Adventures in Anime Song Translation: “Lilium”

I wish to emphasize that I do not recommend the anime Elfen Lied. It is apparently really gorgeous, but also really really nastily violent, really really full of Akira-type psychics who explode heads, and has decided that normal anime fan service with naked women just isn’t naked enough, besides having some silly stuff about God sending mutant horned women to destroy the world. Some would say I shouldn’t judge this anime until I’ve seen it. Aehhhh…I say no. Bleaching images out of braincells is just too much work.

However, since the Anime Powers That Be have decided that the perfect theme song for this show is one with Latin chant, lyrics, translation, and annotation must be provided. The song is all in Latin.

The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom
And his tongue shall speak judgement
Blessed the man who resists temptation
For when proved he shall receive the crown of life
Lord, Divine Fire, have mercy
O how holy, how serene
How benevolent, how comforting,
O Lily of Chastity.

“Os iusti meditabitur sapientiam et lingua eius loquetur iudicium” is from the Latin Vulgate translation of Psalm 36:30. “The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom: and his tongue shall speak judgment.”

“Beatus vir qui suffert temptacionem quoniam cum probatus fuerit accipiet coronam vite quam repromisit deus diligentibus se” is James 1:12. “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for, when he hath been proved, he shall receive the crown of life which God hath promised to them that love him.” It’s also an antiphon used for the Common of One Martyr. More to the point, a setting of said antiphon was on the Dominican Monks of St. Silos’ album Chant. The first chapter of James has a similar theme to Psalm 36.

“Kyrie Eleison” is the old Greek words for “Lord, have mercy”. They are still occasionally used in the Catholic Mass, both in the vernaculars and in Latin Masses. However, the text “Kyrie, Ignis Divine” comes from Nicolas Melchior Cibenensis’ Alchemical Mass. If this sucker wasn’t heretical, it certainly wasn’t approved by canon law. Boy, and I thought they came up with pretentious liturgies in the seventies!

The final part of “Lilium” uses words from the sequence “Ave mundi spes Maria” (Hail Mary, Hope of the World). “O quam sancta, quam serena, quam benigna, quam amoena esse virgo creditur!” translates out as “O how holy, how serene, how benign, how comforting is this maiden who believed!” Then “O castitatis lilium, tuum precare filium, qui salus est humilium” is “O lily of chastity, pray to your son who is health to the humble”. (A more readable version is here, but it’s on a rather strange site….)

Presumably, the point of the song is that the “just man” (the kid who’s hiding the genetically engineered girl) has to undergo trials, while the mutant girl is being compared to Mary. Or possibly the producers just liked the tune.


UPDATE: Here’s a link to a defender of Elfen Lied, with an article on the newer series Mirai Nikki‘s similarities and differences.



Filed under Cartoons/Animation/Video, Translations

88 responses to “Adventures in Anime Song Translation: “Lilium”

  1. Elfen Lied isn’t so bad. It’s not all blood, nakedness, and exploding heads. Our anime club is watching it currently and everyone seems to really enjoy it, even the ones who are really squeamish when blood (even animated blood) is involved. It’s no worse than Evangelion (I think Eva had more blood than this, seriously).

    Truly, don’t knock it till you see it. The story’s great and the artwork is phenomenal.

    • Cheyenne

      I think that anime was amazing. it does have a lot of violence and nakedness, but it’s not all that way. It’s a great story that has massive amounts of emotion and depthness to it.

      If you can get past violence and nakedness, it’s a great tale.

  2. Anonymous

    I agree with jess, this series is beautiful, I have no other word to describe it. I read about it in a magazine, it said it was ultra-violent and bloody, it commented about the opening song and I downloaded it; I fell in love with the song and thought to myself ‘an anime with this opening can’t be that violent’ so I got it, I loved it.

    Lucy (the mutant horned human) kills with no mercy, even being a little girl, but the way she does it is ridiculous, it actually made me laugh. The most violent thing in this programme is not the murdering she does, or the way the bodies explode, no, the most violent thing is the torture of a puppy in the 8th episode, it made my skin crawl, but that’s it.

    It has a very well done plot; I found the story heart-warming.

    My mom liked it too and she compared it to ‘Ah! my goddess’ (with gore of course), just that instead of a goddess it’s a demon. You’ll know why right away.

  3. Anonymous

    Um…I watched the anime, and I didn’t find any reference to “God sending horned women to destroy humanity”

    Not sure where you got that from. Anime is pretty good, no need for the bleach, just…put the stuff down.

  4. Didymus

    This is good anime, not a gore-fest… it rates 0.1 out of ten on the Legend of the Overfiend score.

    The most disturbing things about it are the real-life stuff, like when Maku’s step-dad rapes her or the puppy torture….. Unfortunately, these things happen every day in real life….. Do you have enough bleach to “whiten” the world?

  5. sid

    you’re opinionated ignorance is pre-judice at it’s best. thanks for the translation, but frankly you’re an idiot for prejudging this truely lovely story without having watched it first. unless you’ve seen the final episode, you’ve really no right to judge whether the violence makes sense or not…

    • B-chan

      Agreed. The last episode prooves this show to be the most emotionally powerful show I have ever seen. The violence only adds to the power of the show, and I can’t imagine Elfen Lied without it. Really, just go watch the show, THEN complain if you can.

  6. Nina

    Seriously, you should NOT judge an anime before you watch it. Especially this one. Because it does appear to be horrible if you haven’t watched it, e.g: the opening without the song is not one of my favorites xP usually the covers of dvds have weird illustrations etc
    But if you actually watch it, you realize that the violence is not something senseless and that there isn’t anything horribly indecent in it.
    ” besides having some silly stuff about God sending mutant horned women to destroy the world.” what the…? I saw nothing of the sort in the anime xP

    • Actually it is said quite a few times that they have been sent here to re-make mankind. Look at the entire scene with Lucy and the Professor. And several times they call Lucy the “eve to the new world”. It’s all there, quite a lot actually.

      It was an amazing series, just watched it through for the second time. Loved everything about it. the only thing i would leave out would be some of the child porn. IE Myu in the tub and what not. But even that can not reduce the amount of love I have for the series. I wanted to kill that child who beat Lucy’s dog to death, and the mother’s boyfriend that was raping Myu. Even the lady that treated Myu like trash when she came to take the dog. It does show just how cruel some people can be. This probably will not be the last time I watch Elfen Lied.

  7. Rikku

    You’re a jacka$$, but you left a good explanation of the intro song at least (which is an enchanting song). I thank you for that lol. But otherwise, try to look a little deeper. Anime isn’t about being straightforward, and always making sense. Use your brain and see the meaning of it for youself, otherwise, don’t watch anime you idiot.

  8. You know, it’s possible to enjoy watching _some_ anime without enjoying _all_ anime, or to like a song without having any wish to watch the associated program. Nor is it necessary to put art appreciation on the same level as religion, in order to appreciate art.

    OTOH, I must admit that one gets a bit better flames from fans of this series than one gets by making opprobrious comments about Digimon. However, I would like to inform you that it is anatomically impossible for me to be a jacka$$ — although I can be a jenny. 🙂

  9. Damdas

    Where the hell does it say god sent horned women to kill humanity? I think it’s on that anime website, forget what it’s called, but that site sucks. Watch the show, and stop being a pussy. The gore is not even the worst thing, puppy torture, and loli rape.

  10. nat

    First of all, I want to thank suburbanbanshee for the translation.

    The back and forth that I’ve read here makes me want to laugh. The only thing that needs to be taken seriously is that children under the age of, well, hmmmmmmmm, I’m going to say the range of thirteen (13) to fifteen (15) should be prevented from seeing this, and when they do see it, an adult MUST conduct a “debriefing” session after each viewing where the children discuss (in no particular order):

    *Violence in general (Exactly what sort of values does it promote?)
    *Violence in combination with nudity (To what degree is it exploitative of girls?).
    *The concept of rape (why it is unacceptable; why both male and female victims of rape would feel ashamed of what happened to them; exactly what sort of behavior is appropriate and inappropriate; what sort of support that the male and female victims of rape need and require).

    In my view, at least, everything else that has been discussed here is superfluous.

  11. no offence but don’t not watch it cause of wat you’ve apparently heard its the best anime and nat im 14 and i’ve watched this anime and its amazing and people between the range of 13 to 15 should NOT be prevented from seeing this anime as its great so don’t post such a retarded comment no offence and i don’t think anyone needs and adult 2 debrief us as we are not retards ok? good

    • William

      Ok you just said “no offense” and then called his comment retarded. There’s no reason for that kind of rudeness. I believe that what a parent or an adult responsible chooses to do with a “child” (you are still a child in the eyes of the law) is there choice. Most parents don’t regulate that sort of thing but some would have a problem with it if they knew.

  12. My dear young woman, I trust I do not suggest that young adults are “retards”. Indeed, I am not the one who has let this term pass my keyboard.

    (In a comment which neglects capitalization and most punctuation marks, may I add. I am sure you will realize upon reflection that this is not an effective way to argue for one’s maturity or knowledge of the world, much less one’s intelligence. Never give up a rhetorical point that easily.)

    • Aprilynn

      Well I’m 115 and I’ve seen this, I’ve already understood the concept of Rape, Nuditity Violence, and This anime is beautiful, Naked women aren’t always exploitation. It symbolizes the bare beauty in ever human being. The beauty that the statue of David glorifies and that of the ancient greeks recognized. The Violece is grafic and mature but the fact is, Blood is naturally a human vitality. It shouldn’t be horrible to look at. The murder happens. People get raped, murdered, and brutally assaulted daily. This is a fact of life. These things shouldn’t make us seem as we aren’t mature to handle it. These are life situations give or take the science fantasy setting and plot line.

      I believe you’re VERY wrong as to how you rated this anime.
      But I do say everyones entitled their own opinion. I hope you respect mine enough to appreciate it’s value.

  13. Idetrorce

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  14. anonymous

    This anime saved me from drugs. do you hear me? it is the most beautiful story ever. PLEASE rethink your prejudice and suck it up. The thoughts and ideas of Elfen Lied outweigh the blood and gore. Infact, you stated the first negative thing I have ever heard about Elfen Lied.

    oh, and I just turned 13 a week ago.

  15. If you liked Lilium you might also like Sora, from escaflowne and I believe you have heard of Brothers, from FMA. And, not from an anime but I enjoyed the folk version of “A hero comes home” from Beowulf. If you’ve seen Beowulf (in imax 3D!1 XD) you would know that it has its fare share of nudity and especially gore! but the movie is fantastic. Alot of fantastic movies have nudity and gore. don’t be picky!!! A lesson you could learn from the many disagreements i see is that you should never state that something is bad like it’s a fact. thats your OPINION! Instead, state both sides. Its possible that people might think that it is too gorey and its possible that people might have enjoyed it or thought that it was beautiful. ALWAYS STATE BOTH SIDES! i cannot stress that enough. well then of course say what you think, but we clearly see what that is.

  16. joey long

    thanks for the translation i was wondereing what it meant…however if i completely listened to you then i would have missed out the best anime series that i have ever seen ..the artwork the cotent and the story are pulls you in and keeps you there..if uyou tyhink its bad and shouldnt be watched because that is your opinion,then thats fine,but to boycott it without even watching it is in the lines of racism,(well it looks bad so it must be bad)..but again thank you for the translation

  17. Kai

    i love elfen lied, i ahve to say it probably isnt for everyone, because it is pretty gory and stuff…but the story is amazing

  18. john doe

    It does have a lot of unnessary nudity, and it is violent, but as you go further into the series you see why it is so violent. Ep. 8’s dog mutilation was pretty bad, but it explains lucy is so violent. I think the god comment is about the main villian saying he is a proxy for god.

    For one thing, it’s one of the most originally stories I’ve ever seen.

  19. faith

    I really loved this anime, I usually don’t like anime at all but this one really captured me. It was really deep, and yes I must say harsh. Be that as it may, I found this to be an exquisite piece of work, I give it all the kudos in the world 😀

  20. U.N.Owen

    While I do agree that maybe the artwork maybe not up to par with some animes, I disagree in your opinion that it is “really really nastily violent, really really full of Akira-type psychics who explode heads … [and about] silly stuff about God sending mutant horned women to destroy the world.”

    This is a story which may look awful, but is extremely well put with symbolism, fore-shadowing and an original idea. The gore and nudity is critical to the storyline. It is used to portray the diclonius’ character. The nudity is shown when the scientist do experiments on the characters, to show how abused they were. The Violence is used to portray how the diclonius have grown up in a world with no empathy and how the way they’ve been raised has shaped them. In addition, if you bothered to read anything about this anime before awfully insulting this you would know three things. The first is that God did not send them, they are a new species, due to evolution. Does evolution mean God? I think you would know, considering how conservative you are. The second is that they are not meant to destroy the world. They are just a new species who the world is being a bitch to and they’re just wanting to get away from it all. Oh, and guys can be diclonius too. Also, (I’m sorry this is a fourth) The diclonius were not genetically engineered.

    I thought the music was beautiful and the mood of the song fit the anime quite well.

    And as for your speech about the nudity of women and the immorals it teaches us– I am a weak-stomached thirteen year old girl. I am not lesbian or bisexual. I thought this anime was beautiful. The nudity and gore was tasteful. I have not yet expressed the least bit of violence towards anyone I know. In this anime, the worst things are the torture of people and sexual predators. But that surrounds us in real life. If anyone is suggesting that we shield the world from this, how will people who are affected by this get help? This anime made me think and because of this I have volunteered more and gotten involved in other peoples lives. This is one of the most beautiful animes I’ve ever watched and I love the ending.

    I don’t think it’s wrong for you to not like it, though I think it’s silly if you haven’t watched it, but I do think it is unforgivable for you to try to stop others from watching a wonderful show. You cannot try to not recommend something without watching it.

    “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Trite, but true.

    • In the series, the males especially, frequently refer to themselves as the races that will re-shape mankind. I’m fairly certain that they use the “we were sent by God” line several times as well. Much like most in power during earlier years as well as today, the males of the species seem to potray the rule as “God’s Chosen”. The references are all there. Lucy is refered to as the “Eve to the new world”. A lot of the violence that is potrayed is do to the way they have been treated, and some just want to live, but the theme of a “new world motive” is still there.

  21. seriously, it aint fair for you to judge elfen lied this way. you cant say anything till you’ve seen th anime. its beautiful, with a great and deep storyline. it kinda goes deep deep into your heart, makes you think deep. yea th sexual abuse nd th puppy incident harsh, but tht is wht th world is about, isnt it? this anime simply just shows us wht th reality. in any way, it aint right for you to judge such a great anime this way. th blood, gore nd nudity just shows how little right they have over their own lifes, nd how cruel those humans treated them.

  22. feebs

    While the message the anime was trying to put across was fairly good and thoughtful, the way it was unflinchingly presented turned me off to the whole show. I’m okay with all of the things that happened in it but, basicly it all could have been presented better without the desensitizing shock value violence and the tasteless cutesy style it’s presented in. Back on topic thanks for the info on the translation it was very much appreciated.

  23. Matthijs

    “Bleaching images out of braincells is just too much work.”

    You’ll only have to bleach the emotional part out of your braincells. Watching this anime is an experience you’ll never forget, it’s that full of emotion.

    I don’t understand your opinion, U.N.Owen’s post clearly explains why the violence was a important part of the show. How else can you explain the feeling of hating and being hated like it is in the show?

  24. Jussi

    Youre a fool, it was a great anime. Im reading the manga now since they changed the plot a bit for the anime and i want to know what the original was like.

  25. kaworu

    I must state that I love Elfen Lied.

    Some people see (only) violence and “unnecessary” nudity in this anime, but for me, after watching the whole series, I do have different feelings towards those elements.

    nudity – the horned girls are not given clothes because they are not treated as “human”.

    blood, gore, etc. – symbols of violence that you can see. What more violent is those people torturing the inferior.

  26. I'm not telling

    Definitely a good explanation of what the song means, though (yet again – I’m so sorry that you have to get comments like this four years after you wrote something) I definitely don’t agree with you about the actual anime. Yes, it was very, very gory, but it fits well with the plot of the story. It had a very beautiful plot that the anime portrayed well, even though it was kinda dark. Also don’t remember any mention of God or a god.

    I also don’t think that the final part where you sum up what the song is about is quite right. I personally think that the entire song is completely about Lucy, or is more general to most of the characters in the story. Much of the story has a kind of theme of the innocent and the different being shaped by the horrible things that happen to them, and of the corruption and neglect of the world, so maybe the song is more about withstanding suffering?

    And also, on the comparison with Lucy to Mary, if that’s what it actually is. Lucy is the entire reason the other diclonius exist, and is the “Mother” in a way to all the others. The comparison of Mary to Lucy (who is very much a murderer) I think has to do with how the entire story is meant to bring out empathy for the diclonius, who are forced into extreme suffering and pain from just being what they are.

    Honestly though, I do have to say that watching the first episode probably won’t convince you that it isn’t a gore-fest. I remember the first time I watched Lucy leaving the compound I eventually just stopped because it was just too much. Could never look at pens the same way, after that.

  27. Craig

    Thank you for the translation of the Latin for the openig music.

    I only recently finished watching this anime. It is extremely violent, but beautiful story. I found that the animie highlighted two very important truths about humanity. Our capacity for evil, and our capacity to love – and forgive. Witout going into specifics, for a rational person, it is that person’s choice to either hate or love, to show disdain or to show compassion. Ad it it the violence that is displayed throughout the anime that makes the forgiveness, and love, even more meaningful.

    Elfen Lied is a work of art that should be viewed as a whole and not be taken out of context. Before watching it, plese keep an open mind. Be ready to be shocked, but overall, moved.

  28. Craig

    ugh – apologies for the typos in my last message…. that’ll teach me to proof read it before I hit submit 😛

  29. what

    Thanks for the translation. The citations are also pretty neat.

    But yeah, I basically agree that you should watch something before you judge it. But I also agree that you don’t have to watch/enjoy a series to enjoy its music. There’s lots of songs I’ve never watched, but it’s usually because I’ve never gotten around to doing so rather than flat-out refusing to watch it. I liked Lilium before I watched Elfen Lied. I liked the anime…it’s not my “OMG FAVORITE EVERR” but it was pretty good. The there’s a lot of violence but IMO it’s not that bad. I dunno. Personally anime blood does not gross me out.

    Lilium is definitely one of my favorite OPs ever, so Elfen Lied does get bonus points for that.

  30. Anonymous

    Thank you for the translation first of all.
    I’ve read most of the comments and I’m like WTF?

    Ok. Everyone’s got the right to judge. Freedom of speech. So you uberfans, just deal with it.

    Honestly, I was a MEGA elfen fan too.
    I read it, since I heard that the anime was catching up to the manga, and that anime had to go on, when the manga wasn’t.
    So I guess the producers made up their own stuff.
    Iono how it ends.
    MAYBE it ended better than the manga.
    The manga’s ending was really weird and I hated it.

    Up to the point of Lucy’s flashbacks, I loved it.
    It was heartwarming, and let me know why the hell she’s so goddamn violent.

    This surely isn’t some American entertainment.
    You gotta think a little, but still. Sorry to say, ultimately, I hated this manga.

    It’s pointless and PLOTLESS.
    Yeah. I said it, PLOTLESS.
    If you wanna explain the plot to me, you’re more than welcome.

  31. You must be a little girl.. or a very very ‘sensitive’ guy…
    “Blood and naked girls? Not for me, thanks..”

    The anime is great. Nothing like Akira.

    And there are no refferences to Religion, Mary or whatever… it’s just a Theme Song.. The Anime is all science. More Darwin than God…
    You really should’ve watched it. Just 13 episodes…

    Sorry for my bad englhish (i’m brazillian). Nice translation on the song.

  32. Kyonoka

    Ya know what? Most normal people before recommending or not recommending an anime actually oh gee I dunno, watch it.

  33. Andra

    I love this anime…though i don’t usually watch animes…and you ppl are right…the most violent scenes are those with the puppy and with the rape..the rest which involves blood and massacre are not that violent for in my mind i already know it’s fiction…as for this guy who wrote this blog..don’t judge him so hard for his’s just his opinion…and i find it interesting

  34. Xomazai

    the anime, just splendid. The song, the everything just perfect. The anime is the best one yet, and prolly the best EVER that I’ve watched. I do NOT regret that I bought them episodes of ebay ^^

  35. Ren

    Thank-Q über much for the translation. This is without a doubt one of the most beautiful opening themes I’ve heard for an anime. Personally, I love Elfen Lied, but I won’t bash you on your tastes. All I have to say is give it a try; the message is far more overpowering than the graphics.
    Again, arigato!

  36. Katie

    Elfen Lied had this song for the opening theme and I thought it went really well. I love the song soooo much, its so beautiful, it makes me calm, and even makes me cry at times. I think this is one of the greatest songs ever 😀

  37. Annom

    The manga actually had a plot and, yes, to figure it out you must think a bit, but that’s a good thing. The manga extended beyond the anime but from what I can tell the manga and the anime were pretty similar until the point in which the anime ends, (though I personally hope they do at some point continue the anime, I’d think it’d be a wonderful beautiful episode if they did the final chapters of the manga in anime form) and if you continue through with the manga (in which you find out why Elfen Lied is named that which should also be pretty obvious on the name of the second to final chapter which is titled The Elf Sings) there are religious references you won’t find in the anime. The diclonius being a new race of humans which have almost gone extinct due to humanities prejudice and therefore intent genocide of their species was attempting to be revived by one of the only surviving member of an ancient family of diclonius when he found Lucy who he discovered could become the ‘Eve’ of the new race, and so he attempted to eradicate the humans so he could be ‘God’ of the new world. Really no different then any of the other dominate the world plots done by other animes, though how they went about it was really original and touching.

  38. Beautiful song, learning it on the piano and singing ;3. I would have preferred it for another anime. There was meaning to it for the actual story of Elfen Lied, but I didn’t find much connection personally to the song and the anime.

    Nice idea, but Elfen Lied was executed in the wrong way. Wayyyy too much ecchi and loli fanservice for the guys. I watched the entire thing, and all I got out of it was: “BEAUTIFUL intro, some nice moments, the rest I sorely regret watching.” The gore was fine, the ecchi and moe was not. They shouldn’t have added the fail at cuteness, it detracted my viewing pleasure. Most of the animation didn’t suit the ambience of the story, and considering it was by ARMs, the quality of the anime was expected to be lower than average. There was also a lot of focus of the nudity. If this story had been sent to Madhouse, then the quality would have risen, and perhaps the nudity wouldn’t have ben so off-putting, but alas, money is always an issue D;.

  39. ruos

    i really like the anime and your post is just screaming ignorance., the anime is not just about gore and naked gurls, there are true conflicts and emotions in the series and there is humanity in it, its just the delivery in a different way…
    and if you watch the anime and think about its message about society and the prejudice about being different, and different other real life struggles, you can understand why they chose that as the opening song., so…

  40. Someone

    Yes, there is excessive gore and nudity. Shoot, the first seven minutes are enough to turn the squeamish away, but the story and characters are so tragically good that it’s worth the violence, in fact, the violence even compliments them.

  41. bigturbin

    The anime is not at all about what you say.
    you dont really care for the nudity or the limbs being tore off and stuff when you get into the story.
    and its also not about girls sent by god…
    its about one girl that led a terrible life just because she looks different.
    i recommend this anime to people that care about storyline more than graphic.
    it’s the best ive ever seen, and the best you will ever see.

  42. bigturbin

    sorry to have said what everybody’s saying -.-‘

  43. HolyflameingM's

    Tallyho cheery anime lovers!
    First their is some reference to god somewhere… in the Japanese one leastwise.
    Second whoever wrote this, i have to say got bitched at by a lot of Elfen Lied Anime fan girls, not that Elfen lied is a bad thing (i loved it and so did my lanky friend).
    Third it was worth watching for me, even though i only watched it for the gore (to begin with but before you ridicule me let me finish) at first. then the sad and emotional deep story line got beneath the rugged manliness i possess (im kidding)
    Fourth is that the nudity often seems forced and i am now labeled a pervert by my friends for watching it. however the violence isn’t that bad, and hell yes EVA had a dumpster truck more gore.

    In conclusion don’t boycott it because what you have heard about it (like i did to twilight,[LOL HYPOCRISY] however i have a valid reason you don’t) if you don’t want to watch it that’s fine but you should not give bad reviews about what you haven’t scene its second hand info. {Person who’s review u read (first hand) your review (second hand)}

  44. Anime_Freak

    how can you say that about elfen lied? i have watched a LOT of different anime, and truly the only one i havent liked at all is InuYasha. but elfen lied i think is extremely interesting and entertaining to watch as i got sucked into it straightaway.
    (although it DOES bother me that every diclonius is a GIRL, with PINK hair, and at each diclonius has been seen NAKED at least once in the series.

  45. creep

    it’s truly surprising and amusing what a great number of people think their posts matter to someone, so they feel free to blow out verbal diarrhea just about anywhere.


  46. William

    The person who posted this is correct. Elfen Lied is very, very gory. However, there is a definite message hidden within the elfen lied that all must find. If you watch the anime series you will see that mankind cannot evovle past its own savage nature. It’s either because humans deny it’s there or because humans do not put enough faith into human virtues, or too much faith in human vices. Thus, nature must find a way to alter humans (Diclonius Vectors) or annihilate humans (the Diclonius ability to evicerate others). I believe that the lilies in this series have the potential to be more than the horned-telekinetic monsters they were turned into. However, because humans showed fear instead of love or compassion only the darker more violent aspects of our human nature were evovled into more potent and deadly forms. People have this notion that I disagree with. The Diclonii (plural intention of Diclonius), Lucy/Nyu especially, are merely what humans imprinted them to be in the most vital stages of their humanoid development. It is easily said that because they are more than human they are not human at all, but humanity is more infectios to a sentient being of a humanoid form. Because humans denied the Humanity of the Diclonius girls in this anime, the humans only got the darker, savage, and feral aspects of human psyche/instincts. If humans had really tried harder to imprint on the Diclonius by treating them with love, compassion, and respect then the postive aspects of the Diclonius Humanity would have been triggered and the possiblity that they would have loved the humans in return would have bloomed, instead of withering and dying as it did in this anime. {That is my opinion anyway. Whether my opinion matters to you or not is for you to decide.} How does this apply to reality and the price of Tea in China? It should be obvious, don’t you think?

  47. A Person

    Elfen Lied is about a breed of human (Diclonius) who are born with horns on their heads and invisible “Hands” (I would compare them to antenna… called in the show; Vectors) that sprout from their back when the Diclonius is about three years old. And if you saw the series, you would know that Diclonius isn’t JUST women, but men to.

    Lucy (Main Diclonius of the show) was bullied as a child in a orphanage because of her horns. One day see found a puppy on the out side of the orphanage, her bullies found out about the poor puppy and killed the poor thing in front of Lucy. Lucy was angry and killed the bullies with he Vectors. When she buried the puppy, she met a boy named Koda (Sorry if I spelled his name wrong) who had a music box that played the song “Lilium” and soon they became friends.The murders began to get out and around as Lucy began to kill more people. Lucy began to fall in love with Koda, but she feared that he might be like the bullies in the orphanage and betray her because of her horns. Koda likes his cousin Yuka (I know totally gross) and Yuka likes him back but Koda also kinda likes Lucy. Koda told Lucy it was his last day in that area because he had to go back home, but he couldn’t spend the last day with Yuka at a festival. When Lucy ask if his cousin was a boy or a girl, Koda said a boy (Which Yuka is not he lies to Lucy and doesnt want her to get uset) Lucy wants to see Koda for the last time and she goes to the fair… but she sees Koda hugging Yuka… the “Boy” cousin. Lucy began to cry while her inner self started to break in to her mind, corrupting her. Lucy began to slaughter the people around her because her inner self convinced Lucy that no one would like her and she would be just beaten again and used. She found Koda and killed his little sister and father. Koda begging her to stop, and with the horrifying scene of witnessing his sister and father be killed by his “Friend”, he lost his memory.

    Years later Lucy is in captive and manages to excape. And washes up on the beach Koda is at… the rest Ill leave you to watch the Anime. It fairly good… I mean what show wouldnt be good with a song like Lilium as the main theme?

  48. Adam

    I find it amusing that the original poster makes an unjust judgement on an anime they haven’t even watched, but is happy enough to parrot back the lyrics of an chant that speaks against unjust judgement.

    • I find it amusing that people spend hours of their life telling me that I’m supposed to spend half a day of my life watching an anime I don’t want to watch, which was marketed to me as something I wouldn’t like, so that I can tell people, “Oh, yeah, it’s a great wholesome anime except for the part where people get cut apart. Make sure your baby kids watch!”

      Don’t you realize that the reason the producers include such scenes is so that people like myself will know not to watch, and to allow us to not include the show in our purchase budgets?

      • Adam

        At no point did I suggest that you should watch something that you think you won’t enjoy. I am the same with Twilight, I don’t want to wacth that. but at least I do my homework and understand what the damn thing is about before making posts bashing it

  49. Fenderfox

    There is a saying “Ignorance is a bless” but sometimes trying to be too smart is a curse.
    Elfenlied is a complex anime showing so many different aspects of the human behavior. Mature enough for people beyond conventional boundries.
    Excelent translation of the Lilium poem, but you should consider the name of the anime… Elfenlied from the german language (Elf song) a poem from Edward Morike of course you are going to see over the title because you decided to judge the anime from what you heard and not from what you saw.
    The voice Elfen has 2 meanings in the german language… Elf and Eleven, as per the poem the poet plays with these two meanings “the watchman cried Eleven (elfen) and an elf (elfen) heard it thinking the watchman called for him”
    Why an anime got a title Elfenlied? Maybe not everything it is so black and white, maybe the reality is as dual as we are.
    The main character in this anime Lucy is a brutal killer but she is also Nyu a quite inocent girl… the same character got 2 outcomes as the Elfenlied poem…
    Ignorance is a Bless…

  50. e.

    William, that was as beautiful and deep as Elfen Lied,I agree with you 100%
    Koda and his cousin being with each other,yea it is weird.
    And the writer who posted this in 2004 is

  51. e.

    Probably not reading this anymore so ppl should either stop these posts alltogether, or just describe what we thoght/how we felt about the anime. I personally LOVED IT!!! Its just how ppl desribed, DEEP,MOVING,THOUGHT-PROVOKING,BEAUTIFUL,ENCHANTING,AMAZING,PSYCHOLOGICAL,EMOTIONAL,ECT ( ID EVEN SAY SYMBOLIC IN VARIOUS WAYS TO DIFFERENT PPL)…AND SO IS THE SONG, there arent enough good words to use or/ ways to desrcibe this EVERYONE SHOULD SEE THIS SHOW AT LEAST ONCE, its one of BEST things i’ve EVER seen,by FAR!!!!!!!!!

  52. Grace Murphy

    O.K, this show might be a little over-the-top (personally, I like it, but I can see where all the criticism comes from; the fanservice is like WTF. Everyone is perfectly entitled to their opinion), but you have to admit, this song is unbelievably beautiful.

  53. Azrael

    While i thank the reviewer for his translation, there is something to be said about an intellectual mind which cannot remain objective. Such things as fanciful rhetoric and logical analysis are essential yet to one who cannot appreciate the larger picture it becomes merely an exercise in futility. Elfen Lied is, in my opinion, a portrayal of humanity’s propensity for cruelty as well as a perpetuation of self inflicted misery. This sense of inner turmoil and realism in an unrealistic setting speaks not only to the audience but to the character of our society as a whole. The themes presented in this production are ubiquitous and contemporary yet still remains relative to each individual member of the audience watching. This is a program which should be experienced by everyone, i have perused some of the comments and age seems to play a factor in recommendations. I must concur with others that this is an extremely mature Japanese animation that should only be experienced by those who have already some understanding of human nature otherwise this will come as a shocking and possibly sickening experience. This is all to say that age specifically is not the restriction but maturity is. Once again i must thank the writer for this translation and hope that such bias will not hinder the watching of a truly thrilling commentary which illustrates the every swaying moral compass within all of us.

  54. Wow, feeling a lot of hostility here people. Calm down and remember that this is a blog post; the author is perfectly entitled to express her own opinion and doesn’t deserve the vitriolic personal attacks.
    Excellent translation and research on the song, suburbanbanshee. Possibly the easiest and most informative Lilium page I’ve come across.

  55. Joe

    Sounds like someone has a problem with nudity. I agree we should limit all art forms so that they can be perceived by idiot children and adults who haven’t matured. Why not? I mean God wants us to hate our bodies right?

    • If you love your car, you should let me drive it whenever I want, right? And if you love your computer and your money, I’m sure you’ll be happy to give me all your passwords and credit card numbers. Trrrrrust me.

      In the same way, those who love the human body don’t walk around nekkid as jays, nor do they fill their days with nudity, cartoon or otherwise. Love includes things like “protection” and “boundaries.”

  56. That is how to stop worrying and be happy about your.

  57. TheShadowFallen

    thanks for the lyrics dude, but serously, THE MANGA MADE ME CRY SO HARD! I’m still 14 but i can understand the meaning on all of this, i don’t care about the violence or nude stuff! The story is so deep! The anime is crap, you all gotta see the manga, but i do say the anime is ain’t bad, but it doesn’t tell the whole story

  58. tatalati

    ELFEN LIED IS REALLY GOOD!!! You should watch it because it’s very emotional, has a great story, and, well, I couldn’t stop watching it until I finished the whole SERIES!!!

  59. fanime1

    Elfen Lied is an AMAZING series. Actually the nudity is supposed to be symbolic. Lucy is supposed to represent humankind. She’s naked in the beginning because we were all naked when we were born. Everything in that show has meaning. You really shouldn’t judge ANYTHING until you actually experience it. I’m a girl, so fan service annoys me. But if you it into the context of the series, it makes sense.

  60. Mesanofen

    This series is simply beautiful though I would definitely not recommend it to people who just cares about the violent content and is uncomfortable of too much blood. This series shows how brutal the world can be, by that I mean humans, the ‘horned’ beings are just represented as the hurt soul living among us. Humans have too much sympathy but the world lacks so much empathy.

  61. Shaun

    I’m sorry to reply to a really old thread, but I had no idea Elfen Lied was years old. I just happened to watch it on Netflix and I’m saddened that they couldn’t extend it longer and cut it to only 13 episodes. At first I was like, WTF violence … but I instantly became hooked as I got past it. The story is probably one of the most dramatic tale’s I’ve ever heard and it’s crazy when you start to feel emotional connection towards the characters, especially Lucy after all the things she did. I had to finish the series and since I unfortunately didn’t read the Manga first, I intend to go back to that to find out more. I hear Kohta isn’t so forgiving towards Lucy. 🙂

    • William

      You should definitely read the manga. The anime and the manga were both produced at the same time, so there are some differences in the story. If you’d like, there is also a short OVA that takes place roughly inbetween episodes 10 and 11. If you search something like “elfen lied ova” on youtube you should find it.

  62. scarecrowd

    Thank you very much for detailed notes. I DO like religious music (not because it is occasionally used as a soundtrack for japanese cartoons). I’ve sang prayers on five different languages when studying in a music school. And I am a dummy in world history and culture (including religious history and cultute, too). And I’m NOT a catholic, so this confession is not so familiar and understandable for me as it is for inhabitants of Western Europe.

    P.S. I’ve consider such movies as “The Pledge” and “Let the Right One In” REALLY GOOD things. I’ve seen “Elfen Lied” from the very beginning to the end within one night. And I still DO think that blood is definitely NOT a good paint. I mean, dozens of corpses are hardly balanced with traumatic catharsis of 2 (TWO) persons and a phrase, “I love you”. So after the first ten minutes of meat-grinding I just decided that it is a mixture of images and symbols used for a certain artistic effect, and THEN it looked okay. In any other way this cartoon seems really heretic to me if taken serious (I mean, literally).

    P.P.S. Sorry for the depth of embedding and the level of detalisation of my own words. I really want NO holyware threads anywhere. And I’m just not so sure that my unauthorized copy of English(TM) is good enough, so that’s the only way to make myself to calm down.

    • scarecrowd

      “I’ve consider” is certainly a copy-paste error. I meant Present Indefinite not mixed with Present Perfect.

  63. MissB

    I know I am replying to a really old thread and all, but I just have to put my two cents in. 😛 I have watched the entire anime series over three times and cry every time, though I am a major storyline critic when it comes to movies, stories/books, and cartoon/anime. I know crap when I see it and Elfen Lied was definitely not crap. The violence is a major factor into the storyline, but it’s not the core of the show. Just as a person uses adjectives to bring color to what they are explaining, this show needs to show the violence to get the point across about Lucy being a heartless killer. However, as the story moves forward, her character developes into something you wouldn’t expect.

    It’s the type of anime/manga that actually makes you go back and forth between routing for the bad guy (In actuality, Lucy should be the bad guy and the researchers who want to kill her for her crimes should be the good guys) and the good guys. The audience at first only see a killer who loses her memory and gains a split personality, but each episode reveals a deeper part of her, building a connection.

    This is truly one of the best stories I have watched/read in my life. It was very well done. I do believe that there is a reason for the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” You should never criticise a show that you haven’t bothered to watch. It looks bad on you.

  64. Kate

    Elfen Lied is more a work of art than an anime. And by that I do not mean that it possesses unusually good drawings or anything. But the story… is a work of art.

    I have seen a LOT of anime, and if I had to pick a second-favorite, I’d spend all day being indecisive and changing my mind between a wide variety of shows for a wide variety of reasons. But my favorite is easy to name, Elfen Lied.

    Those who would say that the nudity in the show is in any way “pornographic” are the sort of children who would snicker and giggle at an art museum.

    Focusing on the nudity present in what is clearly an adult story, completely misses the point of the show. The presence of the nudity is used symbolically in a dual fashion, both illustrating the greek belief in nudity as a symbol of purity & innocence (echoed in biblical symbolism, we do not need clothes until we think of ourselves as naked).. as well as referencing the degradation which the diclonius suffered at the hands of the researchers. And I think it very deliberately references both at the same time. It is not presented in an erotic or pornographic fashion.

    The violence? Not for everyone, understandably. But it is not senseless, at least not in regards to the storytelling. It is the counterweight which gives depth to the more touching moments of the show. An art style called “chiaroscuro” is one with very stark contrasts between light and dark, often with much of the paintings dominated by darker hues or inky blackness. But to say chiaroscuro is about darkness is entirely wrong, it is about the light which contrasts it, and the visual depth which is created in the interplay. The violence in Elfen Lied is the darkness which sets the light of the show into sharp contrast.

    As far as your synopsis of the plot “horned girls sent by god or something”… not really, no. Yes the idea is mentioned, but if we had a nickle for every time a villain claims he is a proxy for god, we’d have an awful lot of nickles, and we wouldn’t be representing the writer’s intent very well. Nor are they genetically engineered, although there are eugenic overtones. Nor are all the diclonious female, though we are led to believe so early on in the show.

    To be fair though, the show is not easy to write a quick paragraph to sum up. It’s far more intricate than that. I would not want to be the one to have to come up with a brief description of the show, I’m not sure it’s possible to do that well.

    Am I a fangirl? Definitely. Does that make me stupid or undiscerning? Not necessarily, no. Does it make me a ‘child’? heh, I wish.

    If you had seen the show, and said you disliked it, then I would say our tastes in entertainment are irreconcilable, but to each their own.

    If you claim that you don’t want to see something which does not seem appealing to you, then by all means, do as thou wilt.

    Even if you elaborate with reasons why it doesn’t seem interesting to you, I would offer counterpoints to your perception, but ultimately there’s nothing wrong with having a rationale for your choices.

    But if you criticize in depth (and largely in error), something which you have not seen, especially something with so much depth and beauty in it… then really you are only begging to be flamed, and rightly so.

    At any rate, thank you though for the effort in translating the latin. There are, by the way, 4 variants of the song, and there are extra lyrics in the gregorian chant version. Incidentally, the artwork in the opening sequence is clearly referencing the work of an artist Gustav Klimt, a superb choice, complimenting the song well.

  65. Much agreed. Anytime I go on %source_url&%, I come across
    a website that is enlightening and thought-provoking.. It’s generally helpful to examine content from fellow authors and implement things from other pages.

  66. red

    Elfen lied isn’t bad its full of wonderful joy and laughs. perect for children. On that note I also recommend Higurashi another wonderful anime. PS this is not a trap

  67. alfons234

    Thank you for your rich and instructive annotation! Your lyrics are of course much better than those to be found elsewhere.
    Still, I cannot say I hear “Iudicium” in the second line. To me, it sounds more like “Iesum” (which, I admit, does not make any sense).
    “Sufferit” in line three has to be “suffert”.
    For “Accipiet” in line four I hear something like “accet” (pronounced adjid), well, this might just be for rhythm’s sake.
    My reply may be a little late, but in fact, I had never heard of the song and anime until today.

  68. alfons234

    Reblogged this on Arx Lupi and commented:
    Sehr interessant (DANKE, S.) Ein lateinischer Titelsong in einem japanischen Anime. Dazu eine englische Übersetzung. Mehr in der nächsten Zusatzstunde am Dienstag.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.