Anime Review: Serial Experiments Lain

lainGenre: Cyberpunk/Mystery

Studio/Creator: Radix/Yoshitoshi Abe

Distributor: FUNimation

No. of Episodes: 13

Suggested Age: 13+

My Rating: 10/10

Summary: A girl named Lain discovers secrets when she starts accessing (meaning the Internet) after a classmate commits suicide but gives her an e-mail after her death.

Review: I was so happy to see that FUNimation is reviving this and two other Yoshitoshi Abe titles Texhnolyze and Haibane Renmei. So I’m reviewing all of the titles they’ve revived because I feel every anime fan should check out his work.

The animation is fantastic. The best example I can give is the way shadows are drawn. Normally, shadows are drawn as, well, shadows. Just black, formless blobs.  But here, the shadows are colorful and look like distortions.

Serial Experiments Lain is a mystery. Watching it is like trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle.  You can only see pieces and you have to figure out how they all fit.  You’re not given much info at first, but as the series continues, the pieces slowly come together.  I’ve watched it several times and I must admit.  I still haven’t completely understood the whole thing.  In fact, I had to read articles on Wikipedia to even start to understand it.

Lain is probably the biggest mystery of all. She seems autistic.  She doesn’t socialize with her fellow classmates.  She only has three friends, and of those, only one–Alice–actually treats her friendly.  It seems as if the other two are only nice to her because they hang around Alice.  She does not maintain eye contact when speaking to others, and often seems to have difficulty paying attention to others. As an autistic person, I have learned these are symptoms, so that’s how I came to this conclusion. Lain is also a prodigy.  Once her father buys her a new computer, it doesn’t take her long to upgrade it even further.

I feel that this is a series everyone should give a try. It is unique and well-animated. I am so glad FUNimation has revived so many of Geneon’s titles and I hope that you fans will try out titles like Serial Experiments Lain so they will continue to revive what was once one of my favorite distributors. So go ahead, try this series out.  You may not understand it, but I think it will make a good impression.

Sub/Dub: I only watched the dub, but I thought it was great.

Music/Score: I love the theme songs. Especially since the opening is actually in English.

Violence: (3/10) SPOILER!In episode 2, someone terrorizes a night club. In episode 4, a girl is shot by someone with an invisible gun. He does not stop shooting until the gun runs out of bullets.

Language: 1/10

Sexuality: 1/10–Alice is seen masturbating and she has an affair with a teacher.

Nudity: 1/10–Lain is naked in the closing credits.

Religion: 1/10 SPOILER! Lain meets an enigmatic man claiming to be God. However, it’s implied that she doesn’t believe him.


  1. #1 by medievalotaku on December 24, 2012 - 9:15 pm

    I very much enjoyed watching this anime. It’s deeper than your average show. As you said, it’s hard to understand everything and I wonder if even its creators fully understand it themselves.

  2. #2 by aghammer99 on March 29, 2013 - 3:26 pm

    Yoshitoshi Abe is my favorite anime designer / creator. For adults that enjoy Anime, they must watch Lain, it is an important, errie, dark side of the world we live in… what’s real? What isn’t? 😉

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