"I have only abandoned my body, I still live here" - are the words emailed to friends of Chisa, several days after her death by suicide. As Lain delves deeper into the world of the "Wired" (also known as the internet), the line between it and reality becomes more and more unclear. Close the world, open the nExt.
In a dark and dystopic future, the environment of Earth has been destroyed by its human inhabitants. The remainder of mankind live in a physical “gap” between what is known as the lower level, and the unknown sky above. In this dreary and mechanical existence, the melancholy Ura works to restore the memories of the past, as part of the Archive Excavation Department. Along with Riko, his sole companion, Ura will soon discover a mysterious remnant of the past which may prove that there is more to their existence than meets the eye...
Both Pale Cocoon and Serial Experiments Lain are concerned with society moving from the "real" world into a realm dominated by technology. The two series are concerned as to whether this is a step in the direction of progress, or a retreat from what makes us human.
I can almost think of Pale Cocoon to be a cousin to Lain. They both deal with persuing the technological, in favour of abandoning the physical (Though not in the same ways.)While watching Pale Cocoon I found myself asking "What would Lain think?"
Both ask "what is real?" and "what is the truth?" Pale Cocoon is worth checking out even if you hated Lain.
Ayato Kamina may seem like an average boy in a devastated world, but after being captured by TERRA, a military organization set on saving the world from the Mu, an alien race set on "tuning" the world, he realizes he is an instrument in deciding the fate of humanity and piloting RahXephon. Not only is Ayato the only person who can control the mecha, but he also has a terrible fate of his own. Holding onto memories of his old life and grasping to keep his own humanity, he must struggle in this new world and realize his true potential with RahXephon.
Both series deal with philosophical questions. If you liked one because of interesting thoughts about our reality and about our existence, you would surely like the other. Both series are difficult to understand and have to be seen more than once, because there are several points of view.
What do a timid fourteen-year old girl and a giant robot with the wings of an angel have in common?
Well ok. Nothing. Still, both Rahxephon and Serial Experiments Lain are similair in the sense that they both deal with philosophical and existential themes while at the same time not shying away from totally messing with the viewer's head.
Ayato and Lain also go through similair developements and dilemmas regarding themselves and their view on the world in general. Ultimately though, they come up with different solutions for how to handle their respective situations.
So in short, if you liked one of these series because of the great sense of mystery and thought-provoking plot and fantastic use of symbolism and cultural (in Lain's case) or historical (in Rahxephon's case) references, check out the other series. There's a good chance you'll love that as well.
Following the disaster wrought upon the world by a mysterious being called ‘Akira’, Neo Tokyo is now in social and economic turmoil. In such a decaying city, feisty Kaneda and his shy friend Tetsuo survive by running around in a biker gang, chasing local rivals and generally evading the police. Everything changes, however, when Tetsuo crashes into a strange-looking boy during a bike chase and the military ends up taking him away. When he eventually returns to his friends, he’s no longer the same weak little boy they always knew – in fact, a military experiment has turned him into something beyond human imagination. While the military is intent on reclaiming its specimen at any cost, Tetsuo is sick of being bullied around and is about to show everyone, including his friend Kaneda, exactly who is boss.
Both anime make use of their cyber-punk genre, and aren't afraid to make you question yourself and the world around you. They also involve adolescents discovering a newfound power that don't neccessarily have positive effects on them. If you watch films that actually make you think, these need to be somewhere on your list.
Akira and Lain explore the overwhelming consequences of absolute power. While Akira is more violent on a physical level and Lain is more systematically philosophical, both are anime that force the viewer to think. Disturbingly surreal imagery sets the tone for both series as they twist the fabric of reality itself, uncovering the irrevocable connection between collective hysteria and individual alienation.
In a dark and largely abandoned city a little girl wanders in search of something – beneath the folds of her dress she carries a mysterious giant egg. While living on the streets, she encounters a lonesome warrior who has forgotten his past and his purpose and, like the girl, travels aimlessly. Now they journey together, mistrustful of each other whilst sharing in the silence of the city. But who is the little girl? Who is the warrior? And what form of creature lies sleeping inside the egg?
If you thought SEL was fascinating because of its weirdness then you'd probably love Angel's Egg which takes twists and turns to the extreme.
BLAME! is a very dark and abstract set of 6 shorts which are based on the manga by Tsutomu Nihei. The "story" (if it can be called that) revolves around a man named Killy: a human living amongst clones and androids. His task, it seems, is to collect things known as "net-genes", and to help find the remaining humans that may or may not exist.
Both Lain and Blame are really dark and psychedelic! The two use cyberpunk elements to help with the dark ambience. If you had a headache in one, it will probably be the same in the other because both are very confusing. They are far from typical anime! If you liked one, you'd certainly like the other.
Both anime are abstract and confusing to the point of nonsensical. The artwork is unique and beautiful, and the characters emotionless but likable. They both revolve around science fiction, futuristic topics.