I was not shocked at all while seeing Elfen Lied. The violence never really registered with me. I saw the graphic violence, beautifully portrayed, as a gesture to aestheticise violence, which has the peculiar quality of making peculiar the very notion of a life lost. When the viewer is looking at a killing in an aesthetical way, and then realize that she is detached from the killing itself, there will be a reaction to the opposite effect of aestheticisation. Certainly, this only works when the viewer is already sensitive to aestheticisation, but when it works, it works well.