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Serial Experiments Lain Vol. 2: Knights (1998)

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Studio: Geneon
Genre: Anime, Science Fiction Anime, Drama Anime, Fantasy Anime
Running Time: 75 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 5-7:

  • Distortion
  • Kids
  • Society

GreenCine Member Reviews

First figure out the rules of disbelief by hneline1 November 4, 2002 - 11:35 PM PST
6 out of 6 members found this review helpful
It gets weirder and weirder as this series makes us guess what is real and what is not. Unlike the episodes on the first disk, which could be interpreted as a growth tale of a shy teen learning about the lure of the Internet, with some unexplained visions included, the three episodes on this disk take us a step further -- what if the physical world and the world of The Wired are both real? If the first disk was about Lain in the physical world, this disk is about the people around Lain -- her parents, her sister, the Men in Black haunting her, the mysterious Knights in The Wired, the various people who act in The Wired. Suddenly another layer is added to our understanding of Lain's world, yet our questions are not still answered. What is Lain? What is that mad scientist's experiment with the kids? Is there a manifestation of God in The Wired, and if so, what shape is it taking?

I like film and media that messes with the mind and this series is certainly doing that. It's like a mystery novel where what you see may not be what it seems, and you must first figure out the rules of disbelief before attempting to figure out the mystery itself. If you're looking for straightforward storytelling with action or comedy, this is not the anime for you. However, if you like moody weird stuff that presents a puzzle where you want to watch scenes over and over again to catch subtle hints, this may be just your obsession... for 13 episodes.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.65)
415 Votes
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