Last month I shared one of my most valuable possessions, which is my obsession as well. I wrote about the OST of Cowboy Bebop, and how awesome it is. But Cowboy Bebop is over, done, finito. Even if I want to watch it again, and overwhelm myself with its music, it will not be the same as if I were to watch an anime for the first time, or -what actually applies to this post- listen to its theme song.
Nothing beats that first impression, the first reaction to a wonderful melody. It makes us want to listen to it again, and again, nonstop. Luckily there are other openings to anime as good as “Tank” (CBB’s theme song) whether the anime can compete on the same level as CBB or not, there are many theme songs that easily fall under anybody’s Best Anime Opening list.
This time I have a jewel under my sleeve. The song I chose to share is –perhaps- the best thing this anime has. I say this, because I have tried to watch the anime but never seem to be able to follow through with it, and it might very well be my opinion alone, and not one of others. As I have read many positive comments on this anime, and everyone that has seen it have something good to say about it. I in the other hand, have nothing to say about it, but that the song is just beautiful. And what is even more awesome, they used Klimt’s paintings as reference for their images in their opening. Okay, now it would be a reasonable time to stop writing about the song for a minute, and explain who Gustav Klimt was, in case some readers don’t know. I don’t say this in a derisive tone, not everybody knows of this great artist, although he is in fact famous, but certainly not a Da Vinci.
Gustav Klimt was an Australian painter, who’s art is of the symbolist movement. He painted mostly the woman figure bringing eroticism to his paintings of a reality in dreams. I had always sort of liked Klimt’s paintings, specially Medicine (which was destroyed in a fired) and the always famous Kiss. I would look at these paintings and be intrigue by how the painter managed to mix medias so extraordinary well, and the use of gold in his paintings was some sort of mystery to me. Why use gold when there is silver? I dislike gold. All of these things don’t matter anymore because after my first attempt at watching the anime Elfen Lied, hearing the opening theme, and recognizing the paintings of the characters as imitations of Klimt’s style of painting, I was mesmerized. I started looking for Klimt in every bookstore I found. I have googled his paintings more than a thousand times, and I now have in my possession more than five books on the artist, as well as decorative objects with the artists paintings. Yes, he is another one of my obsessions. And looking back now, I’m glad he used gold and not silver. He was brilliant.
Going back to Lilium; from what little information I managed to gather, the anime Elfen Lied is based on a manga by Lynn Okamoto, and its title is based on a German poem by Eduard Morike of the same title. In the manga the song is called “Elfenlied”, but in the anime is called Lilium, and its different from the one in the manga. It is in Latin, written to sound like a Gregorian Chant (a variation of plainsong, a type of music within Western Christianity) and different variations of the original is played as background music for the entire anime. Even though some have claimed it has no particular symbolism with the anime, I think otherwise. Judging from the anime description, and the fact that they took Klimt’s work as reference for their own painting in the opening video, I have to say it does have a connection with the theme of the anime which is the value of humanity. Also, Kilmt often based his paintings on this theme.
There is more to this anime than I thought, and I will definitely try to watch it again, maybe this time it will be a successful one.
Here is the opening theme for the anime Elfen Lied;
If you are a fan of Klimt, then you will be able to recognize the paintings.
I have this other fan made video with lyrics of the entire song, full version;