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Death Maze ( 死と迷路 / しとめいろ / shi to meiro / Death And The Maze) is the eighty-ninth chapter of the Elfen Lied manga series.

Plot

Arakawa frantically records and tries to save her work as hundreds of usually invisible vectors erupt from beneath the island HQ of the Diclonius Research Institute, with their power drastically escalating until an explosion is visible over the horizon. It is also witnessed on board a distant helicopter by the Agent, with smoke billowing out from a hole in the main building. Arakawa wakes up right next to the massive gaping hole, which seems to go all the way down to the underground grotto.

Neither she nor any of the support staff has any power for equipment or tracking, and the team quickly realizes to their horror that the Clone Diclonii kept underground are now free. An attempt to evacuate fails when, outside the control room door is a small army of the nude, bag-masked Mariko clones. A total slaughter of the on-site staff begins, with the long-abused Diclonii showing no mercy at all, and denying any efforts at escape, even bringing down an escaping chopper.

Arakawa is noticed and quickly found and surrounded by over a thousand tortured clones, and tries to save her vaccine, not wishing to die as a member of an evil organization, but as the acclaimed savior of Humankind. Her dreams both realistic and grandiose seem set to end just as a force erupts and kills her captors.

It turns out to be Mariko's last surviving viable clone, Diana, who, in her controlled state, responds to Arakawa as though she were the late Nousou. Her reaction to the container holding the vaccine tells Arakawa that the Diclonius can sense the danger it poses to them. Noticing the wounds that she has and the device embedded in her head, Arakawa removes it, hoping that this will aid her recovery. Diana forms a small grin as she asks her if she is alright.

Trivia

  • The series does not make it entirely clear whether the Clone Diclonius uprising occurs because of the perfection of Arakawa's vaccine or if Lucy's presence on the island also excited them. At this point, Arakawa calls her work a vaccine, but it has not yet been stated against what, leaving the audience to assume from context (i.e. the Diclonii reacting to it) that she means the Diclonius Virus.
  • The utter horror of this chapter is offset by its cover, which features a Chibi-Lucy with an older style television antenna sticking out of her head. While no chapter cover directly foreshadows the story's events, this one is arguably the most comical and in complete opposition to its contents. The look is almost reminiscent of My Favorite Martian starring Ray Walston and Bill Bixby, two names well known to both comedy and science fiction.

Gallery

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