For day 11 in the 12 Days of Anime I have some quick thoughts on Serial Experiments Lain. An anime I had on my plan to watch for years, and finally made time for it this year. Twice in fact. I saw it with my bro since it was something he also wanted to watch. Needless to say we both are huge fans of it. The second time I completed the anime was in a group with other anime watching pals on that good old Discord I keep bringing up. The group watch wasn’t unanimous in loving Lain, though it wasn’t the worst thing they’ve seen by their reaction.
There’s a lot I like about Serial Experiment Lain worth talking about that it’s daunting figuring out what to talk about, and what not to talk about. I’ll touch about how it subtle storytelling was a lot to my liking. Never feeling like it talked down to it viewers when giving them information, especially during some of those long exposition scenes. A nice touch I enjoyed about it subtle storytelling is the change Lain Iwakura room undergoes. Slowly becoming more mechanical as the series progresses. Becoming an entirely different creation of its original intent.
Serial Experiment Lain was ahead of its time depicting the psychological, and social impact the internet can have on a person. Treating the Wire (which is basically the internet) almost as if it’s some kind of drug to Lain Iwakura. Showing a gradual progression of simply being fascinated with the Wire to becoming obsessive with it. To the point she eventually surpasses her own father knowledge on what’s possible with the Wire. Losing herself between two realities she has difficulty telling apart.
Lain Iwakura also lives in a world where she feels isolated in. She becomes very philosophical dissecting many issues on plenty of subjects. The most memorable one for me is when she has a long discussion about oneself, and if such a thing is real. With the advancement, and better understanding of the internet it further muddies what is real, and what’s not. In a way, making it even easier than it was during the creation of Serial Experiment Lain to create your own world on the web. Feeding yourself into a dangerous mindset with even greater possibilities. Further making it easier to create an alter ego that you loose yourself into, and become impossible to separate from.
Another aspect to Lain herself is her limited interaction in the real world. It eventually comes back to affect her negatively being caught up on the Wire. Usually through her discovering of the shadier sides of people, and the Wire itself. Through her simplistic characteristic the anime is able to present a complex storyline that is basically like The Matrix, but more subtle in its delivery. Also, significantly easier to comprehend as a whole. Making up the lack of flashy animations with deep theme explorations, and characters to dissect.
The last thing I would probably about Serial Experiment Lain before I go into spoiler territory is the handling of Lain in the series. There was a balance of her dealing with her own issues, and what the environment around her created for her. Showing her struggle to commit to social interaction in the world when the Wire is so much easier to express herself. Almost as if saying a complete stranger on the web is easier to talk too than someone you don’t know in person. There’s also some family drama in their she deals with, alongside what makes her human, but that would require spoilers. Plus, it been months since I’ve last seen it so I wouldn’t feel like I would be doing it justice if I left something out.
That wraps up day 11 in the 12 Days of Anime. You can expect one more post tomorrow since I forgot my time in real life & WordPress are different. Whoops! I should look into that eventually, but in the mean times I’ve got the holidays to celebrate. So, expect the conclusion in my 12 Days of Anime post a bit late because of that. See ya later, and happy holidays wherever you are!