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Geography Of Locations in Elfen Lied

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Premise

The Geography of Elfen Lied is centered around Kamakura, Japan, and many if not most places seen in the series are in fact real, some of the exceptions being two of the most prominent, Maple House and the Diclonius Research Institute, though a place like Maple House may exist, and there are islands off the coast. Reasoning out what falls where in the mix can be difficult.

Maple House and its possible real-world equivalent

There are two major possibilities for the site of Maple House. One is near the Sasuke Inari Shrine and the other is near Jouju-in Temple/graveyard. Stone steps that the main characters often use when they enter and leave Maple House actually do exist on a narrow pathway that connects Sasuke Inari Shrine and Zeni Arai Benzaiten Shrine (between D and E of the first map). The Sasuke Inari Shrine, however, is located about thirty minutes away from the sea coast on foot. From the story's viewpoint, the more reasonable imaginary location seems to be in the vicinity of Jouju-in temple (B of the first map). Mamoru Kanbe, the anime's director, looks to have used the steps near Sasuke Inari Shrine as a representation of Maple House's fictional location, ignoring a more realistic placement near the Temple and Cemetery.  


Nailing down the Institute

On the other hand, reasoning out the possible location of the Diclonius Research Institute is much more difficult. If a real-life version of the island actually exists, it would likely be in the Izu Chain, a group of more than 100 islands, including mere rocks too tiny to be called an island. (See Map Below) Between Miyakejima island and Hachijojima island, the strong ocean current that is called Kuroshio or Black Current starts from the north-east of the Pacific Ocean and reaches as far as the western coast of the North American continent, even carrying debris that distance as a result of the earthquake-induced tsunami in March 2011.

As Lucy was drifting to the shores of Yuigahama Beach when she escaped from the DRI, the possible candidates for the depicted island can be narrowed down to one of the islands located north of Miyakejima island. If the DRI island lies south of this Miyakejima island, such as near Hachijojima or even further south, then Lucy would have been cast ashore not to Yuigahama but to the currents leading to the North American continent, placing her survival in serious doubt. San Francisco, Los Angeles or any other cities on the west coast of the continent become places where a very different story could have developed.

The DRI's location most likely would be one of the uninhabited islands that lie north of Miyakejima island. Out of more than 100 islands and rocks in the Izu Chain, only nine are inhabited.  There remain only eight major non-inhabited  islands. They are a) Inamba-shima, b) Ohnohara-jima, c) Zenisu-jima, d) Onbase-jima, e) Hayashima, f) Jinai-shima, g) Utone -shima and h) Tadanae-jima. The photos of these eight islands are attached here. Out of the eight, only Utone-shima had inhabitants for quite a brief period in the 19th Century. The story states that the Kakuzawas and their ancestors had inhabited the island for centuries. It seems possible that, in the Elfen Lied universe, many of the various smaller islands of the Izu Chain were instead one landmass large enough to house a rather large facility with a deep underground grotto. It can be further speculated, based on stated story elements, that the radioactive nature of the grotto affected the distribution of the landmass in the Izu Chain.

Mayu's Railway Crossing

Perhaps an obviously symbolic place, an understandably suspicious Mayu takes Wanta and retreats from Maple House and Kouta and Yuka's offer of a place to stay. Recreated in the anime in the standard painstaking detail, we see and hear Mayu making excuses about why they shouldn't stay, to the point where it seems it's not Yuka and Kouta she suspects, but good fortune itself. Her hardly comfortable but now reliable existence rapidly implodes, as fate guides her back to be a core cast member. The crossing is a small one, off to the side, but like so many other small things, it gains power within the story, even if seen so very briefly.

Comparison of the tiny crossing btw anime and real

A comparison of the tiny railway crossing used by Mayu and Wanta as depicted in Anime Episode 5 and its view in the real world.

Tiny crossing Mayu Google Map

The rail crossing mapped out.
















Locations in and around Yuigahama Beach  

Many businesses thrive and survive around this area. Also there is the spot one girl used as well, when she could no longer stay at home.

Mayu's Habitat Area during Homeless Days

a) Bakery near Kamakura Station b) Yuigahama Beach and c) Jouju-in graveyard.










Navigating Kamakura

Elfen Lied Major Locations revised

A line is drawn between many of the major real world sites utilized in Elfen Lied

Jojuin to Zeni-Arai-Benten

Another lined trail of Elfen Lied locations in Kamakura

The city and town is not always the place we see in the series.
















Photos and Maps of the island's possible locations

As stated above, these can only be used in a speculative sense. No island with the DRI's attributes exists in the real world. But these can prove useful in reasoning out a picture of where it would be in the world of Elfen Lied.



240px-Location IzuIlands

Izu Island Chain. Kamakura is located at the top point of the oval circle.

300px-Hayashima(Izu-Islands)

e) Hayashima

Japan's ocean currents

In real life, the secondary current could have carried Lucy to Canada, the USA or Mexico. Presuming she made it, what would have happened in those cases? There's no Kakuzawas in NA so Lucy can have happier life there.? Or does he send lots of Unknown Men to NA? Or vicious relatives of the Kakuzawas in NA can annoy Lucy even in NA?  No safeliving place on this planet for her to live? Also Mayu must have been continuously a homeless girl in that case? And Nana? Is she continuously an experimental subject at DRI? Or is she sent to NA regardless?



Map of Izu Islands (source wikimedia commons)

A strong ocean current runs between Miyake jima and Hachijo jima. This current carries away all the floating objects to North American continent. If DRI island lies in the south towards Miyake jima, then Lucy would be no exception.

Tadanae-jima island

h) Tadanae Jima

300px-Jinai-island

f) Jinai shima


300px-Utone-Island

g) Utone Shima

270px-Inambashima mlit

a) Inamba Shima

280px-Onbase-Jima Island Aerial photograph

d) Onbase Jima

270px-Ohnoharajima01

b) Ohnohara Jima

270px-Zenisu mlit1978

c) Zenisu Jima

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