As you peruse through a large amount of anime, you come across many different types of series that leave unique impressions; some of these impressions will last, some will fade, some will be good, some not so good and some... well, some will be Series Experiments Lain. Lain is one of those series that, among definitely leaving a very lasting impression, it is very likely to leave you wondering what you just watched. While mixing together a large amount of philisophical questions, psychological explanations, and something of a technological anomaly in order to peace together its stroy and, in particular, Lain. While someone that is not aware of specific philisophical and psychological mind sets may get a very different point of view when watching this series, I do not think that this is all of a bad thing. Perhaps, in this case, the viewer would be better off not completely comprehending the discourse that this series encompases, but, should instead, rewatch this series several times in order to understand what is going on. However, being a philosophy major with some background in computer science and psychology has robbed me of this chance and I often could guess what they were attempting to do as the series went on, leaving a large portion of the "mindf*ck" not in it for me. I am not attempting to say that I say everything coming or properly understood absolutely all of this series, just that the blade may have been dulled for me. Despite this, I still enjoyed the series, although in perhaps a different manner than many people that watch this show may have.
Story: The story of this show is rather interesting but, however, leaves a bit to the imagination (well, likely a large amount to the imagination for many), While delving fairly deep into the main character, a series of psychological strgules and progressions are placed upon her, putting her in an extremely different state of mind that she is in the beginning of the story. While mentally stimulating and interesting, something seems missing. Be it explinations for parts of their world, a more solidified background of what went on before the series started, or something else, this drags it down, keeping it, a rare mentally stimulating piece of work, with something to be desired.
Animation: Being over a decade old, the series obviously has a large number of limitations compared to modern works, but, after series like Bebop, I don't give much help to their scores due to this. Although the main character is rather memorable, much of the artwork isn't very good, there is little action to really test the movements, but I really, really doubt they would have been able to pass had this been the case.
Sound: I personally liked the sound in the series, although I don't think it was anything too amazing, like, for example, a Key work. Likable OPs and EDs, and a well done OST keep it fairly high, butm like I said, nothing remarkable.
Characters: This series, aside from having a fairly small number of characters, had little if any depth in any charact except for its namesake. Granted, Lain is the main character, and she had a lot happen to her, she really didn't have a huge amount of development. This being said, I still thought her character's background and existence was extremely interesting and thought provoking but, how she handled everything that happens in the series was just... bland. She lacked too many emotions and just kind of went forward through the series. The small characters, like I said, were often not explained well or not expanded upon well enough to make an impact like they could have.