Serial Experiments Lain takes place in the "Present Day, Present Time" announced at the start of every episode. It is a look at a young girl finding her way onto the Wired world.
While they do ominously interject the "Present Day, Present Time" at the start of every episode, Lain feels as though it takes place slightly into the future.
The Wired is an almost technically accurate Internet, and is the exact same concept. Lain, like most kids, has a basic computer (Called a Navi) but finds herself looking for more interaction with the net.
The storyline is hard to get into in a short brief, but I have to say it parralells Evangelion in it's psychology. I have to wonder if there's a cultural context that's not relevant to the west that we miss out on.
Lain presents and offers suggestions on various questions anyone who has been on the net for significant amounts of time has probably pondered. It gets very heavily into "The Net vs The Real World", and indeed, this becomes central to the plot.
Lain is fascinating but definately not "Light Watching."
Lain is a teenage girl, going to a teenage girls school, with teenage girl friends. At the start of the series, she seems a little quiet, a little shy, but she has friends and seems normal.
Arisu (Alice?) is one of Lain's friends. Of the three girls, Arisu is probably the closest to Lain, and the most concerned and interested in her.
It's hard to get into the other characters in the series. Their importance waxes and wanes as the show progresses. To be honest, Lain is really about Lain.
Briefly, Lain's Mother, Father and Sister all enter the picture. Lain's other friends, Juri (Julie?) and Reika, are normally with Lain and Arisu, and some techy kids from a local club all become involved in Lain's development.
Apart from Lain herself and one or two other characters, I found most of the characters only good, and not partciularly striking (as anime characters often are).
However, the computer generated imagery, the Navi operations, the "trippier" parts of the show and the general art direction are brilliantly done, sometimes unsettling, crisp, and colourful.
All in all, Lain is above average, visually.
The voice acting is good, and more than that, the sound effects used build well on scenes and plot to create a total mood for any given part.
Lain's varied voices capture her well.
Lain is engaging. There's not much in the way of action, but the development of the plot and story require some focus.
I found myself thinking frequently of Evangelion. And I've seen another site likening Lain to Miyu. While Lain is certainly unique, these kinds of comparisons can only be considered compliments.
All in all, Lain is interesting, but might not be for everyone.
At times, Lain got overly trippy for my liking, and almost zoned me right out of the show. Watching the second time allowed me some perspective, and it was easier to go through these parts.
Average User Rating for this Review :
3.4 (From 5 comments)
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