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Number 3

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Number 3
Biological Information

Real name:Unknown
Age:4-6 years old
Occupation:Unwilling test subject
Character Information

First seen:Manga: Chapter 59

Anime: Episode 10

Last seen:Manga: Chapter 60

Anime : Episode 10

Voice actor (Japanese):Mikako Takahashi
Voice actor (English):Allison Sumrall

I finally get to meet you. The person behind the glass. I'm glad. I wanted to thank you.

Number 3, in her short, but pivotal meeting with Kurama

Number 3 (三番, San-ban) was brought as a young toddler to the Diclonius Research Institute, one of a handful to be spared euthanasia, only to endure ruthless experimentation instead. In captivity, she bid her time and hid the true power of her vectors during the brutal experiments that were performed on her, including having iron balls fired at her head. One day during feeding time, she surprised the guard and scientist who were handling her with her true potential. She killed facility personnel, but became curious when she met Kurama, having seen and heard him from behind the glass partition when she was experimented on, perhaps driven by the sympathy in his voice, regarding her plight. In a haunting manner, she told him she had wanted to meet him and wished to thank him. Right as her vectors brushed his forehead, she was shot and killed by Professor Kakuzawa with an armor-piercing bullet. Her personality was outwardly innocent, but easily turned homicidal, and was capable of clever deceit. She felt justified in her rage by how often she begged the scientists to stop their cruel experiments, a plea that only Kurama heeded.

Some months later, Kurama realized to his horror that Number 3 had infected him (and his lab assistant, Oomori) with the Diclonius virus, leading to the birth of his Silpelit daughter, Mariko. Having wondered, even before this, about the geographic concentration of the birth of horned girls and the time-frame of these births, Kurama came to the conclusion that there was a 'Queen' Diclonius, leading to the discovery of Kaede. Among the evidence leading to this conclusion was the fact that her mother gave birth to Diclonius twins four years after her birth, confirming the existence of an original infecting party.


As a Diclonius, Number 3 had vectors. They were estimated to be about one to three meters long.


  • Several fan-sites give Number 3 the name, "Sanban," and state that she is the older sister of Nana. Neither the manga nor the anime contain any such stated or implied connection between them, nor do they give her a name (Sanban is Three in Japanese, just as Nana is Seven). This idea appears to be merely fanon or speculation. While it is also possible that this was an unstated plot idea by Lynn Okamato, again its lack of in-series confirmation means that, for the purposes of this site, it will be noted but not treated as canon. While certain plot elements do possibly point in this direction, it also possibly creates an age discrepancy for Nana. The ARMS Elfen Lied Official site is often brought up as the source of this information. It is located here but is only in Japanese.
  • The above mentioned Japanese site says nothing about the relationship of Number 3 with Nana. The site is merely a sort of teaser campaign site that informs readers that the VHS and DVD versions will be ready soon. It just tells the introductory stories of each episode very briefly. The last update was done in April 2005 and it has been dead since then.
  • What's more interesting about this site are the comments given by the anime general director Kanbe and Yoshioka who wrote all the series scripts. Kanbe says  that everybody is seeking to attain salvation. Why did Kouta say that Lucy's horns were cool? Did he envy them? If so, was it because he did not like himself for just being an ordinary person? Was Kouta himself suffering from bullying and instinctively had sympathy for Lucy? Kanbe continues that Lucy must have felt both anger and relief for being praised for the horns that until then were just the cause for harsh bullying. The memories with Kouta --- are these the only relief and salvation for Lucy?  Everything is intertwined in a complex manner - Her inferiority complex for being mediocre, an inferiority complex for being different from others, sympathy for another person in the same situation, and the possibility of salvation. Yoshioka says on the other hand that the original manga is characterized by a heterogenous view. This difference in nature is the pull of the manga. The repetitive "MOE" situations/scenes as well as the cruelty, gory and inhuman violent scenes are the devices that produce this feeling.
  • Like Aiko Takada, Number 3 is a relatively minor character with disproportionate impact, connecting the storylines of Kurama, Mariko, Hiromi, Nana (directly or indirectly), and leading, by way of inference, to the realization of the existence of Lucy.


Was Number 3 Nana's Onee-Sama?

The poll was created at 00:28 on June 26, 2012, and so far 447 people voted.
Why did Number 3 infect Kurama?

The poll was created at 06:04 on August 26, 2012, and so far 473 people voted.


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