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Ways, Choices ( 手段と選択 / しゅだんとせんたく / shudan to sentaku / The Means And The Choice ) is the fifty-third chapter of the Elfen Lied manga series.

A story arc digest of chapters fifty-three through fifty-seven is also available.

Plot

Isobe and Shirakawa approach the containment chamber of Silpelit Number 35, who is the real daughter of Director Kurama, and likely the most powerful Diclonius, with a vector range of approximately eleven meters. Isobe wonders about how they would control her once released, as well as Shirakawa's relationship with Chief Kakuzawa. Shirakawa informs a shocked Isobe, that Number 35 has had explosives implanted inside her body, set to explode if she were to disobey orders.

The two speak with Saito, a young female scientist who claims to have developed a maternal relationship with Mariko via speaker-phone, and believes that the relationship combined with her emaciated condition should keep her under control. Isobe then finds he has massive doubts about nearly every aspect of this situation but has no standing to change it. Shirakawa rather coldly asserts that the bombs will keep her entirely under control. Saito opens the chamber and calls for her to come out. Mariko kept alive on nothing but liquid intravenous nutrients, is highly emaciated and stumbles as she slowly walks out. Saito rushes to her side and asks her if Mariko knows who she is as she unravels the bandages covering her face. Mariko at first calls her, "mother," but then chuckles as she says, "No, you're not," and splits her body in half, tossing her upper torso through the guard station before the explosion signals can transmit.

As her vectors close in on Shirakawa, her right arm is blown off, the bomb inside it set off by a dying Saito before she expires. While Mariko howls in pain, she is restrained and told of the other bombs in her body by Shirakawa, who warns that further disobedience will cause them to be set off. She also tells of a dream that Mariko has talked about finally coming true, should she obey.

Trivia

  • In the anime, it is Shirakawa who is disturbed by the use of bombs in Mariko's body, while Isobe coldly asserts their necessity.
  • On this chapter's cover, Yuka seems dressed stylishly for cooler weather, with some evidence from the series firmly placing these events in late summer or early autumn.

Gallery

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