Anime Written by Someone on Crack: Serial Experiments Lain

…or some sort of psychogenic drug, for I don’t know how anyone could have written something like that. Anyways, I have recently watched all of the episodes, and I thought it was really good. By the way, this is kind of like a review, so if you don’t want spoilers, you should stay away, and get to watch all of the episodes first.

I have recently wanted to look for an anime to watch, since I haven’t watched one for a long time, and I needed some fixing. Then, I remembered hearing about it on TV a long time ago, so I randomly decided to watch it. The intro of it is really nice, it has a good music to it, and it fits to the atmosphere of the show.

First impression of it is certainly going to be “this is kind of boring and bizarre.”  In fact, for the first few episodes, the anime is really slow paced, but it kept my interest afoot. The bizarreness starts right at the beginning of the first episode, when a high school student kills herself, while at the same time imposed in between scenes what looks like text messaging. It turns out that in that in the anime, there is a really advanced internet called The Wired, which basically connects all of communication together. When the student who killed herself, though, sends an e-mail to everyone at school, it sets of Lain, a really introverted girl who knows nothing about computers to explore the web. That exploration is what drives the plot of the anime.

It is a bit of a mix between a psycho thriller and sci fi. The sci fi element is obviously the weird internet thingy, and also, the girl learns realllyyy fast about computers, so that she extends her computer into a room filled with supercomputers with large coolant tubes. I truly wish I had her capability, I am tired of some of the computer crap that goes on, and also, I wish I had a computer from that show, they look really cool. ^_^ It is a psycho thriller in that there are a lot of mental explorations going on with the character, especially when some sort of “god” is calling to her. Also, she experiences a personality split in the Wired, leading her to question which part of her is real, and whether the evil personality is really part of her identity. It also deals the reality of the Wired, since it is a whole world in its own, is it as real as the real world? And as she starts going more and more into the deep end of the Wired, she becomes farther away from everyone else. Not that she really has a lot of friends, she has only one true friend, Alice (weird Japanese way of saying: A-ri-su), she dearly loves. Sometimes, there are a bit too much philosophy for my liking. Anyways, I suggest that you pay really close attention. This anime is truly brainy, and it will involve all your attention in order for you to be able to follow the plot. Not only that, the series contains some plot misdirections, so watch out for those, you can’t trust the characters or narration to tell the entire truth. The concept of it is really compelling.

The most rewarding part of the show comes in the last half of the 13 episodes, as things finally are starting to make sense. As things come to have more sense, or after you end the show, I would suggest for a repeat viewing, who know, you might see the first few episodes in a different light. Not everything will make sense at the very end, but enough of it will that you will be able to sort out all of those entanglements. Also, the ending is excellent, it lends itself to a very bittersweet emotion, a sense that things are better that way, but which at the same time, you don’t want Lain to end up that way. The ending is a mixture of things ending well, but in which something happens to the character so that even if nothing bad happened to her, she ends up in a truly depressing situation. Note, she ends up happy, but only because she can do certain stuffs with time and space via the weird internet thingy, so yeah, a bad kind of happy. Ok, I don’t know how to really explain it, you have to see, but one thing is for sure, you will end up caring for her, feeling pity for her, and feeling the same thing as her. (Ok, maybe I went too far with that)

As for the presentation overall, I really like the art, design, and animation. The art is overdated, since the show is from the 90s, but it is still really good. It gives you the sense of the Wired being all around you, an air of mistery, of urban activity and decay, and boredom in those family dinner. Then, there is the constant hum, focus on the power lines, and dark shadows with purple spots which Lain begins to acquire very late in the anime which constantly reminds you that the weird internet thingy is all around you. A bit Matrix like, if you ask me, which uses the constant green in the real world. As for the beginning of every episode, which begins with a city intersection flooded with green light, glares, and stop lights, I don’t know what it is for, but that is okay. I also very much like the character designs, and even if there is not much to facial details, the artists are somehow are able to convey a lot of emotions behind them.

So, my veredict is this. It is a really good show exploring some philosophical stuffs and Lain herself, but it is not for everyone. It is one of those things in which you either are compelled by it, and get to like it very much later on, or hate it and leave it. But I am sure you can all do it, stay focused, and get absorbed in it. Or if you like things that don’t make you think, then fine, go away! Go and watch your stupid Bleach. *sob* By the way, don’t watch Bleach, it is a bad show, format quiet similar to Dragon Ball Z, slow and stupid. If you will, watch the first season of Bleach, it is the best season of the entire series.


One Response to Anime Written by Someone on Crack: Serial Experiments Lain

  1. I just watched the entire thing straight through. I liked it, but beyond that and some “wha…?” I’m not going to really be able to say anything about it without spending another few days thinking about it, then rewatching it. But yeah, despite the weirdness and hard to followness, it was definitely worth watching.

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