Warning: possibly NSFW

So after finishing RahXephon yesterday, I decided I'd move on to some other suggestions from friends and colleagues that have been simmering away on the back burner for months. Originally I was going to watch Azumanga Daioh, but due to circumstances beyond my control, I couldn't obtain the series and so moved on to Elfen Lied instead.

Thoughts on the first episode:

Pros:

  • I liked the opening scene with superpowered girl Lucy trashing her way out of the military complex. It was well done and probably one of the goriest things I've ever seen in an anime.

(Man, it's hard to find screencaps without nudity in them for this sequence.)

  • Kohta and Yuka. I'm already liking their relationship thus far (though I'm fearful it's going to edge into incest territory, because that just seems like something this show would do,) and it's nice to get a couple of protagonists who aren't basket cases.
  • The intro. Holy cow, that intro. Gorgeous. As I've watched a lot of anime, I've discovered that important clues to things are often hidden in the credits sequences and this one is a doozy. Classical tapestries, a song in Latin, and (ugh) lots and lots of nudity. That leads me to my first con.

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Cons:

  • Is the excessive nudity really necessary? Seriously, in the first episode, we've got gratuitous nudity for practically the entire 25 minutes of screentime. I get that I'm an American and therefore a prude and I get that the nudity isn't meant to be sensual, but seriously, let's not beat around the bush here, it's gratuitous fanservice at its most base. We've got a psychologically damaged girl with zero personality who doesn't wear clothes and has to be taught everything like a baby. Tell me this isn't someone's power fantasy and I'll eat my hat. She can't dress herself, she's mute (aside from little meowing noises,) she can't feed herself, she pees on the floor, she can't bathe herself (so of course another female character gets naked in a tub with her and bathes her,) and of course it's all played off as just innocent because she's like a child. Hell, even after they put her in clothes she pulls her top aside so the audience can still see her boobs, because what if they disappeared after she put clothes on?!
  • Bando. Dude. The guy's a sociopath, he strikes women with no provocation, he threatens another teammate for no reason whatsoever, and I'll frankly be glad when he's gone. He's so over the top evil it's kind of embarrassing.

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  • Please don't make the cousins do the hanky-panky. If you do nothing else for me, Elfen Lied, please don't make the cousins do the hanky-panky.

That's the first episode over and done, now on to the second one. If you have any suggestions for future anime viewing, please post them in the comments and I'll add them to my list!