Serial Experiments: Lain

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.

4 thoughts on “Serial Experiments: Lain”

  1. When I first watched Lain, I didn’t try to figure everything out as I went along; I did that once I finished and rewatched it. Lain is still my favorite series and I rewatch it often – I’m still trying to figure some things out.

    It seems there isn’t too much middle ground in this one – people either love it or hate it. I once spent several hours trying to explain to a friend why this series was so good. I wasn’t getting anywhere, so I finally just summed up with “I like her eyes, and she asks good questions.” That seemed to satisfy him so that is now my stock explanation on why I like Lain so much.

    …It also doesn’t hurt that Lain has the best OP evar.

  2. It’s definitely a little on the deliberate side. There _is_ an economy to the storytelling, but that wasn’t apparent to me until well into the series. It seems to move a little slow, but by the end, there were so many things to parse that I’m not sure going faster would have been a good idea. I could say more, but I don’t want to ruin it:P In the end, I enjoyed it, even though I think it may have been a little too obtuse. At some point, I’ll have to watch it again (several people have mentioned to me that it makes more sense the more you watch it).

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