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There's just so many wonderful things in this world. So many good things.

Nana, in the final anime episode

Nana (ナナ), or Silpelit #7 is a main character in the Elfen Lied manga and anime series. Nana was one of the Diclonius not euthanized at birth, but rather taken and experimented on at the Diclonius Research Institute. She has the physical appearance of being twelve to fifteen years old, but her actual age is about six to seven years old; the manga explains in greater detail that Silpelits age more rapidly than humans (or a "Queen Diclonius" like Lucy).

She developed a deep attachment to Director Kurama and believed him to be her father, providing her with the emotional support to endure all the hardships and depredations of life as a test subject, as well as prevent her from becoming mentally unstable like so many other Diclonius subjects, such as Mariko.

Biography (Manga)

There is nothing known of Nana's birth parents, including whether they gave her up willingly or were simply forced to obey the government's secret directives about Diclonius births. Also unknown is if she was numerically the seventh girl to enter the island facility or if the room that provides her name (# 7) once belonged to a Diclonius who died at the Institute. The origins of the bonding process between herself and Kurama seems likely to have occurred when Kurama was forbidden to see his daughter Mariko after she was bound over to the care of Doctor Saito. It also seems likely that Kurama protected Nana from the absolute worst of life as an experiment, although too much intervention might have earlier placed Nana in the sights of the scheming Chief Kakuzawa. Also unknown is if Nana ever formally met or knew Kurama's assistants Shirakawa, Isobe, and Kisaragi.

Before Nana's first named appearance in the manga, Kurama and his staff briefly looked over another chained nude horned girl, declaring her not useful for their purposes. It is possible, but seems unlikely, that this was Nana. This girl was the second Diclonius to appear in the series after Lucy herself. Early art style differences mean this still could have been Nana, or possibly the tragic Number 28 but nothing in the narrative confirms or disputes this. The dialogue about the unnamed girl not being useful could also refer to not being able to stage a direct assault on Lucy, rather needing the stealth approach to her recovery that Kurama at least intended.

Recapturing Lucy

When Nana was aged seven, Kurama came to visit her after a day of testing her vectors against small arms fire, a pain to which she was sadly accustomed. Needing to recover the recently escaped Lucy, Kurama chose Nana both for her innate ability to sense another Diclonius and her gentle, obedient nature. Kurama gave her strict orders to do nothing but locate her target, and she was further instructed to call in the armed forces meant to subdue her rather than fight her herself. Nana, desperately wishing to make her 'Papa' proud of her, she instead ignored these orders and engaged Lucy. While she attempted to be civil and implored Lucy to return to the facility with her willingly, the conversation ended in combat. Hopelessly outmatched and distracted by the nearby presence of a bystander, Nana was slowly and brutally dismembered by Lucy. Nana tried to pretend that losing her limbs didn't hurt, which only invited Lucy to torture her further. As Lucy went to cut off her head, she was interrupted by the arrival of Kurama and several armed soldiers. Nana took advantage of Lucy's lapse in focus on her and used her vectors to disable Lucy's. As Kurama came to retrieve Nana, he showed his regard for her by striking Lucy in the face after she taunted him with Nana's injuries. He did so without knowing that Lucy's vectors had been disabled, shocking his assistant Isobe. With Lucy escaping again, Kurama brought Nana back to the island institute.

Disposal order and leaving the Institute

Chief Kakuzawa ordered Nana, whom he now saw as useless, killed. Not only did Kurama refuse, but he outfitted her with realistic prosthetic limbs that responded to her powers for motion. At first, Nana believed that he was having her killed, but rather than anger, she felt sorrow that she had not been of more use to her "Papa." Kurama, already suspicious of the Kakuzawas' real agenda, also used this opportunity to leave the Institute entirely.

To her utmost surprise, Nana ended up on the same beach in Kamakura that Lucy had washed up on after her escape. Within the escape pod was a note (a voice recording in the anime) explaining Kurama's decision and his wish that she find somewhere peaceful to get away from her former life. Unfortunately, while on the beach, she ran into Bando, another enemy of Lucy's. After fighting with him, Nana convinced Bando that they had a common enemy and that her Diclonius ability to sense another of her kind could aid him in his quest for vengeance. She left the beach, and while Kurama left her with plenty of money, he neglected to tell her what it was for, as her restricted life prior would have given her no knowledge of what it was. After a few comical attempts to use it failed, she met up again with Mayu, who, despite witnessing the battle between Nana and Lucy, assumed that seeing Nana's arms and legs come off was a hallucination since Nana seemed intact. Nana's prosthetic leg then fell off, making Mayu faint. When she awoke, she and Nana had a heart-to-heart, and proper introductions wherein Nana asked her if she would be her friend. It was then Mayu discovered Nana knew nothing of what money was, as she was using it for fire fuel. Mayu led her back to the Maple House. Nana at this time also had no idea what to make of Mayu's puppy Wanta, calling the small dog a "creature."
3
As she met Kouta, Yuka, and Nozomi, she also encountered Lucy, this time having the personality of the amnesiac Nyu, who was childlike and remembered nothing of the fight. Reacting instinctively, the furious Nana began to attack Nyu, only to be warned off by an angry Kouta. Confused and upset, Nana fled, with a worried Mayu going after her. Once away, Mayu assured Nana that the girl they knew as Nyu was not the evil being she described. Nana realized that when she had attacked, Nyu exhibited none of Lucy's traits and also had no Diclonius presence for her to sense. Nana came to the conclusion that Nyu was a different person, while still occupying Lucy's body. When a fever brought about by her attack reawakened Lucy, Nana sensed this and headed back to Maple House, only to have it fade again. Deciding to keep watch against Lucy's return outside the Inn, Nana realized her weak position and apologized to Nyu for the attack, which was also heard by Kouta and Yuka. After a bit of applied reverse psychology on Yuka's part, Nana agreed to stay at Maple House, finding the tension with Kouta evaporating as he made it clear that she could stay there, and enjoying simple things like food and baths that were nearly alien to her. She moved to renege on her agreement to find Lucy with Bando, not wishing her new life to be ruined.

Kurama's True Daughter

This peacefulness all changed as another Silpelit, Mariko, was sent in pursuit of Lucy. Mariko, transported in a helicopter over Kamakura, mutually sensed Nana, with Nana being shocked by the other Diclonius' malevolent intent toward her. Nana begrudgingly left Maple House, feeling that facing this new threat was inevitable, but promised she would come back. Nana had doubts about whether she would make it back at all and thought of how she would miss her beautiful new life.

Once again facing a vicious opponent with a power greater than her own, Nana still held her own. While she was, for the most part, a plaything in Mariko's hands, she once more used her ability to disable another Diclonius' vectors and stopped Mariko cold. The two then argued about the worth of fathers, with Nana praising hers and Mariko denouncing the father who abandoned her. In the midst of this fight, Kurama reappeared to embrace not Nana but Mariko--his real daughter, whom he said he loved with all his heart. Nana saw a change in Mariko almost immediately, most especially when she defended Nana and Kurama from a missile strike, becoming a Nyu-like amnesiac in the process. In the meantime, Kouta, concerned for her, approached the battle zone in the company of Nyu, who vaulted the blockade, and once wounded, reverted to being Lucy. Nana prepared herself to fight Lucy again, only to have Mariko snap back to normal and offer to do it herself, in the name of the father they shared and who at last told her he loved her. Nana saw a horrific re-enactment of her fight, despite Mariko's advantages, which ended with the exploding control bombs embedded in Mariko's body not only turning Lucy back into Nyu but destroying her horns. Nana begged her father not to kill Nyu, and also told him, in light of the life and death of his real daughter, Nana would not serve as a substitute, but would instead aim to be his wife and have children with him. Kurama, falling apart from despair, made her vow to one day kill Lucy if she ever came back. With Nyu, she found Kouta and returned home, with Nana grateful for his lack of questions.

A Brief Time of Peace

Once back and again enjoying her new life, Nana wept for Mariko, who would never enjoy such things. Six months passed, and while a hornless Nyu matured, Nana kept watch for Lucy's re-emergence. A chain of events began when Nana and Mayu faced the psychotic Kakuzawa operative known as the Unknown Man, whose poisoned spiked iron balls were too heavy for Nana's vectors to deflect. Nana was quickly incapacitated by him and was unable to protect Mayu. Bando, alerted by Mayu, crashed into the house and drove their attacker away. When Kouta, Yuka, and Nyu returned home, Bando, feeling betrayed by Nana and Mayu's deception, shot at Nyu and woke Lucy up, as her horns had grown enough to allow her to return. Nana became part of an all-out battle between herself, Lucy, the Unknown Man and Bando once more on that same pivotal beach, with the now-insane Kurama lurking in the background. The deadly cost of the battle, including seeing Lucy threaten the life of Mayu, now like her sister, drove Nana to vow that next time, she would kill Lucy even if she were Nyu at the time. 

At Mayu's urging, Nana told her life story and reiterated her vow to kill the person known as both Lucy and Nyu. This conversation, overheard by a tearful Nyu, caused he to flee the small shelter where Nana and Mayu stayed. When she returned, Nana tried to strangle Nyu, but Mayu said even stopping Lucy wasn't worth Nana becoming a killer. Following Mayu's dog Wanta, Kouta found the trio just after Nana and Mayu told Nyu a comforting lie about her having killed people. Nana felt that she brought nothing but trouble, but Kouta fought to persuade her to come back to what had become their home.

Though the next day promised to be full of questions for both Nana and Nyu, the makeshift family ate a happy meal together, only to have it shattered by an invasion force sent by Kakuzawa to recover Lucy. Nana attempted to fight back, but among the attackers were three mind-controlled clones of the late Mariko Kurama, and they overwhelmed her. The cold scientist Nousou taunted her, threatening to harvest her organs, and held up her limbless form like a trophy. When Nana and the others saw Kouta shot, Nyu went wild and began to be able to control vectors without fully becoming Lucy, and once Lucy woke up after Kouta regained his memories, Lucy/Nyu went to deal with their attackers. While mostly successful, she was dispatched by the Agent, using the bisected but barely alive Mariko clone named Cynthia, and captured. The clone, Cynthia, split in half by Nyu's rage, was seized by the now-deranged Kurama, who held her in the memory of his dead daughter.

Another complication, never resolved within the series proper, came when Yuka's mother objected to Nana's presence in Maple House, fearing she could turn out to be just like Lucy. When Mayu, sensing the awkwardness of this discussion, asked Nana to take food to a homeless man living on the beach, Nana learned, much to her shock, that the man was a despondent Kurama. She did not wish to leave the Inn at that point but felt she had no choice but to pursue and try to recover her 'Papa,' who in his lunacy, at one point even dismissed her as just an experiment. When another Mariko clone, Barbara, assaulted the pair (Nana for consorting with Humans, Kurama for being a connection to a Humanity she rejected), Nana nearly defeated her but was again shown up by her more vicious opponent. The threat to Nana was enough to re-energize Kurama, who killed the clone of his real daughter to save the one he had chosen. The two began to prepare for a showdown with Lucy.

The End

It all came to a head as Lucy returned from her final confrontation with Chief Kakuzawa, and was talking with Kouta, whose childhood memories of the wrongs Lucy had done to him came back. Sensing Lucy atop a tower, Nana and Kurama made for the spot amidst a military building strike against Lucy. Kurama had one arm ripped off by Lucy after shooting her and then shot Kouta by accident in trying to finish her. Taking comfort from Nana's endurance, Kurama told her to go and be with her friends, all of whom ascended the tower to be with Kouta and Nyu/Lucy, barely dodging a rage attack that threatened to destroy Japan, if not the world. They found Lucy dying from overuse of her powers, most especially to heal Kouta. At one point, Nana warned Kouta that Nyu and Lucy had left their body, leaving only the murderous inner voice in charge. Nana was among those present as Kouta killed the girl known as both Lucy and Nyu.

During the final manga chapter, Nana and Kurama were shown together visiting a grave marked Kurama with Kurama holding Mariko's ashes. Nana then reveals that they are now living together, though whether this is a separate residence or if Kurama is staying at Maple House is not mentioned. Nana asks him to take her as his wife and cries, questioning whether Kurama wanted to 'make babies with Nana', to which Kurama smiles and responds, "Why are you saying such silly things? Nana is my...", as the scene fades. Nana's fate in light of the purge of remaining Diclonius is unclear, but it seems likely that with her friends and Kurama protecting her, she had a real chance at a better life. It seems likely that she and Mayu served as elder sisters to any children Kouta and Yuka later had.

Biography (Anime)

  • Nana's basic biography and backstory are nearly identical in the anime, but with some notable changes.
  • In the anime, there was no unnamed second Diclonius of questioned identity. Nana was the one Kurama came to see.
  • In the anime, Lucy is even crueler as she dismembers Nana, cutting off and slicing up the fingers on one hand before taking her limbs.
  • In the anime, Nana is not introduced to her new artificial limbs until she awakens in the escape pod. Also, Kurama leaves a recording of himself, rather than a note for the likely illiterate Nana.
  • In the anime, Nana becomes associated with and a resident of Maple House at a point much sooner than in the manga, and Mayu becomes aware of what a Diclonius is much earlier as well.
  • Nana's hair color is lilac purple-blue in the manga color depictions, whereas in the anime, her hair color is a standard Diclonius pink-red.
  • In the manga, Kouta is kept back from entering Enoshima and loses track of Nyu who crosses the bridge to see and confront Nana and Mariko. In the anime, Kouta makes it across due to an unexplained disabling of the police blockade, possibly the work of Nana. They arrive with Kouta comforting and attempting to protect Nana. Shirakawa, shocked to see a human and Diclonius interacting outside the research facility, attempted to keep the SAT mercenaries from just killing him under Isobe's orders.
  • Seeing Kouta's display of friendship toward Nana, Mariko tried to kill them both, but Nana pushed Kouta to safety and disabled Mariko's vectors. However, Nana then fell into the water below the bridge but was saved by Kurama as he passed by after just dropping off Bando. In the manga, Mariko's rage was directed at Kurama seeming to choose Nana over herself.

After saving Nana, Kurama's reunion with her ended as he stated he had to find Mariko and kill her because she was his real daughter. As Nana protested, she sensed Lucy closing in on Mariko's location, and the two hurried to the Sea Candle as swiftly as possible. They arrived just after Mariko knocked off one of Lucy's horns, rendering her unconscious.

As Kurama prepared to kill Mariko, Nana warned him of the danger they faced if they stayed put, and, enraged by Nana being allowed to call Kurama "Papa," Mariko viciously beat her with her vectors in front of him. As the pummeling ceased, Kurama reconciled with Mariko, then carried her away to the bridge, dying with her in the explosion of her embedded bombs after apologizing for being a terrible father. As Nana mourned him, Isobe tried to kill her, but Lucy intervened, killing him instead. She urged Nana to return to their friends and live the life she could never have. Struggling up the pathway to Maple House, Nana called the people there her family. The anime ended with Nana happily eating soumen noodles at the Maple House with her new family and rejoicing the fact that she can enjoy such beautiful things in the world.

Personality

Nana had an unusual personality for a Diclonius, not having the desire to kill or even to hurt someone. She is neither homicidal nor sadistic. Her character seems to defy the standard belief that a Diclonius' killing instinct is inborn, and yet it does not disprove it, either. Although her vectors stretch longer than Lucy's, Nana doesn't attack others with the intent to kill. She would rather incapacitate, though later in the series, toward Lucy, in particular, she displays a desire to kill. It is Nana's empathy for others that limits her from fighting vigorously, let alone killing.

The bond between herself and Kurama made it possible for Nana to endure the difficult life of a test subject at the Diclonius Research Institute, allowing her kind, sweet, and compassionate personality to blossom. She can understand the pain of others, and thus doesn't wish to cause anyone any harm. This empathy puts her at odds with Lucy, who had no one to provide her with emotional support and stop her from becoming a cold-hearted, sadistic killer. Without Kurama by her side, she would've lost her sanity years ago. However, she is very naive and lacks knowledge of the outside world.

Sometimes, Nana enters a state of rage and fury, so high she might kill someone, even if it goes against her orders. When in this state, her personality is more like the other Diclonius, such as Lucy and Mariko. She only enters this state in extreme cases, like when someone threatens her Kurama or her friends, notably Mayu.
Shetried

At least she tried!

Even in domestic affairs, Nana gives things her all and tries her best. After moving to the Maple House, Nana begins to feel useless since she feels like a freeloader and is guilty of being a "burden" to her friends. To feel more useful and avoid being kicked out, Nana tries over and over to complete menial tasks such as cooking and cleaning, but either burns the food or injures herself in the course of doing her chores. Mayu is the one who often has to comfort her and insist she has a place with them whether she's useful or not. In the end, Nana ends up delegated to handling Wanta's meals (and, in the manga, Piyo-Piyo's meals), since he's an important part of the family. She's also easily moved to tears at the thought of others caring for her, such as Yuka and Kouta buying her so many clothes and assuring her she can stay with them.

Nana is possibly the exact opposite of Lucy. While Lucy's default personality is serious and cold, Nana's is friendly and kind; Nyu is similar to Nana's default while Nana sometimes goes into trances and acts cold like Lucy's default personality. One time, in particular, was remarkably similar to Lucy's fall into the path of a cold-blooded killer, and it took the force of a magnum bullet grazing her skull to knock her back to her senses. Nana is in the middle of the spectrum of Lucy's split personalities: she's not as mature as Lucy, but more so than Nyu. In fact, she is incredibly childish since she is only about six years old. Given her age, her love of Kurama is the view of a child, making it unlikely she fully grasps the implications of her wishing to be his wife. It is also unclear if Kurama returns these feelings or if he ever will.

Vectors

Vector Range: 5m

Strength: Average.

Speed: Very fast, though sometimes unfocused

Vector Special Ability: Can disable other Diclonius vectors.

Kills: 0 persons. Though an unexplained event in a twelfth anime episode calls this into question (See Trivia section in linked article), It is likely that this group of police officers was knocked out and not killed since Vector massacres tend to be a bit messier. This lack of blood and gore indicates that Nana was responsible since she is frequently shown to disable but never kill opponents. Even when she could have killed Lucy and Mariko in the anime after being severely tortured in both cases, she decided to shut off their vectors instead. Nana also refused to kill Bando, although a bullet graze may have helped cool her head on that one. She passed all three temptations in the anime. In the manga, she asks Mayu if it would be OK to kill the soldiers coming from the helicopter during the final confrontation at the lighthouse. This variation shows that even the adorable Nana may be slightly less averse to killing in the manga.

Trivia

  • Nana is Japanese for "seven." Though the name is cute and typical among Japanese girls, to those who held her prisoner and gave it to her in the first place, it is merely her registration number.
  • It is highly unlikely the Institute taught Nana how to read considering the restrictions placed upon the Diclonius test subjects, raising the question of why Kurama would leave her a note explaining his decision to spare her life in the manga. The anime circumvents this by having him speak to her through an audio recording.
  • In the manga, there are several points at which it seems Nana has surely died. These are all fake-outs.
  • In the manga and especially the anime, there are many comic moments when Nana's concentration lapses, causing her artificial limbs to fall off.
    MangaNyuuNana

    Color illustration of Nyu and Nana from the manga.

  • On many occasions, what appears to be Nana's hair decoration is, in fact, a tie owned by her 'Papa' Kurama, and is easily her most treasured keepsake.
  • Several fansites state that Silpelit Number 3, (who infected Kurama with the Diclonius virus which led to the birth of Mariko) is Nana's older sister. There is no such stated connection found in either the manga or the anime. It appears to be merely fanon, speculation or an unstated plot device from Lynn Okamoto. Some plot elements can support this, while others contradict it entirely. For this site, it is noted here but not regarded as canon.
  • It is not known whether or how much Nana ever knew of Kurama's wife Hiromi, or whether or not she once believed Hiromi to be her mother.
  • Nana's hair is colored differently between the manga and anime. In color illustrations from the manga, her hair is dark purple, but in the anime, her hair is pink (like all other Diclonii), albeit a lavender-tinted pink.
  • The anime does not make Nana's accelerated aging as clearly stated as the manga does. Like all other Silpelits, she ages twice as fast as other people. Therefore, she looks like a maturing young woman rather than a very young girl.
  • Nana appears by herself on the covers of fifteen manga chapters, ranking her third overall in such appearances.
  • Nana appears on the front cover of the 2013 Blu-Ray box set cover along with Lucy and Mariko, but Lucy is the character of focus, leaving Nana and Mariko looking out over her shoulders.
  • After finishing the manga, Lynn Okamoto recalls in his now-closed "Diary" blog, that Nana was created by chance after the manga started. In his initial total design of the manga, she did not exist at that stage. Her role was in the original plan seemed to be that of Yuka's close friend, a human and not diclonius. If the creation of Nana somehow changed the role and development of Nozomi's character are unknown but possible.
  • In an interview with an Italian group, Okamoto stated his favorite character to draw was Nana.

Gallery

AMV Hell 4 - Elfen Lied - Nana, why don't you get a job?00:12

AMV Hell 4 - Elfen Lied - Nana, why don't you get a job?

Kouta rudely gives Nana advice...and a really bad mondegreen pun

Does Nana actually want to bear Kurama's children?
 
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The poll was created at 00:20 on June 14, 2012, and so far 1240 people voted.

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