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|“||You should know by now, that it is my destiny to take human life.||„|
|~ The Diclonius DNA Voice reveals what it wants to Young Lucy.|
The Diclonius DNA Voice is arguably the secondary antagonist/Bigger Bad and the Greater Scope Villain in the manga and anime series, Elfen Lied, and it appears in both versions. The voice's influence on the tragic events of the series is undeniable, though its true nature and origins are uncertain. It may be a deity, and it is the reason why Kaede (also known as Lucy) lost her love for mankind, and its hold on her mind only got stronger the more depressed she became.
While Lucy proclaimed the Voice to be that of her own DNA every time she heard its call, pushing her to fulfill her evolutionary goals, this claim may be suspect. While likely as true as not, it must be remembered that at the time her abilities first surfaced, Lucy was an extremely introverted, emotionally shut down child scorned by everyone she knew at a hateful orphanage. Under these conditions, more than one person has begun to hear voices, urging them to take actions their conscious mind will not allow. But whether Lucy's claims were true, or if the DNA Voice was merely another splinter of the original Kaede (Lucy/Nyu's true name) personality, it existed and acted (and Lucy responded to it) as though Lucy's claims were correct. Two other Diclonius, Nana and Mariko Kurama clone Barbara, each claimed to have heard it, but, given Lucy's status as queen of her new species, this may have been due to a connection with the 'drones' of her kind.
As young Kaede/Lucy mourned the fact that her horns set her apart, her abilities began to manifest while she was sleeping, and the voice began to respond to her laments by urging her to make a world just for her - which meant ridding the world of Humans. While Kaede was caring for a small puppy, these words were ignored. But when that puppy was killed by bullies at the orphanage, Kaede's rage caused her to kill them with her telekinetic vectors, energy arms that obey her commands. She seemed set to obey the voice until she met young Kouta, a boy who not only liked her despite the horns on her head, but even because of them. Yet when a minor misunderstanding made it seem Kouta had cruelly betrayed her trust, Kaede broke down and surrendered nearly entirely to the Voice, killing people at a summer carnival, followed by Kouta's father and younger sister. Despite the horrific realization that Kouta had never meant to hurt her, Kaede still did what the Voice suggested, believing that the only way to have a place in the world was to kill and displace all Humans.
For the next five years, Lucy killed some Humans and infected many men with the virus that caused their children to be born Diclonius, apparently to thin the Human 'herd' both by birth displacement and by creating children (all girls in the actual canon) who would turn on their parents and families at about age three. It remains unclear whether this stealth method was the Voice's suggestion, or a toning down of more outright violence the Voice might have been suggesting. Despite its suggestions, Lucy remained open to the hope that someday, she would see Kouta again and apologize for her crimes against him. She also needed companionship, and when Lucy met Aiko Takada, she became her friend despite the Voice's urgings, and even surrendered herself to Doctor Kurama, who accidentally shot Aiko while pursuing Lucy, to get Aiko aid. It is quite possible that, during her three years of captivity at the Diclonius Research Institute, Lucy's only companion in isolation was the DNA Voice, and she became increasingly more violent, even as a prisoner.
In the series proper
At this point, Lucy almost seemed to be the Voice, and the events of Lucy's escape at the series' start show no signs of coercion or urging on her part as she slaughters the staff. Perhaps the Voice held back, since Lucy was doing what she urged without being pushed. Later events seemed to indicate that Lucy may have deliberately created the Nyu personality, an infantile, peaceful and happy one based on her desire but inability to rebel against the Voice. The head wound Lucy received during her violent escape may have given her the opening to create Nyu.
Evidence of the Voice's separate nature first surfaced after Lucy first reawakened after being taken to Maple House. Realizing that her host was Kouta himself, now amnesiac from the trauma caused by her murder of his family, she stopped herself from killing him, Yuka and Mayu, and seemed to be debating it internally. Its existence was not confirmed outright until the tale of Lucy's backstory was told. From then on, each of Lucy's awakenings from within Nyu were either by Kouta's side, meaning they were restrained, or in battle, where sadistic reflex meant she needed no urging. But after the sacrifice of Mariko, the issue was rendered moot with the loss of Lucy's horns and the seemingly permanent dominance of Nyu, who matured and became coherent. Twice more, Lucy was awakened, and both times, she was murderous without seeming urging. The first time, she threatened to kill Mayu (despite actually liking the girl) when she made a connection that would have reawakened Kouta's lost memories, only to kill her arch-rival Bando instead, who in being mortally wounded, also took her horns again. The second time, it was Nyu who regrew the horns, and killed several attacking soldiers sent by Director Kakuzawa as they invaded Maple House, though Lucy clearly took over quickly. Captured, Lucy was taken back to the Diclonius Research Institute and was made an offer to join Kakuzawa in world domination of the Diclonius. This time, it was Lucy herself who decided she loved all the people at Maple House too much to see them destroyed, and killed Kakuzawa instead. She also killed a young male Diclonius, her own half-brother by Kakuzawa's rape of her long-lost mother, but the Voice had wanted him to live, as a potential mate for Lucy's replacement of Humans on Earth.
Twice during the series, other Diclonius heard the Voice. The first was Nana, who, pushed to despair by taunting from Bando, very briefly decided that she would have to make a world for herself, till a wound snapped her back to her normal self. The second was when a clone of Mariko Kurama named Barbara sought to hunt down and punish Nana for associating with Humans. She spoke of Nana ignoring the voice that urged them to kill all Humans. Yet, despite this, Barbara may have permitted her genetic father, Doctor Kurama, to kill her without trying to stop him, out of the love Mariko ultimately felt for him. The Voice would soon come back to Lucy with a literal and final vengeance.
Lucy had a tense final conversation with Kouta, who broke her heart when he made it clear that forgiveness for the murder of his family was out of the question. Also, he dismissed talk of the voice as something that all living beings deal with while not going Lucy's route. However, he offered that she could continue to live with their family at Maple House if she foreswore killing forever. While Lucy herself meant to keep this promise, she was confronted by Kurama, who meant to shoot her. Deciding to die rather than break her promise, Lucy had control of her body seized by the Voice, who cut off Kurama's arm. Sadly, Kouta witnessed part of this, enough to make him believe she was incapable of stopping herself from killing, and proclaiming that he hated her. The Voice was exultant, feeling she had finally severed Lucy's connection with Humans forever. But when the wounded Kurama tried once more to kill Lucy, Kouta, already wounded from the home invasion that took Lucy captive, jumped in the way of the bullet, with the excuse that he did not wish Lucy to die before they settled matters. Lucy at first raged against the world, and the resulting power rise started her body's meltdown as well. After a brief and horrific rampage against the city of Kamakura, and possibly Kanto region as well, Lucy realized that she could choose to punish the world or save Kouta, and chose to save him, this time both ignoring the Voice and preventing it from again seizing control, something she hadn't known it could do until then. Kouta was pulled back from death's door, though he was still in need of hospital care. Lucy suffered the literal meltdown of her body, and both her personality and Nyu's bid Kouta and the others goodbye as they held back the Voice. They also made Kouta remember a childhood promise that he would kill her, to prevent her from being a danger to others. Their spirits departed, leaving only the DNA Voice, who killed a final group of attacking soldiers, and threatened to do the same to Kouta, Yuka, Mayu, Nana, Nozomi and Wanta. Kouta found a chance to shoot and kill Lucy's body, but, still seeing one he loved, refused to do it.
The Voice was taken aback. Predicated on ruthless survival and as the saying goes, doing unto others before they can do unto you, it was presented with irrefutable proof that not only was Kouta's love real, but that love itself was real and not merely another biological response like it supposedly was. In addition, the pain of being in Lucy's ruined body was hideous, and left it unable to end its own life quickly. To that end, it gave Kouta back the gun he dropped, and begged him to end its existence. The DNA Voice died broken but wiser, as Kouta despite everything loved the girl he called Nyu too much to merely kill her, but then also too much to let her suffer any longer, even if that persona was no longer in her ruined body. Lucy and Nyu were eventually reincarnated, but there is no evidence the Voice ever was.
Kouta describes a war between Humans and the Diclonius seeded by the schemes of the Kakuzawas. It is not known if a new Voice emerged to guide them, or if having no such guide effected their depopulating rampage, or perhaps led to their ultimate defeat.
In the anime, the Voice is really only seen in the childhood flashbacks that told how Lucy became alienated. Whether this would have changed in episodes past the thirteenth and final (as of 2013) episode may never be known.
- The DNA voice has a few similarities to Munchausen II from Urotsukidoji. Both can communicate to people telepathically, both have the ability to show people hallucinations of their friends insulting them, and both are very manipulative.