Fragglepuss Anime Review 258: Serial Experiments Lain

Serial Experiments Lain

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Dementia, Psychological, Sci-Fi, Supernatural, Early Internet

First Aired: Summer 1998, 13 episodes

Summary: Lain Iwakura is an awkward 14-year-old trying to fit in at school. She has a few close friends at school, but besides that she is not close to many people due to her being an introvert. One day Lain and some of her classmates receive an email from their classmate Chisa Yomoda…even though Chisa had recently committed suicide. When Lain opens the email it leads her to the Wired, a virtual communication realm similar to the internet. Although she had previously been ignorant to technology, Lain becomes obsessed with the Wired and its capabilities. As she dives deeper into the digital realm strange occurrences become increasingly regular. She encounters cryptic messages that relate to the real world, strange men dressed in black suits begin to follow her, and the line between reality and cyberspace begin to blur.

Serial Experiments Lain was created during that sweet spot of the early internet when it was still basic with few functions. Society was unsure of how it would turn out but was concerned with what could happen. Lain shows a dark side that could have resulted in the wrong hands. I like watching sci-fi anime from this era because when it comes to the internet they always seem to get several parts right and Lain is no exception. The prediction of dependence on the internet and how much it affects the real world is spot on. The way individuals become addicted to the computer is also accurate. Lain is a quality anime with a lot of positives. The story is deep and meaningful, telling an existential tale with depth and substance. The animation is dark and drab, differing from the traditional anime style. The characters shine, especially Lain. As she progresses through the series she changes in an incredible way. That alone makes the show worth watching.

You might enjoy this if: You are prepared for a deep dive into what separates fantasy from reality.

You might not like it if: You despise the days of the early internet.

Similar Series: Perfect Blue, Paprika, Summer Wars, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell

Note to the Viewer: Serial Experiments Lain is unique in how it was initially created as an anime and later adapted into a manga. The majority of Japanese I.P. begins as a manga or light novel and is later adapted into an anime if it is popular enough, since creating manga is less expensive than producing anime.

Serial Experiments Lain Opening

 

AMV – I’m The Only Me, Right? by GallyG

(Warning, the AMV contains spoilers. I figure if you haven’t seen the show, you don’t know what’s getting spoiled anyways, right?)

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