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Memories and Gunshots ( 記憶と銃声 / きおくとじゅうせい / kioku to juusei ) is the eighty-eighth chapter of the Elfen Lied manga series and the first chapter of Volume Eleven.

Plot

Barbara has pursued Nana, and the mentally-fogged Kurama to their hiding place in the mountains, demanding to know why she has betrayed their inborn instincts and joined with Humans. She is stunned and overwhelmed by a charging Kurama, who bear-hugs her, again thinking Mariko has been resurrected. As he is pushed off by the ever-angry Barbara, she is warded off from harming him by Nana, who she at first taunts. Soon, however, it is Nana who has the upper hand, the skill she has developed in using her vectors more than compensating for the superior raw power the Mariko clones possess. But once again, her ability to predict the patterns of a ruthless opponent proves lacking, and Barbara takes Kurama as a hostage.

Nana reveals the connection between Barbara and Kurama, but that ploy fails as well, with the former believing that she is a lab-bred child with no human parents. Nana takes a savage beating at her opponent's hands, but gladly does so to protect him, especially when she sees how Barbara's mere presence is causing her 'papa' to smile. Nana begs not for her own life, but for his. Barbara very briefly seems torn by her further plea that she remain and take care of Kurama, but she seems set to kill her in any event. As the last blow falls, Nana imagines she will be rewarded with reincarnation as his real daughter someday.

A gunshot rings out, with Kurama shooting Barbara from behind, despite him believing that she knew the shot was coming and failed to stop it. Apologizing to Mariko once more, he turns to Nana and apologizes to her as well for the torment she has endured on his behalf. The two embrace with a cosmic fervor, and then set about burying the remains of Barbara and Cynthia, with Kurama reflecting that it was his fate to one day kill Mariko, and that Chief Kakuzawa may have had this in mind when he created the clones in the first place. He also reveals that he has struggled with the dilemma that while Hiromi, Isobe, Mariko, Kisaragi, Shirakawa and the others have died because of him, he still had no choice but to live, or else he would render their deaths meaningless, although often at the cost of his heart and connection to those still with and around him.

Repentance, he realizes, is not achieved merely through atonement, but through not repeating the same mistakes, and he again apologizes for making her life difficult. He tells her that their new life together that he promised her for so long must be put off again until he finally kills Lucy. At first, Nana is heartbroken that they must be separated once more, until he declares that whatever he does, and whatever danger he faces, he wants her by his side, for she is an indispensable and precious part of his life. Embracing again, the two join forces to defeat Lucy once and for all.

Trivia

  • On the chapter's cover, Nana is in her original dress, raising her hands in calming reassurance, a marked contrast with her pained desperate pleading to Barbara inside the story.

Gallery

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