Brandon! | Sacramento, CA USA | 01/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How do I even begin reviewing a show like "Serial Experiments: Lain?"To start with, this is one of the most visually amazing, compelling, twisted, sci-fi-ish, dramatic, different and confusing anime series I've ever seen. It all centers on Lain, who, in all respects, appears to be a normal, if not independent (read: loner) young girl. She doesn't have super powers, she isn't anime-style sexy, and she doesn't own or operate a giant mecha -- but she does wear the cutest little teddy bear outfit: ears, tail, and all.The story begins with the suicide of one of her classmates. A short time later, she's emailed by this classmate, from "beyond the dead..." Lain, having likely never powered on her Navi (think future, voice activated Macintosh -- it even run's the "Copland OS"), clears off her desk and sets the machine up. And she's hooked. She asks her "Papa" for a new Navi, as her's is a little old and dated. With her wish granted, she's soon cruz'ing the Wired (the future Internet) in her brand new Navi. By chance (or is it?) she comes into posession of a Psyche Processor, and reads up on how to install it. That Processor is only the beginning, and soon her room is transformed into a dark cave of twisted wires and green, bubbling coolant.The series, like I said, is confusing. If you had a hard time with "Eyes Wide Shut," you might pass on "Lain." It's difficult to review, because of everything that happens in it. True, there are only 13 episodes, but those episodes contain so much story line, that missing one is like missing two hours of a movie that's two hours and ten minutes long. Only until the last disc makes it into your DVD player do you begin to understand some of what's going on. And then, the story line changes on you again, and you're once again thinking, "Huh?"If you've never seen "Lain," I wouldn't recommend this box set. I also can't recommend the purchase of just the first disc to "try it out," as the good, confusing stuff doesn't start happening until the next disc's episodes. You might want to try a rental store or friend, to give it a test drive. If you already own all the DVD's, there's really no reason to buy this box set, as all you'd be getting is a box (and, of course, a second copy of each DVD).Repeated viewings of "Lain" are recommended. Personally, I think a little "viewer companion" for us American audiences would have been a nice touch. "Serial Experiments: Lain" should be watched by all anime fans, as it provides a different approach to anime, but some may come away feeling lost and dazed. Lain will do that to you."
Slow and deep
sep42 | Netherlands | 10/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Serial Experiments Lain is a show which leaves most people with a distinct impression of 'huh?'. It is the story of a girl named Lain, who is rather socially inept.In the first episode, a classmate of Lain's jumps off of a building to her death. Afterwards, people start receiving E-mails from this girl. And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the 'weirdness' of Lain.As the series progresses, so does Lain. Because of the dead girl's E-mail, she gets a little interested in computers. She learns more and more of the Wired, which is like our Internet. From the individuals on the Wired, and from her own experiences there, she slowly learns the truth about the Wired, and the world.Lain is a nicely slow, somewhat pretentious anime. It questions what we know as the real world, using real-seeming characters.In some ways, the series has an 'X-files' (the multi-part episodes) feel to it. You never quite know what's going on, who's who, and just when the pieces are about to come together, the storyline takes another twist.A good look into the psyche of the Internet, Internet users, and the world.The boxed version contains all four DVDs (Navi, Knights, Deus and Reset). For reviews or tech specs of the individual discs, visit their pages."
Come to the Wired...
Sean | Georiga | 11/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We're all connected... Come to the "Wired" as soon as you can... Why won't you come? ...Why won't you come...? Serial Experiments Lain is deep, very deep. As an anime almost indescribable, it will stick will you for life as it haunts you with its silent mysteries. Never have I seen an anime anything like this one. I remember the nights where Lain just stood in my head, as I wondered how the true secrets would eventually uncover from their cloaked darkness. The artwork that was shown in this raging series was that of which reminded me of something from a basic MTV cartoon. Of course this isn't awful at any bit, it's just a different style with a nice appeal of eye candy and detailed but somewhat creepy designs. The unique computer (or according to this anime title, "Navi") and electrical designs/styles were done very beautifully and caught my eye every time. I curiously noted much of the Navi features and I thought about the terrific effort that was placed into animating each little part of the visually pleasing features. If you look hard enough at Serial Experiments Lain's art, you'll spot marvelous examples of well-done (and not to mention talented) Japanese animation creations. So, although the visual artwork can be a tad strange every once and awhile, it is fine non-the less and is something oddly different. A major part of Serial Experiments Lain to me was the puzzling, tragic, and disturbing story to it. I was almost completely lost during the first and second volumes, but then once you hit a little further into the series, everything starts to slowly pile together and make sense. Lain is fourteen years old, regular amount of friends, quiet and un-social, but lately Lain seems to be different. What is happening to her the life around her... her world... what is it? After getting an unknown e-mail from a girl in Lain's class who has killed herself, everything starts becoming different... but why? "The Wired" (or this anime's version of something very similar to the internet) is the popular thing to the many kids (are they really kids...?) around her. Everyone's on it. What's so good about it? Could it be holding some sort of lethal secret that Lain is to find out? But... why Lain? What is this "Wired?" Is the "Wired" the reasoning for all of the ghostly events that have been happening recently?! Could a world of some sort be slowly dripping into our own..... We're all connected... Come to the "Wired" as soon as you can... Why won't you come? ...Why won't you come...? The seiyuu went marvelously well with the characters they played. Although the Japanese voice actors selected for Lain were none of which seemed too, too popular and well known, I still enjoyed listening to their smooth voices. Even Lain's seiyuu had special inside scenes (called "Devices") at the end of each DVD where you could see a part of the body interact and be described unusually by her. I found this very interesting. The seiyuu picked for Serial Experiments Lain were = Shimizu Kaori as Iwakura Lain, Igarashi Rei as Iwakura Miho, Kawazumi Ayako as Iwakura Mika, Obayashi Ryuunosuke as Iwakura Yasuo, Asada Yoko as Mizuki Arisu, Chiba Shigeru as Nezumi, Mizuno Manabi as Katou Juri, Morizumi Ari as JJ, Muto Kotomi as Yomoda Chisa, Neya Michiko as Yoshii Keiko, and Tezuka Chiharu as Yamamoto Reika. Quite an interestingly and nicely picked selection, I truly believe. There wasn't very much music of any type played throughout the series. I recall seldom hearing background music, but the background music that was played fit well with the actually incident that was occurring at the time. The outstanding and catchy "Duvet" opening song (which in either type of version of Lain you view) is in English. Actually to tell you the truth, when I first heard the song, I thought it was sung by one of my favorite songwriters of all time - Alanis Morissette (which of course, is a good thing). In fact, the female who does sing the song, strangely does remind me of an Asian-type Alanis. I must also compliment on the ending song, which had more of a rock theme to it, unlike the pop opening. So, definitely a high score for the music. Be warned before you even think about purchasing this splendid anime series, that it is horror-filled anime that may seriously disturb children under thirteen years of age due to the highly mature themes, mysterious and creepy aspects of life, emotional unbalance, strong language, uneven occult-action, and wondrous themes such as the ones I have already listed! ^^ But definitely don't miss Lain if you're looking for a different emotionally haunting anime that will make you reflect on your life and what could be awaiting in your future. I remember first watching Lain and asking myself, "What is this life...?" Serial Experiments Lain will amaze you at how it leeches your open mind and makes you think about... the unknown... We're all connected... Come to the "Wired" as soon as you can... Why won't you come? ...Why won't you come...?"
R. Schouten | Nijkerk, GLD Netherlands | 12/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You know I love disturbing and confusing movies but this show takes both those concepts to the extreme. We have here a show about a shy girl who finds herself becoming increasingly fascinated by The Wired(a futuristic version of the internet). This in itself is something that many ppl can relate to.
What's different about it though, is that in the show you can actually project yourself into the Wired as a physical entity. The show begins with a girl jumping of an apartment building. This grisly event sets the mood for the rest of the show..
What's even more creepy is that a few days later all the girls in her class start getting email from her about how she 'merely abbandoned her body and how she is living in The Wired'. Everyone ofcourse is terribly upset about this but Lain being curious replies to the message...That's the beginning of a terribly deep, confusing and fascinating tale. The overal question in the series is wether or not Lain is a real girl. Other topics covered are "what is reality" and "what exactly is God".This isn't a cutesy and simple anime like Pokemon. this is how anime should be. Deep and intelligent. This makes you think and ponder about life. Plus it gives some interesting perspectives on what the internet is.Highly reccomended"