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Elfen Lied episode 13: No Return

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And thus the series comes to its end. This episode had a lot to do. Not only did it have a high bar set by the episode that came before it, but there were many plot threads that needed to be tied up. Alas, there is a lot left unresolved, but at the same time, it is a solid finale nonetheless.

Actually, in a lot of ways, it feels more like a season finale than a series. Not only are some of the larger plot threads left open, but there is an actual sequel hook as the head of the lab reveals that he is a diclonius and that he has big plans. This plot point is never touched on again in the episode. Also left untouched is the concept that the diclonii are going to wipe out mankind. Lucy alludes to it, but the fact of the matter is that nothing on that front has been stopped. Mankind is still in danger and the brewing conflict is still there.

We do get a final confrontation with Mariko. Her sudden loss of ability is never explained, but it's moot as she gets them back with an equal level of explanation. She faces off with Lucy and, suffice it to say, it doesn't go well. It's a short fight, but it leads to a scene with Kurama that is far more powerful. There's a drastic shift as the creepy psychopath turns back into a scared little girl. You might think that it's another fakeout, but this one turns out to be legit and it makes the scene all the more powerful.

I'm not sure how Mariko didn't catch on when Kurama called out to the lab tech to "do it" ie detonate the bomb. You'd think that she would have gotten suspicious, but maybe she was caught up in the moment. The scene is appropriately poignant and heart-wrenching as Kurama says his final goodbyes to his daughter and reassures her that her mother loved her very much before the bomb goes off and they both die in the explosion. While a part of me did want to see a 2 on 1 fight where Lucy and Nana attempted to take down Mariko, I think that this resolution works in its own way.

We get another emotional powerhouse of a scene as Lucy and Kohta meet. Lucy tries to apologize and says that her days with him were the best part of her life. Kohta, for his part admits that he can't forgive her, but he can't let her go knowing that she's going to hurt more people. The two then admit that they love each other and share a tender moment.

In lesser hands, these two scenes could have come off as corny or over the top. The fact that everyone is crying doesn't really help, but I think that it is quite justified given what the characters have gone through. Again, it really is kind of beautiful and does a great job of tugging on your heart strings.

We're not really sure what happened to Lucy. It's implied that she sacrificed herself, maybe to help put an end to the bloodshed, but at the same time, she is more than capable of defending herself and could have survived as well.

Like I said before, this seems more like a season finale than a series wrap up. What it does, it does well, but there are still questions that are left unanswered and possible routes for the story to go from beyond this point. That idea is kind of hampered by the fact that it says "the end" before the credits roll, but you could easily have seen this as an attempt to pave the way for a second season. Alas, that never came and we got some plot threads left hanging as a result of it. The good news is that the old grandfather clock finally started working.. so...hooraaay.


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