlied'' while [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome patching up Kouta's body ]] ''[[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome on a cellular level]]'' '''[[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome and]]''' [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome blasting the JSDF forces out of both sky and sea]], ''[[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome simultaneously]]. And she knows full well that she's going to end up with a fatal SuperpowerMeltdown.]]
* LetsSeeYouDoBetter: During the festival flashback, Yuka is constantly breaking the clay animals at one of the stands. Kouta says that she's terrible at it, so Yuka tells him to do it if he's so awesome at it. Then he does and manages to get the animal shape out of it, and she promises to get better at it.
* LighthousePoint
* LimpAndLivid: Lucy. Quite a lot.
* LittleMissBadass: Almost all of the Diclonii are this during their preteen years.
* LovableSexManiac: Nyuu, full stop - at least, in the manga. She is constantly making Kouta grope her and molesting the other girls that live at the inn. Subverted in that she doesn't understand the gravity of her actions, and is only (for the most part) copying things that she's seen others doing.
* LoveConfession: When Yuka confesses to Mayu how jealous she gets whenever Kohta pays attention to other girls, Mayu gently asks Yuka if maybe the reason she gets so jealous is that she loves Kohta. Yuka tearfully admits she's right.
* LoveMakesYouEvil: Lucy at first, but she does get better. Mariko as well. Yuka too, but to a lesser extent.
* [[SeanConneryIsAboutToShootYou Lucy Is About to Kill You]]: When Bando decides to kill Lucy by shooting the grenade next to his dead teammate, he forgot an important object: the teammate's automatic machine rifle. It went to hell from there.
* LyricalDissonance: First, the violent anime ends with a cheery upbeat song. Then, the lyrics turn out to be all about [[AllLoveIsUnrequited unrequited love]], [[ThirdLineSomeWaiting which is actually a subplot in the series]].
* MadScientist: Arakawa, the assistant of Kakuzawa's son starts out as only slightly eccentric when she has to take over his work. Being practically locked in in a basement room on a small remote island and working alone for weeks really tooks it's toll from her.
* MadeOfIron: Lucy survives taking an anti-tank slug to the head in the first episode. To be fair, though, the thing barely grazes her, she's wearing a helmet, and she has her vectors to protect her. She still does survive falling hundreds of feet off a cliff into the ocean without drowning immediately afterwards though.
* MagicalGirlfriend: [[{{Deconstruction}} Dismembers the genre]] with a rusty chainsaw.
* MementoMacGuffin: Lucy's letter to Kouta. [[spoiler:It also reveals her true name.]]
* MildlyMilitary: Bando never seems to face any repercussions, even when he threatens fellow squadron members ''with a gun''.
** This was something that only happened in the anime. In the manga, Bando never attempts such a thing.
* TheMole: Two of them [[spoiler: Kurama's assistant Shirakawa]] and the [[spoiler: agent assigned to Nousou]] both turn out to be spies for the [[spoiler: Japanese government as it tries to both stop Kakuzawa and cover-up its sponsorship of his insanity]].
* MoodWhiplash: This should be obvious if you have read anything else on this page.
* MuggingTheMonster: The kids who picked on Lucy and killed her dog didn't know just what they were messing with.
* MundaneLuxury: When Nana moves in with Kouta and the others, she gets enthusiastic about things like hot baths and somen noodles.
* NakedOnArrival: Well, Lucy wasn't ''actually'' naked when she went on her rampage in the beginning, but she ended up naked after freeing herself. Played straight when Kouta and Yuka find Lucy naked on the beach, but as yet-unnamed-Nyu.
* NatureVersusNurture: A point is made about whether or not the diclonii really are [[AlwaysChaoticEvil malicious]], or if their cruelty is a byproduct of how they were raised. Nana seems to indicate that it is indeed nurture, not nature.
* NiceJobBreakingItHerod: The bad guys regularly visit hospitals trying to find newborn diclonii and take them, with or without their parents' consent.
* NippleAndDimed: The nipples are generally shown uncensored, [[BarbieDollAnatomy but the genitals not]].
* NobleSavage: The Diclonii technically are this, given how it's near-impossible for regular people to civilize them without being killed by the former.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: Although there are quite a few, Lucy fighting Nana probably takes the gold.
* NoLongerWithUs: Nana just felt like being melodramatic for some reason...
* NonActionGuy: Kouta. He isn't very strong, [[TooDumbToLive smart]], has no powers, weapons or anything except some cool friends.
** Although he has a knack for solving his problems by punching people in the face.
* NoNameGiven: Numerous examples, especially near the Manga's end. The [[TheStoic Agent]] and the Unknown man are the most prominent. The Operatives in [[spoiler: The Diclonius Craft]], the Fleet Captain, and The Bakery Lady are also never named.
** Partially with the vast majority of the main cast, who have either only a given name or only a family name. Anna Kakuzawa is a rarity. Professor Kakuzawa and Shirakawa gain names by accident in the anime. Isobe's name is hard to spot at times--he almost seems this trope.
* NoPeriodsPeriod: Rather graphically subverted with Lucy.
* NoSocialSkills: Nana, who was raised in a lab.
* NotWhatItLooksLike: Played straight when Kouta tries to change Nyuu's wet clothes, as she doesn't know how to do it herself.
** Subverted once when it's exactly what it looks like. Kouta is most definitely groping Nyu, mostly because she made him. [[ClingyJealousGirl Yuka is not exactly convinced by his explanation.]]
* OffModel: The art in the first manga volume is a little dodgy, especially concerning Lucy's legs and several male faces. [[ItGetsBetter It noticeably improved,]] although it's not without some hiccups that carry over into ''{{Nononono}}''.
* OffingTheOffspring: [[spoiler:Kurama and his Diclonius daughter, Mariko.]]
** [[spoiler: Zigzags. Ultimately subverted in the anime, when Kurama dies with Mariko because Mariko explodes rather than him doing anything to her. Eventually played straight-ish in the manga, though Kurama only kills a clone of Mariko and not the real article, with the clone vehemently insisting on not being treated as Mariko.]]
* OhCrap: [[spoiler:from the readers, when Kouta gets shot. Lucy has never made that face until then. Damned be the odds, so many people are about to die ''so horribly''.]]
* [[OminousLatinChanting Ominous Latin Singing]]: "Lilium", the opening theme.
* OneGenderRace: Subverted, as there are male diclonius but they so incredibly rare that we only see one in the manga, [[spoiler: Lucy's half brother.]] There are two other cases, but it's not clear whether they're descended from Diclonii whose ancestors bred with humans to the point that the only part of the Diclonius heritage remaining is the horns (there ''are'' two of them), or if they just have a birth defect that changes the shape of their skulls.
** The manga makes it clear on this front: The Kakuzawas [[spoiler: are only Humans with a slight genetic mutation. Lucy could not sense them at all; Her Diclonius are a separate evolution altogether as a result of genetic manipulation as opposed to being descendants from demons]].
* OnlyAFleshWound: Having your limbs ripped off or exploded is okay if you get a tourniquet, and usually if you don't as well.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: [[spoiler:Most people seem to either not know or forget that "Lucy" isn't her real name. As revealed toward the end of the manga, "Lucy"'s real name is Kaede]].
* OurClonesAreIdentical: All the following sub tropes are done with [[spoiler:Mariko clones]]. Though those are manga only.
** CloningBlues: Subverted, due to the MindControl devices they appear rather cheerful. When the MindControl is off, they [[KillAllHumans they still aren't sobbing wrecks]].
** ExpendableClone: Ordering a clone to [[spoiler:stab itself in the heart]] to prove a point isn't the worst thing done.
** OpeningACanOfClones: See above.
** SendInTheClones
* OverdrawnAtTheBloodBank: Goes right along with the HighPressureBlood
* PersonOfMassDestruction: Every Diclonius has the potential to become one of these.
* PinealWeirdness: The Diclonius start as humans with large pineal glands.
* PleasePutSomeClothesOn: When an angry Kouta finds Lucy in the beach near the end, he tosses her his coat.
* PottyDance: Lucy (as Nyuu) does this before finally just going on the floor.
* ThePowerOfLove: Not in the way it's usually thought of, and it doesn't show much in the anime, but the manga makes it pretty clear that love (primarily of the filial sort rather than romantic) is more powerful than anything else motivating a Diclonius, even their instinctive drive to KillAllHumans. [[spoiler:It can even override the obedience devices in the lobotomised Mariko clones.]]
* PoweredByAForsakenChild : Much of Kakuzawa's scheming involves the use and abuse of Kurama's Diclonius daughter, Mariko. While at the Institute, she is essentially a hostage to ensure Kurama's complete obedience. Her use as a weapon against Nana and Lucy distracts Kurama and prevents him from acting in time to stop the [[spoiler: virus-carrying missile]]. Even when Mariko herself is gone, her many and varied [[spoiler: clones]] provide both weaponry and, most nightmarishly of all, [[spoiler: the organic material used to build the Vector Attack Craft which have a dubious track record against the masses of Clone Diclonii, and fail completely against Lucy]] making this trope literal and even more loathsome.
* PreciousPuppies: There are a few puppies in this series, and they're all quite precious. Except when [[spoiler: they're getting beaten to death with a vase/rock.]]
* ThePromise: Lucy and Kouta agree to meet at the stone behind the festival terrain on the last day of the summer festival.
* PsychoForHire: Bandou before his CharacterDevelopment, the Unknown Man from the manga.
* RRatedOpening: One of the most notorious openings in anime history.
* RapeAsDrama: [[spoiler:Mayu was sexually abused by her stepfather, and very nearly raped by the Unknown Man.]]
* RealPlaceBackground: The series takes place in the Japanese town of Kamakura. Most of the locations, such as the stone stairs, are well-known local landmarks.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler: Lucy/Nyu/Kaede's final fate in the manga (and perhaps in the anime).]]
** [[spoiler: Also the fate of Mariko and Bandou in the manga.]]
*** [[spoiler: Bandou turned out to be alive in the end (though at this point something like half of his body had to be artificially replaced)]]
* RedEyesTakeWarning: Practically every Diclonius.
* RedShirt: Played painfully straight. Almost every guard, soldier or cop seen is the manga end up slaughtered by a Diclonius, often Lucy, even if they're not agressive or fleeing, which probably make us wonder WhatMeasureIsAMook.
* {{Reincarnation}}: At the end of the manga, where [[spoiler:the twins are apparently separate reincarnations of Kaede and Nyuu]].
* TheRunaway: Mayu is a textbook Abused Runaway while Lucy is a textbook Orphan Runaway. Nozomi kind of qualifies as an Abused Runaway, but she didn't really run away.
* RunningGag: Arakawa is constantly voicing her annoyance about being kept from her apparently frequent showers. Later, after having worked alone in a basement room without much outside contact for weeks, she's made her great breakthrough working in nothing but her sweaty underwear and dirty hair.
** Also Nana losing her concentration and dropping her arm or leg (often to the disbelief or horror of accidental witness).
* SerialEscalation: How far can a Diclonius reach with their vectors? [[spoiler:To a [[StuffBlowingUp helicopter]], to land from several thousand meters below, and to ''outer space''.]]
* ShrinesAndTemples: It's set in Kamakura, so they're all over the place.
* ShrinkingViolet: Nozomi (manga), Mayu
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Heavily on the cynical side
* SkinshipGrope: Nyuu loves doing this.
* ShooOutTheClowns: In the fastest Shoo-out ever, the general feel of ''Elfen Lied'' is realized when the cute {{Dojikko}} secretary gets her head cut off in the first five-ten minutes of the first episode (and she had done ''nothing'' except walk in on Lucy's battle!). And it doesn't help that Lucy uses her beheaded body as a [[BulletproofHumanShield human shield next.]]
** It really happens even sooner. ''[[MurderIsTheBestSolution 4]] [[UpToEleven seconds]] [[SerialKiller into]]'' the first episode, a nameless gaurd is beheaded by Lucy/Nyu/[[spoiler: Kanae]]. That's right ''4 seconds in.'' In this one, the clowns didn't even make it in the door, it was slammed in their face right after it was opened.
* ShoutOut:
** Hello, anyone? [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucy_(Australopithecus) Lucy]]!
** Professor Kakuzawa wants to make Lucy his "[[http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensborn Lebensborn]]".
** Barbara's [[spoiler: escape from the hospital and subsequent flight above the streets looks very much like [[{{Matrix}} Neo's flight though the streets in one of the last Matrix movies]]]].
* SociopathicHero: Bandou.
* SoundtrackDissonance: The ending theme, Chieko Kawabe's "Be Your Girl", in contrast to pretty much all that the viewer's seen for the previous 20 minutes or so.
** Though if one pays attention to "Be Your Girl"s lyrics, they actually fit with the rest of the story fairly well [[spoiler: since it's a song about a girl loving a man she can't have.]]
* SpiderLimbs: Vectors
* SplitPersonality: Lucy/Nyu. Provider of the current page image.
** SplitPersonalityMakeover
** SplitPersonalityTakeover: The shift between Lucy and Nyu; Lucy knows when Nyu has been in control, but doesn't try to stop it from happening.
* StarCrossedLovers: [[spoiler: Lucy and Kouta.]]
* StartOfDarkness: Episodes 8 & 9 show Lucy's backstory, along with the only happy day she spent while with Kouta when they were kids.
* StayingAlive: [[spoiler:Bandou.]] Walking trope embodiment.
* SuperpoweredEvilSide: The AxCrazy OmnicidalManiac personality which is ''[[TheHeartless almost]]'' inherent to Diclonii and which Lucy tries to not completely give in to. Lucy could be considered evil, or just murderously vindictive.
* SugarAndIcePersonality: What young Lucy's tsundere tendencies have matured into by the start of the series. Although not at the same time, Lucy's character seems therefore to be the very rare quartet of {{Tsundere}}, SugarAndIcePersonality, {{Yandere}} ''and'' CuteAndPsycho (due to Nyu).
* SuperPowerMeltdown: Happens to Lucy near the end of the manga. It's not [[BodyHorror pretty]].
* SympatheticMurderer: Lucy, to the point some even start [[DracoInLeatherPants siding]] with her
* TailorMadePrison: The sinister Research Faciliy in which Diclonii are held and experimented on (more like ''[[ColdBloodedTorture tortured]]'').
* TeamMom: As the older of the girls, Yuka is sometimes referred as the "mother" of the group in the anime.
* TearsFromAStone: From a stone UsefulNotes/{{Hachiko}}.
** Also BerserkerTears, TenderTears, OcularGushers...justified in how [[BreakTheCutie so very broken]] everyone is.
* TearsOfRemorse
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: In the manga Lucy sings the German song "[[TitleDrop Elfenlied]]" while [[spoiler:'''taking on an entire army from thousands of kilometers away''']]. Apparently, the more thematic the song, the bigger the powerup.
* ThemeTuneCameo. Variants of "Lilium" often show up in the anime's background music. It's also the tune Kouta's music box plays, and is labeled as such.
* ThenLetMeBeEvil: Part of it was from Lucy's own imagination (such as when she imagines Kouta saying he only liked her cause she was a freak), but it was mostly because of [[KidsAreCruel the bastard kids]] who not only picked on Lucy, but constantly taunted and harassed her, and constantly demonized her (and this was before the [[MoralEventHorizon puppy incident]]). Kouta almost kept her from doing this, but ended up lying to her (mostly to spare her feelings since his cousin was a girl instead of a guy, but Lucy [[ClingyJealousGirl saw it differently]]).
* ThisIsUnforgivable: Kouta say this to [[spoiler: Lucy]] after he remembers that she [[spoiler:killed his sister and father in front of him with a (manga only) ''huge'' SlasherSmile]]. In the anime, he clearly still loves her, and he says so even after what she'd done. In the Manga however...
---> '''Kouta '''(In the ''coldest'' way possible): I will ''never'' forgive you for [[spoiler: killing Kanae and my father]]. No matter how much you apologise.
** ....But, even at the end of the manga, it's clear that he ALSO still loves her, even after all she's done, so he might have forgiven her [[spoiler: after she died and he had a long time to get over his emotions.]]
* TitleDrop: The manga has Nozomi sing the titular song at one point. [[spoiler:Much later, Lucy, who learned the song from Nozomi, sings it to help herself heal Kouta's wounds.]]
* TooDumbToLive: Kisaragi in the anime [[AnyoneCanDie as Lucy proves ten minutes in]], in a very gory fashion. In the manga, [[spoiler:Kisaragi's death is less a sequence of unforgivable stupidity than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.]]
* TooIncompetentToOperateABlanket: Both Nana and Nyuu. Nana's being such is due to her traumatic childhood, while Nyuu is essentially an infant in an adult body.
* TragicKeepsake: The seashell.
* TraumaInducedAmnesia: Happens to Kouta when he sees what Lucy does to his sister and father.
** Mayu does this to a lesser extent regarding [[spoiler: her witnessing Lucy's brutal dismemberment of Nana.]]
* TraumaticSuperpowerAwakening
* {{Tsundere}}: Lucy, in her StartOfDarkness; Yuka
* {{Tykebomb}}: Every single diclonius in the facility. Apparently what's produced there. Lucy and Mariko could certainly be called nuclear tykebombs.
* UnexplainedRecovery: Nana, and Bandou [[spoiler:twice. Kurama does as well. Anna does it too, returning to her normal form as well. Diana manages this as well, despite stabbing herself in the heart]].
* UnstoppableRage: Lucy about 90% of the time (oh, but what a ''wonderful'' 10% that is!).
* UnusualEars: They're actually horns, but they ''look'' kind of like cat ears.
* UsedToBeASweetKid: Lucy.
* VillainProtagonist
* WhatMeasureIsANonCute: Sure, Lucy and Nana have it tough, but at least their looks let them avoid the fate of their faceless siblings who are treated as mere cannon fodder.
** Still doesn't explain Mariko or Number 28 though.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: When [[spoiler:the survival of humanity]] is at stake, humans are willing to do lots of things.
** Inverted in the series. Where they would show horrible deaths for any human, but never showed onscreen [[spoiler: Lucy's Puppy's death.]]
* WhereItAllBegan: Slightly subverted since this place is not the earliest shown. In the final pages of the manga, [[spoiler:Kouta visits the orphanage, specifically the grave of Lucy's pet dog, once a day due to a strange whim. He does this for at least a ''decade'', until his daughter finds a MessageInABottle and two familiar faces.]]
* WhyDidYouMakeMeHitYou: Occurs between Mayu and her mother. [[spoiler:"Why do you [[RapeAsDrama steal my husband]]?"]]
* WomanScorned: Sure, Kouta! Don't tell Lucy that you're going to the festival with your female cousin! [[spoiler: Even if she finds out, it's not like she'll go so far as to murder your little sister, your father, and dozens of other people, right?]]
** To be fair, [[spoiler: Lucy admits that if Kouta had told her he was going to the festival with a female cousin, she probably would have hunted down the cousin and killed her.]]
* YoungerThanTheyLook: Silpelit Diclonii age faster than humans [[spoiler:or Queen Diclonii like Lucy]]. Nana, for example, appears to be on the verge of her teen years but is in fact six.
* YourHeadASplode: ...where do we '''START!?'''
** Everyone who dies that isn't gorily chopped in half? [[OnlyAFleshWound Losing all your limbs at once is okay so long as you get a tourniquet though.]]
** The general rule seems to be that as long as your torso and head are still attached and intact, [[WalkItOff you're going to be fine.]]
*** [[AndIMustScream Except Number 28]].

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