Reminiscence ~ Schöne Erinnerung ( German: Beautiful Memories ) is the ninth episode of the Elfen Lied anime series. Series directed by Mamoru Kanbe; created by Lynn Okamoto; produced by ARMS Corporation.
As the young Lucy and Kouta meet for the first time, Kouta stares at her; Lucy finds herself entranced by the music box he carries and the beautiful song it plays. Kouta sees and comments on the horns growing out of her head, and instinctively Lucy feels she is about to be taunted yet again. Activating her invisible arms, she calls them off when Kouta begins to not only compliment her horns but express envy. Lucy is soon on her guard again, chastising Kouta by saying her horns have caused her nothing but trouble. As memories of the possibly false friend who betrayed her confidence come back at her, she also rejects Kouta's offer of friendship, saying that she hates all Humans, but Kouta, who is visiting with relatives, repeats the offer and promises he will come back to that same spot the next day.
That night, Lucy showers up in a house while a news report about four murdered children and a missing fifth one plays on TV, this being a story about her and the bullies at the orphanage. As she opens the refrigerator door to search for food, the light reveals the bodies of the family whose home it is, murdered by Lucy so she could have a place to stay.
The next day, Lucy returns to the spot where she met Kouta but finds he is not there as storm clouds threaten. Believing him to be a liar, she hides out as two policemen pass by, ironically searching for her as a victim of the killer they now say killed an entire family. They nearly fall victim to Lucy, till the increasing rain drives them to abandon the search. Sitting despondently in the rain, Lucy is surprised when someone shoves a cap over her head. The cap is a gift from Kouta, meant to hide her horns. Kouta apologizes and explains he had to sneak out, getting a minor injury in the process, because of his father's fear of the murderer on the loose, again Lucy herself.
Sitting under sheltering trees as the rain keeps on, the two ask each other why they came there the previous day. Lucy brushes off the question, but Kouta explains that he came there to draw the landscapes when he saw her. His offer of friendship came partly from seeing how lonely she looked, which spurs Lucy to say that she doesn't need or want his sympathy, but he adds on that he was happy she shared his love of the song his music box played. Noting how cold it is, he sits closer to Lucy, causing her to blush from his proximity. She thanks him for the cap.
As Kouta leaves, they promise to meet again soon and play some more. The two policemen from earlier warn Lucy that there is a curfew and that she should head home immediately. Lucy runs off, finding a house with people in it. She proceeds to slaughter the family and use their home for that night.
When three days have passed without Kouta's return, Lucy grows despondent again. When he does meet her there, she tries to deny it means anything to her and then feels saddened when he tells her that he is soon to leave Kamakura. He makes an offer to hang out all day together but fails to impress her with the idea of a trip to the zoo, the mention of strange animals again bitterly awakening memories of the names the others called her at the orphanage. This wariness rapidly changes when they arrive at the zoo, where the elephants and giraffes delight her to no end. Sharing an ice treat with Kouta and walking with him hand in hand, it becomes apparent that Lucy likes him a great deal. They try and figure out the rest of their day as Lucy asks when he is leaving the next day, and Kouta responds that they are leaving on a night train. Before that, he is to attend a festival with his cousin. Overhearing people talking about the murders she has committed, Lucy has a sudden realization of the harm she has done. Inside her mind, she struggles with a dark voice urging her to kill all Humans, taking the form of a bandaged-up version of herself. Kouta notices her yelling, which she dismisses as the result of being too hot.
Kouta takes her to a stream, where they delight in splashing around, succeeding in getting each other's clothes wet, to the point they can no longer ride the bus. Stripping down and sitting back to back while their things dry, Lucy declares to Kouta that she has never had as much fun and happiness as she has had that day with him. Kouta for his part is made to feel awkward, first by her looking at him while naked, and then resting her head on his back.
Back on the bus as the day is ending, Lucy asks Kouta if she could go to the festival with him, but he apologizes, stating that he has already promised his cousin he would go with them, only for a jolt on the ride to force them closer together again. Inside her mind, the grim voice from earlier uses Lucy's suspicion and jealousy that Kouta is taking another girl to the festival and urges her to kill Kouta before he can break her heart. While she refuses, she awakens from the vision to find herself slowly strangling him. She then asks him that, if she cannot control herself and stop killing people if he would promise to kill her. Kouta doesn't understand, and she tries to dismiss her words.
As their day together ends on a stairwell overlooking the ocean, each says again what a good time they had, and Lucy hums the song from the music box once more, with Kouta joining her.
As he promises to see her again when his family returns the next summer, Kouta is asked by Lucy whether his cousin is a boy or a girl. To spare her feelings, Kouta lies and says his cousin is a boy, just before Lucy runs off and says she will try and see him off at the train station. Before her puppy's grave, Lucy vows to tell Kouta how she feels about him by going to the festival herself. Her world shatters when she sees him comfort Yuka, crying that she won't see him again until next summer. In despair, she backs into a rude festival-goer who shoves her over.
In her mind, she is haunted by nightmare visions. Kouta tells her he could never like a girl with horns, and likens her to the strange animals at the zoo he likes to watch. The headless Tomoo kicks her and tells her that this world has no place for her. Her puppy lies before her in a pool of blood. The false friend shows up with a hole blown in her head and says that lying to her isn't the same as lying to Humans. Lucy is then comforted and urged by the now-unbandaged killer voice to make a place for herself by killing all Humans. Saying goodbye to Kouta, she embraces the killing voice and lets it guide her actions. She symbolically removes the cap, Kouta's gift to her.
A crowd has gathered around her making cruel whispers about her being homeless or on drugs. Lucy's power tears the people surrounding her apart, even killing a kind woman who offers her aid. The festival-goers flee, believing a bomb has gone off. In hiding, Kouta's little sister Kanae sees the slaughter take place and sees Lucy as being the one doing it. Kanae then attempts to tell what she saw, while overhead, a baleful Lucy glares at Kouta, calling him a liar.
In the present day, Lucy, at last, awakens in her sick bed to the sounds of an argument between Kouta and Yuka over his claimed inability to cook/boil rice. As she rises from the bed, outside Nana senses her presence and confirms for herself that Nyu is Lucy, worrying that the quiet within Maple House means that Lucy has killed Kouta and Yuka, an idea that panics Mayu. Nana confirms this once and for all as Lucy opens the door as she and Nana glare at each other.
|“||For something inhuman, this man has sacrificed his humanity. But the price he's paid has purchased him only the eternal hell called regret. This illness is not fatal, and yet it causes sickness unto death. On the next Elfen Lied, Episode Ten : Infant.||”|