notoriousj0e's avatar


  • Brooklyn, (Slums of Shaolin)
  • Joined Mar 7, 2016
  • 24 / M

Lain was one of those anime that plagued my recommendation lists. "Because you liked Steins;Gate, Casshern Sins, and When they Cry, watch Serial Experiments Lain". I put it off for a long time. The main reason for my hesitation in undertaking this series, is because of pseudo-intellectuals who wanted to appear sophisticated and intelligent because they watched Lain and could now explain the universe to the plebeian cattle. (Yes that was sarcastic). I didn't want to be roped into an anime that was intolerably boring or confusing so that I could feel initiated and flaunt my advanced tastes in anime. But, here I am. I watched SEL, I enjoyed it thoroughly and recommend it highly. 

I was surprised at how many genres, ideas, messages, and plot intricacies could be crammed into thirteen episodes, and remain coherent. It defies categorization. To best get a taste of Lain, think a cyberpunk-philosophical odyssey-acid trip-conspiracy thriller. The story is complex, but complete with a set beginning, middle, and end (more than you can ask of most modern anime that never know when to stop). If you have a decent attention span and are looking for something that you definitely have not experienced before, Serial Experiment Lain may be for you. The animation, although old and choppy, is somehow quite beautiful and gels nicely with the tone of the show. Often much of the story is told through the visuals rather than through dialogue or clear cut plot progression. The sound is fantastic. I don't say that often. Who really notices sound effects/mixing or soundtrack? You will if you watch Lain. Duvet, the opening song (sung in english) is haunting but beautiful, goes perfectly with the show, and has prominent placing on my otherwise hip hop/r&b Spotify playlist. 

Caution: although I enjoyed Lain, it is not for everyone. The narrative is not by any means conventional. The point of a given circumstance often needs to be guessed by the viewer and the sheer amount of symbolism can be dizzying. I'm not a sophist who says that symbolism and confusing shit automatically make a superior anime. It serve its place in Lain, but may make the series inaccessible to some. Don't worry if you don't like Lain that doesn't automatically make you an idiot peasant(as the sophists and blog gangsters would tell you). Give it chance. If you like it, Lain will be an extremely rewarding anime that you will remember for a while 

8/10 story
8/10 animation
9.5/10 sound
7/10 characters
8/10 overall
0 this review is Funny Helpful

You must be logged in to leave comments. Login or sign up today!

There are no comments - leave one to be the first!