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Serial Experiments Lain Vol. 1: Navi back to product details

Tangled wires and splotchy shadows, Lain is beautiful
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written 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...
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written 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
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written 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.

Like Nothing Else!
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written by larbeck January 21, 2003 - 2:07 PM PST
8 out of 9 members found this review helpful
I have to disagree. "Serial Experiment Lain" is like nothing else. A bit slow for those with attention deficit, nonetheless, this has got to be one of the best anime series around. So original, so well crafted, if you have the right resonance, it will haunt you. Rent them all in order and read nothing about it until you see them all. If someone put a gun to my head and force me to compare to anything, I would have to call it an anime that David Lynch would make if his as an Otaku strung out on Apple computers in a female form. But thank gawd, no one is. So, throw away all of your expectation and experience.

The Wired world as the drug of the new generation
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written by hneline1 October 29, 2002 - 6:35 PM PST
12 out of 12 members found this review helpful
Serial Experiments Lain is a psychodelic trip into the Wired world as it could be. We see a modern Japan in which 13 year olds go into clubs where drugs, drinks and sex are readily available, and where cutting edge technology allows the creation of both nano-tech drugs that offer accelerated highs as well as powerful workstations that almost merge with the user. But this is not a cyberpunk tale with robots and blazing guns... rather, this is a moody, beautiful, mesmerizing voyage of a passive junior high school girl's induction into an alternate reality within "The Wired" (what we call the Internet). Strange things are happening around Lain, and we are caught up in the mystery as Lain tries to figure out why she's seeing visions... and perhaps we can understand a little of her obsession as she slowly transforms from an almost luddite into a Wired geek.

The animation is similar to Perfect Blue or Jin-Roh, drawn very realistically but with a minimalism that adds to the sense of loneliness. The cinematography is beautiful, from the shots of buzzing power lines to the red CGI glow in the pulsing shadows. The music, between the stretches of silences, is a funky hard rock beat (much better than any cloying J-pop). This is an anime with style that messes with your mind -- so be prepared to watch these disks over again as scenes that don't make sense in the earlier episodes finally make sense in hindsight.

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(Average 7.39)
510 Votes
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