Review: Serial Experiments LAIN (1998)

Directed by:

Distributed in Australia by:

“We’re all connected” – so goes the saying in LAIN. This oft repeated message is the mantra that the masses live by in Lain’s world and when you think about it, ours too – we have to be technically savvy, zooming on the information superhighway and most importantly we have to be connected.

Lain, the protagonist of the series is thirteen, a junior high-schooler and considered slightly strange among her compatriots – she’s computer illiterate. Compounded by her shy personality she’s often mocked for her naiveity. However all this change when Lain starts getting emails from a dead schoolmate.

Yes, Serial Experiment LAIN starts being very interesting around this point. The plot is ten times more convoluted than The Matrix, and Lynchian-like uneasiness abounds. It does move a lot slower than other anime series, the action is deliberate and often surreal. Visually, it has a very strong style of its own and likes to do things a little differently. This all comes across in the overall feel of the show – incredibly atmospheric, very pensive and beautiful.

After four episodes into the series and I still don’t understand what’s going on but despite that fact I still like it.

I like it because it is a little off centre and kooky, and it raises many questions and doesn’t answer them. Everything is unexpected and a haunting sensation stays with you long after you press the stop button.

If you’re after action then perhaps this isn’t the right series for you but if you give LAIN a chance and it’ll grow on you.

9 electrical buzzes out of 10.
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