I’ve started watching disc 1 of this highly-recommended series. In a nutshell, the story begins with a schoolgirl in Tokyo who gets an email from a classmate who committed suicide a week earlier. I don’t have any meaningful plot insights as yet but my general complaint is that the story is really dragging along. To be honest I’m already kind of bored. However, Steven wrote in his review that “there’s economy to the story telling. Nothing has been included which is extraneous or unnecessary.” Based on that, and the other strongly positive comments from other otaku, I’m going to see this through.
Some spoiler speculation below the fold:
The general idea seems to be that human consciousness is beginning to find ways to move o the virtual world. Lain seems to be already partly attuned to the virtual world, even though she is not good at computers. There are numerous scenes where her perception is distinctly surreal and she seems to be seeing a hidden layer beneath reality. It is even possible that part of her existence isn’t even real. The series has started things out with such a general vagueness that nothing may be what it seems. I’m not sure yet of that’s a bug or a feature.
What is clear however is that Lain is not a normal child. Her behavior in the club, where she walked straight up to the crazed gunman, was simply inexplicable. She acted possessed. Then, her reaction to her friend in the police station afterwards was almost as if she didn’t know where she was – she repeated Arisu’s name haltingly, as if learning it for the first time. There are surely clues here and more to the incident that will be revealed ahead, but it’s kind of frustrating on this pass.