"This series may contain strong language, excessive violence, nudity and/or lots of blood and gore. Parental guidance is advised." Let the fun begin!
Chapter 1: Elf
We open with glamor shots of a helicopter landing at a seaside building and various character closeups, though it's just throwing faces at me at this point. A pair of security guards discuss a big event tomorrow, for which security has been weakened. There's a lot of noise in the room, and they're guarding a girl who isn't human in a big tank. One of them notices he's dropped a pen inside the tank, and screams to run. Very Silence of the Lambs
It's the day of the transportation, and everyone's cautioned that they'll be killed instantly if they get within one and a half meters of the girl, and also to keep an eye on anything loose; that guard who dropped the pen was killed. A "vice minister" has been called in because they're running short of tax funding, and a scientist looking guy insists even the massive security they have isn't really enough, so they're moving the girl. The vice minister then acts as The Watson
in a rather gratuitous Infodump
: there's a genetic defect among humans that occasionally produces a mutant, which usually die off early but she didn't. Now there's a fear that these mutants will eventually take over as Earth's dominant species, like man did to apes. I think Stan Lee's going to sue somebody. The official name for them is Diclonius, which doesn't have any real meaning as far as I can see. The girl's main difference to humans is her number of arms, though the scene ends before we get to see what that means.
Time to meet someone I guess will be a major character, who helpfully Infodumps
straight to the reader about his backstory: he's barely gotten into college on his second try, and is now living with his nearby cousins while he attends. He then meets a girl he hasn't seen in eight years; his name is Kouta and she's his cousin whose name is Yuka. They look over the ocean, which Kouta is apparently seeing for the first time. Riveting.
Can we get back to the mutant girl, please?
Hey, wish granted, though we still don't get to see her as she's in a giant restraint that puts that thing Misa
was stuck in to shame. Not even Fetish Fuel
vibes off this. There's metal bars around it denoting the safe zone of two meters, which is what that guard's pen rolled into. We also learn that the noise from earlier is her kicking the floor, which is why she's being moved. Good luck with that, given the whole instant death thing.
They go upstairs, where the scientist's assistant does a gratuitous pratfall and panty shot. Please don't make that a thing with this series; I kind of picked it to get away from that stuff. Ugh, then it happens again, and the scientist exposits that she's a university graduate and isn't used to this kind of job. Yeah, that would totally cause you to constantly trip over your own legs. Honestly, don't make this a thing, guys.
The girl is brought up on an elevator with two guards. One of them is handed the Idiot Ball
when his phone rings depite being deep underground, and she kicks again, causing him to lose his grip on it and reach into the bars. She telepathically pulls his arm off, but it doesn't really matter since his whole body is then yanked into range. Two arms somehow come out of the restraints and twist his head off, and then the other guard notices the keys coming out of the body's pants. His attempts to shoot the girl are deflected somehow, and the keys jump into the lock. I'm still a little unclear what's going on here, but still, Crowning Moment of Awesome
and Nightmare Fuel
In the secretary lounge, we learn the scientist is named Kurama and his secretary likes him despite the others being scared of him. She gets a bit creepy about it, saying she wants to become the best secretary in the world for him. I sense a Yandere
in the making.
The elevator arrives and we see the girl for the first time. She's nude except for a helmet, and I don't see any more or less than two arms. Oh yeah, and there's a big bloody mess of body parts around her. But hey, boobs!
Kurama shows the vice minister brain scans of the girl, with a highly enlarged pineal body which is thought to control a sixth sense. I don't think telekinesis counts as a sense, but you keep going. That one difference is enough for Kurama to get What Measure Is a Non-Human?
on us, prepared to restrain and dissect her to help wipe out the emerging mutants, and I now have him pegged as the Big Bad
. The alarm sounds and they see the girl walking around the halls; seems her name is Lucy.
Lucy walks past the secretary, and Kurama shouts her name: Kisaragi. Lucy grabs her as a hostage to make the others open the outer door, and holds her exactly in front of her own body to give no target to the numerous guards that have arrived. Nice to see that kind of attention to detail. He tells Kisaragi she'll have to be sacrified, which she's fine with as she'll be helping him. I really wasn't expecting a Tearjerker
this early, especially from the villains, but there you go. But then Lucy decides to spite them all by yanking Kisaragi's head off (that's going to happen a lot, isn't it?) and the guards open fire, all just hitting her corpse. Lucy sends a bunch of pens I guess she got from those two guards in the elevator through their heads. And then we get an explanation of the arm thing, as she puts a spectral arm through one guy's chest and rips his heart out. Lots more appear and take care of the others, while Kurama goes into complete denial on who has the advantage here. Lucy shoves things home for him by opening the door herself, and laughing that Kisaragi's death was pointless. Kurama has a bit of a breakdown over it, though I can't quite call it a Villainous Breakdown
given recent events.
Lucy goes to a cliff, preparing to dive into the ocean, as Kurama tells another guard with a machine gun that this is their last chance. We learn her Achilles' Heel
is the back of her head, but before the guard can shoot, she notices them and it hits the side of the helmet, knocking it off. Lucy's long hair still keeps us from getting a good look at her face as she falls off the cliff. Kurama heads back inside where the vice minister says he underestimated this situation, and he swears revenge over Kisaragi's head. It's always nice to have villains with these kinds of complex motivations.
Hey, remember Kouta and Yuka? They're now walking along the shore as Kouta has some trouble remembering his childhood fun with Yuka. Lucy walks in front of them, still nude, and turns out to be your typical doe-eyed waif...with cat ears. I'm guessing Hilarity Ensues
I'm not quite hooked by the story yet, but it definitely has an interesting setup. I love the moral ambiguity; Kurama's clearly the villain with his horrific designs for Lucy, yet her own actions are so horrific I can't help but sympathize with his desire for revenge, despite his likely being responsible for her being this way. And with Kouta and Yuka as the naive innocents thrust into the middle, there's lots of potential for their stories to evolve in any direction, though I'm guessing it'll involve lots of Break the Cutie
. My one real criticism is the clumsy exposition, though hopefully the world will be established enough after a few chapters that we won't need it anymore.
edited 23rd Jan '10 6:53:16 PM by Eegah