OP here, Elfen Lied is definitely shitty. Here's a more in depth analysis fucktard:
It began with a very idealistically designed girl with what looked to be cat-ears, completely naked, and didn't look to be over 17. My first impression was that I must have accidentally been linked to soft-core furry hentai porn.
I verified that it was indeed "Elfen Lied", so I continued regardless of my first impression, I was desperately trying to be as open-minded as possible.
So as I continued the show, hoping desperately that nobody would see what I was watching for the sake of difficult explanations, I noticed that this same girl was now locked in a very specialized containment facility, wearing a helmet. She then spontaneously breaks out and starts decapitating prison guards and stopping bullets in a manner that would make the Wachowski brothers learn the meaning of Karma.
Ignoring the incredible onslaught of cliches' and unexplained events taking place, I continued to watch the embodiment of male fan-service remove various limbs from guards while they fruitlessly unloaded clips of ammunition and soiled their pants.