Cyberpunk Review » Serial Experiments: Lain

January 19, 2006

Serial Experiments: Lain

Year: 1998

Directed by: Ryutaro Nakamura

Written by: Chiaki Konaka

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Very High

Key Cast Members:

  • Lain Iwakura: Kaori Shimizu
  • Rating: 9 out of 10

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    Overview: Serial Experiments Lain is a psychedelic, post-modern cyberpunk series that one wonders how the director ever managed to make. Lain centers on a very shy school girl who slowly begins to figure out that she is not what she seems to be. After getting a computer and connecting to the “wired,” something with is far more expansive than the internet, Lain begins to realize that she may not be human, and that truly, reality and the “self” is exists (or does not exist) on many different levels. As the story progresses, Lain “evolves” in terms of understanding what she is and her place in a very post-modern world. We also get many interesting side stories, including crime, teenage coming of age issues, and dastardly plots.


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    The pacing of Lain is just strange. Lain is NOT an action fest, nor is it by any means straight forward. Lain starts out rather slowly and gets weirder every episode. Truly, the story is told in a very “traditional” post-modern fashion in that we have fragmented vignettes structured in a seemingly random non-linear manner. Lain uses disconnected visuals to continually barrage the viewer with different textures, color schemes, and sounds. Yet over time, it becomes clear that the story is being spunk in seemingly a cyclical fashion, almost as if we are exploring a large Mandelbrot by starting at an outside spiral and slowly working our way around to the big picture. Each fragmented vignette gets added to until, at the end, we have a rather expansive tapestry to explore.


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    Many different and interesting philosophical ideas. But it is pure philosophical cyberpunk. Many key issues are discussed here, including:

    • What constitutes “reality”?
    • How real is time?
    • What constitutes the “self” as a singular entity?
    • What constitutes “God”?
    • How are sentient programs different from humans?
    • Is there such a thing as collective humanity?


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    The visuals in Lain really aren’t there to “Wow” us as they are in some animes - instead they are often designed to provoke moods and thought patterns (BTW, there are so many screen caps available, that there was no need to take my own). Among the thought provoking visuals, we get:

    • Psychedelic visions that explore multiple “selves” versus a singular “I”
    • Juxtapositions of noise with false clarity
    • Information Theory described visually
    • An ever increasing feeling “disbelievability” each time the drab and normal school scene is shown.


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    The Bottom Line: In the end, we are left with very open-ended thoughts. Serial Experiments Lain does not provide us with answers, instead, it opens us up to questions. And while I might argue that the post-modern pacing got too circular in places, and that I might argue the same tale could have been spun in half the time, the overall effect is rather extraordinary.


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    ~See movies similar to this one~

    Tags: cyberpunk movie review anime Serial Experiments Lain

    This post has been filed under AI (no body), Awesome Cyberpunk Themes, Made for TV, 9 Star Movies, Animes, Hacker Movies, Surreal Cyberpunk Movies, VR Movies, Cyberpunk movies from 1990 - 1999 by SFAM.


    January 21, 2006

    dvusTroubadour said:

    Most cyberpunk is about asking questions and then “filling in the blanks. lain is different in this respect. If you expect ‘l33t action go elsewhere. This series is not a quick action fix. lain is in all probability “post-cyberpunk”. It asks questions and leaves it for you the viewer to answer.

    I recently stumbled across a review of GITS:SAC which refered to an earlier article by the same author entitled “Notes Toward a Postcyberpunk Manifesto”.

    By way of introduction to post-cyberpunk, the author says:

    “Bud, from Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age, is a classic cyberpunk protagonist. An aggressive, black-leather clad criminal loner with cybernetic body augmentations (including a neurolinked skull gun), Bud makes his living first as a drug runner’s decoy, then by terrorizing tourists for money.

    All of which goes a long way toward explaining why his ass gets wasted on page 37 of a 455 page novel.” [1]

    lain asks the same questions as GITS and “The Matrix” but does it almost in the same zen-like manner as “Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou”[2].

    I believe you are under rating this series… but then again it does not fit the “cyberpunk” mold of CP 2020 or most of the rest of the CP action films made in the last 25 years.

    Were I rating this series on its “CP correctness”, it should rate not more than 3 stars but rating it on the quality of questions it asks and the way in which they are posed to the viewer, I would rate this series as 10 stars without hesitation.

    [1] “Notes Toward a Postcyberpunk Manifesto”
    [2] Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (”Record of a Yokohama Shopping Trip”) is a manga series by Ashinano Hitoshi.

    January 22, 2006

    SFAM said:

    Hi dvusTroubadour, Welcome to the site! I hope to see more of your posts here. :)

    That’s an excellent addendum to the Lain review! I do believe it’s an extraordinary series, and in giving it an 8 out of 10 star rating, I don’t think this is too far of an under-rating, although I can certainly understand someone else sticking this up in the 9-10 range. I loved the Diamond Age - great comment! And I appreciate the link to that Manga (Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou) which I’ve never heard of - I will definitely look this up.

    As for the action comment, many great cyberpunk movies have very little action in them - more important is interesting thoughts behind the story, which Lain CLEARLY has, as do all of Chiaki Konaka’s cyberpunk stories (Texhnolyze, Lain, Malice@Doll, Armitage III - review soon coming). I think you’ll find I rate quite a few films and animes quite highly that are pretty devoid of action. My “drop” to 8 was more due to something which affects lots of anime OAVs - the tendency to extend the story to reach a full season’s worth of content. Also in comparing it to other animes which I truly love (Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, for instance), I do like some others better, but I fully agree this is a preference.

    And one of these days, I really need to check out Cyberpunk 2020, as it really seems to be quite popular :)

    EDIT: Hmmm…in thinking about it, maybe I will raise it up a star. You make a persuasive case.

    March 1, 2006

    SFAM said:

    Just a follow-up comment. I addressed the “Notes towards a post-cyberpunk manifesto” thing in another essay.

    March 5, 2006

    DannyV_El_Acme said:

    Lain is one of my abbsolute favorite anime series of all time. It just does everything right in my eyes. An engaging storyline, an enigmatic lead character that is not what she initially seems, drugs, neon, computers, conspiracies, and a computer programmer proclaiming himself god. The lines between reality, the virtual world, and madness-induced fantasy become blurred as the protagonist slowly becomes absorbed by the virtual world.

    And it also has one of te most bone-chilling quotes in history: when a desperate kid(who is paranoid over threatening forces hounding every waking moment) begs Lain to leave him alone and let him escape, suddenly something snaps inside her and she coldly declares: “No matter where you go, everyone’s always connected.” This scene is followed by the kid, understanding that in this age of information one can never truly be free, promptly blowing his brains out. That scene had me going “Holy shit!!!” for like 30 seconds straight, it’s truly a powerful, frightening scene that sums up everything that’s great about cyberpunk :)

    SFAM said:

    Hi DannyV, great post! I agree, Lain is terrific, although it does have a cost of entry. I just tried to get my nephew into this, but he wasn’t able to understand anything for the first set of episodes and eventually tuned out. That said, the cost is WELL worth it. And yeah, that’s a great quote - I probably want to put that into my review.

    March 12, 2006

    DannyV said:

    Yeah, it is kinda hard to get into, but that just means it’s a series for more mature/veteran fans of cyberpunk. Just like any other media, there are examples of it that are perfect for introduction into it, while others are more suited for a more dedicated fan base. Lain is one of those: it is a series for hardcore cyberpunk fans, pure and simple. I’d NEVER use Lain to introduce a new fan to cyberpunk(or anime for that matter), but after watching more mainstream or popular cyberpunk anime(like Akira or GITS), a little dose of Lain is a nice departure.

    Man, have you noticed that there has been a serious dry spell of cyberpunk anime lately, what gives??

    SFAM said:

    Serious dry spell for cyberpunk anime? Hmm…not sure I see that? In 2004, we had the absolutely terrific anime from Korea, Wonderful Days, Oshii’s GITS 2: Innocence, and while not as good, but still enjoyable, Appleseed (review forthcoming). The ever-popular GITS SAC, season 2 is still coming out, and I’m guessing there’s one or two more from 2005 that I just haven’t found yet. 2003 gave us Texhnolyze, etc. If we get one or two good cyberpunk animes each year, I’m pretty thrilled. In my mind, 2004 was definitely a banner year.

    August 31, 2006

    Wolf said:

    Pues yo no aguanto Lain, menudo coñazo.
    I dont like Lain.

    SFAM said:

    Hi Wolf, Lain definitely isn’t for everyone. It’s a slow moving, slow paced, complex story that has the payoff later in the series. Not everyone will be able to stick with it.

    October 18, 2006

    Deep_Logic said:

    I have the Box series. I like the way it makes you dought reality.

    Also the music is too undocumented. If anyone can tell me what the track is on Layer 02:Girls where the druggy is at the table, and buys the nano pill I’ll worship you until we evaporate in the post apocalyptic erra.

    October 28, 2006

    Deep_Logic said:

    I’m guessing no one knows…

    People who like may also like an anime series called CyberCity

    November 11, 2006

    SP|Dzodzo said:

    hello, it’s probably from one of the tracks from Cyberia OST for Lain, try it here
    or possibly here

    (the promise of being evaporated in the post apocalypse is too amazing not to share with you, so now send me a HUGE thermonuclear blast =)

    December 21, 2006

    Cameron said:

    Norez ambo.

    January 8, 2007

    Deep_Logic said:

    :Norez ambo” ??? Not sure if that was an answer to my question, but the search engines return no music related results on that, and it isn’t on any of the songs….

    I also listened to all those songs, and none of them are it. What sucks is there is no information in the credits about that song yet they mention some of the other music. Information on the movie via the Internet is all broad, and generic, so I guess it’s a lost cause.

    January 29, 2007

    peepingtom said:

    Deep Logic,
    Finding your comment on Google gave me hope, but it was quickly crushed. The track is on the official “bootleg” soundtrack. More info here:
    Previews here:

    Good luck, it’s a great track!

    peepingtom said:

    February 18, 2007

    Deep_Logic said:

    Thanks for the info!

    Deep_Logic said:

    Just found this through google hacking site indexes.

    Not sure where the data portion is though unless it’s the screensaver.

    February 20, 2007

    SFAM said:

    Hi Deep_logic, looks like there are some other CDs on that site as well.

    March 29, 2007

    Kalafan said:

    One helluva series. I’m not a big CP fan, but this one drew me in all right. Excellent.

    March 30, 2007

    SFAM said:

    Hi Kalafan, agreed, Lain is definitely top notch!

    April 9, 2007

    Com Wedge said:

    Hey Guys,

    I finished watching the series today and have collected my thoughts.

    Firstly I disagree with the notion that this series leaves us with no answers. The answers all come towards the end and is satisfactory for the audience to believe. NB: it can depend on your own beliefs whether you accept the conclusions provided here. For me it’s true.

    This series freaked me out. I wanted to see the series from the reviews on this site and now that I have I’m am so thrilled!

    This style of anime and cyberpunk for me has been the closest in correlation to cyberpunk themes I have ever seen.

    The song sung by Boa was so addictive I had to pick up the guitar and learn the song - link to guitar tabs:

    The reason the film freaked me out was because it feels like the natural evolution of what we are doing now. Damn I swear I can hear Lain’s voice in my head as I type this :P

    My rating:
    Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Very High
    Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Very High
    Rating: 10 out of 10

    April 19, 2007

    Com Wedge said:

    In addition I found that the artist Boa is a band in the UK and not the Korean Singer Boa - Official Website of Boa

    Com Wedge

    May 9, 2007

    Bruna Hagata said:

    Hi,My name is Bruna im from Brasil,Ilove you Lain and animes

    eu não falo bem o ingles então usem o tradutor google ok?

    olha eu achei um anime muito interessante,mas ainda estou no inicio.

    espero que voces me adicionem no msn para fazermos contato,e trocar orkut’s por ai.

    bejos mil

    May 10, 2007

    arjun jassal said:

    well lain, is really lame. its so slow… and to add to that the series doesnt give you anything even remotely new. The visuals try hard but more often than not, they fail to even amuse. the character in her self is very very plastic and annoying.

    I have to confess that i have only watched the first 3-4 episodes of the series, and i will not be wasting my bandwidth on it longer

    May 11, 2007

    Merigui said:

    I´ll translate what Bruna said:

    ” i dont speak english very well so use google translator, ok?” (hehe)
    ” i thought Lain a very interesting anime but i´m still in the beginning”
    ” hope you add me on MSN Messenger and exchange our orkut”
    ” kisses”

    May 30, 2007

    randomrob said:

    Cold, unsympathetic stuff. Couldn’t get past the first few episodes. Does it get better?

    Malky said:

    It does change. The pace and themes change slightly after the initial third of the series, then change again for the final third.

    That said, if you didn’t like the first episodes (particularly the second one, which gives a better impression than the first) I doubt you would change your mind about the series as a whole. As much as I love Lain, it’s obviously not for everyone.

    July 1, 2007

    PSY said:

    One of my favorite anime series of all time. It’s nice to see a refreshing take on the genre, it’s been needing it. However with that said I understand why said ‘take’ would drive people not to like it.

    July 3, 2007

    dj_djv said:

    Lain is a masterpiece in my opinion…definitely not for the faint of heart but well worth the effort. The visuals, music, themes, and plot are realized in an at times disjointed but always effective way. I wish more of this type of anime cyberpunk series where being created as I crave this kind of the thought provoking content…

    July 11, 2007

    Pilky said:

    Fantastic Anime. I spent about two weeks afterwards thinking about what the anime was supposed to show.

    Yes, lain’s biggest flaw is that it’s slow in the beginning. You need to watch the whole thing for it to be really any good to you so I would advise people to be patient because the end result is that of sheer immensity.

    Although this is cyberpunk, I would also advise watching Saikano (She, The Ultimate Weapon) pretty good and I think that the people who enjoyed Lain will enjoy this…Again slow moving, but watch till the end.

    P.S im still lookin for that cyberia sound track, e-mail me any results ye get. Thanks


    September 2, 2007

    Nemado Surinachi said:

    This was my first introduction to the Cyberpunk genre (where I was aware that it was Cyberpunk) and what an Introduction. I had watched stuff like Akira, Pi and Judge Dredd and liked it, but as far as i knew it was just sci-fi or just strange.

    For an anime to completely swallow me like that. That hasn’t happened since I watched Chobits. Where Chobits is on the surface just an interesting love story for a large audiance and with many underlying meanings and questions. Serial Experiments Lain was even more. Only grasping the surface layers of this show took me a few days. Now a few weeks layer I haven’t even started to truly understand some of the underlying meanings.

    What else can I say 10/10 stars from me :)
    It probably got me hooked on Cyberpunk for life.

    October 4, 2007

    error said:

    Sorry,I didn’t use to watch Cyberpunk genre.Please advise Cyberpunk genre I should watch before this anime.

    Clint said:

    October 9, 2007

    Anonymous said:


    November 13, 2007

    dynda said:

    hy…..myname is dynda I’m from indonesia, I like “lain”
    it’s very interest,”lain” it’s the best anime.
    it is better than …..
    “lain” like a indonesian word if we translate in to indonesian,
    “lain” is “different”
    so….I want to be difference or remainder than other.

    December 2, 2007

    Spiked said:

    I am currently writing an essay on Jean Baudrillard a french theorist on the Internet and New Media and the loss of meaning in this age of simulation.
    Serial Experiments Lain has actually helped me grip what Baudrillard had to say about the formation of a ‘hyperreality’ and I am now using it as a reference point for my essay!

    Brilliant series I watched all 13 episodes over 2 days! Pure genius!

    January 5, 2008

    Cibele Baginski said:

    Hello! I’m from south of the Brazil… Sorry my english too is terrible. –> Translator required for portuguese - english… ^^

    Olá, eu conheci o anime Serial Experiments Lain há pouco tempo. Mas considero-o um dos mais originais e interessantes que já vi, até agora obviamente. Bem, foi um anime encantador que acabei por assistir em uma única tarde. ^^
    Acho que há muitas coisas a serem pensadas a partir da idéia que ele transmite e muitas idéias a surgirem a partir dele também. Informações interessantes sobre alguma teoria que tenha nascido em alguma mente louca e conversas sobre o assunto são bem-vindas. Espero que tenha sido possivel entender o meu português também não muito bom. ^^


    January 23, 2008

    Quux_Operative said:

    One of the very best of the anime genre, a true achievement! It really taps into the psychology and assimilation of those heavily involved in the net, it’s comparable to the Laughing Man complex of GITS, only it’s a whole series of that type of event. It also struck me personally because I used to be a hacker back in the day and I went through some interesting episodes that are reitterated throughtout the show. I felt that I could relate in some way. That’s what makes films/series true achievements, the ability to relate to these stimuli and events.

    January 24, 2008

    Com Wedge said:

    Hey Lainites,

    It’s good to read other peoples comments on lain (even though we have to use a translator read the lazy peoples comments who told us to use a translator).

    Lain should be made into a live action movie full stop. I am plagiarising Lain’s name for a walk on character in my latest movie script so hopefully people will get the reference, since its a cyberpunk film it shouldn’t be asking too much :)

    I also thought it interesting to use some of the popular torrent names for characters such as aXXo and Neptune. If anyone has any other suggestions for cyberpunk names with a reference to anything please put it here :)


    January 19, 2009

    Overdrive said:

    This is a great cyberpunk story. I don’t like so much animes, but I have to admit when they make cyberpunk based stories they make masterpieces, like this, ghost in the shell, akira, etc.

    Thank you so much for posting such interesting material.

    kabukiman said:

    I can read portuguese (since I’m portuguese…) so I will try translate the text from Cibele Baginski.

    “Hi, I have seen the anime Serial Experiments Lain some time ago. But I think it is one of the most original and interesting that I saw until now. Well, it was a charmind anime that I saw in single afternoon.
    I think that they have a lot of ideas to be thought from the idea that is transmited and many others appeared from it too. Informations from any theorie from any crazy mind or talks about the subject are welcomed. I hope it was easy to understand my portuguese that isn’t very good

    March 9, 2009

    Vael Victus said:


    April 10, 2009

    keeperofdakeys said:

    personally I loved the first few episodes, and what it was building up to; but I felt a bit disappointed by the end
    I guess I did not fully comprehend the ending, so I need to re watch it and hopefully I should be able to understand more

    although one thing I think I will never get is the alien

    anyway this was a worthwhile series

    April 17, 2009

    Hugo said:

    This made more sense (I thought) than Texhnolyze. Though not as satisfying (I honestly thought Texhnolyze offered more in terms of characterisation and visuals), at least it didn’t leave me going, “Uh…what just happened?”

    April 22, 2009

    Andrew said:

    This series not only opened my eyes…it literally changed my life.

    I’ve experienced the whole series many times, always letting it probe my mind to provoke thoughts I didn’t know existed. This isn’t a review, if you want to know what the series is like, watch it, or rather let it watch you.

    After studying the series for a while I became deeply interested in computers, computer science, philosophy, mind-expansion, and theory. I related to Lain on such a personal level that the show almost seemed to transcend the subtext of it just being a work of fiction. But then again Serial Experiments Lain blurs the thin boundary that is reality and the virtual. The concepts and information shown at parts is very much worth looking into as well (E.I. Shuman resonance (commonly)7.83Hz). The integration into the story seems entirely possible in the future.

    The concept of the wired is in itself one of the most intriguing and glorious things i’ve ever heard of. Cyberpunk nirvana I suppose would be a way of looking at it. I could write for days on this work of art, but i’ll limit myself here.

    If you do decide to watch it, you must commit to the whole series, or you’ll probably be confused or misled. The series comes full circle like i’ve rarely seen any other do before.

    On a side note, the series is also an incredible psychonaut tool :)

    - Don’t pass this one up.

    August 10, 2009

    Blues said:

    Yeah, Lain is amazing. As is Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, which was also mentioned earlier.

    August 14, 2009

    Comwedge said:

    here here

    August 31, 2009

    Estrella Solitaria said:

    In my Anime Top 10 list, Serial Experimental Lain is the one. Mind-blowing, really. One of the very best of the anime genre.

    i dont speak english very well. Sorry

    September 6, 2009

    Weils said:

    September 7, 2009

    Weils said:

    December 9, 2009

    DJ BludLust said:

    This is my absolute favorite Anime of all time. I first saw it on “Anime Unleashed” on G4TV and then proceeded to download the entire series. It is the most bizarre mind expanding series in a category all it’s own. Some don’t get it however and become frustrated and just see it as dumb, when the issue is not the intelligence of the media, but that of the viewer. I am somewhat obsessive about this show, so much so that I have modded all of my electronic devices software to resemble that of a Navi. Lain asks many questions but leaves it to the viewer to interpret them and find answers for themselves. My favorite theme is the idea that the world will soon reach a state of pure oneness through the use of the wired. I need to stop typing and move on, I have rambled to much as it is, so I will leave with one last statement.

    Serial Experiments Lain is a spectacular series, and is a MUST WATCH for anyone wanting to do some deep thinking both introspectively a extrospectively; a truly mind consuming experience.

    January 31, 2010

    Adno said:

    I have just watched the show for the first time and my head is buzzing with thoughts and questions. From different reviews I expected it to be different from most things I watched, but I didn’t expect Serial Experiments Lain to be such a mind-blowing series. It barrages you with fragments of thought and hints at the bigger picture but never gives you anything concrete. Any answers you get only lead to more questions. But at the same time, the confusion you get from watching the show gives it its charm.
    Serial Experiments Lain is a series that makes you think. It does that well. It is a bizarre anime that has vivid imagery that adds to the overall feeling of aloneness and mystery. There is a conspicuous lack of music so you know that any sounds you hear are important and sets the mood of the scene.
    All in all Serial Experiments Lain is a great anime that I will probably re-watch more than once. It is a deep show that doesn’t hand feed you answers and hints of things underneath what is said. If you want to watch something that will make you think, this is a great show to watch.

    February 27, 2010

    woo said:

    After my second time watching this, i was wondering if the “real world” was just another network. A series of experiements being made on a concious mind in cyber space. (that being Lain)
    Reasons being

    1. Lain’s “sister” replacement (another figure with the same outward looks) and the previous one is deleted for not “fullfilling the prophecy” (thus, delete and reset with a new player playing the role of the sister)

    2. the constant 60 cycle hum of our “real world”

    3. the miracles that seem to happen, blur of virtual and “real” reality. Thus the Wired in the series may actually be a virtual reality within a virtual reality or the actual real world itself. When flipping the two terms Real World and Wierd around, a lot of things seemed to naturally make sense to me.

    4. The chatacters that die in the Real World but continue to exist with power through Wierd also makes me believe that the death in the Real World was just the death of the avatar or virtual self and that the real existing self existed with greater knowledge of the virtual reality (Aka Real World). Eiri might have just been a great hacker, creating himself into a God within the digital world of the “real world.” Lain on the other hand was able to have power without “logging off and hacking” into the “real world.” Sorta like the Matrix i guess…although not quite the same. A girl who killed herself was able to send messeges to her friends although she did not exist in a physical form. This may be her just sending messeges via text without logging in to the system. But to those living in the system, it seems as if she died and somehow is sending emails.

    5. Re-start, delete, try again concepts that are so relavent to gaming and computing, story telling… Lain might be playing the same game over and over again until she found the ending she likes…

    6. The characters in the series may either be just a part of the “Lain game” or real concious being that believe that the virtual life is real, thus it is called the Real World.

    7. Meanwhile the father and some other members with authority might be the ones who know the real essence of the real world, that it is not real but just an experiment with the concious minds of people. Or something like that…. (a bunch of people trapped in VR believeing it is real while a few people control it from within the system—again sorta like the agents in the matrix i guess…)

    8. the knights might be a few people who either know more about the reality of their real world (in which case they would not be a welcome presence to the authority) or people who managed to created power within the second VR within their VR (aka Wierd) and that the interconnection of the two VRs create influence into the “Real World(first VR)”

    9. A spin off but.. Lain may be an AI that is undergoing a conciousness, self-ego, emotion(?) experiment through various layers of virual reality, thus perfecting itself into a true concious being. However, a real physical Lain might not be existant in the first place. Thus the real world is just the playing plain for Lain to be conducted experiements to…the other people may be actors, other programs (AI) or just nomal praticipants etc… heck…maybe the others are just people hooked up to some system beliving that the “real world” is real while Lain is a whole other story of AI experiements being conducted in that “real world”

    Since i like the number 9, i’ll stop here.
    these are just thoughts that passed through my head after watching it a second time. once again, just opinions since this series leaves a lot of room for them. some believe that the real world is actually real and that shuman theory is that resonates the blur of reality and VR in the series… other believe that the wierd becomes connected to the brain waves of our real selves… i just like to think the whole reality we see in the series is just a VR which everyone believes to be real (like the matrix)and that those who died are just not logging on but influecning thorugh hacking into the system etc, the reset sequences are the result of power which Lain achieved as she evolved into a higher being within this VR, the repeating scenes are just glitches or simplicity of programming( such as when the other classmates become black and white) in that they are just background pixels, the 60 cycle hum is the basis sound of the VR, and so on and so forth…

    hope this was fun to read, and in some cases hope it sparked some thought.

    in the end, it’s just a story so dont die thinking too much… just…enjoy~

    woo said:

    ps: IF, and i say IF since it is only my personal opinion, what i said above is ture, it would be really fun to see what happened in the real real world…for example the hacking, the anti hacking, the experiement conductors being astounded by the AI within the digital world she lives in…. maybe Eiri wanted to steal Lain cause an AI would be worth a fortune…. in the end Lain protected herself… etc

    i bet some programmers would be in love with this digital girl even though she has no physical body, only a digital representation in the VR

    just food for thought and to have fun with..

    Lain reminded me of two movies: The Matrix and the Truman Show…

    Neo, Truman = Lain
    Zion, Truman’s girlfriend = Knights (eh…sorta but not really..)
    Agents, Actors = Lain’s family
    the citizens within the Matrix = everyone else
    The normal “extra” actors in Truman Show = everyone else
    * Everyone else may just be a program to stimulate Lain and
    only a few key people may be “players” by real people

    Father, Mother, sister, Arisu = Key players
    Eiri = intruder into the system (hacker)
    Knights = people within the system who are good at it but cannot see beyond the system… aces in the given reality but not capable of seeing the greater reality… think of some gamers who become so good at a particular game but cannot actually develop the game itself.. while the coorp, father etc players may the game developers… Lain might be that ultimate AI boss hahaha, Eiri attempting to hack into the game to have Lain for himself..

    haha, and i ramble again…. someday in the future i am sure i will watch this again and maybe have more to say or completely change to a different view point.. until then… byebye and have fun

    February 28, 2010

    Descargas del día: domingo 28 de febrero | TVlia said (pingback):

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    August 12, 2010

    fAMINE said:

    Really enjoyed this series. I suppose what struck me as so different about it were the themes at work (similar to GITS) and also, and more especially, the flawless portrayal of the hacker altar-ego and how it is born.

    Every hacker out there can relate to Lain on a personal level. I’d say that this series is really the closest that modern art has come to understanding us and the questions that we spend our lives trying to answer: is there a true self or simply hundreds of separate personalities? What is a god and what does it mean to be a god? Where is humanity headed and what does the birth of the internet ultimately represent?

    August 21, 2010

    Kori said:

    I loved watching Serial Experiments: Lain.

    My uncle brought me the movies so that I could watch it, and I have to say, I wasn’t disipointed.

    I spent the whole day watching the episodes, only stopping to eat and drink. It was wonderful.

    However, I couldn’t understand it at the beginning, and I was a bit creeped out. As the series progressed, I started to realize what was happening.

    It made me think about what was actually going on, though. What if our technology evolved to this kind of thing? What would happen to the world?

    Anyways, I agree with the rating it was given, and I’m glad that my uncle brought the movies. I shared them with my friends, and they enjoyed them just as much as I did.

    October 27, 2010

    Rhyan said:

    When I watched Lain, I was surprised at how it appears to be more realistic than any other cyberpunk out there. I mean the technology “seems” so real, added the real life concepts, theories, and technologies such as protocols (we’re currently on IPv4 and SE Lain assumed what’s to be IPv7), Schuman resonance (first observed by Nicola Tesla and was later called Schuman Resonance - the Earth’s natural resonance, from satellite communications to brain waves being compared to how dolphins communicate), conspiracy theories, and apple computers (NAVI).

    The literary devices used are also far more superior than any other Cyberpunk. I.e. Ghost in the shell pretty much did some spoonfeeding. Lain on the other hand has a lot of figurative.

    Cyberia, aside from being a title of Douglas Rushkoff’s book, pertains to Siberia - a widely used figurative for disorientation, isolation and coldness with “Cyber” representing an impersonal, cold, and distant connection between people.. Cyberia is where all those type of people go - the hackers’ hangout. The aliens as a sign of feelings of not belonging anywhere also suggesting Lain’s “Alien” nature - whether figuratively or literally. And, madeleines - a metaphor for memory.

    February 23, 2011

    Aceleron said:

    Fantastic epic anime, extreme Psychedelic. I think one of the best animes made. Nice homepage too. Later

    Fantastico anime epico, extremamente psicodelico. Eu considero um dos melhores animes feitos. Boa homepage também. Até mais.

    March 17, 2011

    Alex said:

    It’s a good anime in my opinion. But i don’t get what Producer Ueda was aiming at when he said he intended Japanese and American audiences to form conflicting views on the series, but was disappointed in this regard, as the impressions turned out to be similar.

    SSJKamui said:

    To be honest, I didn’t understand that either.

    October 8, 2011

    Mira said:

    I will agree with most of the people here.Lain is an awesome anime series.It settles in many philosophical ideas and subjects about human identity and many other things.I believe that most of the people having problem to understand this anime is because as my friend Jun said “You don’t know when’s reality and when’s in the Wired”.Maybe that’s of the many messages that Lain wants to pass in the very end.Considering that this anime was made in 1997 and internet wasn’t something so common in our lives you could say that is predictor of this future.Everyone is connected nothing is a secret anymore.People getting exposed in the internet like Arisu was.That everyone is getting addicted in internet cause they see that they are not alone.Anyway If I was able to write more about this series I would end up with a whole page.I just believe that is really sophisticated as well genious of how this anime passes questions to the vewers about themselves uncounsiously.That’s another reason that many people couldn’t understand the point of this anime which by the way was made the subject of several academic articles.I can see why.

    Mira said:

    Yeah I agree with you I’ve noticed those things too and they really got me.This anime seems so simple it’s fucking not.Not to mention that you have to be a little bit of informed to notice these things.Happy to see that some peolple noticed them.

    October 22, 2011

    Mainframe said:

    What I got out of the series was the divergence, or in some cases convergence, of Lain, and her alter ego in the wired. In our reality, the Internet can be anonymous, and people can as they please without feat of real repercussions. In Lain, she was not anonymous for very long, and people on the street began to recognize her, even though they were anonymous to her in the “real world.” I suppose it would be like one’s online avatar taking on a life of its own and acting in ones own name.

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