Elfen Lied (???????? ,Erufen Rito?) is a Japanese manga series created by manga author Lynn Okamoto. A thirteen-episode anime television series adaptation based on the manga was produced by the studio ARMS and broadcast on TV Tokyo from July to October 2004; the anime was later licensed in North America on DVD by ADV Films. The anime started before the manga was complete; as a result, the plot differed between the two, especially towards the ending of the story. In 2005, a special original video animation, written to occur between the tenth and eleventh episodes of the series, was released. The title is literally Dutch for "Elves' Song", or more properly translated "Song of the Elves", and takes its name from the poem Elfenlied and the German word lied, a classical-romantic poem or musical work.
Elfen Lied revolves around the interactions, views, emotions, and discrimination between humans and the Diclonius, a mutant species similar to humans in build but distinguishable by two horns on their head and "vectors", transparent telekinetically controlled arms that have the power to manipulate and cut objects within their reach. The series is centered around the teenage Diclonius girl "Lucy" who was rejected by humans and subsequently wreaks a murderous vengeance upon them.
Elfen Lied involves themes of social alienation, identity, revenge, child abuse, jealousy and the value of humanity. The series employs graphic violence and nudity, especially the graphic opening sequence of the first episode. So far, only the thirteen-episode anime series has been licensed in the United States, by ADV Films and in Australia, by Madman Entertainment. ADV Films said the series was one of their bestselling and "most notorious" releases of 2005.