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Elfen Lied Ending Explained: Manga & Anime Plots Explained

Here, we have the ending explained to Elfen Lied. Elfen Lied is one of the most intense gore series that is best known for its explicit scenes. The anime is appreciated time and again and highly discussed due to its complicated plot. Elfen Lied is based on the manga written and illustrated by Lynn Okamoto. It was published by Shueisha in the Weekly Young Jump. The manga ran for 12 volumes from June 2002 till August 2005. Halfways through the manga’s serialization by Shueisha, it was adapted into an anime by Arms and Studio Guts.

The anime aired from July 2004 till October 2004 and compiled its plot into 13 episodes along with an OVA. Ever since the anime ended, people have been deeply conflicted and confused about the Elfen Lied ending. Despite all, the anime is deeply appreciated for the psychological effect it has with all the extreme effects and mysterious storytelling.

The anime is surprisingly unique. It builds the mystery slowly. A lot of things are left answered in the beginning, and this all suspicious setting makes watching the anime ten times better. Elfen Lied stands as one of the best examples of what people expect from psychological thrillers. The plot does not spoon-feed its viewers. Instead, it lets its viewers think all the time till the end. A lot of things in the Elfen Lied ending, especially, are left in suspense to keep the best up to the viewer’s imagination. Who was it at the door of Maple House towards the end? Did Lucy really die? Questions as such keep hovering around the Elfen Lied, ending with nothing but assumptions to answer them.

Confused about the Elfen Lied ending? Here’s is the ending of the anime, explained to fulfill the curiosity.

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Elfen Lied Ending

Kohta’s memories return, and he remembers that it was Lucy who had killed his little sister and father as a kid out of revenge and rage when she found out that his cousin was a girl. Lucy is targeted by Shirakawa and Bando, who send Mariko and Bando to kill her. Mariko faces Nana, who deactivates Mariko’s vectors using her own. Mariko falls from the bridge, and she is taken away while Nana is saved by Kurama. Elsewhere, Lucy’s other personality, Nyu, is discovered by Shirakawa, but he is killed by Lucy as well. Bando moves to kill Mariko, but on seeing Lucy, he persues to kill her.

Mariko’s vectors activate again, and she decides to make another attempt to kill Lucy, this time determined to be successful. She stages a meeting and breaks into a fight. Lucy loses one of her horns in the fight. At the same time, Kurama and Nana arrive and witness their fight. Mariko sees Kurama and realizes the truth: Kurama is her father. Believing he abandoned her for Nana, she starts weeping. But Kurama consoles her and assures her of his love for her. However, the bomb in Mariko’s chest explodes, and the two die.

Lucy, who had survived, confesses her heartfelt feelings to Kohta, and the two share a loving kiss. She then goes to face the team of security. The battle between Lucy and the security team is never shown, but we can continue hearing gunshots. After a time skip, the residents of Maple House have settled, and as they are about to eat, someone arrives at their door. Wanta barks, the music box plays ‘lilluim’, and the grandfather’s clock starts working again. All we see is a shadow.

Elfen Lied Ending Explained

The Elfen Lied ending makes good use of symbolism towards the end. It does not clarify whether Lucy died in her battle against the security team. There are several things that imply that the one at the door, in the end, was Lucy. The first thing that we hear is Wanta barking, which happened the first time he saw Lucy too. It would make sense if he was doing so again at the sight of a diclonius. The next thing worth noticing is the shadow, which oddly resembles Lucy too. Elfen Lied ends with the Lilium theme played by the music box but a metaphor that highly indicated her return was the grandfather’s clock, which starts ticking. Lucy (in her Nyu personality) tries to fix the clock throughout the anime. For it to start working abruptly could indicate the beginning of a new time after fixing the past.

elfen lied

Kohta and Lucy: Elfen Lied.

While this theory is widely accepted, a very strong counter is that Nana would have noticed Lucy had she been coming and was the one at the door. While this makes sense, it is to be noted that with the horns removed, it also might not be possible. Elfen Lied ending was one that holds on to deliver a bit of joy despite the tragic events it follows. Now that Lucy did not have horns, she could even fit in and perhaps live a normal life with the Maple House residents.

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Elfen Lied Manga and Anime Have Different Plots

The anime ended way before the manga, so of course, there’s a lot more to the plot if you have only watched the anime but don’t expect to know who it was at the door at the end of anime by reading the manga. The truth is, the plot of the anime deviates from the manga in several ways. Within the first few episodes, one can notice all the little differences. The manga continued after the anime finished airing, but the anime pretty much ended with the cliffhanger and never made an announcement or indication to return for another season in the last 16 years.

Within the anime, a lot of details were missed out, but some of these details were included in the OVA for the viewers to get a better understanding of the message it tried sharing. A big difference between the two media was Kurama’s death. While in the anime, he does indeed die. In the manga, he prefers to stay alive and suffer. Even in the end, it is never actually implied that he dies, although he gets badly injured. There are several other differences between the Elfen Lied anime and the manga, which include new characters and an extended storyline. But, the Elfen Lied ending, either way, is engulfed with tragic events that put quite a psychological impact on the readers and viewers.

The manga was translated to English by Dark Horse Comics and published by the same. You can purchase it on any authentic shopping site and read the manga for yourself. If you liked the anime, we highly recommend it!

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Ending of Elfen Lied Manga: Explained

Whether Lucy survived the anime’s ending and returned to Kohta is unclear. However, the manga continues and moves ahead towards an ending where Lucy actually dies. Lucy uses her power to save Kouta. However, Lucy’s Voice DNA took over her, and her killing could only be to stop its’s rampage. Thus towards the end, Kouta reluctantly kills herself. The story continues to show the world who now acknowledges the existence of Diclonus. After the Queen had died, a vaccine was developed, and existing horned beings were hunted down.

Years later, we see Kohta, who is visiting the spot where he met Nyu, hoping he could meet her again. He visits the place with his daughter, who resembles Yuka. He finds a letter from Lucy buried in a box where she thanks him. After reading the letter, he sees a pair of twins, one which is named Kaede, which was Lucy’s real name.

The twins resemble Lucy, and it is indicated that they are the two personalities of Lucy, Kaede, and Nyu. Kouta looks at them and smiles with tearful eyes. It is not stated, but popular theories indicate that they could be the reincarnation of Lucy. Their heads are covered, and it is not clear if they have horns or not, as it can also be assumed that they too are declonii. Like the anime, the manga too ends with a quick cliffhanger giving a lot of space for the readers to think about.

Elfen Lied manga

Elfen Lied: By Lynn Okamoto.

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