|“||The view from here...my sister liked it||”|
The Sea Candle is a real-world observation tower (also serving as an actual lighthouse) on Enoshima Island near Kamakura, Japan, completed in 2003. It appears at certain times in the Elfen Lied series, in particular the manga version, where the climactic events of the conclusion take place. It overlooks scenic Yuigahama Beach, a central location for much of the series.
This tower, by way of Kanae's wish to see it when completed, becomes perhaps the only tangible indicator that the series' timeline is also the manga publication date's timeline. If the tower was not completed until 2003, and the series began in 2002, then, with Lucy on the run for five years after the murder of Kouta's family, and spending three years a captive at the Diclonius Research Institute, then the fateful summer at the crux of the series' backstory would be 1994.
In the manga
Chronologically, the Enoshima Sea Candle first appears during the fateful summer when Kouta met young Lucy, with Kouta, Yuka and Kanae passing it while it was still under construction. Kanae expressed a wish to climb to the top level of the tower when it was completed, a desire that ended along with her life.
The tower is possibly seen in various shots of the landscape throughout the series, but appears most dramatically as Lucy and Kouta, his memories of the past now restored, ascend the tower to stop and talk out their differences, ending painfully with Kouta's rejection of Lucy's apology for her murder of his family. Kouta is wounded at this point, still recovering from a gunshot wound taken during the effort by the military to capture Lucy at Maple House. He is shot again when defending, despite a vow to hate her, Lucy from being shot by Kurama. This time, his wounds are apparently fatal, causing Lucy to fly into a rage that decimates the tower, begins to level Kamakura, and threatens the entire world. Lucy then keeps Kouta atop the remains of the tower, turning back all manner of attacks while choosing to heal Kouta at the cost of her body's stability and integrity. Her body melted and in agony, the spirits of Lucy and the innocent Nyu depart, leaving only the DNA Voice who turns back one more wave of soldiers, until asking Kouta to end its misery. Kouta sadly obliges, and this tower becomes the place of death for the series' protagonist and main character.
In the anime
During the anime's final episode, Lucy comes to the Sea Candle to see Mariko waiting for her. Isobe and a soldier from the Diclonius Research Institute wait nearby, content to "let the monsters fight amongst themselves." Though she holds her own for a good minute or two, Lucy is quickly incapacitated by Mariko when the little girl's vectors cut off her right horn. Lucy falls unconscious, delighting Isobe, and Isobe is about to set off Mariko's implanted bombs before Kurama intervenes.
Kurama reveals himself as Mariko's father, but holds a gun in front of her as if he means to kill her. When Nana urges Kurama to leave, Mariko is enraged by Nana being allowed to call him "Papa" when his own daughter was suffering alone. She proceeds to batter Nana with her vectors before Kurama holds her and apologizes for letting her grow up in such a miserable life. He picks her up and carries her down to the nearby bridge, Nana and Isobe watching, where the timer on Mariko's bombs runs out, and the explosion kills both father and daughter. The scene provides redemption for Kurama, as his last act before death is to reconcile with his child and promise her he will never abandon her again.During the father and daughter's tearful reunion, Lucy wakes up from her lethargic state and killed the soldier keeping watch over her. As Isobe is about to kill Nana, Lucy beheads him and bitterly comments on the greed and foolishness of humans. She tells Nana to return to the Maple House and live the life she cannot, then leaves to have one last meeting with Kouta on the stone stairs to Jouju-in Temple.