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Director Kakuzawa (simply known as Kakuzawa) is the main antagonist of the manga series Elfen Lied and its 2004 anime adaptation.
He is a male of approximately 70 years of age, entrusted by the Japanese government to run the Diclonius Research Institute. Though the government becomes concerned about and suspicious of him, they learn too late that far from controlling the problem of the birth of horned girls with lethal powers, he thought himself their natural ally. As cold as Kurama could be and as hateful as Lucy could be, it is worth noting that they and almost all characters in the series were manipulated in some way by his agenda.
The Manga Narrative
Born from an ancestry that taught that his family were in fact the first Diclonius on Earth, Director Kakuzawa was a man of wealth and power who was also shown to be scientifically savvy if not a genius in his own right. Exactly when and how he was chosen to run the Institute is never discussed in the series, but given the fact that the island home of the facility is located above his family's ancient hiding place, it seems likely he moved to place himself in this position. Believing that Humans had once hunted his people (who were persecuted in Medieval Japan) he now thought that a being who could restore his people's legendary ancient powers had emerged, and sought to capture her. The Chief and all his family members had horns hidden beneath their hair, but believed that, since their ancestors had intermarried with Humans, their vast powers had been diluted and lost.
Yet he was careful in public to maintain the appearance of a civilized and respected man of means who was as flustered and surprised by the outbreak of Diclonius births as anyone, and allowed others to do the legwork for him in pursuing the origin of these births. At some point early in the Institute's existence, his eldest son, Professor Kakuzawa, recruited his college friend Doctor Kurama. The Director thought very little of his son outside of his scientific acumen, but liked his choice of Kurama, who, over time and tragedy, would become his greatest pawn in pushing forward his plans. Working together, the younger Kakuzawa and Kurama reasoned out the existence of Lucy, capturing her not long afterwords. In the anime, the Director himself reasoned out Lucy's existence as an original infecting party.
With a hold over Kurama due to his own child being a Diclonius, the Director set forward with his plans, having Kurama take over day to day operations while his son pursued an angle he hoped would keep the new Diclonius race in line. In turn, the Director schemed to keep his ambitious son in line as well. At differing times and with differing reasons and effects, he told both his son and Kurama his personal ambition : to mate with Lucy and become father to her children, inheritors of the Earth. This would, in his estimation, make him the God of the new world. In Kurama's case, this later reveal horrified him into finally defying his employers to try and save the world. In the younger Kakuzawa's case, he chose to enable Lucy's escape from the facility, feeling he could contact and control or ally with her at a later point. In all three instances, the Director knew his opponents well. Kurama would continue to dance to his tune till the end, Lucy he felt was destined to return to him, and his son's ambitions were not tempered with wisdom, his genius aside. Surely enough, his son's efforts to mate with Lucy led to his death, a loss the Director did not mourn, and as was later revealed, one he did not need to.
Unknown to anyone else in the series (though some could have known, no one else was stated to have), the Director had achieved an important step in his goals. He had managed to locate and capture Lucy's birth mother, who had been trying to locate her daughter since her husband had abandoned the child. During her captivity, he raped her and forced her to give birth to a son. Denied further offspring by her suicide, the Chief was now the father of the only known Male Diclonius, with Lucy's late mother the only one who could create fertile Diclonius. Exactly when this occurred creates timeframe problems, but in any event his plans now required only two more elements.
Kurama, denied access to his Diclonius child Mariko as part of his bargain with Kakuzawa, began to care for another child there, Diclonius Silpelit Number Seven (a Silpelit being a sterile Diclonius caused by Lucy's infection of a Human male who then sires a horned girl). Number Seven, called Nana, also saw Kurama as her father. Kakuzawa knew of and seemed to allow this, perhaps to have a second leash on Kurama. This would become all too evident after Nana was gravely wounded in a failed attempt to recapture Lucy.
It can be argued that up until this point, Doctor Kurama thought of his boss as a harsh but needed man, set over an ugly task needed for his nation's defense. His words, perhaps calculated, after Nana lost all four limbs to Lucy finally broke this hold. He first told Kurama to flatly kill Nana, as she was either now useless to them or a danger as she continued to possess her Diclonius Vectors, the telekinetic 'arms' that the species uses for reproduction and combat. He then told Kurama his desire was to mate with Lucy, making his children by her the first people of the new race set to inherit the planet. Being the father of the first new people, he would in effect be God to the new race. The coldness towards Nana's fate and the insane nature of his claims combined to finally have Kurama break away from his employers and the Institute, after arranging for Nana to have new limbs and for her escape. In some way, Kakuzawa was perhaps seeking to create the rebel to his God, but in any event it seems Kurama's break-away was all in keeping with his plan.
Another rebel was put down, though, when his eldest son, Professor Kakuzawa met his fate at Lucy's hands, causing the Director to ask that his ambitious son's severed head be brought back to the island by his assistant, Doctor Arakawa. The Professor had also wished to mate with Lucy, albeit by raping her in her gentler Nyu persona. At this point in the series, the Director's son by Lucy's mother was not known of, and even in retcon, never seemed to be known of by characters outside the Director, though ironically, the Professor had tricked Kouta and Yuka into thinking Nyu was his brother's child. The Director showed no emotion about his eldest son, either when he received the news of his death, or when he saw his head, delivered by Arakawa.
Once on the island, Arakawa was quickly pressed into the Director's service, though he also made her an offer about her gaining an unalterable place in world history. Under his direction, the birth virus spread by Diclonius vectors was isolated, concentrated, and in effect, weaponized to a degree that allowed the Director to place a container as a payload in a fake sattellite launch that would spread the birth virus across the world. The displacement of Humanity would be sped up from centuries or millennia to merely years.
In order to distract all concerned (including Kurama's assistant Shirakawa, secretly a spy for Japanese intelligence), the Director set up a major confrontation between Nana and Kurama's true daughter, Mariko, which ended up involving Lucy as well. By the time the smoke cleared, Mariko was dead, Lucy was disabled for several months, and Kurama was a broken man on the verge of suicide. The launch and the 'accidental explosion' of the load it carried went off without a hitch. Within six months, women as far away as Tokyo and its environs were pregnant with Diclonius, and the spread would only continue.
Nor were the Director's hands idle on other fronts. With the aid of the amoral and vain Doctor Nousou, the late Mariko Kurama was cloned over a thousand times, to widely varying results. He enlisted the aid of a vile operative called by some as the Unknown Man in his continuing efforts to recapture Lucy, who had vanished after the confrontation with the original Mariko. At a time not able to be determined from the manga narrative, the Director asked his youngest and most loyal child, Anna, to undergo a transformation into a monstrous entity capable of probability forecasts so precise and accurate, she could all but see the future. Bringing these elements together, he sought to finally bring Lucy back under his captivity and control. Like his late son, he sought her as an ally to their cause.
His break came when Arakawa phoned him, having found the Kamakura house the main cast members called home. A brutal full-scale military assault of the home followed, and while Lucy (either as Nyu or with some mix between the two) turned back much of it, in the end, she was captured and delivered to him back at the island facility. However, the lead agent for the mission was another spy for Japanese intelligence, and signaled the government, which had become wary of the Director's agenda, to move against him soon. Either not knowing or knowing and not caring, the Director prepared to persuade Lucy to join him.
He soon revealed to her his belief that they were natural allies, and used the tremendous strength in Anna's monster-body to keep Lucy in line as he talked. Anna, for her part, tried her best to impart important information to him, but his own dismissiveness plus her loyalty-based reluctance kept this back. The Director revealed his son, also Lucy's half-brother, the world's only known Male Diclonius, controlled by a brain implant. He also revealed his plan to keep the new Diclonius line pure by having Lucy mate with her brother. Yet he also chose to reveal that, despite what Lucy had been told when she was a child, her mother had not been a party to her abandonment as an infant, and was captured by him while searching for her daughter. While Lucy was heart-broken and despairing at this point, her response to Kakuzawa's offer was no different than for his eldest son's. She decapitated both the Director and his son/her half-brother, ending any further plans on his part.
In combat with Anna, Lucy revealed why she had done this (in part, anyway), something Anna herself had already been aware of. The ancient Kakuzawas had never been Diclonius like Lucy, Nana and Mariko. They had always only been Humans with a scalp mutation, and all their legends of lost powers were just that. Anna could never bring herself to break her father's heart this way, but swore to avenge him. Seemingly, Lucy finally killed Anna as well. However, unrevealed until much later was that Anna's monstrous form had only been a shell. Her real body was alive inside it, waiting for her to awaken. Perhaps touched by the Director's love for his child sparing her, Lucy chose to do the same and left the island to reunite with her friend Kouta, to resolve matters with him. On her way off the island, Lucy confirmed to a fleeing Arakawa that Kakuzawa was dead. Overuse of her powers and saving Kouta's life soon killed Lucy as well, and the Director's legacy began to flower and then wilt. While horned children began to be born around the world, Arakawa had in secret finished developing a vaccine against these births, which earned her the worldwide reverence the Director had always craved. Anna's final fate was left uncertain, though as she awoke in the undergound grotto where she had lived as a monster-computer, she met the Agent from the house raid, a resilient and resourceful woman who seemed ready to help her survive until potential rescue. Her/Lucy's late half-brother had been the only true Diclonius the family had ever known.
In a narrative by Kouta, it is revealed that the world was devastated by the war Kakuzawa started, but Humanity seemed set to survive losing genetic viability. It is not known if the Director's role in starting the war and Japan's role in sponsoring him originally were successfully kept quiet. Since in the epilogue, set ten years after Lucy's death, Kouta does not speak of a Japan beset by sanctions, it seems possible these secrets were kept.
In The Anime
With the exception of some fine details, the only real difference between the two versions of the series as regards Director Kakuzawa is the lack of a decisive ending, which had him still plotting as the show ended. One scripted but never filmed alternate ending had a final fate in mind for the Director, nipping his virus launch plans in the bud. However, the anime ends after Mariko and Kurama's deaths, and the seeming loss of Lucy herself, though she is hinted to be alive in the very final scene. The last seen of the Director, he was pressing Arakawa for the identity of the college student who had seen his son's corpse, being Kouta. At this point, Arakawa chose to hide his photo. Hints of other storylines that followed in the manga were also made, and if Lucy were alive, no doubt he would continue to pursue her, though the exact path this would have taken in a second anime season/series may now never be known.
Kakuzawa is a very intelligent and cultured man who will stop at nothing to obtain what he desires. Like most of his family he has a deep hatred for Humankind and seeks to replace it with Diclonius, thus making him as he sees it the God of this new world. The one and only person he cares for other then himself is his daughter, Anna. The Director is manipulative, ruthless and utterly uncaring of anything beyond his family's historical goals. Despite his very genuine love for his daughter, he uses her to achieve his goals as well, though he also takes steps to ensure her survival. Given all that he is personally responsible for, it is arguably only his love for Anna that keeps him from being completely evil. For all that, his treatment of his two known other children ranges from coldness to utilitarian use. He was known to be utterly contemptuous of non-Monarch Silpelit Diclonius like Nana, Mariko and others, regarding them as disposable drones, though they would have been the majority if not the whole of the Diclonius produced by his scheme to infect the world. The Chief also possessed a huge blind spot: a scientist on an island full of scientists, his own status as Human eluded him, along with much of his basic Humanity.
The Crimes Of Chief Kakuzawa
- Treason against the government of Japan, including conspiracy to overthrow it and make war on other sovereign nations using a biological weapon of mass destruction
- Misuse/misappropriation of national resources/public funds for personal gain
- Kidnapping/wrongful imprisonment/rape in the case of Lucy's mother
- Sexual abuse and humiliation of Shirakawa, Kurama's assistant
- Dubious legality of the raid on Maple House (where Kouta, Lucy and other main characters lived)
- Shooting Arakawa
- Sadly, while many of his actions against the Diclonius easily rise to the level of Crimes Against Humanity, these were done under the sanction of the Japanese government, when it was allied with him, and would have to be answered for, if ever, by that government.
- Child abuse in the case of his own children, Anna and the Male Diclonius. Anna, while agreeing to the procedure, was seemingly mutated into an inhuman monster to serve him as a living computer; being underage, her consent in this matter does not excuse her father. The Male Diclonius was outfitted with a brain implant that rendered him continually infantile and docile, whatever his true age.
|Elfen Lied Villains|
Lucy | Director Kakuzawa | Kurama | Tomoo | Professor Kakuzawa | Orphanage Girl | Mariko | Doctor Nousou | Doctor Arakawa | Diclonius Research Institute | Mayu's Stepfather | Mayu's Mother | Nozomi's Father | Tomoo's Partners | Unknown Man | Diclonius DNA Voice | Diclonius