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Infant ~ Säugling ( German: Infant ) is the tenth episode of the Elfen Lied anime series. Series directed by Mamoru Kanbe; created by Lynn Okamoto; produced by ARMS Corporation.

Plot

The tense moment between Lucy and Nana escalates when a concerned Mayu is shoved aside by Lucy's vectors, and Lucy taunts Nana with her previous losses as the fight begins.

Inside Maple House, Kouta and Yuka are in the kitchen cooking when Kouta cuts his finger while chopping scallions. A concerned Yuka chastises him gently while offering to put a bandage on the cut. After she leaves, Kouta hears the commotion of the fight outside.

Lucy is staggered but not downed by Nana's attacks, and when she again taunts her, Nana retaliates not only with vectors but by firing her arms like rockets. Mayu screams for the two to stop.

Yuka notices that Nyu is not in her bed, and she and Kouta again hear the noise from outside. Mayu had positioned herself between the feuding Diclonius, a slash mark on the back of her dress marking its reality and making Nana realize how close a thing it was. Mayu embraces Lucy, who she sees as Nyu, asking her why she's doing this. Trying not to hurt Mayu, Lucy warns Nana that their fight isn't over, to which Nana agrees. Mayu then begins crying that Nyu/Lucy has to stop acting this way. These words awaken a memory in Lucy, of the young Kouta tearfully demanding the same thing, and it triggers her painful collapse. By the time Kouta and Yuka reach her, Lucy has once again become Nyu, fervently embracing Kouta while Nana warns of the danger with no one listening. Mayu suggests that Nana takes this moment to reattach her arms so that the others won't be put off. Nana also notes that Nyu is not Lucy since she can no longer detect her presence.

Inside, her hosts offer Nana rice porridge, which she is reluctant to try until she sees Nyu all but inhaling her bowl. Questioned by Kouta about who Nana is and why she attacked Nyu, Mayu explains that Nana is her friend, homeless like herself and that she attacked because she gets cranky when she's hungry, a lie that Nana almost calls her on. Yuka makes an offer of dinner, to which Mayu gets Nana to agree. Once she starts eating, even Nyu is thrown by how she wolfs down her food, until it is all gone. Mayu resolves herself that the blouse damaged in the fight may be a loss, then comes out and asks if Nana can stay the night since she has nowhere to go. Kouta and Yuka agree to let her stay, if only so that Kouta can ask her questions about horned girls like herself and Nyu. But Nana angrily refuses the offer, recalling her treatment when she first came there. Kouta points out that she attacked Nyu for no reason (that he knows of) but Nana insists she did have a reason. This exchange is broken up by Nyu herself, who offers her bowl of food, believing it will calm Nana down. Yuka seconds this offer. Nana stuns them all by bowing and apologizing to Nyu for the attack.

In his offices, Kurama angrily recalls his recent chastisement by Chief Kakuzawa and then flashes back to when, as a graduate student, he ran into his old friend  Professor Kakuzawa, the Chief's son. The younger Kakuzawa makes Kurama an offer to work at his father's research institute, where highly classified work is taking place, but Kurama has no interest in work that he must keep a secret. Kakuzawa finally draws him in with talk of seeing a new Human race being born.

The scene flashes to the police surrounding an apartment building where a series of brutal murders have taken place. Entering the apartment where this was centered, the police find and comfort a crying little girl who indicates the killer is still inside. Finding no one else inside and no other outside access, the police question the girl, who then unleashes a hidden power and begins to rip them to pieces, before her death in a hail of gunfire. Kakuzawa's narration indicates that four years ago, a group of horned girls was born in the area. Once thought to be the result of a rare disease, events like this one proved otherwise.

Now in the island research facility, a pleading naked horned girl is fired upon with iron balls of ever-increasing velocity. Behind a glass partition, only Kurama seems revolted by what is going on. One ball strikes the girl, indicating that her power, which should be going up as she matures, has instead hit a plateau.

Professor Kakuzawa enters Kurama's office, asking why he seems down. Kurama lashes out, calling his agreement to work there a mistake, and condemns Kakuzawa's methods of getting him there. Kakuzawa defends the research, citing the benefits to the future of Science and Humanity. Kurama asks why the cases are all in the same area, and cites that as being where the research should direct, instead of experiments, he deems inhumane. Kakuzawa defends the treatment of Diclonius by stating the killing instinct they seem to develop early on, often including their parents but never non-Humans. The story depicts a scene of a Human boy with a dog laughing at a Diclonius girl, who beheads him and is then confused when the dog she tries to pet bites her. This girl could be Lucy, but there is no confirmation. Kakuzawa declares Diclonius, the enemy of Humankind, at which point Kurama ends the conversation and decides to go home. Kakuzawa wishes the newly married Kurama well for himself and his wife, but this is interrupted by Kurama's assistant Oomori, who indicates trouble involving Number 3, the Silpelit Diclonius girl they observed earlier.

In her chamber, Number 3 deflects bullets with her vectors and angrily proceeds to execute her handlers. Kurama orders guards to duty as well as a lockdown on Number 3's level. As Oomori departs the room, he is brushed through the forehead by vectors, and pushed aside when Number 3 realizes he isn't who she thought he was. Seeing Kurama, she does the same thing and says that she always wanted to meet him and thank him. As she thanks him, she is shot and killed from behind, her body laying next to that of a guard she killed. Complimenting Kurama on cheating death, Professor Kakuzawa, holding his gun, brags that the Diclonius can turn back regular rounds, but not tungsten armor-piercers. He also speculates that Number 3 had kept her real power level a secret from them, to make her possible escape easier. In the carnage, Kurama is left to wonder what she meant by her 'thanks.'

Later, the two scientists report that the rate of Diclonius births is exploding, while they have less and less capacity to keep them and no clue as to the origin of the outbreak. Chief Kakuzawa orders that all future Diclonius births be euthanized, labeled under his authority as being the result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Kakuzawa and Kurama are next seen confronting Kurama's assistant Oomori, whose daughter has been born Diclonius and who refuses to see her euthanized, despite Kakuzawa's warning of his daughter turning on him when she's old enough. Kurama counters Oomori's pleas by reminding that, once the girl is old enough to love him, it will only be all the crueler for them both when she turns on him. Oomori collapses, asking how anyone can ask such a decision of a father. Kurama offers to take matters into his hands so that Oomori can blame him.

Some time later, Kakuzawa offers to handle some of the euthanizing duties himself, but Kurama says that, after ten such instances, the blood from the infants should stay on his hands alone. Kakuzawa mentions that Kurama's wife is in her ninth month of pregnancy, and he should consider a break. Kurama's secretary Kisaragi enters and repeatedly trips over her own feet, spilling coffee among other things while Kurama defends her presence and qualifications to Kakuzawa. Again tripping while trying to answer a phone call, Kisaragi informs Kurama of an urgent message.

At the hospital, Kurama learns that his wife Hiromi had cervical cancer, leading to the removal of her uterus, while she and the baby came through without further complications. Hiromi is holding the baby, happily informing him that it's a girl and that they should think of a name immediately. Kurama can only stare in horror at the horns their daughter has as his mind flashes back to what he told Oomori and others about the danger these children pose.

Though his words to Hiromi go unheard by viewers, they are obvious as she pulls away in fury and tears, saying she will not let him kill her baby. The strain of all this so soon after surgery causes Hiromi to collapse, with rapidly increased internal bleeding threatening her life. Kurama goes to the nursery to see his daughter, and his mind flashes back to the cryptic thanks given him by Number 3 and realizes both he and Oomori were infected at that time. Kurama condemns himself for not realizing this earlier, then moves to kill his daughter. Hiromi emerges in the doorway, fevered and bleeding, pleading for the life of their daughter, demanding that he save her, horns or no. Hiromi collapses as Kurama promises to protect their daughter, and pleads for her to get up, but she is gone.

At the Institute, tests have confirmed that other fathers of Diclonius children have the same results as Kurama, leaving no doubt that contact with vectors spreads the virus. After giving a backhanded compliment to Kurama on solving this mystery, Professor Kakuzawa announces that he is leaving the Institute to devote his exclusive full-time research into the virus, leaving Kurama as Director. Chief Kakuzawa asserts that there must be a Diclonius Queen, the first mutant responsible for the original infection. He orders that all efforts turn towards locating and capturing this Queen. When Kurama questions this, he receives a forceful reminder of the fact that his daughter should be dead, and is only alive by Kakuzawa's permission, and that in return Kurama should just obey his orders.

In the present, Kurama puts a framed picture of himself and the pregnant Hiromi next to a picture of Kisaragi, then looks at a picture of Nana, hoping that at least she can escape what his life has become.

Nana awakens nude in the midst of her crucifixion, sentenced to torment by the 'brothers' of the money bills she burned. Mayu wakes her from this nightmare, and after some resentment for Mayu planting the idea of vengeful money in her head, she is told breakfast is ready. Nana is entranced and delighted by the breakfast Mayu has prepared, while Mayu apologizes for adding another houseguest. Yuka says this is alright (Kouta is less sure) and suggests they all go to Enoshima Park, which delights everyone but puzzles Kouta a bit. In the midst of it all, Nana comes to the startling realization that she may be happy.

At the Institute, Shirakawa and Isobe enter a large isolation chamber, kept secret even from most personnel. This section is where Silpelit Number 35 is held, spared in part because she is the only third-generation Diclonius, and the most powerful and vicious, exceeding even Lucy, so powerful that her twenty-six vectors' wave-motions are entirely visible.

Born with a cursed cry, a young devil descends to this world. Having found the meaning of happiness, a girl fights to protect it. Trying to break his chains, a man joins hands with a beast. In every corner, the preparation for a bloody banquet steadily begins. On the next Elfen Lied, Episode Eleven : Complication.

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