Lebensborn ( レーベンスボルン ) is the twenty-sixth chapter of the Elfen Lied manga series.
Panicking at the emergence of Lucy, Professor Kakuzawa thinks of a vaccine he had been developing for what he calls negotiations, realizing that whatever advantage he thought it might confer, is largely meaningless in this situation. Lucy smiles as she realizes her vectors, formerly disabled by Nana, have re-emerged. When she asks who he is, he calls himself her 'co-worker,' and reveals that he was the one who engineered her escape from the Diclonius Research Institute. He did this for the purpose of having her mate with him to have Diclonii destroy and displace humans as the planet's dominant species, and although he had backup plans, she managed to utilize that first opportunity thoroughly. When Lucy questions why a Human would want this, he removes his toupee and reveals that he too has horns.
Back at the Institute, Kurama watches Nana test out her new limbs, a situation she has adapted to rapidly, increasing both the power and skill of her vectors. He warns her to be on her guard against the growing power Lucy exhibits. Nana holds him and vows that her life is at his disposal.
The scene shifts back as Kakuzawa tells the story of his family history, in which he claims his clan were the Original Diclonii, despised and hunted for their horns in medieval times. He also purports that interbreeding with humans has removed the power they once also wielded, but in Lucy, the chance to have that power again is reborn, calling this the Lebensborn Project, after a Nazi attempt to engineer a master race. They will, he claims, begin to displace the human race entirely. A calm, quiet Lucy responds to his grandiose notions by casually decapitating him.
- The title of this chapter refers to the infamous Lebensborn association started by the SS in Nazi Germany during the 1930s with the intention of raising the birth rate of "Aryan" children. The word is German for "Fount of Life."
- One of the contrasts between anime and manga comes into play in this chapter, style wise. In Lucy's executions of both the Professor and Kisaragi, she uses the same technique by a different visual. The decapitations in the manga are shown as the heads lifting off the body in an upward motion, indicating a clean severing by Lucy's vectors. In the anime, both decapitations involve a twisting off of the head, followed by the body dropping below the briefly-floating head. In both cases, it seems to happen so quickly; the victim is dead before they realize it's going on.
- A bit of foreshadowing may be at work here, as regards Lucy's dismissal of Professor Kakuzawa's offer. Late in the manga series, a possible reason for this is cited beyond Lucy's nature for this refusal.
- The cover, like the story inside, features a nude Lucy/Nyu, perhaps listless as she transits between personas. It has been filtered to fit Wikia's Terms Of Service.