Serial Experiments Lain Review

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Today, I’m going to review a classic show that I for some reason didn’t watch until recently. This is a series written by Chiaki J. Konaka and has been received for the most part in a positive manner. People have said that it’s one of the best anime’s out there, right up there with Neon Genesis Evangelion and Cowboy Bebop. Let’s find out if that’s true! As always be wary of spoilers~.

Plot:

The unique thing about this show is that it follows a nonlinear format. That is either annoying or interesting depending on how you look at it. In my opinion, the show is better as a nonlinear one but still could have been easier to follow. Don’t get me wrong I still really liked following it and, for the most part, was able to, but certain parts of this show just left me confused.

The plot of this show and the pacing is actually really good! I actually winded up watching the whole thing in one night, I wasn’t able to sleep until I was finished! Granted I could have, but I definitely didn’t want to. I don’t recommend watching it all at once, though, especially late into the night. It just adds to the confusion this show already has.

This show knows for sure how to keep it’s audience engaged and curious. Other than the obvious plot right in front of you, there is interesting subtext. The show covers a wide range of topics like religion and society and provokes a lot of thought provoking things that no one should miss. It’s also somewhat hard to tell what the message of the show is, like if it’s an allegory for something else, or meant to be taken in a figurative way.

This anime to me is the Five Nights Of Freddy’s of Anime. People speculate about it even to this day, all of us trying to go all Game Theorist on it trying to figure out what it’s trying to say. It’s fun to speculate about and even I came up with a theory on what it’s saying…but that’s for a later date. The plot on this show is, for the most part, good, and it has A LOT of staying power and brings something to people now even though it’s almost 18 years old now.

Characters:

The characters on this show are great. There aren’t many main characters, if you really think about it Lain is the only one. Even though I do like shows with a lot of characters to focus on, I don’t mind the fact that this show doesn’t do that, in fact, it works in its favor.

When it comes to characters, this show uses them sparingly. Each character has something to do with the plot in some way. The show itself has little to no filler at all and the same goes for it’s cast.

Even for minor characters, I can remember them all. Each character will most likely make an impression in some way. For this though I’m only talking about the main characters.

Lain is an awesome and very relatable character. I loved her very much and if I can, I’m definitely going to buy a figurine of her. I normally don’t buy a lot of figurines, unless I really loved the show/character I want a figurine of. Her personality is hard to explain but isn’t your typical dere personality type I assure you. She is far more deep and complex than that and probably one of my favorite protagonists of all kind.

Her best friend was also a good character. I loved the relationship they had in the show. Her friend Arisu (Or Alice depending on which version you watched). She is very good hearted towards Lain when other characters aren’t and is also a very relatable character. The relationship between them is more important in the second half of the story but I absolutely adored how much they cared for each other. They definitely leave a lasting impression, which is always important for a good series!

Art and Animation:

The character art in this show is done by ABe Yoshitoshi and good god do I love it. Some people find his art style creepy but I strongly disagree. I love the colors in it and it’s one of my favorite anime art styles of all time.

The animation is good as well and is a bit more fluid compared to other shows of it’s time in my opinion. It can still be a bit awkward but nothing to terrible. It’s mostly enjoyable to look at and the way it’s colored and drawn fits perfectly and is absolutely stunning.

Music:

The opening of this anime is a song called Duvet by Boa. This opening is one of my favorite anime openings of all time and I started looking into Boa’s music because of it. It’s a very good song and the ending by Tooi Sakebi is also very good. I don’t remember if I mentioned this before, but I normally don’t like both the opening and ending but I still have them both stuck in my head even now.

The actual soundtrack is by Nakaido Reichi also known as Chabo. It fits the show well and is pleasing to listen to but can also give off a mysterious disjointed sort of sound that can be confusing and hard to adjust to. It is good, though, regardless.

Voices:

I watched both the dubbed and subbed version of this show and loved both voices. In both versions, they fit the characters well and Lain in the dub was voiced by Bridget Hoffman, one of my favorite female voice actors which was a huge plus for me. Her Japanese voice actor is Kaori Shimizu and she has done voices for Fruit Basket, Inuyasha, and a few other well-known series!

Kirk Thornton (or Sho Hayami depending on which version you’re watching) are also involved when it comes to voices. A lot of the cast members didn’t have a lot of roles but they do them very well! The only one that could be a bit cringe-worthy was Alice’s. Only when she was screaming or upset, though.

Overall:

I’m pleased to give this show 4.9 out of 5 stars! This show to me is damn near perfect and definitely lives up to its reputation. Even if you don’t agree with the messages it sends out, it is still an amazing show in all regards and is very unique. It makes very few mistakes in its delivery and I highly recommend it even if you aren’t a fan of anime.

You can watch the full series subtitled on Funanimation’s Youtube Channel and can find the DVD/Blu-ray with the dub on it on Amazon, which is where I got it.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review! Please leave feedback and if there is something you want to see reviewed don’t hesitate to ask, if I have seen it, I may wind up reviewing it.

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2 thoughts on “Serial Experiments Lain Review”

  1. I finished some time ago and have an upcoming review for it. I enjoyed it, but I keep looking for a point to it and all I get is ‘mysterious and makes you think’. There are a lot of worthwhile ideas here (The style of narrative isn’t unique if you watched anything like a Lynch movie) but I felt that the experimental style causes a too big distance.

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