|“||I have something to ask you. Just answer honestly. Any resistance is futile.||”|
– Doctor Nousou, about to harshly learn that even the Humans of Maple House are not soft targets
Elfen Lied is nothing if not consistent in its portrayal of happy moments, beautiful scenery, and touching interactions immediately followed by scenes of overwhelming sadness, unrelenting violence, and good, old-fashioned mayhem. The surprise attack on the residents of the Maple House beginning in Chapter 82 is remarkable, however, for showing the evolution of Nyuu's powers and for the revelations of Lucy and Kurama's shared past.
The mayhem of Nana, Mayu, and Bandou's Brush with the Unknown Man has passed. Lucy's fight against Bandou with Mayu and Nana and Kouta's meeting with Arakawa are behind them. Nyuu discovers that she has another personality, and that she is a murderer. Her subsequent attempts at suicide via Nana's rage fail for both girls, and so the story finally comes to a lull. Mayu convinces Nana to quell her anger toward Lucy and not hurt Nyuu, the one "suffering most of all." Kouta arrives just in time to convince Nana to return home with them, that she's too valuable to them to just disappear with no repercussions despite the rocky beginnings she's had with Nyuu. With everyone back together at the Maple House, all seems idyllic. Nozomi anxiously awaits the mail carrier to bring the letter that will make or break her dreams attending a music school, and the others console her while indulging in a hearty dinner.
Of course, peace is only truly cherished when it's shattered...
Nousou, the Agent, three of the Mariko Clones, and a squadron of SAT soldiers break into the Maple House and hold its occupants hostage. With how much difficulty those of the Diclonius Research Institute have had in locating Lucy, save for Bandou, up to this point, they must have been led there by Arakawa, who was following Kouta home only a few minutes to an hour prior. To his credit, Nousou is amiable in suggesting they cooperate and help them find their quarry. The Agent brings to his attention that their target is right there, cowering in the presence of so many armed soldiers. Nousou orders Cynthia to capture Lucy, and her vectors hold a struggling Nyuu aloft with little effort. Kouta's attempts to stop them results in the Agent knocking him to the floor in a daze and Nana rises to her feet to protect everyone the best she can. Despite her speed, Barbara and Alicia's vectors pummel her, but when she tries to get up again, they cut the nerves in her shoulders to leave her a writhing mess of screams on the floor. Nousou lifts her by her hair, holding only her torso since the pain has lapsed her control on her prosthetic limbs, and orders the rest of the family to be arrested as well for this resistance. The soldiers are far from gentle in subduing the others, and one goes so far as to hold Nozomi in a headlock that nearly crushes her windpipe. Wanta distracts the soldier restraining Kouta by biting him, allowing Kouta a window to snatch a gun, tackle Nousou, and hold him at gunpoint to demand they leave. He's shot in the chest by the Agent before he can even attempt to make good on his bluff.
Witnessing the shooting, Nyuu lets out an unearthly, bone-chilling scream and holds her head in pain. Cynthia's body splits in half at the waist, sliced apart by unseen hands, and in the midst of Nousou yelling out to her, Kouta recalls his sister Kanae died in much the same way. His memories of her happily smiling face abruptly merge with the image of her cut in half, blood everywhere, and the image of her killer. The soldiers in the dining room meet their ends as well. Cradling Cynthia, Nousou realizes Lucy's vectors have grown to reach past the two-meter limit they once held, matching the elongated horns on her head. Nyuu's powers have awakened in a bloody mess, yet when she snaps out of her daze, it is again Lucy who helms the boat, so to speak. This shift is notable in how she refers to Kouta, as Nyuu always refers to him as "Kouta-san," but Lucy herself only ever calls him "Kouta" with no honorifics. Though he's bleeding out, Kouta finally recognizes his friend from eight years prior, much to her alarm. While reaching up to hold Lucy's hand, Kouta admits to finally remembering what he wished to say to Yuka that night he and his family were heading home. Not only that, memories of the events of that night play before his eyes, with him shooting a glare at Lucy as he growls out a desire to avenge their deaths. Kouta falls unconscious, panicking Yuka, and Lucy stands up to head for the door out into the garden. When questioned as to what she's doing by Yuka, who still believes her to be Nyuu, Lucy only says she's going to protect them and urges her to take Kouta to an ambulance. In the garden, Lucy's brutality is apparent. Nousou tries to comfort the crying Barbara and Alicia as he surmises what to do. With Lucy's new range being about five meters from his judgment, she's a formidable foe, but despite being inferior to Mariko, the clones with him should be able to stop her even if they would win for sure if Diana were present or Cynthia was alive. As Lucy approaches, a maniacal look on her face, he orders Alicia and Barbara to cut her nerves to incapacitate her and also is confident in their victory since there are helicopters with backup in the airspace. To his chagrin, Lucy's range is farther than it seems, as she takes down one of the helicopters and sends it crashing into the forest nearby. She takes down the other one as well, sending it crashing to Nousou and the clones' exact spot. The girls save Nousou from being crushed under the helicopter, but he can't crawl out since his body is trapped under it from the waist down. While the clones struggle to keep the helicopter off of him, Lucy takes the opportunity to shoot at them with one of the machine guns from the soldiers. Alicia spits up blood from being shot in the chest but doesn't falter, leading Lucy to continue shooting at them, and, when that doesn't produce any results, she resorts to lobbing projectiles at them. The first is a rock that breaks off Alicia's left arm from the elbow down, but even getting her arm knocked off doesn't stop her. Lucy laughs, amused by how calm the girls are, and Nousou, touched by the clones' concern for him, orders them to forget about him and capture Lucy. They don't listen, and Lucy throws another rock at Alicia, this time knocking off her left leg from the knee down. Alicia finally falls to her knees, and Lucy says she'll never forgive them for stealing her life from her. Lucy throws the top of a stone lamp in the garden at Alicia, which beheads her. As she prepares to do the same to Barbara, hefting another stone lamp cover with her vectors, Nousou vehemently orders Barbara to drop the helicopter and kill Lucy. She refuses and instead jumps under the aircraft with him, seemingly crushing them both.
Lucy drops the stone lamp lid and turns away, commenting on the stupidity of the scene, and her horn is then cut off from a distance by Cynthia, who, being held by the Agent, is still clinging to life and can still use her vectors despite being on the verge of death. As Lucy writhes in pain, Kurama interrupts the Agent's attempt to shoot her by taking Cynthia from her, who he believes is Mariko. Cynthia mutters out "Father" as he cradles her in his joy, seemingly recognizing him as her biological father. Sadly, she perishes in his arms, leaving him to sob over having lost his daughter again. Lucy, slowly recovering from the pain, asks him how it feels to lose someone precious to him, leaving them both to recall the first time they met.
The attack on the Maple House and its residents is crucial to Elfen Lied's plot for several reasons. The first is its revelation that Nyuu can now use vectors as well, whereas this wasn't possible for most of the story. Just like her original self, Nyuu's awakening of power comes from the injury of someone dear to her, but instead of the puppy who gave Lucy companionship, it's now Kouta, her first human friend, who's seemingly near death. Not only that, but her initial outburst of power has her vector range reaching up to five meters instead of Lucy's two-meter range. This range extends to Lucy as she takes over and battles with Nousou and the Mariko clones, but though Nousou believes her range is now only five meters, that seems to only apply to Nyuu. Lucy's range is far enough now that she can take down the helicopters flying overhead, and she can even dismember people with projectiles, which would need a tremendous amount of force. Nyuu's vectors don't come into play until later when she's confronting Chief Kakuzawa.
Kouta's memories also come flooding back at this point. He vividly recalls Kanae's death thanks to Nyuu killing Cynthia in a moment of rage, and his admittance of wishing to avenge his sister and father's murders signals to Lucy that she can no longer peacefully co-exist with him through Nyuu as her words near the end of the manga admit. The two of them living in peace can only last so long as he remains unaware of her true self and Nyuu remains active instead of her, but now, things have changed. With Kouta remembering who she is and what she's done, no matter what, his view of her, Nyuu and all, is tainted. What's more, the relative peace of the Maple House is gone. Before Kouta, Yuka, and the rest of their ragtag family could brush aside the police looking for Nyuu, Bando attacking her, or even the Unknown Man assaulting Mayu and Nana as isolated cases of random violence, or at least, they seemed content to do so. Now, with everyone being attacked at once and in their home, it can't be brushed aside as happenstance. Since Kouta now knows who she is, it's only a matter of time before everyone else knows as well for all she can tell. In Lucy's eyes, the family, which appears to be nothing more than a harem at first glance, may very well fall apart. At least, for her, it will. To protect this crumbling peace, she goes out to confront their aggressors directly. If she can do nothing else, at least she can keep the others in the family safe instead of bringing them more trouble.
Finally, the attack opens up the doorway to the past. With Kurama stumbling onto the scene and meeting Lucy face-to-face, the story segues into a flashback detailing Lucy and Kurama's shared history. The explanation of their mutual hatred has been a long time coming, and finally, it's time to open the lid on the bitter vendetta diclonius and man have held onto for three long years.
|“||You stole my life from me, all of you. That cannot be forgiven.||”|
– Lucy, dispatching clones, soldiers and heavy military gear alike with a fiery, unstoppable vengeance.
Note: Due to the structure of this wiki, this article has some necessary overlap with a broad recounting concerning the same general subject.