REVIEW: ‘Elfen Lied Omnibus Volume 3’

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dark Horse presents Elfen Lied Omnibus Volume 3, illustrated and written by Lynn Okamoto. This edition collects the Okamoto’s original series in English for the very first time, shown here in a special omnibus manga that collects three volumes in one. Volume 3 reveals more details about Director Kurama’s past and his connection to the recently released Diclonius, Mariko also known as Number 35. As for the latter, Mariko’s time is running out, as the internal bombs within her body are set to detonate at any minute. However, she still hopes to tie up loose ends, and decides to confront her estranged father. Meanwhile, when Nyu and Kouta get too close to the Diclonii island facility, Nyu is captured as Chief Kakuzawa attempts to fulfill his mission of eliminating humans in favor of the Diclonii species.

In Volume 3, I liked that we get more information about how the Diclonius species procreated because it gives more insight into their roles and origins. For example, we learn more about the Diclonius population and their subspecies, the Silpelits. The Silpelits are the secondary versions of the Diclonius, that can only be created one of two ways, either directly by the Queen Diclonius or by other Silpelits who pass an infection to human males via their vectors.  For example, in this volume, we learn that Director Kurama was unknowingly infected with the vector virus years ago, which resulted in his wife giving birth to a Diclonious baby who is Mariko. 

I liked that this volume continues to explore the themes of alienation and nature versus nurture through how humans treats the Diclonius,  specifically when it comes to Mariko’s experience. Since the Diclonius Research Institute believes that all of the Diclonius are murderous creatures whose primary instinct is to exterminate humans, they make it a part of their mission to capture and control them by any means necessary.

Which is what was done to Mariko soon after she was born. The institute kept her locked away under heavy surveillance and security in fear that she would be a murderous Diclonius that could turn on them all at any moment. However, Mariko even states that all she ever wanted was her father. She never had any original desire to kill anyone – she just wanted to be loved and reunited with her family.  But she was denied any physical or emotional connections to anyone for the majority of her life. And that’s what results in her becoming so violent and murderous. Maybe if she had been given a chance to be raised in a healthy and loving environment with her family, then she might have turned out differently, instead of being treated like a murderous monster for all of her life.

Overall, I understand that this series is regarded as a classic by so many, but to me, it just feels like a discombobulated mess. The more I progress further through this series, I’m finding it harder to keep an interest in it because the main plot feels disconnected and confused. While the premise of the series is interesting and original, and I enjoy Okamoto’s use of themes like alienation and nature versus nurture in the series. I still feel like the importance of the story gets lost and cheapened by the overuse of fanservice and lack of real character development.

Elfen Lied Omnibus Volume 3  is available wherever comics are sold on January 29, 2020.

Elfen Lied Omnibus Volume 3'
  • Elfen Lied Omnibus Volume 3'
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TL;DR

Overall, I understand that this series is regarded as a classic by so many, but to me, it just feels like a discombobulated mess. The more I progress further through this series, I’m finding it harder to keep an interest in it because the main plot feels disconnected and confused. While the premise of the series is interesting and original, and I enjoy Okamoto’s use of themes like alienation and nature versus nurture in the series. I still feel like the importance of the story gets lost and cheapened by the overuse of fanservice and lack of real character development.