Anime Meta-Review


Serial Experiments Lain


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-13 of 13
  • type: TV
  • grade: weird
  • genre: other
  • Other elements of this title:
    • This title is a personal favourite.
  • made: 1998
  • Review created: A while ago, i'll revise it eventually.
  • mod: none

Given some time to sink in and a second viewing this series makes a lot more sense to me now, but the first time you watch it you are quickly going to realise that this show pushes the boundaries of anime. This is not helped by the fact that it takes a while to build up steam, and that on first appearances the characters are unappealing and the animation strangely minimal. However given some patience it starts to make sense, and the very weird tale, while complex, never gives the feeling of being wilfully obscured.

The story itself has flavors of mythology and cybertechnology and is set in a near future where communications technology is becoming ubiquitous, but is proving to have unexpected side effects, which a young girl called Lain (and those around her) find themselves being drawn into. This is well supported by a strong sense of design, a story which shows signs of thought and research and a strangely surreal, dark and moody atmosphere once you have adjusted to the animation. Indeed what is lost in sumptuous motion and detail is made up for by some powerful scenes, containing rich symbolism, that may stick in your mind. On the other hand the series is complex, quite slow moving and contains portions that are perhaps pushed a bit too far which could lead many to dislike it. In addition the dreamlike atmosphere removes the possibility of action which will combine with the dialogue to bore the action crowd out of their collective skulls. Not to everyones taste perhaps, but the tolerant may find good reward for their time.

THEM have a full Review and agree it is not for everyone, but give it the thumbs up.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:24 WST 2009