Elfen Lied – A Study of Episode 1

This short piece details a brief study on the emotional makeup of the anime Elfen Lied’s first episode. To aid this endeavor I will be employing some lite statistical techniques and scientific methodology.


Please note that this is very much a subjective piece, being simply a personal study for the purposes of furthering my own understanding of how this experience was crafted.


Emotion Model

Shave et al described the following list of Primary and Secondary Emotions in 1987:

  • Love
    • Longing
    • Lust
    • Affection
  • Joy
    • Cheerfulness
    • Zest
    • Contentment
    • Pride
    • Optimism
  • Surprise
    • Surprise
  • Anger
    • Irritation
    • Exasperation
    • Rage
    • Disgust
    • Envy
    • Torment
  • Sadness
    • Suffering
    • Sadness
    • Disappointment
    • Shame
    • Neglect
    • Sympathy
  • Fear
    • Horror
    • Nervousness

I grouped the Primary Emotions, and their respective Secondary Emotions into High and Low categories. Where High connotes happy like feelings and Low connotes sad like feelings as follows:

High = Love, Joy and Surprise.
Low = Anger, Sadness, Fear.

Emotion Hierarchy

Known Problems with Methodology

There are a number of issues with my study that should be pointed out:

  • Model Validity – There are many models of emotion and the one I have chosen may be incorrect.
  • Model Completeness – It is likely that sections can be broken down even further, but I have chosen to record the main emotion of the section. In addition I have not gone down to the level of Tertiary Emotions which coarsens my analysis.
  • Lack of Data Points – Since I am the only test subject this study the results are completely reflective of my own perceptions. This effect could be lessened with collecting data from more test subjects.
  • Application of Model – One assumption I have used is that in a section only one emotion is occurring. It is likely though that emotions blend with much more complexity through sections.


With a method of ’emotion classification’, I classified sections of the first and last episode of Elfen Lied. Each section was assigned a Primary and Secondary Emotion.

The data collected was then analyzed by means of simple statistical breakdowns, as well as subjective commentary on notable employed techniques.

Pie Charts

With the raw data I created a number of number of pie charts that detail different information. Information was broken down by Scene & Complete Episode in the following way:


I drew a to scale time line to plot Emotion Sections across the duration of the Elfen Lied Episode. The timeline from Episode 1 used the following key:episode_1_time_line

Episode Posts

The following are posts of a more detailed look at each of the four scenes of Elfen Lied Episode 1. The final link is brief overview of the entire Episode.

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