Elfen Lied begins with a theme song in which a naked woman is artistically, yet very revealingly, shown to the viewers. It then quickly transitions to a murder scene in which a group of people ia brutally slaughtered. They are intentionally killed in various hideous ways which, again, leave little room for the imagination. These short opening sequences are all it took for me to be reminded how groundbreakingly cruel and gory Elfen Lied was when it first came out in 2004. And to be honest, few anime have since come even close to it in terms of shear brutality. But this brutality, combined with the sense of tragedy that defines its story, is also what makes Elfen Lied hard to put down from start to finish.