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Final Choice ( 究極の選択 / きゅうきょくのせんたく / kyuukyoku no sentaku / Ultimate Choice ) is the sixty-first chapter of the Elfen Lied manga series, and the first chapter of Volume Seven.

Plot

Inside the Diclonius Research Institute, Chief Kakuzawa issues an order for euthanizing all further Diclonius births, citing the lack of room at the facility, and tells his son and Kurama to record these killings as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Kurama reflects that while wishing to become a father himself, he must kill the children of others, and still feels awkward even as he chats with his assistant Oomori, whose wife is also expecting a child.

At their home, Kurama's wife Hiromi is excited that their baby is kicking sooner than expected, and refuses an ultrasound to detect the child's sex, stating it's more fun to wait until they're born to discover what they are.

After some time passes, Kurama and Kakuzawa confront a tearful Oomori when his daughter is born Diclonius, but barely get him to acknowledge the danger such a child could represent. Kurama offers to kill the child himself so that Oomori can blame him instead and move on. Oomori leaves the Institute heartbroken. The rate of Diclonius births continues to accelerate, as evidenced when the late Number 3's mother gives birth to Diclonius twins, indicating the parents contain the originating anomaly, not the children.

Kurama's misgivings multiply along with the number of children he must put down, until the night his wife suddenly entered the hospital, after that giving birth to Mariko.  Diagnosed with cervical cancer and her cervix removed, this ended all chances of further pregnancy. Hiromi is holding the girl, who is her joy and treasure, but Kurama stares in wide-eyed horror as he realizes his daughter has horns. Kurama's guilt over the killing of other people's children mixes with a realization about what Number 3 did to him when she 'thanked' him, and he begins to strangle the infant while Hiromi shrieks for him to stop.

Trivia

  • One of the pages after the chapter's narrative's completion is a picture of a non-horned Mariko eating noodles with the same relish Nana often did. In this picture, she somewhat resembles the Love Hina character, Sara MacDougal.
  • Nana is somewhere outside, apparently undressed, on this chapter's cover. Her eyes as depicted are so Moe; they seem nearly alien. Her nose also seems far bigger than usual. And her face is longer, almost disproportionately so.

Gallery

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