Seriel Experiments Lain

I just finished watching Seriel Experiments Lain and all I have to say is: Wow.

SEL is the story of a girl who’s life is changed by the apparent suicide of a friend. Soon after, Lain receives an email from this friend saying she was alright and had only abandoned her flesh. Things begin to become surreal for Lain from here on out.


SEL can be described as a thinking man’s Matrix. No kung-fu, very little violence at all, but with a ton of philosophical questions about life, death and what makes you, you. There is also a heavy dose of consipiracy theory driving the story as well, with the Greys making an appearance in one episode. However, the conspiracy is actually mostly irrelevant to the story being told. Which is: In the near future, when the Wired (a souped up Interent) begins to encroach onto the real world, whose to say that the Wired can’t interact with or supplant the real world? And what becomes of people in this new world?

Lain has the ability to access the Wired directly without the help of machines. During the course of the show, we find out why she can do this and who she really is. Her actual purpose if left to the viewer to figure out. Its not too difficult as all the clues are there in the story. However, you must pay attention. Lain moves at a very slow pace with little dialoge in each episode and various scenes repeated many times. However, this pace serves to enhance the dramatic tension which continues to build to the last episode and the ultimate ‘resolution’. Nicely done.

The visuals are well done, with the surreal aspects serving to re-inforce the idea that the Wired, via Lain, can affect the real world. There’s no computer enhancement here, it appears to be all 2d cell animation.

Thumbs up here. I’d say a 5 out of 5. I’d use the stars, but I’m too lazy to look at the code to figure out how to use them…

4 thoughts on “Seriel Experiments Lain”

  1. I actually got the entire Lain series as a gift when it first came out. I had high hopes for it, but felt that it didn’t answer the questions that it posed. But, as JP suggests, perhaps I was not paying close enough attention.

    I also thought the animation itself was quite poor and the voice was certainly not award winning, either.

    I wound up trading the series in to Half Price Books after a single viewing. 2 out of 5 stars from me. Sorry.

  2. You’re right, it doesn’t answer everything, at least not directly. Its rather open ended and open to interpretation. Maybe Kevin needs guns and kung-fu to go with his philosophy.

  3. I’d give this series 6 out of 5 if I could. True, not all the questions are answered and sometimes you find yourself with answers that never had questions to go with them, but I think that’s purposeful. What would it be like if all the answers were given to you? If you knew Lain’s purpose? If you knew her identity? You’d leave thinking it was a good anime and that would be the end of that. Lain leaves you hanging and after finishing it I felt my world’s stability go to pot for days. I think it’s a true piece of art that asks you for the answers.

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