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I'm getting this one! I happen to think this music is nice.

Young Kouta, uniting in opinion with even Elfen Lied's harshest critics

Lilium is the hymnal-like opening theme for the Elfen Lied anime, where it serves as an important story element as well as the leitmotif of the anime and even Lucy herself.                       

The Song

With lyrics based on the Biblical passages in Psalms, and the Epistle of James, and the Renaissance hymn, "Ave Mundi Spes Maria," sung in Latin, Lilium is a dominant part of Elfen Lied. Kumiko Noma performs the opening and a full version as well. MOKA is a two-person musician group that composed Lilium and consists of Yukio Kondo and Kayo Konishi. They jointly arranged the lyrics and composed it. The anime director Mamoru Kanbe made a single request to MOKA that the opening theme should be a religious music and this was the background why MOKA chose the lyrics from the Biblical texts etc. Kayo Konishi explains the reason why MOKA wanted Latin verses as follows. While she studied at a mission school, she sang hymns in Latin, and she liked the sounds that the language had. So she wanted to make the opening theme "Lilium" like a contemporary Gregorian hymn.

Reply from Kayo Konishi why latin

why in latin? - reply message from Kayo Konishi. This is for the record purpose.

Kanbe is also known for his personal liking for Gustav Klimt. He used the idea for another anime later again.

In the anime, Kouta and Lucy first meet as young children, and he shows her a music box that plays this theme, which fascinates her. Years later, when she is using her powers to kill some attacking soldiers, she hums this theme, which is among the things that trigger the return of his memories concerning the trauma she caused him out of a jealousy-induced misunderstanding. Since Nozomi never appears in the anime, Lucy/Nyu never learns the song, Elfenlied.

View a PDF with the sheet music: here.

See also: Manga Vs. Anime

Versions

In the anime, the song is played by Kouta's music box. There are other versions and arrangements as well.

Lilium plays in four versions in the anime: the opening version, the Griffin Chorus version, the music box version, and the full version found in the 13th episode. Also present here are the MOKA version and a performance by the Ukrainian Boys Choir Dzvinochok.

MOKA☆ Mixed Chorus Version

Liliumsheetmusiccover

Cover for the booklet containing the sheet music for the 2015 Lilium CD.

In December 2015, close to Christmas, a Lilium album was released onto CD format by PAKCHYS Inc. The album consists of five versions of Lilium, performed by a mixed chorus brought together by Kayo Konishi and Yukio Kondo.

Track Listing

Lyrics

Original Latin Lyrics:
Os iusti meditabitur sapientiam,
Et lingua eius loquetur indicium.

Beatus vir qui suffert tentationem,
Quoniam cum probates fuerit accipiet coronam vitae.

Kyrie, fons bonitatis
Kyrie, ignis divine, eleison

O quam sancta, quam serena
quam benigma, quam amoena esse Virgo creditur
O quam sancta, quam serena, quam benigma, quam amoena
O castitatis lilium

Kyrie, fons bonitatis
Kyrie, ignis divine, eleison

O quam sancta, quam serena
quam benigma, quam amoena esse Virgo creditur
O quam sancta, quam serena, quam benigma, quam amoena
O castitatis lilium

English Translation:
The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom,
His tongue speaks judgment.

Blessed is the man who endures temptation,
For once he hath been tested, he shall receive the crown of life.

Lord, fount of goodness
Lord, divine fire, have mercy!

Oh, how sacred, how serene
how benevolent, how pleasant this Virgin who believeth
Oh, how sacred, how serene, how benevolent, how pleasant
Oh pure lily

Lord, fount of goodness
Lord, divine fire, have mercy!

Oh, how sacred, how serene
how benevolent, how pleasant this Virgin who believeth
Oh, how sacred, how serene, how benevolent, how pleasant
Oh pure lily

|}

Trivia

  • The gorgeously animated opening used while Lilium is playing is the work of noted animator Rin Shin, using the paintings of Gustav Klimt as the basis.
  • The Yuka painting originates in the famous painting: Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer. The painting, stolen by the Nazis following the annexation of Austria, where the Jewish Bauer family lived, was recovered. In 2006 the painting sold for 135 million dollars, making it the most expensive painting ever sold up till then.
  • The Nana portrait originates from “Portrait der Mäda Primavesi" which now hangs in the New York Metropolitan.
  • Although slightly harder to tell, the Mayu portrait arises from “Portrait der Maria Munk,” which now hangs in the city of Linz, in Klimpt's native Austria.
  • The MOKA version is a self-cover of the Opening Theme by the female member of MOKA, Kayo Konishi. This cover saw release as one of the songs for her CD released in Nov. 2006. The MOKA version had nothing to do with and did not see use in the anime.
  • With three different variations utilized in the series, Lilium is by far the most frequently used melody in the Elfen Lied soundtrack and acts as a leitmotif for Lucy.
  • If you listen carefully in the first episode, in the beginning, as Lucy is walking out of the cage that held her, she is quietly humming the main melody of Lilium. However, this is very easy to miss and might need you to turn the volume up to hear it.
  • All Elfen Lied paintings vs. the originals can be found at http://animeafterglow.wordpress.com/2006/10/01/its-the-arts/ The author did an incredible job! Full credit to them.
  • The hand gesture Lucy makes in art and during the opening is prevalent in Loyola/Jesuit spirituality, wherein those who commit sins are to place their hands on their chest with the middle and ring fingers joined to show moral pain and remorse for their actions.
  • In the novel, Wolfbreed, inspired by Elfen Lied, the Psalms referenced in Lilium appear at the beginning of each chapter.
  • Kayo Konishi recalls in her twitter of August 2, 2017 that the recording of Lilium (both the OP theme and sound track versions) was made in the early Summer of 2004. She says that although Lilium is not a Summer song, she always recalls about the OP song in a hot Summer, since the anime was started to be on air in July of the year. She knew the anime stories before they were aired because she got a "white version" of VHS of the anime every week before the air. Still she adds that she could not wait until the anime was actually aired. That's what she talks about the good old days.

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