SERIAL EXPERIMENTS LAIN
An adolescent girl develops a unique connection to a virtual reality network known as The Wired.
Serial Experiments Lain (stylized as serial experiments lain) is a Japanese anime television series directed by Ryutaro Nakamura, written by Chiaki J. Konaka, and produced by Yasuyuki Ueda. Animated by Triangle Staff and featuring original character designs by Yoshitoshi ABe, the series was broadcast for thirteen episodes on TV Tokyo from July to September 1998. The series follows Lain Iwakura, an adolescent girl in suburban Japan, and her relation to the Wired, a global communications network similar to the internet.
Lain features surreal and avant-garde imagery, and explores philosophical topics such as reality, identity and communication. The series incorporates creative influences from computer history, cyberpunk and conspiracy theory. Critics and fans have praised Lain for its originality, visuals, atmosphere and thematics; its dark depiction of a world fraught with paranoia, social alienation and reliance on technology has been considered insightful into 21st century life. It was awarded an Excellence Prize at the 1998 Japan Media Arts Festival.
It should not surprise me to see the continued love and admiration for and inspiration from Serial Experiments Lain across all ages and demographics, but until I stumbled on Neocities some months back no one I talked to for about a decade had heard of it or understood its importance. I appreciate Neocities even more as a result. There are so many Lain websites on Neocities, I love it. From shrines to fan Wikis to being inspired by to being a catalog of to interpretations and so much more. The most popular website on Neocities is a Lain themed website, for crying out loud. How did it take me so long to find my way home?
[ if your site is lain themed, get in touch to get added ]
There have been volumes worth of texts written about Serial Experiments Lain. From trying to decipher it, trying to interpret it, discussion about the themes and subject matter, critique of both the visual and audio aspects, information about the animation process, chin-stroking over the music and score and soundtrack, and so much more. This is one of my favorite things I have ever read from a fan regarding Serial Experiments Lain.
As the homepage here says, I've been online since a regular person could be. Actually, a little earlier than the regular person could be. And, honestly, much earlier than most regular people even thought about getting online, let alone actually following through and doing it. Serial Experiments Lain was prophetic and it is not so surprising that so many people who find some connection to it are also people who have been online - or alive - a little longer than media would suggest the internet userbase is. I think there's some misunderstanding about what "being online" is, and I think there are more and more youth who are online than ever before. This a huge shift in how the internet is used and implemented when compared to its intention and early usage. And the implications are a good chunk of what Serial Experiments Lain speaks to and touches on.
A friend gave me a DVD with all the episodes of Serial Experiments Lain on it about 15 years ago and I have watched front to back at least 15 times. I love the story and the mood and the animation. I love seeing new things or taking new things away from it after another viewing. It is timeless and prophetic, as mentioned above. And it seems to be more so as time goes on.