This anime inspired the Stranger Things series – and it’s worth watching

official Stranger Things poster
Official Stranger Things official poster. Pic credit: IMDB

Stranger Things, the sci-fi/horror TV blockbuster, has a massive global fan base eagerly awaiting the rest of Season 4 to premiere.

A famous anime series inspired Stranger Things, and this series is an absolute must-see. A classic anime reportedly inspired parts of the tale, and it’s the ideal show to watch while anticipating for Stranger Things’ explosive conclusion to arrive on Netflix.

Elfen Lied anime: The inspiration for Stranger Things

Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer discussed what inspired the hit series in a 2016 interview with the Daily Beast. Matt Duffer mentioned that he “had watched an anime titled Elfen Lied,” which was inspired by Akira.

“There were a lot of elements in there that I liked, and that made their way into the show, particularly relating to the character of Eleven,” he continues.

Elden Lied anime visual
Elfen Lied released anime visual. Pic credit: IMDB

Lynn Okamoto’s Elfen Lied began as a manga in Weekly Young Jump in 2002. It was adapted into an anime in 2004, with Mamoru Kanbe directing and Arms overseeing the animation.

Elfen Lied narrates the story of Lucy, a Diclonius – a new species that resembles humans at first glance but is not. However, they have horns on their skulls and the capacity to control Vectors.

Vectors are telekinetic invisible arms that enable the Diclonius to move objects in ways humans cannot. Lucy is imprisoned in a government institution, where she is subjected to gruesome tests and experiments. She eventually goes on a rampage, killing her captors and fleeing the prison.

However, Lucy is damaged during the escape and acquires a second personality. This personality is infantile and innocent, with limited verbal capacity and total forgetfulness of her previous existence.

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Kouta and Yuka, two classmates, locate the girl and decide to take care of her. They named her Nyu and attempted to nurse her back to health. However, they unintentionally become embroiled in a significant government conspiracy as numerous parties attempt to reclaim Lucy.

Elfen Lied and Stranger Things: The connection

Elfen Lied inspired the character of Eleven in Stranger Things, as she, too, was imprisoned in a secret government facility owing to her extraordinary abilities. Eleven, like Lucy, flees and is welcomed by an unknown individual.

Both shows also explore the concept of a weird alien power attempting to attack and ultimately wipe off humanity for unknown reasons. This transformed a formerly commonplace planet into a dreadful war.

The theme of young people juggling everyday difficulties with an existential threat is omnipresent, with Kouta and Yuka juggling life, romance, and government agents.

Elden Lied promotional image
Elden Lied promotional photo featuring lucy, the main character, escaping her shell. Pic credit: IMDB

The premise of the human-like Diclonius and the group’s frequently mysterious character is handled well. The story adds an intriguing spin to various outsider themes. While the themes of Elfen Lied and Stranger Things are similar, the anime is more profound, violent, and willing to be brutally harsh to its characters.

It also considers what makes us human in biological and philosophical terms. Elfen Lied employs the anime format to spectacular use in both programs. It created some moments that would be impossible to recreate in live-action.

While the two share comparable topics, they approach and deal with them in very different ways, visually and philosophically. Elfen Lied is a terrific and riveting show in its own right. Thus this makes it well worth watching. Viewers who start watching Stranger Things today will have a whole new appreciation for the show – and a better understanding of why Matt and Ross Duffer portrayed Eleven the way they did.

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What do you think about the connection between Elfen Lied and the Stranger Things series? Are you excited for Stranger Things Season 4? let us know what you think in the comments.

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