Tuesday, August 28, 2001

Serial Experiments Lain

Genre: Cyberpunk, Sci-Fi, Dark
Parental Guidance Recommended
1998 Pioneer, Triangle Staff, LDC, Directed by Ryutaro Nakamura

Lain DVDs
Lain Manga and Illustration Books
Lain Video Game Shop
Lain Toys & Accessories
Lain Original Soundtrack
Everything Lain

Cover Description:
There is a world around us, a world of people, tactile sensation, and culture. There is also a wired world, inside the computer, of images, personalities, virtual experiences, and a culture all of its own.

The day after a classmate commits suicide, Lain, a 13 year old girl, discovers how closely the 2 worlds are linked when she receives an e-mail from the dead girl: I still live here.. I just abandoned my body. Has the line between the real world and the wired world begun to blur?

(13 episodes)

Overrated? We'll see... >>> by skysenshi
Many people have professed that this is the best anime they have ever watched. Nevertheless many of my senshi cousins, particularly Deathsenshi and my brother Darth Paul, have been vocal about being bored with this anime. Both the pro and anti parties have good reason to justify their reactions.

For one, Serial Experiments Lain IS good. The plot reminds you of what happened in The Matrix, where the concept of reality is something that can be distorted by what your mind tells you to believe. There is the "real" world and the "wired" world whose dimensions are separated by only a thin line of thread. There is the one ultimate being, somewhat like a Chosen One, who can bring balance to these worlds... or can this really be achieved? There is a subliminal philosophy embedded in every scene, and sometimes you have to learn how to read between the lines.

The artwork is as eerie as the creators seem to have intended it to be. They also play around with visuals through exotic use of imagery.

This is where the negativity comes in. Lain could've done better if it were made into a movie instead of stretching the anime into 13 chapters, or layers as they are called. The effects get too repetitive and overdone. The word "excessive" comes to mind. Some people who are not used to shaky screen angles might actually find themselves getting nauseous after a time. Those who are used to shaky angles have already seen too much of it.

Now for the reason why some of my cousins actually loathed finishing this title and why they claim it was a boring watch despite the many philosophical twists and turns. Lain can actually be summarized into a one-hour motion picture. You can even miss some of the middle episodes and still make heads or tails of what was going on. In fact I can name which layers should've been hacked off. This time, the word "dragging" comes to mind.

Lain is a great anime, but it can't be great for marathons. If you want to enjoy it, maybe one episode per night should be enough to satisfy a regular anime fan.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 8; Story 8; Characters 8; Sounds 9

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