This is a list of the most important and longest-appearing characters found in the series with links to their main articles in this Wiki.
Please be aware that there may be spoilers below. Tread carefully!
The central character of the Elfen Lied series, she is the protagonist and anti-hero of the story. The so-called 'Queen' Diclonius, Kaede, better known as Lucy and Nyu, was both ruthlessly tormented and a sadistic tormentor, driven by both the cruelty she found so often in life but also by the knowledge that love and acceptance was possible. Her great love was Kouta, a boy she met when they were children and again when they were young adults. Elfen Lied is in essence defined by her love for and relationship with Kouta, marked by some joy but also by deepest tragedy. As a Diclonius, Lucy possessed power rivaled by few others of her kind, and control over her vectors, mostly invisible telekinetic 'arms', virtually second to none. She was also capable of spreading the Diclonius mutation to the children born to people she infected, with the idea of replacing normal Humans with her kind.
Kouta is the main male protagonist and the deuteragonist of the Elfen Lied series, second only to Lucy/Nyu in central importance, born and raised originally in Hokkaido. He is the most important person to Lucy, and the tragic love of her life.
Yuka is a young woman about eighteen years of age as the story begins. As a young girl ten years prior, she had an intense crush on her cousin Kouta. She attended the Kamakura festival in his company, just prior to Kouta and his family leaving for home as that summer ended. While Yuka understood the tragedy that claimed the lives of Kouta's sister and father, she maintained her crush and believed she would resume their relationship when she finally saw him again as he began to attend a nearby college.
Nozomi is a recurring key character of the Elfen Lied manga series. She is only in the manga. Because of her father she can't practice singing at her house, so being a friend and Kohai of Yuka, she begins to frequently visit the Maple House to practice her singing.
Doctor Kurama is the General Director (sometimes referred to as Room Monitor) working at the Diclonius Research Institute under Chief Kakuzawa, having been recruited by his friend, the Chief's son Professor Kakuzawa. He is in his mid-30's when the series begins, marked off by the escape of Lucy amid the brutal killings of many facility personnel, including Kurama's secretary Kisaragi.
Bando, when first introduced, is an operative for the National Police Agency's Special Assault Team His skills and determination made him one of its top agents. His personality, while decidedly anti-social, was also driven by a deeply felt sense of honor and obligation.
Mariko Kurama (AKA Number 35) is a "third generation" Diclonius, a Silpelit born from an infected carrier who inherited the vector virus from a Silpelit who was born from parents infected by Lucy herself. Mariko was the most powerful of the Diclonii, with some fifty vectors (Twenty-Six in the Anime) and a long range. She is the daughter of Doctor Kurama and his late wife Hiromi...
Chief/Director Kakuzawa is the series main antagonist. He is in charge of the Diclonius Research Institute where young Diclonius Silpelits, and Lucy "the Queen" as well, are taken and often brutally experimented on. Kakuzawa's apparent and public goal was to contain the Diclonius threat, thus gaining support and cooperation from the government of Japan. In actuality he wished and strove for the opposite - to bring about the dominance of the Diclonii over the humans.
Professor Kakuzawa was a scientist, the son of Diclonius Research Institute Project head Chief Kakuzawa, and like him, was born with vestigial horns on his head, which led them to believe they were descended from early Diclonii, though they had no telekinetic abilities, called vectors.
Doctor Arakawa is a research scientist and the assistant of Professor Kakuzawa in his Diclonius experiments. As a child, she wished to be the next Marie Curie and spent all her time studying to the detriment of her social life. She resented Professor Kakuzawa for working her relentlessly and often treating her like a gofer. This character went from nearly being mere comic relief to facing one of the great moral conflicts of the series.
Deputy Director Shirakawa, a scientist and administrator in her late twenties to early thirties, served under Kurama at the Diclonius Research Institute and first appears in Chapter Two. Shirakawa was a spy, one of two sent by the Japanese government which at first supported but now was suspicious of Chief Kakuzawa, to infiltrate his inner circle and learn his plans. In the process, she fell in love with her boss, Kurama, so much so that she was the one who advised that Mariko be embedded with internal bombs partly out of jealousy of Kurama's daughter by another woman.
Isobe was Kurama´s personal assistant. His biography and personality are completely different between the manga and the anime, with him playing a much more complex role in the manga. While it is never stated directly, it seems likely he gained his position when Kurama's original assistant Oomori left the Diclonius Research Institute after the euthanizing of his infant daughter, a Diclonius. Working as a personal assistant with Kurama, and first appearing in Chapter Two, this character is rarely addressed by name, but appears in and effects events in many chapters of the manga series. Along with Shirakawa, he is given charge over Mariko's mission to hunt down Lucy...
Anna Kakuzawa is the daughter of Chief Kakuzawa and Professor Kakuzawa's sister, one of the major components in their generational plans for Diclonius supremacy over the Earth. She is a manga-only character.
Family traditions stated that the Kakuzawas were part-Diclonius. Anna lacked both the vestigial horns that marked them off as such, and the mental acumen that most family members seemed to demonstrate in one or more fields, especially business and science. Despite encouragement from her father (one of the few spots in his life where he was more Human in his dealings with others), she felt as though she wasn't useful to him, and was ready to do anything to aid him in his lifelong cause. She agreed to a series of operations...