(Surprisingly good and emotionally gripping; recommended, but be sure to bring a strong stomach)
After watching the first five minutes of this show I uttered two very appropriate words: "Holy Sh**". That may seem vulger to some, but if you can't handle that then there's no way you'd be able to handle the introductory episode of Elfen Lied. It's just blood and guts and death and breasts all over the place for a good portion of the time. And it's not like they show you the attacker and then cut away just before the fatal blow. Oh no. You see cut-up body parts in lovingly-rendered organic detail. And then, just when the facility is just littered with severed limbs to the point where you don't think you can stand the carnage for a second longer, the story takes a twist. It turns the formerly brutal murderer psycho chic into a cute and innocent girl, with no appologies. Talk about WTF.
Of course, after that unnecessarily detailed description, you may be thinking to youself, "Bah! It's just another throwback to the old days of Ninja Scroll and Demon City. I'm not into that kind of thing." Actually, I am not really into that either, but after watching Elfen Lied for a while, I started to feel something other than pure nausia. I felt sympathetic. The show was actually emotionally gripping, for crying out loud. It took while to get to that point because I first had to figure out what the characters motivations were. But after that it seemed more like an effective drama than a strait-out blood bath.
That's not to say that the death let up much. It's just that after a while I saw that there was a point to it other than raw agression. I think the definitive turning point for me was during the whole flashback episode dealing with Lucy and the puppy. I'm not going to spoil it for you. Just watch it yourself and get your heart torn out (emotionally).
Anyway, suffice to say that if you can stand the violence and stuff, I'd really recommend this series. It's the kind of drama that I don't think you could pull off in live action. Only anime could combine nudity, violence, and romance and make it work as a worthwhile drama. I guess that's why I love it.