6 Anime Like Elfen Lied [Updated Recommendations]

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All throughout our lives we have been tested in some way or another. Some of these ways have left such a huge mark in our psyche, which guide us, and act as our trigger with regards to how we react to scenarios. There are times however, where some of these triggers have such a terrifying impact that it can change our lives forever, and the relationships around us. In our six anime like Elfen Lied, we'll be taking a look at main characters who have gone through terrible psychological journeys, and how it's shaped their entire existence. This is the remake version of the original six anime like Elfen Lied, so if you'd like to see our previous listing be sure to check it out below.

Similar Anime to Elfen Lied

1. Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu [Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World]

  • Episodes: 25
  • Aired: April 4, 2016 - September 19, 2016

Subaru would have never imagined how his life would dramatically change, as he leaves the convenience store, and is thrown into a fantasy world. Shortly after his arrival to this unknown world, he is attacked by some thugs while armed with only a grocery bag full of snacks, and his lousy cell phone. Subaru tries his best to fend them off but unfortunately he gets beaten to a pulp and all ends there. Fortunately for him, a mysterious beauty woman named Satella stumbles across Subaru's broken body and saves him. In order to thank her for saving him, Subaru offers his assistance in Satella's search, and later that night, he even finds the whereabouts of the enemy she seeks. But to their surprise, a much darker force waits behind the shadows, and just minutes after locating the insignia, Subaru and Satella are fatally wounded. However, Subaru immediately reawakens to a familiar scene in which he is confronted by the same thugs who pummeled him prior, and meeting Satella again only for her not to recognize him.

The one important aspect that really resonates within the Elfen Lied series is just how much shock value there is. Every scenario that Lucy finds herself in always leads up to some extremely brutal and gruesome ending. Subaru's life reflects that very same circumstance since every time he's led down a path, it always ends up with an entire cast of characters dying in the most grotesque fashion. Limbs are lying around freely, throats have been slashed clean, and corpses lie motionless in a scene of terror. Both shows just have so much surprise to them that you're never too sure as to who'll be the next victim. The two characters suffer extreme traumatic experiences which encourage them to lash out, and inflict pain upon others. They've been thrown into events which they never asked for, and are left to go through agonizing pain while the enemy laughs at it all from a distance.


2. Mirai Nikki (Future Diary)

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: October 9, 2011 - April 15, 2012

Mirai Nikki follows the crazy life of Yukiteru who soon discovers that his habit of conversing with imaginary friends through his device called the diary, eventually becomes a fateful reality. Yukiteru is confronted with a girl named Yuno who he builds a strong attraction to throughout the series. This close relationship however eventually becomes a game of survival, where both Yukiteru and Yuno must pursue and eliminate their enemies, while using their equipped diaries that allow them to assist one another in this fierce battle conducted by God himself. The winner is rewarded with the ultimate power of becoming the ultimate leader of the universe.

Yukiteru and Lucy have been put through a lot of maddening experiences, so much to the point where violence and death become immune to them. They've been subjected to so much pain and suffering that now it only feels right to return the favor in some way. The two never asked for their lives to be full of torment, but some sick and twisted individual felt that they'd make a great fit in their experiments. This psychological burden is what provokes the anger and deadly intent in both main characters, because they feel it's the only way for them to survive and protect everything they own.


3. Gokukoku no Brynhildr (Brynhildr in the Darkness)

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: April 6, 2014 - June 29, 2014

One day, a new transfer student comes to class named Kuroha Neko, that shocks Ryouta completely as she resembles that of his friend who had been killed prior. Kuroha can't recall any memory of being Ryouta's friend, but he discovers something odd about her. Kuroha possesses superhuman strength, the ability to see death, and other abnormal abilities. After Kuroha saves his life, Ryouta becomes a part of Kuroha's life, learning about her past and the hidden forces that exist in the universe. As he sinks more and more into a world of artificially created witches and spells, Ryouta must allow his scientific mind to accept that Kuroha has a very real power, the kind of power some corporations will stop at nothing to take advantage of.

Lucy and Kuroha have a power that a team of special forces is after to grab hold of it. Their powers are so life threatening that it takes a whole brigade of officers to stop them, but even so the two leave a pile of guts and limbs lying around as a chilling reminder. The two experienced some very tragic beginnings which provoked the darker side of them to lash out, causing others to panic in their presence. The two females never saw any of this coming, as they originally had normal lives prior to it all crashing down on them abruptly. This darker side gave them superhuman strength and the ability to control people and things around them.


Any Anime Like Elfen Lied?

4. Blood +

  • Episodes: 50
  • Aired: October 8, 2005 - September 23, 2006

Saya Otonashi is a seemingly ordinary girl living a mundane life in Okinawa City with the family who adopted her. Due to suffering from amnesia and being unable to remember any of her life beyond the previous year, life felt very difficult for her. However, Saya's forgotten past quickly comes back to haunt her as one night, she is surprise attacked at school by a creature that desires on human blood. Just before her life is about to be robbed from her, a mysterious man named Haji appears and fends off the creature temporarily. But when her Haji convinces her to drink his blood, Saya suddenly enters a trance and slays the monster with relative ease, using her own blood as a tool. Saya then learns of an organization named Red Shield, so now Saya and Haji must work together with Red Shield to fight these fearsome monsters and unlock the secrets to her troubled past.

One major reason why blood and gore sell so well is because of how well portrayed the story is behind it. None of these protagonists woke up dreaming to slash and dismember other beings without reason, but something drew them in which ignited a fuse in their minds to take action. Saya, much like Lucy, had been taken advantage of by another and now possess special abilities to seek retribution against the enemy. Destiny chose the path for these unsuspecting characters, and because of their fate, they must now use what they have in order to end suffering for others. It's as if they've taken on the pain and suffering of the innocent, and are now using that same energy to leave guts lying around in their free time.


5. Akira

  • Episodes:
  • Aired:
" aired=" July 16, 1988 "]

It's the year 2019, thirty-one years have passed since the start of World War III. A top-secret child with amazing powers of the mind breaks free from custody and accidentally gets a motorcycle gang involved in the project. This incident triggers psychic powers within one of the gang members, Tetsuo, and he is taken by the army to be experimented on. His mind has been altered and is now on the path of war, seeking revenge on the society that once called him weak.

Tetsuo was the victim of an experiment that went terribly wrong, and now he must come to terms with his new abilities to put a stop to the evil around him. Many people considered him to be the black sheep of the motorcycle gang, and claimed him to be weak. Much like Lucy, the two were bullied in some way which led to their inner rage to explode. Their intent for revenge was incredibly strong, leaving nothing but dismembered corpses everywhere as a reminder of their pain. Similarly, Tetsuo also has the ability to control the minds of those around him, using the bodies of guards as shields from a barrage of bullets. All you're left with is a bloody body that resembles swiss cheese, and an enraged individual who just wants it all to end. Gore plays a huge role in both anime because it shows a symbolic reference to the inner pains that we all experience, but is now expressed in a physical form.


6. Ga-Rei: Zero

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: October 6, 2008 - December 22, 2008

The Japanese Ministry of Defense has created an anti-paranormal special forces group called the Supernatural Disaster Prevention Office, which focus on capturing and infiltrating any vital information they can get about certain creatures. They are the ones responsible to protect Japanese soil and its people from supernatural and paranormal events. However, things didn't go so well in one of their missions, as one of the members is attacked and it's now up to this force to come to a conclusion as to what's transpiring around them before it's too late.

The great thing about anime of this nature is that there's always a lesson to learn from them all. The main protagonist goes through such a bloody ordeal that it leaves them scarred for a great length of time. They then use this same experience as a way to seek redemption and restore peace back into their hearts. Both anime feature female leads whose lives are in just a mess, that they can't help but lash out on others for it. Graphic violence and supernatural powers persist all throughout the anime, leaving you wondering who the next victim is. As we mentioned earlier in RE:Zero, the shock value plays such a huge role in every show we've mentioned because we just never know what will happen next. Lucy and Yomi must fight against special forces which have caused an enormous amount of torment on innocent lives, and now must use everything they've got to stop it all.


Closing Statement

We've all been at some point, used as some sort of experiment in one way or another. Whether it be a dare, or taking a leap of faith into an area of uncertainty, we have been subjected to things we just don't like. It's at these very moments that you feel the urge to lash out and become rebellious, showing no mercy for those who opposed you, and fighting for your existence. That's a way of life trying to teach us how to let go of our emotions, and free ourselves of the prison that lies within. Now of course we don't encourage that you go and dismember people, but we certainly admire those who fight through the darkness until they finally reach the surface where the light can shine again. If you have any other anime like Elfen Lied that you feel should make the list, be sure to let us know in the comments section down below! And also follow us on twitter for the latest article updates and tweets!

As always for all of your sweet anime needs, keep it locked here on Honey's Anime.

Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

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Original Article Below

Chances are high that you have at least heard of Elfen Lied on a search for must-watch anime. That's not surprising at all, considering what a hell of nudity, gore and blood it shows already within the first few seconds. Calling it a unique anime would be a huge understatement. The story around Lucy, the product of failed experiments, will make you reflect on the meaning of humanity and what it means to lose one's free will.

Yet, it surely isn't an anime for everyone: Its high content of blood and mutilation might be too much for some of you out there. For those that enjoyed Elfen Lied nonetheless and want to find similar stories we have come up with a list of six recommendations.

But let yourself be warned: the following anime are sure to give you sleepless nights.

Similar Anime to Elfen Lied

1. Mirai Nikki (The Future Diary)

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: October 2011 – April 2012

Let's start with Mirai Nikki, a Shounen anime with time-travelling theme. High school student Yuki's phone diary gets transformed into a Future Diary by Deus, a god he thought only existed inside his mind. Together with psychopath Yuno he has to kill the other diary owners in order to become a god himself.

If you're into psychotic girls - and I hope you're not - you will enjoy Mirai Nikki. Yuno is an almost infamous character known for being the anime version of an overly attached girlfriend. Not only her hair color but her unpredictable almost bipolar personality kept reminding me of Lucy.

Just like Elfen Lied it's a dynamic anime that effortlessly combines light-hearted jokes and disturbingly dark scenes. Now add some amazing yet frightening characters into this mix and you will get Mirai Nikki. Enjoy!


2. Blood+

  • Episodes: 50
  • Aired: October 2005 - September 2006

Blood+ is as bloody and disturbing as Elfen Lied. Like Lucy, heroine Saya is a human weapon whose sole purpose is to kill. She might look like a normal high school girl, but Saya actually just woke up from a deep sleep that robbed her from all her past memories. Now she has to accept her past identity and find a way to come to terms with her new life.

This is an anime for those of you that don't enjoy highly disturbing shows but can still appreciate good fighting scenes. Saya is an amazing character that is hard to find in most of today's anime, that is to say she is neither a completely powerless girl nor an emotionless killing machine. Her story will touch you no matter what which makes Blood+ one of our highly-recommended anime.


3. Deadman Wonderland

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 2011 - July 2011

Deadman Wonderland's motto "Death is the main attraction" perfectly sums up what to expect from this anime. After his entire class gets killed by a mysterious man in front of his eyes, Ganta Igarashi's life changes for the worse. He's getting accused of killing those 29 students and finally sentenced to death. In this fictive universe this means getting sent to Deadman Wonderland - an amusement park for people to enjoy watching criminals competing against and killing each other.

Deadman Wonderland starts off just like Elfen Lied - with lots of blood and death. People with weak stomachs might want to stay away from this one. Yet, every scene is beautifully drawn and the characters feel different from the run-of-the-mill ones found in most shows. Also, it is set in a not-so distant future so fans of Sci Fi have to give Deadman Wonderland a try.


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Any Animes Like Elfen Lied ?

4. Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: January 2011 - April 2011

I included Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica in this list because it is as least as unique as Elfen Lied. And again, it's hard to pinpoint the exact reason that makes Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica stand out from the mass of other anime. It shows the story of school girl Madoka who meets a mythical cat-like creature that offers to turn her into a Magical Girl able to fight against the evil of this world.

It's an anime that you have to experience yourself. If you only look at the synopsis it sounds like any other Shoujo or Magical Girl anime and the first minutes might even make you want to drop the show altogether. But trust me, as the story unfolds you will begin to understand what makes Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica so special. The plot gets darker and more disturbing and moves you emotionally as you see pain and death in this cute and innocent universe.

Give Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica a try, I can assure you you won't regret it.


5. Angel Beats!

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: April 2010 - June 2010

Angel Beats is a timeless masterpiece. It doesn't matter if you've been watching anime for years now or just joined the club. It is one of those shows that everyone can relate to and enjoy. The story about Yuzuru Otonashi who finds himself trapped in life after death displays the whole range of human emotions. From love and sadness over to pain and regret - this show has it all.

Unlike Elfen Lied, Angel Beats doesn't show much gore or blood, so you should check it out if you find that a turn-off. Yet, it has the same level of sadness and emotionally disturbing scenes. And like Elfen Lied or Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica you have to watch it for yourself to understand the fame of Angel Beats.

Tears guaranteed!


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6. Saishuu Heiki Kanojo (Saikano: The Last Love Song on This Little Planet)

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: July 2002 - September 2002

Lastly we have a personal tip for friends of Military and Post-Apocalyptic anime. Saishuu Heiki Kanojo is similarly set in a fictive not-so-distant future where Japan gets attacked by unknown air forces. To fight against them and to protect the country, school girl Chise gets turned into a humanoid being with metal wings and weapons as arms. Hero Shuji has to watch as his formerly innocent girlfriend transforms into a human weapon.

While watching Saishuu Heiki Kanojo you can't help it but be really touched even though you know it's only a fictive story. Again, it's a show that starts like a harmless love story only to get more heartbreaking with every episode. The romance in this anime is equally unique and tragic, to say the least.

Prepare for even more tears with this last anime on our list.


This concludes our recommendations for this time. All of the mentioned anime are moving and I can honestly say that each and every one of them has raised my personal expectations for following shows. Elfen Lied proves that anime aren't "just for kids" and that they can touch you on a deeper level.

Do you agree with our list? Which one is your personal favorite? Comment down below!

Cornelia Wagner

Writer

Author: Cornelia Wagner

Coffee enthusiast, world traveler and writer at heart. Left Europe to live and study in the insanity called Tokyo.

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