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Serial Experiments Lain Vol. 1: Navi (1998)

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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Geneon
Genre: Anime, Science Fiction Anime, Drama Anime, Fantasy Anime
Running Time: 101 min.
Languages: English, Japanese
Subtitles: English
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This title is currently out of print.

This heavily cerebral anime series uses its quiet, young protagonist, Lain Iwakura, to explore traditional philosophical elements of the cyberpunk genre: God, the digital world, physicality, and the collective conscious. The story opens with the suicide of one of Lain's classmates, Chisa Yomoda. Lain is shy and childish, even for a girl of 14, and knows almost nothing of computers. It is very strange then, when Lain receives an e-mail from Chisa sent after her death. The message says that Chisa is not dead but simply abandoned her flesh and is still alive in the Wired, the limitless world inside all computers, portrayed similarly to the Internet. Lain then begins to explore the Wired, and as she does, a seemingly new person emerges from her. It appears that there are two Lains, the one in this world and the one in the Wired -- or even that Lain is omnipresent, a force greater than either of the two. Serial Experiments Lain poses many questions, perhaps the most important of which is just how contained is the Wired? Does the Wired exist within this world or is this world just an image projected by the Wired? ~ Cammila Albertson, All Movie Guide

Contains episodes 1-4:

  • Weird
  • Girls
  • Psyche
  • Religion

GreenCine Member Reviews

Tangled wires and splotchy shadows, Lain is beautiful by beatricearthur August 11, 2005 - 3:32 PM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
I watched this series several times, since, as other reviewers have noted, the plot is a bit circuitous and fairly rife with abstract philosophy. I know that some will certainly disagree, but I enjoyed the first two DVDs more than the second two; the artwork is incredibly lovely throughout (the aesthetic is truly inspired, I think), but the philosophy's internal logic begins to break down a bit by the end. The writing in the last two reads a bit like a fortune cookie and ends on an uncharacteristically upbeat note. The last two discs certainly have their high points, but there are some things to temper that, like a long flashback sequence that is merely a montage of past animation. This series is certainly worth a look, if only for the visual impact and the broader implications suggested by the film's philosophy.

Don't rent it if... by Deweychetham February 28, 2004 - 3:03 PM PST
7 out of 7 members found this review helpful
Don't rent this series if you expect: familiar plot paths and story lines; characters you 'care' about; everything completely explained and made crystal-clear... It ain't here.

I don't like mainstream, pre-chewed, easy-to-digest story lines. I hate knowing which character is going to die 15 seconds after their initial screen appearance, and pretty much figuring out the whole plot within 10 minutes of the beginning of the film. But there are those who do like their viewing fare to 'follow the rules,' so if you're one of those people, please do yourself a favor and stay away from this series.

This series kept me thinking and guessing, the way a really good mystery novel keeps the really skilled mystery-novel afficionados guessing through plot-revelation after plot revalation.

I did think that the resolution of the storyline through a 'deus ex machina' brought the ending down a bit, but I'll live with the dissapointment there, as I enjoyed the rest of the series.

And if you're disappointed I haven't told you what HAPPENED in the series, sorry...

Can you say O-V-E-R-R-A-T-E-D by MScullari July 23, 2003 - 3:01 PM PDT
8 out of 28 members found this review helpful
If your into long over-the-top type anime that tries to break new ground with off-the-wall stories and "deep"(confusing) subject matter that is suppose to make you watch it 10 times before you almost understand it and then spend time on the net trying to find out what other people got from its story, then this anime is for you.
But, if you have a life and dont want to spend hours upon hours trying to make sense of it and dont need to be made to feel "special" cause you think you figured it out and others didn't, then stay away from this series. If you want something with a little twist (brain tease) with action and great characters, then try Raxephon.

But on a positive note, it does have nice art and a great opening theme song...but thats it.

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GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.39)
511 Votes
add to list New List

Underappreciated/Niche gems
Some excellent experiences that are just not pop.
So, just what is this "reality" thing anyhow...
Some entertaining little mindf*ckery for the schizophrenic in all of us

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