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Another Happy Future ( もうひとつの幸せな未来 / もうひとつ の しあわせな みらい / mou hitotsu no shiawase na mirai ) is a special chapter of the Elfen Lied manga series included at the end of Volume Eight that tells about Nozomi's past. While previous hints had been given, the details of why she visits and eventually comes to live at Maple House are revealed.

Plot

The chapter begins with a young Nozomi wetting herself in fear, yelled at by her father. She narrates how she was always afraid of her father who was angry at her all the time. Worse still, he always got angrier still at her for being too cowardly.

After this, her narrative returns to the present, where he asks her about her studies, telling her that she should give up on going to a university if she can't get into a good one. Nozomi can do nothing but nod, never having opposed him ever since she was a child.

As she takes a bath, the story goes back ten years into the past, when her mother was a famous opera singer. Nozomi always looked up to her and aspired to become just like her. However, her mother committed suicide later for a reason her father would never speak. To cope with the sadness, the young Nozomi listened to her mother's records every day, but one day, her father angrily told her that he would never forgive her if she listened to them again. When Nozomi tries to object, he snaps and starts to beat her, leaving her crying on the floor as she apologizes repeatedly and promises never to oppose him again.

Afterward, she tries to cheer him up on his birthday by recording a cassette tape where she sings "Happy Birthday" and says that her dream is to become an opera, like her mother, singer and to make him happy again by inviting him to her first concert. But upon seeing it, he breaks it in half and tells her never to sing again. After being forbidden to sing, she instead starts to sing in secrecy behind a nearby mountain, where a young Lucy and her puppy secretly listen to her.

The story returns to the present after this, where a teacher tells Nozomi that her grades are great enough to go to most universities. The one she most wants, though, a music school, requires specialized courses before the entrance exams. Having heard this, a depressed Nozomi decides to go to the mountain, but when she gets there, she sees that it is replaced by a construction site for a resort condominium.

Having lost her only place to sing, she is about to fall into despair, but as she walks home, her old sempai, Yuka, warmly greets her and asks why she looks so sad. After Nozomi tells her about not having a place to sing, Yuka tells her that she can come over and practice at the Maple House whenever she wants. The seasons pass as Nozomi studies and teaches the others at the Maple Inn how to sing, including Nyu, whom she successfully teaches the song Elfenlied, and by extension, Lucy learns it as well. As winter arrives, Yuka and the others discuss her entrance exams, which are coming up the next day. Nozomi gets ready to leave, with Kouta and the others walking her to the door. They lift her spirits and tell her that they're rooting for her.

However, as soon as she comes home, her father is standing at the entrance, holding the exam admission slip for the music school she's been trying to gain entry. He demands that she stay at home the following day, but just as Nozomi is about to obey him, she remembers Kouta, Yuka, and the others at the Maple House cheering her on. Reflecting on their encouragement, she finally works up the courage to stand up to her father, telling him to give the admission slip back to her and that she's going to live her life from now on. Unexpectedly, he allows her to do as she wants, but on one condition.

As she leaves the following morning, the narrative switches from Nozomi's to her father's perspective, where he confesses that he wanted her to become a singer, but he didn't want her to die like her mother did. He reveals that her late mother had a throat defect called "Soprano Dramatico," which gave her an incredible singing voice, but also made her throat very weak, which led to her committing suicide after losing her voice. Therefore, once he learned that Nozomi had inherited Soprano Dramatico, he tried to make her give up on singing, but when he saw her work up the courage to stand up against him for the first time, he realized that there was no stopping her blood and let her become a singer. However, there is a condition, in which he would be invited to her first concert so that she could make him happy again. As we see him holding a repaired cassette tape, Nozomi is at the exams, no longer afraid of anything.

Trivia

  • Though this special chapter shows and references events from across the series' timeline, it does not follow from or continue into any one chapter or story arc. Though firmly within Elfen Lied continuity, as a narrative it stands apart within the larger story. Its present-day events seem to occur during the six-month time-skip after the events involving Mariko. It is not always included in scanlations of Elfen Lied when hosted on websites.
  • Mayu is depicted in one scene as wearing the clothes she was wearing when she first moved into Maple House, being a blouse pulled down at the end to hide her panties. In other parts of the manga, she is never seen in those clothes after she moves in, and it is unknown whether she even kept them after she moved in, as they may be a reminder of a painful period for her. This scene may be just the mangaka's error or a reference to that part of her life.
  • Nozomi is only half-dressed on the cover, her hair Godiva-like but not quite long enough for Wikia's Terms of Service. It is possible that only being half-covered reflects the transition her life is undergoing in this story.

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