Serial Experiments Lain
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This article may contain content that is disturbing, including themes of rape, murder, abuse, suicide, drugging, crime, disaster, tragedy, etc.
Serial Experiments Lain (Japanese: シリアルエクスペリメンツレイン, Hepburn: Shiriaru Ekusuperimentsu Rein, stylized in lowercase as serial experiments lain) is a 1998 Japanese anime television series produced by Yasuyuki Ueda and animated by Triangle Staff. It was directed by Ryūtarō Nakamura and written by Chiaki J. Konaka, with original character designs by Yoshitoshi ABe. The series' 13 episodes (or Layers as the show calls them) were originally broadcast on TV Tokyo from July 6 to September 28, 1998, and explore themes such as reality, identity and communication through philosophy, computer history, cyberpunk literature and conspiracy theory.
The series focuses on Lain Iwakura, an adolescent middle school girl living in suburban Japan, and her introduction to the Wired, a global communications network which is similar to the Internet. Lain lives with her middle-class family, which consists of her inexpressive older sister Mika, her emotionally distant mother, and her computer-obsessed father; while Lain herself is somewhat awkward, introverted, and socially isolated from most of her school peers. However, the status-quo of her life becomes upturned by a series of bizarre incidents that start to take place after she learns that girls from her school have received an e-mail from a dead student, Chisa Yomoda, and she pulls out her old computer in order to check for the same message. Lain finds Chisa telling her that she is not dead, but has merely "abandoned her physical body and flesh" and is alive deep within the virtual reality-world of the Wired itself, where she has found the almighty and divine "God". From this point, Lain is caught up in a series of cryptic and surreal events that see her delving deeper into the mystery of the network in a narrative that explores themes of consciousness, perception, and the nature of reality.
Why It Rocks
- The color palette used in the show is excellent, and still looks good for today's standards.
- Decent animation.
- Well-written story that tackles serious themes like Loneliness, Depression, suicide, reality, identity disorder, mental ilenesses, etc.
- The soundtrack is pretty nice, especially the beautiful opening theme song "Duvet" which was made by the Britsh band "BoĀ".
- Top-notch character designs.
- Lain is a likable main character.
- Nice voice acting.
- The 3D used in certain scenes is pretty good for late-1990's standards.
- The designs of the technological devices look very creative and original.
- The final episode was very emotive, and was a very good way to end the series.
- Since the story isn't very easy to understand, it can get confusing at times.
- Aside from Lain and Eri, the other characters aren't that interesting and are (mostly) easy to forget, they could have been better if the show was longer.
The show has been universally acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. Is considered to be one of the best Anime Shows of all time