Sunday, February 24, 2013

(Not so) Weekly Reactions: Elfen Lied [Episode 5]

After an unexpected hiatus due to work and laziness, I am back on the blog ready to get back on track with my Weekly Reactions!

So we continue on with episode five of Elfen Lied!

And oh GOD is this one a doozy

Like I usually try to do, I will leave out as many of the big game changing moments of the episode as possible so that you can get shocked by them yourself! Yaaaay~

And good news everyone, unlike episode four, this one doesn't feature any over-the-top gore/blood parties! Though I wouldn't hold my breath if you are actually planning on watching the rest of the episodes because I don't remember too many episodes this clean the first time I watched. (Clean is a relative term... very relative)

Before I actually say anything about the episode, I want to say that I like the anime. I thought it was good, but this is just a sum of all the emotions I felt and my... well my reactions as I watched the episode.

So let's get to it!

(NOTE: I will be referencing previous episodes. If you do not want any of the previous episodes spoiled, go watch them)

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Like I stated earlier, the episode features no fights and no really big bloody scenes of people, oh I don't know, getting their limbs mercilessly and painfully torn off to the point where the person has to be euthanized by the end of the episode? Yea, none of that in this episode.

However, what was gore and blood is replaced in this episode in equal quantity and value by freaking tears. And sure, there are lots of people crying in this episode but for good reasons.

Furking arse
"You wan act tough? Come fight me irl bro!"
You see, we get to learn what exactly drove Mayu to run away from home with nothing but a sweater, a pair of shoes and sense of utility comparable to that of a broken touch screen. 
How did adorable little Mayu come
from these awful circumstances?

She has... issues with daddykins. And there is a very distinct reason why she ran out of her house without pants on...

But her mom is present! She has to be able to defend him right!

... No? Well, she is at least supportive of Mayu rig- god freaking dammit.

The world is SO cruel to poor Mayu! Not only was her dad a total asshat but her mom has at no point lifted a finger to defend her blood daughter and instead let her own selfish feelings get in the way and destroy her.

And this wasn't even a momentary thing with Mayu's mother either, she must have some serious resentment for her daughter. After Mayu returns to the bathhouse to live with Kohta, Yuka and Nyu, Kohta goes to get the permission from Mayu's parents to have her legally live at the house with them. And it is implied that her mother coulden't be happier with getting rid of her daughter, to total strangers nonetheless! 

Uuuuugh... I am sidetracking a bit. So after Mayu left her "real home" she encountered Wanta, the stray golden retriever pup she ate bread crusts with, on the beach the very next day and bonded with him as a means to escape.

In the very end, she wishes Wanta good tidings.
Nobody wanted this to happen to you Mayu.
But the universe can't have Mayu being happy or anything like that! That would just be absurd! Oh it is just apparently some other constant in physics, like the gravitational constant, "Mayu gets screwed over, no questions asked".

So in order to fulfull this law, Wanta is taken away from Mayu by his original owner, some bitch that calls the dog "Jame-su" or something bland like that, then gets called filthy and is told that she will never see her only companion again.

So in her... lonely and psychologically thrashed state, she stays out the rainy night on the beach only to be found by the wonder crew and taken back to the house to live again.

Oh, it also turns out that all of this stuff happened on her birthday (minus the running away from her parents, that was a flashback). Fuck you Elfen Lied.

... Did I hit my Clannad tab while I was
 watching Elfen Lied again?

Alright so obviously, Mayu has very good reason to shed a couple of tears.

A home that didn't want her and... wanted her at the same time, a sense of belonging totally destroyed and the only thing that she could even come close to considering a best friend taken away from her in her time of need.

So, with all that out of the way and with images like THIS showing up, the rest of the 
episode just has to be fine! Right?

No! Everyone just keeps on freaking crying, and for issues that... just don't hold up to what Mayu went through. 

School starts again for everyone again and everything is just hunkey dory for about what... 2-3 minutes of screen time? Because both Kohta and Yuka are going to a prep school, Nyu would be left alone at home so they decide to take her along.

She blends in... somewhat well and surprisingly the whole cliche "hiding your pet" game isn't exploited to some monstrous extent in the episode. Instead it goes right into the important stuff, where Nyu "came from".
And of course moe needs to be
happening in the foreground~
Some other asshat comes in and says that Nyu has parents that are looking for them and uses blame to make Kohta and Yuka "kidnappers" in the eyes of the law. Which... for the most part is true. He also uses other things like implying that she is mentally retarded to naturally make the two even more guilty so... fuck this guy too xD

We, as an audience all know very well where Nyu/Lucy came from but the would be incestuous couple doesn't and that is the "tragic" part.

Despite how minor I think the whole ordeal was
... this part was admittedly very hard to watch.
Major sadface
I don't really understand why Kohta was so adamant about leaving Nyu with... PEDOBEAR overhere

So much rapeface
in this anime

But I can sort of sympathize with the fact that he didn't want to separate her from a real family. YET STILL I beg the question: why does he leave her with a man that they know nothing about and the only thing that Yuka and Kohta know about him is that he is "that one weird professor"?

Logic aside, stuff happens after this... but most of it is just crying and crying and crying and crying...

Welcome to the Diamond of Sad!
We hope you enjoy your stay~

Meh, but who am I really kidding? What am I honestly expecting from an anime who's main themes and motifs are the loss of innocence and the essence of tragedy and how it is dealt with in general?

Anyways, I feel like I am bashing the episode now. Despite the fact that I got kind of sick of the crying in the second half because I thought the issues were more petty (aside from one... pretty serious one) the episode is all tied together by a central theme that I thought was presented really well: homes and families.

The episode decides to ask what a "real home" is and what a "real family" is. And, if I was watching this anime through a wall, I wouldn't see that the episode is making the argument that a family isn't necessarily a group that financially supports you or is directly related to you through blood, but that it can very easily be a group of people that will give you what you need no matter the cost whether it be moral support or security

... and I'd be totally lying If I said I didn't think it was a pretty good thing to preach.

After Mayu was forced out of her home by her parents and after she was left with nothing in the world, Kohta and the gang looked for her and brought her to a haven safe from everything else that harmed her. 
Wanta was taken to his/her "real home" with an owner that seemed to, in my eyes, love her for the sake of luxury and the fact that Wanta was a puppy.  

And the prospect of an anxious and worried home where Nyu belongs is what essentially breaks Kohta into giving someone that he cared about up to... a conniving dick head.

I will bring as many pants-less
teenage girls home as I damn well please
and you will have no say in it Yuka.
This guy's role in the main plot
is spelled out REALLY CLEARLY
at the very ending of the episode.
All of this and more ties into that central theme and makes for a great overall thing the episode tries to spell out.

Overall, I wasn't too fond of this episode. It was so horribly and needlessly tragic at the beginning that it somewhat turned me off and it continues with some tragedy that I don't really see very much weight too. And oh my god the collective tears shed in this episode could probably be weighed on the same scale as the blood shed in episode 1...

But, it was a good thing that they tried to get across and it does give some of the characters some comfort in a family knit group by the midpoint in the episode. (overall creating the group that we are going to be following throughout the rest of the series)

... Except for the fact that freaking Kohta gives Nyu away to a total stranger but I digress.

Better episodes to come but, from my perspective, this one wasn't half bad and I am looking forward to seeing what Kohta is going to do to right his totally misguided wrong.

Thank you for reading everyone, I hope you enjoy the episode!

Also the director was shown at the beginning.
... Wooooo?


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