A couple of volumes back, I decided to start taking critical notes during my reviews of Bleach mostly so I could leave specific bookmarks on what I thought were great pages from the book to use as pictures in these posts. The opportunity to remark on things that immediately struck me as intriguing also helped the posts become a little more focused, but a quick read through of my notes from say the last volume of Bleach reveals me mostly reveling in whatever feat of bad-assery that Ichigo had just accomplished or trying to keep track of the endless supply of new characters that Tite Kubo was introducing to the series. I decided to start taking notes on Elfen Lied as well, and a read through of those notes are a “little” different. Some variation of “what the fuck” or “holy fuck” or any other expletive seems to be the most common phrase because Elfen Lied continues to reveal new depths of twisted and depraved cruelty in its villains. Like, seriously, Elfen Lied requires a special kind of immunity to disturbing material to even attempt to read it and I’m really depressed about the fact that I’m apparently so desensitized that I can make it through this story (even though it leaves me battered and bruised when I’m done).

When Bando managed to scare away the Unknown Man last volume, the peace at the Maple Inn was shattered the second that Yuka, Kohta, and Nyu showed up at the house. Without hesitation, Bando tried to shoot Nyu which caused her self-preservation mechanisms to kick in and she became Lucy again for the first time in months. Out of respect for Kohta from Lucy and for Mayu from Bando, Bando and Lucy decide to take their fight to the beach (where the Unknown Man fled). We finally know why Bando’s been cleaning the beach all of these months. It’s so there’s nothing that Lucy’s vectors could throw at him. However, despite all of his traps and planning, his pistol still isn’t strong enough to pierce Lucy’s vectors outside of her kill range. The Unknown Man tries to stop Bando from killing Lucy but Lucy just rips his head off for his trouble. Despite her strength, Bando is able to get the drop on Lucy but Mayu shows up to stop him from killing her. Lucy tries to kill Mayu and Bando throws her out of the way and sacrifices his life to save Mayu’s (and shoots and wounds Lucy in the process). Lucy flees to the woods to heal, and Nana vows that she’ll kill Lucy now even if she’s just Nyu the next time she sees her. When Lucy reverts to being Nyu in the forest, she stumbles across Mayu and Nana at the temple/gazebo thing where Nana finally tells Mayu the truth about Lucy. A heartbroken and confused Nyu wanders around the woods trying to make sense of her existence when she finally returns to Nana to confront her. Nana nearly kills Nyu but because Nana is the most innocent of all of the Diclonius she can’t bring herself to harm the defenseless Nyu. Things aren’t safe though because A) Nyu heard the evil diclonius inner voice that Lucy heard as a child and also B ) the volume ends with the government busting into the Maple Inn with four clones of Lucy that are under their complete control.

It finally struck me how similar the government agency in this series is supposed to be the Nazis, specifically with regards to both the Holocaust and their horrific medical experimentation. Just, my god. In order to craft the four clones of Lucy (that can be ordered to stab themselves in the heart and mutilate themselves however their masters see fit just to prove that they are controllable), Director Kakuzawa and a new scientist named Nousou (who bears a remarkable resemblance to Lucy) have been breeding Diclonius with the sole intention of harvesting their spinal cords (which of course we’re forced to see an assembly line with spines on them. *shudder*). So not only are their Diclonius whose entire pitiful existence is one miserable experiment after another (i.e. shooting lead balls at them to chart the growth of their vectors or being forced to live in eternal agony just to serve as a living Diclonius radar), their are Diclonius who are only born to be grown to be harvested like cattle. It’s some fucked up shit. And I really don’t know (or at this point want to know) where Lynn Okamoto is getting his inspiration for this series. On that note though, the scene where Bando is dying and reflecting on what he did to save Mayu’s life was heartbreaking and almost brought a tear to my eye.

I’m going to keep this review short just because I have to review the last disc of Season 2 of Mad Men (have I ever mentioned how much I hate Betty Draper), and then at some point today, I would like to watch Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2 which is the next movie in my instant queue from Netflix. After that I want to finally get around to starting the first season of Angel for review on this blog (it’s been ages since I finished Buffy). I am so excited to be watching Angel. I know a ton of people who think it’s a far superior program to Buffy, and since I know that it’s a darker and more mature counterpart to Whedon’s breakthrough program, I’ll likely be prone to agreeing. Anyways, there are only three volumes of Elfen Lied left (which equates to something like 25 chapters). I can’t believe I’m so close to the finish line but it’s nice to know that I’m close to the end of the horrifying and scarring journey that has been Elfen Lied. I’ll probably be back in WV by the time I’m done and I don’t know whether I’ll pick up another manga to read when I’m done with this or go back to normal books since I’ll actually have access to my library of books again.

Final Score: B+