Elfen Lied Wiki

I guess we can't reach Enoshima like this...

Kouta, stuck at the entrance to
Enoshima Oohashi Bridge in the manga

Differences between the Elfen Lied anime and the manga are many, and noteworthy. Like many another manga series, when adapted to become an anime series, Elfen Lied underwent several changes in plot, setting, situations and characters. Each of the thirteen regular episodes, plus the OVA compress the events of the several manga chapters, and are not always in the exact order depicted in the manga, usually owing to the multi-chapter flashbacks.

The purpose of this article will be to do an episode-by-episode documentation of the various differences between the two versions, showing especially what elements from the manga are compressed, changed or eliminated from the anime. The wisdom or popularity of the changes can be an issue for debate and discussion on the comments area below the article, but here only the changes themselves should be listed.

One non-episodic example: in the anime, all Diclonii have pinkish hair. In the color illustrations from the manga, only Lucy has pink hair, while Nana has purple hair and Mariko has blonde hair. There is no uniform color for their hair in the manga. In addition, all Diclonii in the anime have eyes that are some shade of red/dark pink, but in the manga, Lucy, Nana, and Mariko (the only Diclonii to appear on the covers and color inserts) have green eyes.

This page can also provide some answers.

A Chance Encounter ~ Begegnung

Manga chapter(s) used as basis: 1, 2

  • In the manga, the vice minister from the Japanese government, concerned about budget overruns at the Diclonius Research Institute, is given a tour by Director Kurama, and is witness to the bloody escape of Lucy, who is being transferred into an even more secure chamber as the series begins. In the anime, however, there is no minister or other visitor, and Lucy escapes from the regular chamber where she is held, with no mention of a pending transfer.
  • Following all the Gustav Klimpt paintings in the opening, the scene during the first minute with the nude Lucy holding the guard's severed head was an homage to another Klimt painting called "Judith with Head of Holofernes." As the name implies, it features a nude woman holding a severed head.
  • In the manga, Lucy's guard receives a cell phone call from Kakuzawa that distracts him and helps Lucy escape. This never occurs in the anime.
  • A recurring difference between the anime and manga that starts in this episode is the way the vectors are portrayed. Lucy has 4 vectors in the anime and they seem to originate from her back almost like Dr. Octopus. In the manga, she has many vectors and the vectors are not originating from her body.
  • While the manga shows a few odd events before Lucy's escape that point to an outside force aiding her, the anime shows a figure in the control room whose face and body go unseen manipulating such things as the outer gate controls.
  • The murder of Kisaragi, while an almost casual thing in the anime, is somewhat extended in the manga, with Lucy actually holding her hostage, and Kurama informing her that she must be sacrificed. Although Kisaragi tearfully, but happily agrees, Lucy subsequently makes this brave sacrifice pointless and mercilessly taunts Kurama about it.
  • In the manga, Kisaragi is decapitated quickly and her head lifted above her body, indicating a quick sharp cut to the neck ; in the anime, her head is twisted around and torn off, with the neck and body showing where the flesh was torn.
  • In the manga Lucy is pretty talkative during her escape. She verbally threatens to kill Kisaragi, laughs, and as mentioned above taunts Kurama that "she died for nothing." In the anime she escapes without saying one word to anyone.
  • Lucy kills 14 people during the breakout in the manga (actually less since Professor Kakuzawa turned out to have murdered those in the control room). In the anime, Lucy cuts down 23 and Kakuzawa just opened the door. Lucy has a much higher kill count in the overall manga, but this is the one instance where anime Lucy killed more.
  • In the manga, Kurama and the sharpshooter seem to utilize a rooftop vantage point or an upper-level patio-like protrusion to target Lucy in the open air. In the anime, they use an internal room and the shot fires through a window pane, cracking it, arguably slowing the shot ever so slightly and possibly alerting Lucy as well.
  • When Kouta first sees Lucy on the beach in the anime, we see a brief image from his past suggesting that they have met before. In the manga, this happens later.
  • In the manga, Yuka attempts to keep Kouta from looking at the nude Lucy ; in the anime, she herself seems to direct him to look at her, as though Yuka can't believe her own eyes and wants confirmation. An alternate interpretation is that she is directing him to look anywhere but at Lucy, though the dialogue is awkward in this respect.
  • In the manga, two young boys also witness the nude Lucy on the beach. In the anime, only Kouta and Yuka are present.
  • In the manga, the cab driver who takes Kouta and Yuka to Maple House has no dialogue. In the anime, he has a single line, reacting to something Yuka said before they turn around and take her back to Maple House.

Annihilation ~ Vernichtung

Manga chapter(s) used as basis: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

  • In the manga, both Kouta and Yuka are on the beach when he finds Nyu, with Yuka being knocked out from behind by Bando. In the anime, she avoids this and is the one who finds Kouta after he alone is knocked out.
  • In the anime, Kouta and Nyu take flight trying to escape the SAT before he is knocked out. In the manga, the two never have that chance.
  • In the manga, Mayu finds the umbrella Yuka dropped when she was knocked out; In the anime, it is Kouta's umbrella, carried over by Nyu as Bando and Satou drag her across the beach.
  • In the manga, Mayu's makeshift home on the beachfront is a woodpile shelter. In the anime, it appears to be a collection of piled milk or beverage crates with a tarp over the top.
  • In the manga, the Kamakura police seem to know who and what Lucy is; one of them even holds a grudge for a guard killed during her escape from the island facility; In the anime, they are just as confused as anyone as to why she is considered dangerous.
  • In the manga, the police directly inform Kouta that Lucy is an escaped murderer and is wanted for the deaths of 14 people. In the anime, Kouta is given no information about why the police are searching for her.
  • In the anime, Yuka speaks to the same officers that questioned Kouta; In the manga, she is on the beach with Kouta and never speaks to them.
  • In the manga, Lucy is about to decapitate Bando when she randomly turns back into Nyuu at the last second. In the anime, Lucy slowly "force chokes" Bando with her vectors and his flailing hits her hand and makes her notice the sea shell she is still holding. Looking at the sea shell is what causes her to turn back into Nyuu.
  • The anime introduces Nana at the end; The manga's similar scene has a never-named Diclonius girl who may be dead from experiments and who Kurama declares not useful for their purposes.

Deep Feelings ~ Im Innersten

Manga chapter(s) used as basis: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

  • The music box, prominent in many anime episodes, is first shown here. It does not exist in the manga, its plot elements taken mostly from the eventual introduction of Nozomi.
  • The corresponding manga chapters hint through images of the brutal nature of the deaths of Kouta's father and younger sister, Kanae, almost confirming that they were murdered. The anime merely states through Yuka that Kouta's memories are wrong, and leaves the nature of their deaths unstated for now.
  • Kurama states to Bando that, while Lucy is the first viable and reproductive-capable Diclonius to emerge, she is not the first born. The manga's statements on Silpelits and Lucy's mother establish that Lucy and one other are the only reproductive capable members of their species and that Lucy/Nyu was in fact truly the first one born, with all others being sterile worker drones first caused by use of her vectors, and in turn merely creating others like them in order to displace Humans. Assuming the anime meant to keep to the idea that the Kakuzawas were never true Diclonius, it seems possible that this line by Kurama referred to events far in the past, involving Original Diclonii, who were merely Humans with scalp mutations. The anime makes no other such sweeping statements about other elements of Diclonius nature, and is left largely uncertain either way. The origin of this difference is unknown, although adaptations occasionally change certain concepts from the original source for the sole purpose of telling a unique story.

Attack ~ Aufeinandertreffen

Manga chapter(s) used as basis: 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

  • In the anime, Lucy cuts off the fingers on one of Nana's hands at the same time as she takes her first leg. This event does not occur in the manga.
  • When Lucy says "Papa, is it? Too bad. It looks like your daughter is dead." in the English dub, this is a mistranslation from the original Japanese dialogue. In Japanese, Lucy says "I thought your daughter was dead.", referring to her conversation with Kurama about his family prior to the series' start.

Receipt ~ Empfang

Manga chapter(s) used as basis: 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

  • While deeply concerned for Mayu's well-being, Kouta and Yuka do not directly discuss adopting her in the manga as they do in this episode.
  • The (possibly) seasonal closing of the bakery stand is not brought up in the anime, and the Bakery Merchant's concern for Mayu is more explicit in the anime.
  • The grandfather clock that so fascinates Nyu is mostly in the background in the manga.
  • The woman who claims to be Wanta's true owner is even ruder and more accusatory towards Mayu in the manga. In neither case do we see Wanta leave her nor is this character heard from again, except briefly in the manga as a fear of Mayu's.
  • Kouta is shown wearing a Batman T-shirt throughout this episode, which is absent from the manga.
  • The two policemen who have come to take Mayu in for loitering on the beach (perhaps implied to be reported by the woman who took Wanta) do not appear in the manga, nor are Kouta, Yuka and Nyu waiting to take her to the Maple House. There is only one policeman, warning her of potential beach flooding, which causes her to run and eventually return to the Maple House when she feels she has no other options.
  • In the manga, Nyu's trip to the University with Kouta and Yuka includes an encounter with the blinded Bando, who recognizes her voice and who makes a semi-comical attempt to capture her. This is not shown in the anime. The manga also features her encounters with other students, including several near-misses at having her hair ribbons removed.
  • In the manga, Bando is brought by Isobe to the university for a contentious consultation on his infection, including an offer from Professor Kakuzawa to be father to new Diclonius children. None of this occurs in the anime.
  • When he has Nyu/Lucy captive in the anime, Professor Kakuzawa does not mention the Lebensborn Project, though his intentions are the same. He also describes his plan to originally free her from the island facility, which was subtler in the manga, and included a back-up plan that ultimately proved unnecessary.

Innermost Feelings ~ Herzenswärme

Manga chapter(s) used as basis: 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 38, 39, 40

  • When Bando makes his escape from the Doctor performing cybernetic surgery on him in the manga, he uses the door, not the window and passes Isobe, his escort. Bando assures him that he will return when he's ready to face Lucy. Isobe plays no role in this in the anime.
  • The second meeting of Mayu and Bando is a much more tense affair in the anime, with the young girl seemingly set to heed his warning to stay away. Bando is a harsher figure here.
  • Nana wakes up on the beach and is surprised by her new limbs in the anime. In the manga, she had a chance to see and test them before leaving the Diclonius Research Institute.
  • On the street, after her escape from Professor Kakuzawa, Lucy kills at least one more victim in the manga than in the anime.
  • In the manga, it is explained that Lucy killed the random girls by giving them a stroke. She did this in order to avoid turning back into Nyuu. In the anime the 1 girl is shown fainting, but it is unclear if she is dead or just knocked out. Unlike the manga, Lucy walks away frustrated and muttering about her vectors not working, which infers that she was trying out her vectors on the nearest target and failed to achieve her goal. Most likely, Lucy was attempting a decapitation but only managed to knock the girl out.
  • In the manga, Kouta has no problem remembering the fact that Professor Kakuzawa was decapitated. However, he chooses to keep this information from Yuka. In the anime, Kouta speaks to Yuka in a frantic voice and is about to tell her Professor Kakuzawa's fate before his dissociative amnesia activates and represses the memory.
  • In the manga, it is an unfortunate secretary and not Shirakawa that Kurama ends up scaring the wits out of when he tells her about the fate of his wife and daughter.
  • The rain-shelter encounter between Kouta and Yuka is more explicit in the manga, to the point of being almost a sexual encounter, and goes beyond his mere accidental sighting of her panties.
  • The reunion between Kouta, Yuka and Lucy/Nyu goes differently in the anime, being two ends of a sequence that in the manga frames Lucy's extended flashback to her and Kouta's childhood days together.

Confrontation ~ Zufällige Begegnung

Manga chapter(s) used as basis: 41, 42, 45, 46, 47

  • Nozomi is introduced in the manga around this time. She makes no appearance in the anime, nor is she mentioned.
  • In the manga, Nana briefly considers killing Bando even after snapping out of her angry trance. This doesn't occur in the anime.
  • In both the manga and anime, Nana offers Bando a hand getting up only for her arm to comically pop off. Bando yells and accuses her of doing this on purpose. In the manga, Nana is hurt by this and says, "did it really look that way?" In the anime, Nana laughs and says, "so you figured it out, huh?" Confirming that it was in fact on purpose in the anime.
  • In the case of this episode, while the placement of some concurrent events is altered, the manga events depicted in this episode remain largely unchanged.

The Beginning ~ Beginn

Manga chapter(s) used as basis: 17, 32, 40, 43, 46, 48, 49, 50, 52

  • In the manga, as Arakawa travels to the Diclonius Research Institute, she carries with her the severed head of Professor Kakuzawa, being placed in a small pet carrier. In the anime, she uses what appears to be a simple cloth bag.
  • In the manga, Arakawa is guided to an underground grotto that Chief Kakuzawa explains as being his ancestors' resting place. In the anime, she is instead guided to his office.
  • The ancestors' resting place is a recurring setting in the manga, but does not appear in the anime. It is revealed to be highly radioactive and apparently far enough underground to cause nose bleeds. The pressure change may be from air heated by the radiation, or the nose bleeds may in fact be from the radiation itself.
  • After she is shot in the manga, Arakawa undergoes an extended flashback on her life. This is not shown in the anime.
  • The conversation between Nana and Mayu concerning her past and who Lucy is takes place much later in the manga's run, well after the arcs depicted in the anime.
  • In the anime, Kurama objects to the presence of Arakawa. In the manga, he had long since left the institute by the time of her arrival.
  • In the manga, the scene with the orphanage attendants is remembered well after the flashback, revealing the puppy and Tomoo, as well as the girl who revealed her secret and may have betrayed Lucy's confidence. In the anime, these scenes are shown almost in succession.
  • In the anime, one of the attendants complains that young Lucy's fever is keeping her from being able to go out; this is not mentioned in the manga, though the talk about young Lucy is equally dismissive.
  • In the manga, the attendants' scene cuts in just after one of them mention's Lucy's true name; this does not occur in the anime.
  • In the anime, Tomoo mentions how Lucy's birth parents abandoned her; In the manga, it is in Lucy's own thoughts as Tomoo and his bullies torment her. In neither version is it revealed how either child would know of this.
  • In the anime, young Lucy tells the Orphanage Girl her theory on how the layers of misery operate in the orphanage; In the manga, this is a purely internal narrative in Lucy's thoughts.
  • The sequence of events leading to Kurama's departure from the island facility are seeded early on in the manga, while the anime is more than halfway through before Chief Kakuzawa reveals his plans for Diclonius supremacy.
  • The unfortunate puppy is beaten to death with a rock in the manga, and with a flower vase in the anime. It is possible that this difference has its roots in another variation. In the poem/song, Elfenlied, the Elf of the song title hits his head on a rock. The song, however, is not present as a song or poem in the anime, replaced by Lilium. A flower vase can hold lilies. Whether this was intentional on the part of the anime's creators cannot be confirmed.
  • Young Lucy angrily yells at her tormentors in the anime before killing them. In the manga, she appears to shout psychotically, and Tomoo at least sees the others die before him.
  • This is the first appearance of Lucy's evil laugh, which occurs with high frequency in the manga. In the anime,  Lucy is more stoic and only laughs in one episode after jokingly pushing young Kouta into the water.
  • In the anime she tries to break her horns, only to be stopped by Kouta. This doesn't happen in the manga.

Reminiscence ~ Schöne Erinnerung

Manga chapter(s) used as basis: 33, 34, 35, 36, 49

  • In the manga, young Kouta's day prior to first meeting young Lucy is shown. This is not present in the anime.
  • In the anime, Kouta has the music box when he first meets Lucy and their first conversation is about how they both like the sad but beautiful melody. This never occurs in the manga, since the music box is entirely absent from the manga.
  • In the manga, there is a gap of some days before Kouta is able to return to Lucy after defying his father. In the anime, he returns the next day despite the murders in the area.
  • In the anime after Kouta returns the next day, Lucy notices a bruise on  Kouta which he got from climbing down from his window. Kouta's father refused to let Kouta go out due to the terrifying murders, but Kouta snuck out anyways. When he tells this to Lucy she blushes slightly, since she knows she IS the terrifying killer Kouta's father warned about.
  • In the anime, Lucy kills 2 separate families before the day of the festival, while she only kills 1 in the manga. This is another one of the rare instances where anime Lucy was more vicious.
  • Kouta tells Kanae on the train that he loves Yuka in the manga. This doesn't happen in the anime. Unsurprising, since the series director, Mamoru Kanbe, is strongly Kouta X Lucy.
  • In the anime and manga, Kouta apologizes to Lucy for having prior date at the festival. However, in the anime Kouta explicitly says that he would rather go with Lucy, while he never says this in the manga.
  • In Chapter 35 of the manga, Lucy admits to herself that she just tried to kill Kouta after choking him and frets that she is giving in to her "natural instincts" and the "voice of her DNA". In the anime she is simply shocked that she was choking him while in a trance and asks urgently if he is all right. She never mentions anything about following her natural instinct or DNA.
  • A minor yet important difference in dialogue is that in the manga, Lucy wishes "for Kouta to kill her if she ever kills a bunch of people at once, because she will be too hesitant to take her own life". This is an obvious foreshadowing to a specific future event in the manga. In the anime, Lucy states, " Kouta, If I can't stop myself from killing any more people, I want you to kill me!" The anime statement actually confesses having already killed people, which Kouta either ignores or didn't take seriously, and in terms of narrative this statement was more intended to show Lucy's feelings of guilt over having murdered people than it was intended to foreshadow a specific event.
  • In the manga, Lucy admits to herself that she is so jealous that she would have "followed her inner voice and murdered Kouta's cousin if it had been a girl". Lucy never says this in the anime.
  • In the manga, Lucy is shown burying something at her puppy's grave that is not revealed until the final chapter. Neither one of the items she buries nor the burial itself are present in the anime.
  • In the manga, Lucy kills eleven people at the carnival massacre excluding Kanae and Kouta's father. In the anime this number is seven.
  • In the manga when the helpful woman checks to see if Lucy is hurt, Lucy decapitates her while saying, "You won't fool me!". In the anime, Lucy decapitates the good Samaritan woman while saying, "I'll slaughter you all" as the screen shows her cold and angry face.
  • In the manga, Kouta spots Lucy at the festival. However, he only wonders if he sees her in the anime.
  • After Kouta and Lucy have played in the brook and wet each other, they are sitting naked on the shore, back to back, while their clothes dry on a large rock. When Lucy learns that Kouta is leaving the next day, she is sad. Then she turns to him and tells Kouta that the day she spent with him was the most beautiful day of her life. In the anime, Lucy moves very close to him, which is very embarrassing to him. In the manga they have no "intimate" body contact. Kouta turns to Lucy, too, without embarrassment, and talks to her.

Infant ~ Säugling

Manga chapter(s) used as basis: 52, 54, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62

  • In this episode, Chief Kakuzawa arrives at the conclusion there must be a queen Diclonius. In the manga, this is a realization made by Kurama and Professor Kakuzawa and based not on intuition, but the scientific method.
  • Professor Kakuzawa's weapon against Number 3 is a M16A1 in the manga. It was changed to a FAMAS G2 in the anime. The difference is a telling one : The manga weapon has heavier ammo, while the anime one is noted for its higher velocity firing power.
  • In the manga, it is briefly mentioned that Oomori leaves the facility after his daughter is euthanized, while it is merely implied in the anime.
  • The reason Professor Kakuzawa left the island facility is stated explicitly in the anime. In the manga, however, it is merely implied.
  • The manga makes it clear that the Kuramas have endured repeated disappointments in their efforts to have a child, and shows homelife scenes with Hiromi wondering exactly what he does. The anime shows only the complications with the birth of Mariko.
  • In the manga, Mayu does not become caught up in a fight between Lucy and Nana at the door of the Maple House. Also, Nana's decision to stay with them comes as part of some reverse-psychology tricks by Mayu and Kouta in the manga; In the anime, it is her choice, both sincere (realizing that Nyu is, for all intents and purposes, not Lucy) and tactical (keeping an eye on Nyu for signs Lucy has returned). A scene in the anime where a grateful Nana breaks down in thanks is not in the manga. Her early relationship with Kouta is a bit more contentious in the manga as well.
  • In the anime, Lucy ceases her attack on Nana to avoid hurting Mayu. Mayu screams at Lucy to "stop it now" which triggers a painful memory for Lucy and turns her back into Nyuu. This is the 2nd time the anime shows the brief flashback of Kouta begging Lucy to stop.

Complication ~ Vermischung

Manga chapter(s) used as basis: 50, 53, 54, 55

  • In the anime, Chief Kakuzawa says that the bombs inside Mariko were Kurama's own idea. In the manga, it was the Chief who asked for a control mechanism, but Shirakawa who suggested that they use bombs, in part out of jealousy of Kurama's child by another woman.
  • In the manga, Kurama's departure from the island facility was not the sudden recent thing shown in this episode.
  • In the manga, while interested in finding out who saw his late son's horned head, Chief Kakuzawa placed Arakawa on research into the virus itself, not naming and locating the student in question (Kouta) as shown in this episode.
  • In the manga, the alliance between Kurama and Bando, while contentious, was a more permanent and planned-out thing than the one-time event depicted in the anime.
  • When Nyu cut her hair to copy Kanae in the manga, Nana had not yet moved in.
  • In the manga, Nana no longer refers to Wanta as a 'creature' once she moves in.
  • In the manga, Nana was not at the Maple House with Mayu when she and Mariko sense each other. Rather, the whole group of them were already in or near Kamakura's beachfront or Enoshima Park when she asks them to wait for her at home.
  • In the manga, Shirakawa is not initially present when Mariko reaches Kamakura.
  • The two recurring policemen are not seen as often in the manga.

Quagmire ~ Taumeln

Manga chapter(s) used as basis: 51, 56, 57, 65, 68, 70, 71

  • In this episode, Mayu refers to Kouta and Yuka as the father and mother of the Maple House; despite deep respect and affection, she never says this in the manga.
  • When Mariko tortures Nana in the anime, Nana is held aloft in an obvious cruciform position. This doesn't happen in the manga. Nana also dreams about being crucified and when the viewer first sees her chained to the wall she is in similar position with blood trickling from her temple. In both anime and manga, Nana is extremely naive about the world, but has a profound wisdom and superhuman kindness. She could be considered a "holy fool" type character.
  • In the manga, Kouta is kept behind the police blockade, which is not knocked out, and never becomes involved with either Nana or Lucy's fights against Mariko.
  • In the manga, Nana manages to recover after her initial defeat by Mariko, spurred to action by a threat the latter made against Kurama, and is able to fight back after seizing the momentum. She does not fall off a bridge, and is in control of the fight when she disables her opponent's vectors.
  • In the manga, Kurama travels to the battle scene not with Bando, but with a soldier from either Saseba or perhaps from the Diclonius Research Institute that he has deceived into aiding him.
  • In the manga, after Kanae is murdered, Kouta's Father tries to rush Lucy and avenge his daughter's death before being killed as well. In the anime, he barely has time to see her body before Lucy kills him.
  • In the manga, Lucy is shown escaping the train by tearing a hole in the roof of the train car. The anime ends the flashback with Kouta begging Lucy to stop and never shows how Lucy left.
  • In the manga, Bando's support was tactical, and used against Mariko. In the anime, he arrives later and seizes the chance to take on Lucy, who he did not face in the same story arc in the manga.
  • In the anime, Kouta saves Lucy's life by tackling her out of the way of Bando's bullet. In the manga, Kouta later takes a bullet for Lucy protecting her from Kurama.
  • In the anime, Shirakawa orders the soldiers to stop firing when she sees humans and Diclonius interacting peacefully. Shirakawa is portrayed sympathetically in the anime whilst Isobe is portrayed as a cruel and heartless operative. Isobe is much more morally ambiguous in the manga.
  • Lucy kills Shirakawa in both versions. However, in the anime, Shirakawa is merely in sight when Lucy lashes out, and is split in two by Lucy at the waist. In the manga, Shirakawa was trying to save the remote control cell phone that would have deactivated Mariko's internal bombs, her head sheared off by Lucy as she destroys the cell phone. Kurama witnesses and regrets her death in the manga; he is not present for it in the anime.
  • Shirakawa's status as a spy for Saseba against Chief Kakuzawa never comes into play in the anime.
  • The method of Shirakawa's death triggers the full return of Kouta's lost memories in the anime. In the manga, they return in a later arc never adapted to the anime, when Lucy/Nyu uses the same method to kill a clone of Mariko.
  • The flashback in which Kouta buys the Lilium music box from a gift shop is unique to the anime.
  • Lucy hums Lilium as a reminder of the song she learned from the music box in the anime's penultimate episode. In the manga's closing chapters, while a separate event under different circumstances, she sings the song, Elfenlied, taught to her by Nozomi, a character who does not appear in the anime.
  • The manga has Kanae able to see Lucy's vectors; while never classified, this was either a sign of a unique ability on her part or the vibratory rate of Lucy's enraged vectors forcing them to become visible; In the anime, she apparently saw only the murderous results, not the vectors themselves.

No Return ~ Erleuchtung

Manga chapter(s) used as basis: 67, 69, 71, 72, 84, 99

  • In the anime, Lucy defeats Bando off-screen and spares his life while stating that he will never see her again. In the manga, Bando and Lucy have another large duel on the beach that ends with Bando sacrificing himself to stop Lucy from killing Mayu. Bando is revealed to have survived in the end of the manga with a largely cyborg body.
  • In the manga, Kurama surprises both Nana and Mariko with his sudden appearance in the midst of their battle, and then enters into an extended flashback on how he joined the Diclonius Research Institute and the events leading to her birth. Mariko recognizes him as her father without being told. In the anime, Kurama only approaches Mariko after recovering Nana, his past already explained in a prior episode's private flashback. Mariko only knows that he is her father due to slips on Isobe's part.
  • Since Kouta does not recover his memories until the manga's concluding arc, it is likely no one outside of Yuka knew how his family died (at least as directly depicted), though Nana seems to know of his amnesia later on. In the anime, Yuka tells Mayu, and with his memories returned, it seems likely Nana was told as well later on.
  • In the manga, Nana was shocked and devastated to learn that she was not Kurama's biological daughter. In the anime, she is either more accepting once she learns this, or somehow knew all along, for she is not shocked or put off when this is directly and indirectly stated in this episode.
  • In the manga, the battle of Lucy against Mariko has several mitigating factors and distractions that Lucy uses to her advantage. The bomb remote control, the presence of Kurama and Nana, and the field of fire they are in all play a part in mitigating Mariko's edge in raw power. In the anime, the battle is all-out, giving Mariko a nearly supreme advantage, enabling her to soundly and decisively beat Lucy almost without being touched.
  • In the manga, Mariko comes to accept Nana and even asks her to care for their father when she faces Lucy. While she accepts her father's love, and Nana later mourns Mariko, no such reconciliation occurs in the anime.
  • In the manga, Mariko, with her legs cut off by Lucy, grabs hold of her before being beheaded, with her bombs shredding off Lucy's horns and forcing her reversion to Nyu. In the anime, one of her horns is lost to the fight with Mariko, while the other is lost--seemingly as she dies--facing one last set of soldiers sent to capture or kill her. Whether a second anime season would have seen these horns return as they did in the manga cannot be known.
  • In the manga, Lucy taunts Kurama after killing Mariko and Shirakawa that she made good on her promise to kill everyone dear to him. In the anime, Lucy is unaware of any connection between Shirakawa and Kurama and attempts to kill Mariko only to save her friends, not out of any sadistic revenge. Lucy does not revel in killing Mariko and instead simply says, "I'll end your suffering quickly."
  • In the anime, Lucy saves Nana from being killed by Isobe. This never occurs in the manga.
  • Two future plotlines that did occur in the manga chapters that were not adapted for the anime are possibly hinted at in the anime finale. When Isobe tells Chief Kakuzawa that Mariko's vectors have been disabled, the Chief says they still have use for her, even if her powers are gone, a possible reference to the clone Mariko story-lines. Also, when Arakawa asks if she can have a bath, the Chief says to make herself at home, since he has plans for her, a possible reference to Arakawa's role in weaponizing the Diclonius virus as part of the Chief's master plan for Diclonius supremacy, which in the manga, was realized during and not after the events regarding Mariko. Also, his own horns were revealed, indicating that this too was to play a role.
  • In the manga, Lucy/Nyu is never thought to be dead after the events with Mariko, and returns with Kouta and Nana to Maple House and remains Nyu for close to a year.
  • Chief Kakuzawa almost angrily sends the SAT after Lucy, with no orders to merely capture her. This could indicate that Kakuzawa's direct need for Lucy in the manga is not a factor in the anime, or perhaps that he feels only the use of lethal force has the possibility of even capturing her. Alternately, it is a moment of unthinking rage that he might have thought better of otherwise.
  • In the manga, Kurama survives Mariko's death but is mentally unstable for a long while to follow.
  • The reunion between Kouta and Lucy after the former recovers his memories is vastly different in both versions. In the Manga, they both reunite on the beach, and later go to a lighthouse. There Lucy explains him all about her inner voice and the reasons for killing his family before breaking down and desperately begs for his forgiveness. In this version Kouta is truly resentful towards her, coldly stating that he will never forgive her for what she'd done no matter how much she apologized. He also said, twice, that he hated her and wanted to kill her to avenge his family, though further actions might reveal that he still held love for her even after how much she had wronged him, offering to let her stay with them (provided she never killed again) and was even willing to risk his live to save hers. In the Anime, the reunion happens in a stone staircase. Lucy never says anything about her inner voice, and instead states that she was born to wipe out mankind as Professor Kakuzawa told her before attempting to rape her. She also states to him that she can do so in just five years, but refuses to let that happen because that would also mean his death. How Lucy knows she can accomplish this in 5 years is never fully explained, but it is probable that Director Kakuzawa told her during her captivity. Kouta here seems to understand that something truly horrible must have happened to shape her into a cold-blooded killer and, while still stating he couldn't bring himself to actually forgive her, he openly admits that he still loves her, then they kiss and hug passionately, after which she leaves to confront a horde of soldiers.
  • In the anime, Kakuzawa states that he needs Lucy's body or at least her head to complete the virus. He does not need either of these things in the manga.
  • Arakawa is shown to be less willing to work with Kakuzawa in the anime and hides Kouta's picture from him. In the manga it is Arakawa that tells Kakuzawa Lucy and Kouta's location, which allows the raid that leads to Lucy's recapture.
  • Lucy's death is also radically different, In the anime, she loses her second horn against a large group of soldiers. After that, it's implied in the closing scene that she might have actually survived. The manga version has Lucy pushing her body to the limit attempting to destroy the whole world in revenge for her own suffering. She then turns that planet-shattering power to instead heal Kouta, who was fatally shot by Kurama in an attempt to kill her. Kouta wakes up to find her decaying body. Later, the Maple Inn's residents all reunite with them, only to be ambushed by the forces of Saseba. It's then when her third personality (arguably the real mastermind behind all of her murders) takes full control and tries once again to destroy the Earth. However, the personalities of Nyu and Lucy contact Kouta and urge him to kill their body. Kouta, surprisingly, initially refuses, not willing to kill his beloved friend even after all she'd done. In the end, rather than avenging his family, Kouta shoots and kills Lucy out of pure pity, after even this worst personality can no longer stand the pain.
  • The soldier or soldiers Mariko kills in this episode mark off a slight difference in direct body count between the manga and the anime for her, though in both cases she is implied to have killed personnel at the Diclonius Research Institute during her captivity.

Rainstorm ~ Regenschauer

Manga chapter(s) used as basis: 85, and a scene from 18

  • Most of the events in this episode do not take place in the manga. The flashback sequences in the anime do not include the more extensive investigation done by Kurama and Professor Kakuzawa as they realize Lucy's existence and move to find her. In the manga, Kurama and Professor Kakuzawa figure out Lucy is in Kamakura from the dramatic increase in heart attacks occuring in that region. In the anime, Kakuzawa finds an old photo of Lucy at the orphanage in Kamakura and makes the assumption that she is still there. 
  • The anime also does not name Lucy's tragic friend Aiko Takada, and cuts out the back-story with her parents, how she met Lucy, or the reasons they were fleeing. It is odd that the animators left the blood on Aiko's shirt from the murder of her father, but in the anime it is never explained whose blood it is or how it got there.
  • In the manga, Lucy offers to take the blame for Aiko's murder and turn herself in to the police. This never happens in the anime, likely because the murder was never explained.
  • In the anime, Lucy reveals her horns to Aiko and asks her, "would you still be my friend even if I looked like this?" Aiko reacts positively to the horns in a similar manner to Kouta. This never happens in the manga.
  • After Lucy reveals her horns in the anime, Aiko asks if she can wear Lucy's cap. Lucy gives her the cap and this, unfortunately makes Kurama and Professor Kakuzawa think that Aiko is another diclonius hiding her horns. This never occurs in the manga and no one in the manga ever thinks that Aiko is a diclonius.
  • In the manga, Kurama follows up his telling Lucy that Aiko has died with a chastisement against them both for not surrendering immediately, thus bringing about the shooting. He also delivers one against Diclonius for not wishing to co-exist with Humans, an argument Lucy finds hypocritical and infuriating, and seemingly cements her enmity towards Kurama as much as if not more than her friend's tragic death. In the anime, he merely delivers news of Aiko's death, and receives Lucy's vow of revenge, followed by his present-day vow to not let that vengeance effect Mariko.
  • A flashback shows young Kouta buying the Lilium music box in a local gift shop after arriving in Kamakura, despite being told by Kanae and Yuka that the song it plays is too sad. This does not occur at all in the manga. The music box is an anime-only plot device, meant to replace the role of Nozomi, rumored to be a character that director Mamoru Kanbe did not like, and whose removal was supposedly a source of contention with mangaka and creator Lynn Okamoto. Kanbe later said that the seeming dispute was caused by not having enough time in the anime to flesh out Nozomi, if she were introduced.
  • This OVA makes several uses of comedic, exaggerated facial expressions that are not found in the manga or the rest of the anime series. Why the animators changed styles is unknown, but perhaps it was in keeping with the overall lighter tone of this episode.
  • In Manga Chapter 17, a Mayu who is still hesitant about moving in to Maple House collects Wanta to leave, and the scene shows the small dog with a very enlarged stomach, having eaten his fill in a time when food was scarce for the duo. The scene, already somewhat exaggerated but intending to show the pair's dire circumstance, is duplicated in the OVA, albeit to comic rather than grim effect, showing Nana lovingly went too far in her new duties.

Elfen Lied Special Side Story (Bonus Story)

  • During their excursion to the beach, the Lilium music box is brought with the group. A snatch of conversation is seen saying that Nozomi seems to be enjoying herself, which brings a question of 'Who's Nozomi?'. This is a humorous comment on Nozomi's absence from the anime.

How'd that kid break the perimeter? Why didn't the guard team stop him?

Isobe, a harsher individual in the anime, noticing that Kouta did not get stuck at the Bridge entrance