A long time ago I watched the first four episodes of LAIN on a anime convention and it was so mysterious, goodlooking and odd that I couldn't help myself liking it. Years later I picked it up and started watching the whole thing from start to finish but a little more than halfway I gave up. What happened to make me go from intrigued to bored?
Like I said Lain starts out really well, the pacing and mystery is great and little by little things unravel while new questions continually pop up. The first few episodes I was glued to the screen. Then the main question is raised, "Do anomity on the internet make us assholes?"
What the ****? "Is this for real?" I thought, "Is this goodlooking, intriguing piece of anime about alternative personalitys on the internet...?"
Lain might have been relevant once but in 2011 this is a horse that's been shot, beaten to a pulp, cut up into little pieces and thrown into a pile of manure. If anyone still thinks this is a interesting question please visit 4chan, SomethingAwful or a similar forum.
God, I could barely watch more after this. Later she actually meets her alternative internet personlity in a dream or something and it all just fell to pieces. I probably wouldn't watch more if someone paid me for it even, my brain would commit suicide.
If the show had continued with its slow pacing and brooding feel I would probably have loved it, later on the same team would do Texhnolyze which essentially is Lain with less highschool philosophy and more characterisation. And I do love that show, immensely even.
Lain has a visual style that I'm very fond of, it's depressing and psychedelic and never lets go. There's no particulary happy moments in Lain, neither story-wise nor animation-wise. And that is as it should be, their second show Haibane Renmei looses a bit of its appeal on this for me with its bright colors and smiles all over. Who needs stuff like that anyway?
Lain also sounds pretty good. There's not very much of it but what there is fits very well. The lack of sounds also goes well with the artistic style making a very depressing whole.
The voice-acting is also well cast, I can still put a few voices to faces from the show which is about as good a grade as I can give out.
Sadly I don't remember much of the characters except for Lain herself and she develops a alternative internet persona... I do recall her dad was rather empathic but most of the characters serves as backdrops for Lain and considering I went from fond to apathic when it comes to her this isn't a good thing. When I stopped caring about Lain I stopped caring about the whole show since there was nothing else to like. It's not that the characters were awful, they just weren't very interesting.
The final score is a combination of the first four episodes which are worth a seven or so and the four ones after that I'd probably give a 3. This is actually just like Ergo Proxy which starts out as a incredibly interesting mystery and then does a complete turn around into a pseudo-philosphical debacle about absolutely nothing. Or well, it still is about something only that something is about as refreshing as Chuck Norris jokes.
Sorry guys, I really wanted to like Lain but it is full of shit. There is nothing nice I can say about a show raising philosophical questions about the internet except that it happened to look and sound good.