Serial Experiments Lain

If you're looking for anime similar to Serial Experiments Lain, you might like these titles.

Boogiepop Phantom

Boogiepop Phantom

Strange things have been happening at a local high school... mysterious disappearances, strange powers and brutal murders all emerge amongst kids who, up till now, have been perfectly normal. Even the Shinigami (Angel of Death) herself has been sighted. What's happening? The answers lie in the mysterious creature known as Boogiepop...

28 votes

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Reasons you might like Boogiepop Phantom...

extent extent says...

Boogiepop Phantom is another weird and trippy series. The story isn't as linearly defined and it touches on interesting psychological situations, just like in Lain.

Prisoner1138 Prisoner1138 says...

Want a dark and moody series after seeing Lain? Then watch Boogiepop Phantom. This series is probably even more of a "screw with your head" type show than Lain was, and is fairly similar in themes, drama, and other aspects overall.

Rober Rober says...

Boogiepop Phantom has a very intelligent plot, you have to watch every episode at least twice to understand what happens. As in lain the story develops in a dark enviroment full of new monsters that were born from a mysterious light, and as you get deeper into it you start understanding what happened there. The music goes acordingly with the darkness that rules in the city where all this is happening.

mindlesspuppet mindlesspuppet says...

Similar style. Both are Sci-Fi, type Psychological series, with many dark twists. BoogiePop is a bit darker, and harder to follow.

TheBurningCrow TheBurningCrow says...

As with Lain, Boogipop Phantom will confuse you at first, but watch it again and you will begin to love it for that reason. These two anime have been delicately designed to mess with your brain functions.

sothis sothis says...

BP is very dark, and a mind-trip to boot. Similar to Lain because of those two things.

Imsorrykun Imsorrykun says...

These series are so similar in style its hard to not see the connection, septia tones set the moods of both as well as there confusing plots leave you wondering.. defenetly watch-and-think anime.

nextolast nextolast says...

I cant believe that it took me so long to put these two together, as they are probably the two best dark techno thriller mystery animes out there. The way suspense is built up in both with subtle but eerie clues, and the desperation you feel from the characters trying to track things down.

CodeWordChobits CodeWordChobits says...

A dark modern world fraught with intrigue and mystery, is the common ground for Lain and Boogiepop. The atmosphere is very similair in that you have no idea what is going ton around the characters but it all seems to make some kind of sense... and then it all comes into focus. I suggest watching both of these titles a number of times to fully be able to understand there depths.

LeaT LeaT says...

Both Lain and Boogiepop are about mystery and the mysteries of the world itself to the point when you can start questioning your own sanity. Both are dark and depressing as well. If you liked Lain you will probably also like Boogiepop Phantom.

neutrino neutrino says...

In both series, the atmosphere, complexity of the characters' psychology and nonexistent plot all contribute to a disturbing mental trip questioning the things we know, the people we think we know, and the supernatural.

freakzilla freakzilla says...

If you haven't had enough brain damage caused yet by watching either Lain or Boogiepop, I suggest you check out the other. Both throw around plot twists and try to confuse you as much as possible. The pieces of the puzzle only get put together at the very end, but by then you'll have lost even the pieces themselves!

Nocturnalgloria Nocturnalgloria says...

Lain and Boogiepop Phantom are soul mates; they deliver highly convoluted stories with intricate plots that are presented in a non-linear way, which allows for some extremely disorientating moments. The mood of both is very dark and menacing; virtually all scenes are charged with nervous tension. Lain is more coherently philosophical while BP is somewhat disjointed but they share the same spirit of subversive violence, enthralling confusion and constant questioning.

JAhU JAhU says...

Boogiepop Phantom and Serial Experiments Lain share a load of things. To begin with, both are quite psychotic and confusing, introduce a large number of characters and have many similarities in plot. Its hard to explain what exactly makes those two shows so similar, but you can feel it from the very first episode. So if you can stand mindf***ing anime and even like them, those are perfect titles for you.

sydneylove sydneylove says...

Both Serial Experiments Lain and Boogiepop Phantom have underlying themes that usually require a lot of thought to decipher. Even the animation style of both are similiar.

Darkpenguin13 Darkpenguin13 says...

If you are into crazy mind numbing cyberpunk type shows this is a great show to watch as well!

Apples Apples says...

These two series have a lot in common. Whether it's the overtone, the soundtrack, the voice actors, the focus on visuals, the gritty story, the exestential questions, the style, the characters, etc. If you liked one of these shows you are sure to like the other.

Boogiepop Phantom is a tad slower pased but the story is relatively easy to follow thanks to the scene notes. They also take the time out every few episodes to explain connections between characters so you aren't wandering away for too long. Lain is slow but they keep each episode interesting enough so you are focused, but it doesn't really help explain things till the end.

Omurqi Omurqi says...

Both shows will severely screw with your mind. The  pacing, darkness and complexity of Boogiepop is very similar to Serial Experiments Lain. Also, every person can draw a different conclusion out of both shows, the experience is completely up to the individual. If you liked either, don't miss out on the other! Disclaimer for both series: Do not marathon these shows! It will most likely ruin the experience for you (as boogiepop did for me the first time around).

chii chii says...

Want something that is dark, twisted, and makes you go wtf? Look no further than these two anime. Both have plenty of mystery and questions about them. Both have a very similar feel art wise and story wise. Boogiepop deals with supernatural beings where Lain take on the computer/technology side of things. I highly suggest checking out one if you liked the other.

panaru panaru says...

Lain and Boogiepop are similar in their dark sprawling interconnected storylines.  But Lain is about technology and Boogiepop is more about philosophical madness and blood smeared life legends.  Oh and they have a super hero instead of a god.

dbzssjkris dbzssjkris says...

Both skrew with your mind and have a dark side to them. even at the end you will be wondering what the heck happened. it took me a few watches with both  to be able to understand what was going on.

AnimeShima AnimeShima says...

While having a very different plot they both can be very difficult to understand at times and the two of them are psychological animes with a very dark atmosphere throughout the whole series.

If you enjoyed either of these two you should certainly watch the other.

SadisticTendencies SadisticTendencies says...

A muted color palette, a technophobic approach and several mindfuckish qualities that cooperate to make your thoughts disort into complete chaos. Serial Experiments: Lain and Boogiepop Phantom are like two siblings with plenty of similarities. The most enjoyable shared virtue is probably the Cyberpunk visual approach.

LimeCultivist LimeCultivist says...

Both series hold dark, confusing atmospheres and plots, with many of the same themes evident throughout. Boogiepop seems to have been inspired by Lain, but I still think that both hold their own unique premises and each should be experienced once, if not many times over.

purefault purefault says...

Both series are like a puzzle that slowly pieces together moving slowly with a similar pace and ominous atmosphere.

takuuuuun takuuuuun says...

I honestly thought these were made by the same people... Equally as surreal. Same creepy style.

Alexakitzi Alexakitzi says...

Boogiebop Phantom and Serial Experiments Lain are basically the same thing. The atmosphere, the Mindfuck genre and even the soundtrack are the same. Looking for an anime basically like Serial Experiments Lain? Boogiebop Phantom is the right thing for you!

subparalien subparalien says...

It has the same type of feel. Very mysterious, it is a little hard to work out what is going on, but in the way that you still keep trying to piece it together.

Paranoia Agent

Paranoia Agent

In the streets of Tokyo, a new menace has surfaced: Shounen Bat, a young boy who wears golden roller skates and a baseball cap, and likes to whack people on the head with a golden baseball bat. These seemingly unconnected and random attacks soon become a police investigation... but after all is said and done, is there a pattern to this chaos?

23 votes

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Reasons you might like Paranoia Agent...

neilworms neilworms says...

Paranoia Agent is yet another entry into the "Mindfuck" genera of late night anime shows that Lain pretty much pioneered. While Paranoia agent is quite a bit more humorous with more emphasis on animation than direction (whereas Lain overcomes its lack of animation with direction) both shows feature a fair amount of social critique and are both quite unconventional in their execution. Paranoia Agent may not have quite the same atmosphere as Lain or Boogiepop Phantom and may feel a bit mroe linear to die hard fans of this genera of anime, both films are quite different from the normal anime mold and would appeal to fans of off beat works.

klafka klafka says...

Lain and Paranoia Agent both have themes that run much deeper than is expected of in most anime, that while not the same I feel are in ways convergent, both in how they convey them and in their message.

abunai abunai says...

In their sense of dissociation from reality, and in their alternative approach to storytelling within the anime medium, "Serial Experiments Lain" and "Paranoia Agent" are similar. You may not find you like them both, but the interaction between the two will prove enlightening.

XMrNiceguyX XMrNiceguyX says...

Both series have the same weirdness in it, though while Lain is obviously the one harder to understand and alot complexer, Paranoia Agent is more humorous. Even though the series differ alot, there is a same atmosphere in both series and are a tad noir.

MrsickVisionz MrsickVisionz says...

Plot wise there are few similarities, but Lain and Paranoia Agent have a similar feel to each other. Both require that you really pay attention to all the details in order to understand what's really going on.

Little to no action in both shows, yet they do feature some violence (more so with Paranoia Agent than Lain.)

Darkpenguin13 Darkpenguin13 says...

Paranoia Agent definitely has the same creepy feel to it. Both shows deal with another plane of reality, and will keep you interested. I love how everything ties together in Paranoia Agent; it's definitely a good watch.

OneiChan OneiChan says...

Serial Experiments Lain and Paranoia Agent can be enjoyed for many of the same reasons. If you enjoy a good mindfuck anime or something a little more intelligent, then I would suggest giving another weird anime a try and watching Paranoia Agent. You won't be disappointed.

Nocturnalgloria Nocturnalgloria says...

Perception and reality: the divergence between what one perceives and what might exist is at the heart of both series. Paranoia Agent follows a more psychological approach to unravel the relation between these vectors while Serial Experiments Lain has a more philosophical take. It is likely that those who enjoy abstract deconstructions of identity will appreciate these exercises in surreal existentialism that are Lain and Paranoia Agent.

freakzilla freakzilla says...

Both have a heavy atmosphere. Lain is a bit darker while Paranoia Agent is at times simply creepy. Yet both are quite mysterious and try to keep us up with the story throughout all of their mind-boggling events.

trajector trajector says...

Both Paranoia Agent and Lain are mindbusters that will really make you think about life and the world around you. They are intriguing in that at first you have no idea what is going on but over time all the pieces of the "puzzle" come together to reveal the bigger picture. Both anime may also require more then one viewing to fully understand the message.

Justice4243 Justice4243 says...

Two looks into escapism wrapped around a story. In Lain, the characters are attempting escape everyday life by creating a second "cyber life". Where's in Paranoia Agent, characters are looking towards an anime or even injury for their escape. Come for the story, stay for the messages rapped in the story and complex symbolism.

AsukaLangley AsukaLangley says...

Parnoia Agent and Serial Experiment's Lain both bring up deep philosophical questions through crazy impossible situations. Both stories use symbolism that is very Japanese. If that's your thing, check out this anime.

tasanime tasanime says...

Here are two series that will exhaust the psyche of its viewer! Both are great at confusing those who watch them, asking many questions that there are no obvious answers to and are quite surreal in animation - it's not always clear if what you're seeing is what is really happening or a creation of the mind of its characters. If you like a more psychological approach to your anime then they are definite must views.

fiola fiola says...

Both series have the same disturbing, disquieting, creepy kind of feeling that endures a while after watching it. In the case of PA, the freak out starts from the very strange intro to the disturbing ending sequence, with Lain the feeling goes along the episode with the creepy sound of the power lines (or was it the wired???). If for some twisted and sick reason you enjoyed Paranoia agent you'll also enjoy Lain.

Kantram Kantram says...

If you liked the mystery and darkness of Lain you would also like Paranoia Agent. After watching both series, I got that creppy someone is behind me feeling. I liked asking myself questions of what was real or not, which both series were able to please. I feel they both relate quite the same in mood, which makes one recommend the other.

Anewkeitaro Anewkeitaro says...

Both shows follow the same basic idea.

BACKGROUND STAGE:The first episode shows an average situation and quickly present the conflict or chaos that the story is formed around.CONFUSION STAGE: From then on, all the other stories explain and reinforce the conflict in as many ways as possible carefully avoiding ANY INFORMATION that would lead to you giving reason to what is going on.ANSWER STAGE: Hovever, with the last quarter of the episodes left, they begin to give you bones of information to calm your suspense. And they both end by giving you the answer to your first question and nothing else... and I assure you... you will have more questions.

There are two things to take into consideration:

  • Serial Experiment Lain was made in 1998 and therefore the creators felt less obliged to give any support to the viewer during the confusion stage, which leads to a longer confusing period where you seem to  know even less the more you watch. However its answer stage is longer and muchmore rewarding.
  • Paranoia agent was made in 2004, a time where viewers require more constant stimulation, for this reason the confusion stage is full of more details and sub-stories that compel you to watch the show further. Sadly, the answer stage is less interesting than Lain and annoyingly insufficient.

IN SHORT: Serial Experiment Lain is a more hardcore suspense show than Paranoia Agent.

CrazyAce01 CrazyAce01 says...

Paranoia Agent and Serial Experiments Lain fall under the "MindF***" genre, and have very deep, meaningful things to say while using abstract and non-linear methods to say it.  While touching on different subjects, they have a similar, highly metaphorical delivery and rely heavily on the viewer to interpret and connect pieces of the story.  They also take fantastical creative license with the plot, placing characters in strange and sometimes disturbing situations. If you enjoyed the mental journey in one of them, you will, at the least, appreciate the other.

Xplayer Xplayer says...

These series have nearly idential themes and messages, questioning the nature of reality while emphasizing the power of perception. They both have unique forms of storytelling and art styles. The main difference is that Lain requires lots of outside knowledge to fully comprehend the computer science aspect of it, while Paranoia Agent is much more universal in its story.

NimirRa NimirRa says...

These are two anime notorious for leaving you with more questions than answers. If you enjoyed the thought provoking stories of one of these shows and are more focused on the journey rather than the conclusion you will find the other show to be just as intriguing.

rakka148 rakka148 says...

Paranoia like serial experiments lain has a very compeling storyline ,which will leave guessing right until the end. Both series have an interesting zaney cast that are diffcult to make head or tails.

moxiemancer moxiemancer says...

Both animes are what I consider 'thinking' shows. They require your brain to be switched on because reading beyond what is said and shown makes the experience more rewarding.

buumoj buumoj says...

Serial is one of my favorite animes of all time. The way it takes you to alernate realitys of the mind and opens the possiblities to Lain is wonderus.  

subparalien subparalien says...

Both of these have intricately layered plots that are hard to sort out. 

Of the two, Paranoia Agent makes far more sense at the end. However, Serial Experiments Lain is endlessly interesting.

Ergo Proxy

Ergo Proxy

In a futuristic world almost barren of life, mankind is confined to mechanized domed cities where A.I.’s control all aspects of life. In this world, humans are no longer born, they are manufactured in a production line; and alongside them live androids known as autoreivs. Within one of these domed sanctuaries named Romdeau lives Re-l Mayer, one of a few citizens who aren’t entirely prevented from thinking. Her grandfather's prominent position and the affection of the scientist Daedalus have left her more free will than is normally allowed, but Re-l has started to question the sanctity of the city and the citizens' perfect way of life. With mysterious beings known as proxies causing havoc and a man named Vincent causing great influence on her life, Re-l must travel outside of the city to find the answers she seeks and discover the mystery behind "the awakening".

20 votes

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Reasons you might like Ergo Proxy...

AnarchicQ AnarchicQ says...

Both Ergo Proxy and Lain question the use, ethics and reality of physical and synthetic existences. Both have a moody atmosphere and very confusing plot. When is artificial intelligence no longer artificial?

tetra tetra says...

Serial Experiments Lain and Ergo Proxy are two of a rare kind. They both have an intelligent plot and well-portrayed characters that have flaws and act like actual people. Neither Ergo Proxy nor Lain is a 'happy-go-lucky' anime and I do belive that if you like intelligent and mature series you will enjoy both.

Nocturnalgloria Nocturnalgloria says...

Lain and Ergo Proxy are insistent in their constant interrogations. They are both intelligent series that demand more than one viewing, Lain is considerably more risqué in that it twists narrative conventions to the point they no longer apply while Ergo Proxy channels its intellectuality via the plot itself, even if it lags a bit at the end.

colettelabete colettelabete says...

Both series are set in high-tech worlds, and deal with the relationship between humans and machines. Also, both have strong-willed independent female characters in leading roles. Whoever enjoyed pondering about the philosophical issues raised in one will surely find a treat in the other.

Ran Ran says...

Both Ergo Proxy and Lain deal with philosophical topics and show the main character's search for the truth, while she discovers a completely new world that she must learn to deal with. The stories unfold in a very dark environment, though at times a technical or historical explanation (in order to understand the plot) is shown in a light manner. The characters evolve and slowly show more of their deep psychologies throughout the anime.

kmull kmull says...

Let's be honest --- Lain has identity issues. She must sort through these issues as the series progresses. Ergo Proxy, while set in a more futuristic environment, has several characters with their own identity problems, so you get the same philosophical undertones in both series.

sheepman sheepman says...

I think you would like Ergo Proxy if you watched Serial Experiments Lain because it also deals with some philosophical ideas like Descartes’ idea “Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum”, the Pinocchio epic of becoming a real human being and other ideas that I’m not going to say because I don’t want to spoil the surprise. Have fun watching it :)

maneh maneh says...

It shares that unique ambient only achieved by submerging the viewer in a puzzling story-telling. Both series share a kind of inner search. If you liked one of them, you'll be sure to love the other.

It's a smart anime for smart people, it can be too slow at certain times, but that is required to create the suitable ambient for the story to develop. And it's always fun to see series that goes against the typical in our "instant enjoy" society.

Two great works of art

Malek Malek says...

When you like one you will like the other because the both are very filisophic and they look up the boundries of the difference between virtual or artifisial life and real lif. Non of the series have much action and the conversation is the most important part of both.

Profane Profane says...

These are two philosophic animes, which both "plays" with metaphysics. The result just happened be a depressed atmosphere as well.

Haste Haste says...

Both Ergo and Lain are immensely similar in several ways.

They both have deep, complex stories that slowly unwind, often not revealing themselves until the very end; they both tackle complex issues like mans place in the world and "god's" role for man and vice-vers; and they both deal with female leads who explore their relationships with others but also explore their relationships with the world.

Lastly, Ergo Proxy is perhaps more violent than Serial Experiments Lain, but they both exist in the same dark, somber atmosphere.

dyhl22 dyhl22 says...

Serial Experiments Lain and Ergo Proxy are both phychological type, with not defined plots and makes you think to draw your conclusions.

I recommend both for maure poeple, and those who like a good storyline and plot.

Dreion Dreion says...

Serial Experiments Lain and Ergo Proxy deal with more mature, serious themes compared to most anime. Both deal heavily with philosophical and psychological topics.

If you have a particular interest in matters such as existentialism, human psychology, and the possibilities of technology, I highly recommend that you watch both.

eaper eaper says...

These series each mix together a lot of elements from varsious intellectual fields, such as psycology, philosophy, ethics, and technology and present it in a way that is hard to understand in a single watch. While dealing with questions of individuality and the point and origin of existance while trying to uncover a large mystery, these series advance along an unforseen path.

SadisticTendencies SadisticTendencies says...

Both Animes contain gothic/cyberpunk elements and feature female protanogists. By the end they both grow slightly complicated, and in order to understand them fully you'll have to use your brain.

goofball goofball says...

... Both deal with human beings as software, also in the both the protagonists are teenage females. 

Lemonducky Lemonducky says...

These two are easily two of my favorites. They are both highly psychological (Lain more so, however), which is my favorite aspect. They both have to do with the nature of reality and the reasons people have for existing. They are both very difficult to follow at times, but, if you stick with it, you will undoubtedly love both as much as I did and perhaps look deeper into your own life. A warning, if you want to watch a show only once, half awake, and expect to get everything, don’t watch either. I often see people giving anime bad ratings simply because they didn’t understand what was going on. It is disappointing, to say the least.

AnimeShima AnimeShima says...

They are both dark animes with complex story line that will most of the times make you wonder as to what the hell is going on. They will both appeal to the same kind of audiences.

DawnOfTheDutch DawnOfTheDutch says...

Both make you think a lot about life and truth and what is real and who is the real you, etc. Pretty dark, but loveable.

subparalien subparalien says...

The both play around with conceptual ideas. Ergo Proxy has far more plot, to the point where it's irritating, but overall the series improves somewhat in the last half.

Serial Experiments Lain is just a real good time.

Texhnolyze

Texhnolyze

In an experimental city of despair and carnage, ORGANO will do anything necessary to gain power and wealth. Unfortunately for one underground boxer who was mutilated, a rogue doctor has given him what ORGANO specializes in and he despises: Texhnolyze body parts. Will these cybernetic appendages help exact his revenge upon the one who made him this way?

16 votes

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Reasons you might like Texhnolyze...

TheBurningCrow TheBurningCrow says...

Texhnolyze is probably one of the best new series out there. It's very dark and full of intrigue. I really can't wait to see where it goes. It was made by the same people as Lain, and definitely a series that plays with your brain.

sothis sothis says...

By the creators of Lain.. yet darker, and even more of a mindfuck.

kaz kaz says...

One word: mindfuck. Serial Experiments Lain and Texhnolyze tell their unfamiliar, sci-fi/cyberpunk stories in ways unfamiliar and alien to the average viewer, yet they do fulfill their goals -- what goals those are, exactly, is up to the viewer. Nonsense, or philosophical mutterings in the form of animation? If you're looking for a mindfuck, or for an intriguing story in an original format, these two series go hand-in-hand.

Imsorrykun Imsorrykun says...

yup, watch-and-think anime, and both use color tones to bring mood, as well as hard to understand plots. you will really need to think type anime, if you like that then you will love this series.

aldat aldat says...

There is something absolutely stunning how both Lain and Texhnolyze really express themselves through the way they were made: as animes. The story isn't plainly told, it is seen and heard and realized from the combinations of storytelling only available in anime. They both are dark and demand some thinking, they both build up by large in the wacher's head.

neilworms neilworms says...

Texhnolyze and Serial Experiments lain are both very similar series. Both shows are set in harsh futuristic worlds and excuted with very abstract storytelling. In addition both shows emphasize technolgy and its relationship with humans. Also both series are late night shows in Japan that were animated on small budgets and rely on direction over animation to convery their similarly gloomy atmospheres. While Texhnolyze is quite a bit more violent, and maybe not as deep as Serial Experiments Lain, I'd recommend both shows to anyone who is into "Mindfuck" anime in a heartbeat.

sublime sublime says...

Both Lain and Texhnolyze share the human/technology interaction concept. Similar art styles and a storyline designed to make you think (see headfuck) mean these two series are good watches for a fan of either.

mexigogen mexigogen says...

If you liked Lain, you would like Texhnolyze because, even though there are rather few common points, in the two series both have the feel of David Lynch. Both deal with existential questions and the evolution of mankind.

Cetonis Cetonis says...

Of Yoshitoshi aBe's four works, Lain and Texhnolyze are the two that have the most in common. Both are very dark and feature main characters that are basically loners. They each deal with technology in some way, and both start off innocently enough but slowly pile on layer upon layer of complexity, culminating in something of a philosophical rampage towards the end. If you enjoyed the heavy, thought-provoking feel of one of these series you should find yourself liking the other as well.

tasanime tasanime says...

Both science fiction-based series serve to confuse the viewer with a whirlwind of dark, mysterious and oft taunting visuals, mixed messages, scrambled memories and strange plot-twists that will leave you scratching your head but gagging for more.

scenthr scenthr says...

Both Lain and Texhnolyze continuously apply pressure to your brain as you try to understand what the author is trying to say. Both are about technology and how it collides with the basic principles of what we refer to as a human. While we don't really know how humans and technology will merge in the real world, both of these anime give us an idea of what might happen and what problems may occur.

Ran Ran says...

Lain and Texhnolyze share the same kind of cyberpunk animation. They each have a philosophical background regarding technology and its relationship with humans, including dependence, the birth of transhumans, and the dangers that technology can represent.

freakzilla freakzilla says...

Both Texhnolyze and Lain have a confusing storyline that is full of plot twists and dark mysteries. Needless to say that if you want to crack your skull open and mangle your brain a bit, these are good anime for you.

ENTROPY ENTROPY says...

Both Lain and Texhnolyze involve elements of a dystopian future dominated and fueled by advanced technology. Although different in motivations and setting, the main characters both undergo some form of physical transformation involving technology.

AnimeShima AnimeShima says...

They both are very great series that keep playing with your brains over and over again until the end, though Texhnolyze is probably more of a mindf*ck than Serial Experiments Lain. Watch them, your brains will be cooked by both.

subparalien subparalien says...

These series have similar atmospheres and themes. Both of them explore people's relationship with technology, but in different ways. Serial Experiments Lain is more software and Texhnolyze is more hardware.

Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell

A mysterious new hacker known only as the Puppet Master threatens to create chaos, erasing and rewriting the memories of his victims: humans who have cast away their physical body to become cyborgs. Is he an evil genius, or could he signal the beginning of a new age in the relationship between man and machine?

15 votes

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Reasons you might like Ghost in the Shell...

TheBurningCrow TheBurningCrow says...

Ghost in the Shell is a great cyber-thriller with lots of action. If you liked the technology aspect of Lain, you will really like Ghost in the Shell.

sublime sublime says...

For the same reasons that Ghost in the Shell explores, Lain covers the depths of fusing technology between man and machine. Both superb and dark insights into future technology.

kamenoko kamenoko says...

Both Lain and GitS raise questions of where man ends and the machine begins. Lain and GitS are also quite laconic, they are never in a hurry to get to where they're going, but that's just fine with me, they're both great anime.

aoki aoki says...

The idea of technology as "body" links these series. Cyborgs run rampant in the human world in GITS while an "ex-human" runs rampant in the 'net in Lain. Both series bring up the questioning of existence, and what it means to be sentient. High technology gone weird at its finest.

senileseinen senileseinen says...

Like Serial Experiments Lain, Ghost in the Shell explores questions of self-identity and personhood in the context of people being ever more absorbed into a global data network and artifical intelligences becoming ever more complex and person-like. Lain is more intellectual, GITS is more action-oriented, but there's a lot of crossover between the two.

The only reason I can think of that someone who liked Lain would not like GitS is the police procedural/paramilitary setting of GitS, which is about as far from Lain's middle-school life as you can get.

hurin hurin says...

'Everyone is connected'. As in 'Lain', it is in 'Ghost'. Some of the themes explored are similar. 'Ghost' is more action than reflection, but you still have to think about what you're watching.

AverageShinigami AverageShinigami says...

Both of these cyberpunk anime contemplate the implications of ever more powerful and sophisticated technology on the nature of humanity. Ghost in the Shell focuses on artificial intelligence and cyborgs, while Serial Experiments Lain deals with the Internet and communication.

Both can also be enjoyed for their presentation alone: Lain has an unparallaled sense of style, an eerie atmosphere and some excellent "mindfuck", while Ghost in the Shell boasts some of the best music, scenery and action to be found in anime.

Adouma Adouma says...

Both of these series are darkly themed, and bring up questions about the nature of our reality and the power of information and the internet. (However, Ghost in the Shell has a lot more of the badass gunslingin' ass-kickin' Major than the confusion and symbolism of Lain...)

absolute absolute says...

Lain and Ghost in the Shell have both a cyberpunk subject. While Lain is more related to the phylosophical aspect GitS is more pragmatic (considering that one is focused on the internet and absence of body while the other deals with the replacement of a human body with a cyborg one). This is why the first one is slow paced and reflective while the second one has more action (even if it has a lot of phylosophical implication too). Of course the fact that Lain is a series (and not a movie) helped to develop the subject in a different way. I think that if you liked the subject of GitS you will appreciate Lain and, on the other hand, if you liked Lain you will enjoy GitS too.

Omurqi Omurqi says...

Both series ask questions about how the human mind  and soul works, what it is and if it can be digitized. While Serial Experiments Lain is harder to follow, both shows are very thought provoking. Thus, if you liked the one, you will most likely enjoy the other.

eaper eaper says...

Each of these series closely tie in the cyber world and the physical world in what could be considered a futuristic setting. If you like the thought of the internet becoming more substantial, then these series go extremely well together.

SadisticTendencies SadisticTendencies says...

'Ghost In The Shell' has the Cyberpunk aspects and the intelligence that 'Serial Experiments Lain' is famous for. Therefore, if you enjoyed Serial Experiments you'll most likely enjoy 'Ghost In The Shell' and vice versa.

Mirari Mirari says...

Both are dark, surreal, cyberpunk.  If that doesn't sound good to you, I don't know why you watched either of these.

masterchica masterchica says...

They speak of a world were the soul becomes a digital concept. How can you tell when we will become more than the sume of our parts and become something more? The tecnology brings interesting changes in our lifes and this two profound animes show crazy and inusual posibilities.

subparalien subparalien says...

Let's all talk about technology and identity! Have you ever wondered what makes you human? How will our online presence shift the perception of self?

Haibane Renmei

Haibane Renmei

A young woman quietly falls to the earth, escorted by a solitary crow. This sort of dream, as many other before have dreamed, comes just before being reborn as a Haibane, a charcoal-winged angel. On the outskirts of the walled-in city lies Old Home, a haven for Haibane to study, live, and learn, while waiting for their chance to ascend to the heavens and escape the confines of their new world. Rakka is the newest inhabitant of Old Home who wants nothing more than to remember her past and discover the secrets of her kind. Together with Reki, Kuu and plenty of other new friends, Rakka will laugh, explore, and search for the meaning of their existence in the process.

13 votes

I agree

Reasons you might like Haibane Renmei...

DrColossus DrColossus says...

Somewhat more optimistic view of life. Theses shows have the same soul.

forfeit forfeit says...

For me, Serial Experiments Lain, Haibane Renmei and Kino no Tabi are considered the “philosophers triad”, not only because they make you think with their exotic and original plot, but also because the story looks like it was made out of dreams, or nightmares. They share the fact that the story is not exactly what you think it is, the puzzle will never get finished and information will always be missing, the characters are original and develop by learning about the surrounding world, and the animation looks alike, mostly because of the colors.

klafka klafka says...

Lain and Haibane deal with different issues but central to both are the ideas of states of humanity and redemption, although I feel they come to different conclusions if you enjoy one I think you may well enjoy the other.

OneiChan OneiChan says...

If you liked Serial Experiments Lain, I will recommend that you watch Haibane Renmei too. Both these anime touched me on an emotional level that is definitely comparable. I found these anime to be two of the most thought provoking that I have watched.

LeaT LeaT says...

Haibane Renmei is about a young girl who is similar to Lain, who also embarks upon a journey for answers about a world she no longer knows. Both girls ponder about the reasons for their existence, God, faith and salvation. If you like the questions raised about humanity in one, you'd definitely be interested in the other.

tasanime tasanime says...

Words cannot express the true beauty that binds Haibane Renmei & Serial Experiments Lain. Both are subtle yet in depth explorations of other worlds from the point of view of one young lady who must evolve and come to terms with such a world. They will challenge the viewer into really questioning what lies beyond the walls that keep them prisoner and the rules that entrap, whilst developing far beyond the expectations of others. However, it is really the overall ambience, psychological inquisition and subtle messages during these anime that will appeal to a similar type of viewer.

Usagi06 Usagi06 says...

Both Lain and Renmei are plot driven with little to action. They focus instead on a deeper plot with many darker elements to them. They both have a lot to say about humanity and spark great joy and deep sadness from their viewers

Omurqi Omurqi says...

Although the setting in Haibane Renmei and Serial Experiments Lain is completely different, the brilliance in both is about the less-obvious part of the story. Both anime are very thought-provoking and have a very interesting underlying story. If you like it when small clues about the unspoken part of the story are handed to you bit by bit, you'll love either of these shows!

aritentd aritentd says...

These two series are as close as anime can get to a philosophical book. If your "brain" is still hungry after seeing one, don't hesitate and try the other one.

ElysianReverie ElysianReverie says...

These shows have really great art, in every scene I pretty much loved it. The storyline is really interesting and intriguing, starting you off without really knowing what's going on. It's pretty short too, another show that doesn't have a ton of filler and can stand on its own just from 13 episodes.

HerbieHancock HerbieHancock says...

Two words: Slow-Paced.Ok, three words: Super Slow-Paced.If you like to watch animes that seem to take an eternity to see, Serial Experiments Lain and Haibane Renmei are two of my reccomendations. Because theres nothing wrong with being Slow-Paced. xD 

Karasune Karasune says...

The stories may be different, but the art style, pacing, and mood of both series are very similar. Haibane Renmei and Lain have stories that make you think deeply about the subject at hand. They're also created by the same person, Yoshitoshi Abe. If you liked one, you should give the other a try. 

subparalien subparalien says...

This is a very lovely series with beautiful animation. It takes a while to get moving, but you end up really attached to the characters and hoping for a good outcome.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion

In the future, a devastating event known as Second Impact has destroyed Tokyo as we know it, giving rise to Tokyo III - a city under siege by mysterious lifeforms known only as Angels. Mankind's only line of defense are the Evangelions, a set man-made machines piloted by a trio of fourteen year-old teenagers, Rei, Shinji, and Asuka. The fate of Japan and the entire world now lie with these three children, though they might not have the power to save the most important thing of all: each other.

13 votes

I agree

Reasons you might like Neon Genesis Evangelion...

extent extent says...

Eva is kind of like Lain, but with mechs thrown into the equation as well. If you liked Lain, you might enjoy Eva.

gunslinger92 gunslinger92 says...

On the surface, these seem like very different genres. However, both of these series require a large amount of deep thinking in order to have any idea of what is going on. Don't expect to understand everything on the first run through either, and be prepared to have to watch it with your full attention if you want to get the full effect.

shalist shalist says...

Both Serial Experiment Lain and the original ending to Evangelion do a pretty good job of messing with your noggin', and if you want something deep, you should see them both.

entheogeneric entheogeneric says...

On the surface, Lain and Evangelion appear to have very little in common. Neon Genesis is primarily focused on mecha and Lain on the life of an eighth-grade school girl. Yet they are related in a deeper context. Both anime deal with the nature and the existence of divinity.

Nocturnalgloria Nocturnalgloria says...

Lain and Evangelion are intrinsically complex series. In both there is a strong presence of technology, which underlines the problematic relationship between individual existence and collective psychological archetypes of a symbolic order. These anime address topics such as the self, the body, the role of communication and the possibility of forging bonds. Lain is heavily intellectual from the outset and slow-paced through and through, while Eva only develops its conceptual core in the later episodes and is much more action-driven. Lain and Eva are prodigies of existential thought transmitted through a visual medium; and as such they go hand in hand.

Kuras Kuras says...

Many series have a deep meaning, but what makes Lain and Evangelion special is that their meaning relates directly to reality. Both reference philosophy and religion to explain their worlds. We are shown how these philosophies affect their worlds and characters, and thus we see a new perspective on reality. The genre and references might not be the exact same in these anime, but both attempt to do the same thing.

Szwagier Szwagier says...

Serial Experiment: Lain is an anime that plays with your mind. You watch it and have no idea what the hell is really going on - and even when you get the idea, you loose it a moment later. It also portrays very well psychological reaction to different situations.

Both of those statemenst can be said about NGE as well. In both series you are constantly suprised with direction the plot is taking.

Mystlord Mystlord says...

Both of these series touch on similar topics, but they do it in subtly different ways.  Both animes refer to the unconscious and, to a certain extent, human evolution, but they tackle in through various mediums.  Evangelion takes a slightly more scientific and fictional approach, through the use of Angels as mediums.  Lain explores the same themes through examining the human relationship with the Wired and how that ultimately connects us.

Omurqi Omurqi says...

On the surface, the two series don't seem to have much in common. However, they are both all about the psyche of the main character, and both become quite philosophical towards the end (especially if you're watching the original ending of NGE). They will both leave you with some material to think about.

CrazyAce01 CrazyAce01 says...

Serial Experiments Lain and Neon Genesis Evangelion are both very similar in the deep philosphy that they end up communicating.  While NGE goes in a heavy sci-fi heavy direction, SEL also has a few elements of technology that are decidedly not in our present day.  Often times monloguing and metaphorical, they touch on a variety of different subjects but share a large similarity as they question the meaning and definition of existence itself.  SEL has less of straighforward plot but says many of the same things.  If you enjoyed the journey of one of them, you will certainly enjoy the other.

eaper eaper says...

This series both toy with aspects of philisophy, psychology and even religion. While delving into questions of self, God, and reality, they progress the series in a way that can often be slightly hard to follow (the later parts of NGE are more like this than the start, though) and question the ideals and morals of the main character while coming very close to breaking them completely down.

Asheiswaifu Asheiswaifu says...

If you liked the psychological side of Evangelion, you're sure to love Lain. Both of these are extremely dark and hard to understand, and both are amazing anime.

AnnaCupcake AnnaCupcake says...

Most of the similarities in these anime are found in the animation and existential themes.

Both are kinda old and therefore share a lot of techniques for the animation and progression of the stories. The cuts are sometimes very slow and the characters look alike.

As for the plot of both of these anime, they are similar in certain aspects. Both start of with a lot of mystery and suspense. You may ask yourself many questions while watching either of these and the end of both anime give you satisfaction to a certain extend, but also mess with your head a lot. 

I think if you like either of these anime, you will definitely like the other.

.hack//SIGN

.hack//SIGN

In a massive online world, people act only as well as their conscience demands. When one player's punishment is to be trapped in this world, a disparate group of people seek the answers why. Their motives are varied; their methods even more so. What stands between when we tear down the walls of reality? Where does our soul end and we begin?

12 votes

I agree

Watch online

Reasons you might like .hack//SIGN...

FINSahaqiel FINSahaqiel says...

Very different show but it also shows connections between humans and computers (and internet).

nextolast nextolast says...

The somewhat moody feel that you get from these two animes, and the fact that both deal with strange computer related out of body experiences should give you good reason to consider on if you liked the other. The way they look at computers in these is really neat, an dis surely an item of note

aldat aldat says...

.hack//SIGN and Lain are both so called "intelligent" series; that is in both of these you get to use your brain and enjoy an original story. Though it may not seem so in the beginning, the worlds and themes of these animes have many common points, like the difference between virtual and real and the idea that everyone always builds their worlds in their head and so every world is virtual. And by the world that defines us and us that defines us the essence of "me" is also pondered. .hack//SIGN is slower and much lighter in animation and mood, but if you liked one the other might be well worth a try, at least.

XMrNiceguyX XMrNiceguyX says...

If you liked the deep story in Lain, .hack//SIGN might appeal to you. .hack//SiGN plays in a fantasy world, while Lain has a much bigger grade of reality. .hack//SIGN has better music than Lain, so if you like a depper story, check out Lain, while if you are more interested in music and bit of humor and a still quite deep story, check out .hack//SIGN

shalist shalist says...

Another series that deals heavily with the 'border betwen reality and virtual reallity.' Watch as the mystery surrounding 'the World', and what affect the world is having on the players in the real world.

LeaT LeaT says...

Both hack//SIGN and Lain deal with what happens if you can no longer separate reality from the internet. Both set up a plot which involves around what happens when you find out what the real truth is. You will most likely like one if you liked the other.

chii chii says...

Both Lain and .hack//SIGN are about reality vs. the internet. The real world is harsh and cruel - what better way than to go and hide in a world that you can create for yourself? While these worlds do not make the main characters happy, by going to them they are able to learn the hard truths about both worlds in a way that makes sense to them. You will definitely like one if you liked the other.

Ran Ran says...

Both Lain and .hack//SIGN involve a character being stuck in a computer world where he/she obtains godly powers and has the ability to override the world's rule, whether is it the real or game world. Both main characters are rather introverted and learn to open themselves up and get along with others throughout the anime.

DokiDoki DokiDoki says...

If you liked Serial Experiments Lain there are a couple obvious reasons why you might like .hack//SIGN. Both series involve a unique internet world which is incredibly addictive. In Lain it is "The Wired" which is basically a huge human communication network, and in .Hack//Sign it is an immersive online video game. Another similarity is that both anime involves a main character is confused about reality and their existince. If you liked Lain, you will probably enjoy .Hack//Sign, and vice versa.

EmperorDecker EmperorDecker says...

both series have in-depth, character driven plot lines. the story lines take place in both the real and wired worlds. Altho .Hack has a much clearer distinction between these worlds.

FreebooterFox FreebooterFox says...

Both .hack//SIGN and Serial Experiments Lain are anime that feature main characters who are on the surface, shy, afraid, naïve and isolated from the rest of the world. However each cause great disturbances in the normal order of things, reluctantly shoving them into the spotlight. Simultaneously, both of them seem to have a sort of dissasociative identity disorder, where they display a kind of doppelganger personality which is aggressive, touchy and megalomaniacal.

Both anime take a hard look at what being connected on a worldwide web really means, and what that could mean for us in the future as technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace. In the process of dealing with the rest of the cast, whether on a regular basis or during chance skirmishes, the main characters are pushed to reexamine their perspectives in a way that forces them to question their very identity, the purpose of their existence, or whether they truly exist in any corporeal manner at all.

Discovering one's identity and looking for the features that make one unique... That is a journey that all of us take on some level, and both anime remind us that- in a time where technology grants us anonymity and the chance to start anew in different social circles- it's important to maintain a sense of self and to keep from getting lost in the vast reaches of internet space.

Axmann8 Axmann8 says...

Aside from .hack//SIGN being a very good anime in its own right, It's like Serial Experiments Lain in that it deals with the communication of people through the internet, along with every facet and pitfall that comes with this type of communication. Some would say that the two animes are very, very different (and they'd probably be right), but for some reason, it just feels right to recommend SIGN to Lain fans, and vice-versa.

Perfect Blue

Perfect Blue

When popular pop idol Mima decided to retire from her group, Cham, and become an actress, she had no idea that one person's obsession would soon spiral out of control. With death threats, letter bombs and a forged website which details her every move, Mima finds herself slowly becoming trapped in a nightmare she can't seem to escape. With murders piling up and her mental state slowly degrading, can she discover who the culprit is, before she becomes the next victim?

12 votes

I agree

Reasons you might like Perfect Blue...

pendruo pendruo says...

Lain is lost in the wired and Mima in the showbiz. Mima has to find herself in this dark thriller.

TheBurningCrow TheBurningCrow says...

Like Lain, Perfect Blue is another show that has your tearing at your insides to figure out what the hell you just watched. The ending... no wait, the entire movie is really good and really strange... much like Lain.

aldat aldat says...

The world outside your window is dark...and watching it you suddenly realize that you can't truly tell apart the world in your head and the one that is said to be real. This is the feeling a watcher can find in both Lain and Perfect Blue. Never ceasing suspect in the back of your mind that someone is deceiving you, that the truths you have gained knowledge of are false. I must say I didn't personally like Perfect Blue as much as Lain, it felt like Perfect Blue was trying a little bit too much. Still, they are both good, Lain excellent actually, and have too much likeness not to recommend one to another.

magnusvv magnusvv says...

If you enjoyed trying to figure out what is real and what is not in either Lain or Perfect Blue, then you may enjoy watching the other. The main content of each of these is the development of the main character and their realizations, which you share with them as the story goes on. Lain is a bit more philisophical though.

edgeofthesea edgeofthesea says...

I found both Lain and Perfect Blue have a similar feeling - I often felt confused, but intrigued at the same time. Lain does not explain itself while Perfect Blue ultimately explains itself at the end, so Perfect Blue is best if you are looking for something less open ended.

tasanime tasanime says...

Serial Experiments Lain and Perfect Blue tell the story of either a young girl (Lain) or woman (PB) who becomes increasingly aware that they have become part of a world much more frightening then they had ever realized. As fame for each increases via the net (Lain) or the media (PB), their paranoia and fears increase causing them to act strangely and segregate themselves from the society they live in, whilst their worlds darken and the threat around them increases.

koothman koothman says...

Both Lain and Perfect Blue are about the life of a young woman who is struggling to stay sane while in the midst of life changing events - events which would ultimately destroy her view of herself and reality.

josiedm josiedm says...

Both Perfect Blue and Lain have a main character which seems to have different persona that they can't control. Lain is about the web and how close it can be to reality, and Perfect Blue is about someone who is obsessed with the main character. When you watch them they both give you a similar feeling.

redpixie9 redpixie9 says...

Two words: Mind fuck! If you like being really confused, yet intrigued, "Lain" and "Perfect Blue" are for you. Don't expect "Lain" to tie up as neatly as "Perfect" though.

chocobolily chocobolily says...

Both anime involve a female protagonist struggling with identity issues.  As bizarre occurrences happen around them, their mental health takes a toll.  Both Lain and Mima's relationships seem disconnected as if no one is listening to them.

The animation style relies on similar techniques--"subliminal message" type pictures which flash for only a few moments, interesting POVs, and a muted color scheme.

The writing style for Lain and Perfect Blue is also eerily passive: the protagonists do not set their own problems into motion; rather, they only react when the worst seems to happen.

The soundtracks are similarly clever; weird and techno-esque.  

cassettenoir cassettenoir says...

Both Serial Experements Lain and Perfect Blue deal with themes of identity, are both extremely psycological, and both have a similar late 90s animation style. Both anime force the main character to question reality and and their own identity. These anime are highly recomended to anyone who likes anime that makes them think.

fresh123456 fresh123456 says...

Both shows present the character's confusion about reality and a blur between two or more realities. The director in both shows intentioanlly misdirects the viewer.

Denno Coil

Denno Coil

In a futuristic world, the virtual world is merely a layer on top of reality; within it, cyberpets are abundant and information is plentiful, and it is only visible by wearing special cyberglasses. In Daikoku City, this cyberspace is behaving strangely: cyberpets are going missing, dark entities known as "the Illegal" roam obsolete space that shouldn’t exist, and a large pink antivirus program known as Satchii wanders the streets, attacking both virus and pets alike. Sixth grader Yuko Okonogi has just moved to Daikoku City, and after cyberdetective children help her rescue her lost dog, she soon joins the others in a search for the truth behind these strange occurances.

9 votes

I agree

Reasons you might like Denno Coil...

hurin hurin says...

Lain and Denno Coil both center around the idea of an upper artificial layer of the real world - a sort of super internet.

The protagonist in both anime is an adolescent girl, but Lain is intended for a more advanced audience than Denno Coil.

Jarudin Jarudin says...

Denno Coil and Lain both feature human/machine interaction. There's a fair chance that if you watched either of these series you'll like the technology aspect. Children are very quick at adapting to new technologies, especially if they grow up with it.

ahuman ahuman says...

Honestly, these series have almost the exact same premise approached from slightly different angles with wildly different feels. The world of Lain is dark and distorted, and the main villain is what lies inside. Coil's world is a child's world: light and sunny, but with things that defy understanding. They both craft these worlds lovingly (with a side of moe), and they both do it extremely well.

Ruether Ruether says...

Lain is an important forerunner to Denno Coil within the genre. Watching them together, it is interesting to see how much both real technology and technological imagination have changed within a single decade.

FreebooterFox FreebooterFox says...

Both anime take a look at the future of computing and interacting with the worldwide web, while effortlessly pointing out that there is an incredible power to be had with technology. These anime show us how the internet (or some derivitave of it) will evolve to become part of our everyday environment, and at the same time will demonstrate what kind of problems this path might give to mankind.

If you're the type of person who wants to maintain a different personality, how would you incorporate that behavior into an internet that reaches into real life? Should doing something in real life have consequences online, or vice versa? At what point does the imaginary become truly real?

All of these things are examined and several ideas are presented to the audience in a way that is entertaining, subtle and informative even to those not knowledgeable on the subject.

AnarchicQ AnarchicQ says...

Both anime play with the line between the internet and the real world. Characters regularly break the boundry in both series and if you've seen one, you will probably like the other!

FireFlower FireFlower says...

If you liked Serial Experiments Lain, you most likely will like also Denno Coil. Both of these animes share a gigantic network where most of the people has connected.

Unlike in Serial Experiments Lain, Denno Coil makes more sense from start to finish when they're fighting against the network bugs and finding a solution to fix things.

chocobolily chocobolily says...

The central idea behind Serial Experiments Lain and Denno Coil revolves around augmented reality (otherwise known as AU.)  Though the tone and animation styles are completely different, many similar ideas are presented in these shows about the intangibility of the virtual world.  The main characters also happen to be young, timid girls.  SEL and Denno Coil are quite unlike anything else I've ever seen, with interesting, well-executed premises.

mmag13 mmag13 says...

Lain and Dennou Coil both deal with futuristic technology, and how the line can blur between actual reality and virtual reality.  Lain is definitely more psychological and metaphorical in its development.  Dennou Coil is a bit easier to understand.