Serial Experiments Lain [SPOILER ALERT]

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Postby child of Lilith » Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:48 am

I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying it more this time around, planet news. I just hope you don’t have a sudden change of heart later on.
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Postby Enki v.2 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:04 pm

My suggestion to people who don't like Lain is typically to do the research. Usually it helps.

Anyone who makes the argument that animated television shows created before widespread high-speed internet should stand alone and not rely upon obsessive wide-ranging research for enjoyability gets accused of laziness. Then I kick them. Hard.

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Postby Practice » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:56 am

Just finished watching this... yeah...

I liked it, even if I didn't understand it as much as I'd like. Definitely going to be rewatching and researching it.

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Postby Justacrazyguy » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:31 am

View Original PostPractice wrote: I didn't understand it as much as I'd like.


The opening music warned you!
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Postby robersora » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:32 pm

Lain is great. Really liked it. Can anyone tell me if THEXNOLYZE is anything like it? Is worth watching? Because I don't want to invest time into a 22-Episode series if it isn't worth it.
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Postby A.T. Fish » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:50 pm

I can't say much due to my poor anime knowledge but from what I hear Lain is a pretty unique anime, I don't think you'll find anything like it.

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Postby Seele00TextOnly » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:08 pm

Saw most of this recently and it was awful. Stopped at the episode with the retarded Roswell / Majestic 12 documentary stuff inserted. I was old enough in the nineties to have heard all this shit a million times already and it was just painful to see it so hamfistedly shoved into an already long derailed anime.

It's like the makers saw that the Eva series did well and that Ayanami was popular and figured 'let's make a convoluted show that makes no sense with no reasonably interacting people, fill it with lame technobabble, never answer anything, and feature an emotionless character who sometimes has an attitude (Asuka's popular too, of course!) and generally is just experiencing a really forced schizophrenia.'

Basically if it actually bothered to have character and personality (especially for Lain herself) and wasn't so obsessed with its own attempts to be dark and moody and edgy it might not have been a total waste of time for them to make. Also being 'cyberpunk' does not automatically make something cool, it also has to be smart. This was not.
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Postby Practice » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:19 pm

View Original PostSeele00TextOnly wrote:
SPOILER: Show
Saw most of this recently and it was awful. Stopped at the episode with the retarded Roswell / Majestic 12 documentary stuff inserted. I was old enough in the nineties to have heard all this shit a million times already and it was just painful to see it so hamfistedly shoved into an already long derailed anime.

It's like the makers saw that the Eva series did well and that Ayanami was popular and figured 'let's make a convoluted show that makes no sense with no reasonably interacting people, fill it with lame technobabble, never answer anything, and feature an emotionless character who sometimes has an attitude (Asuka's popular too, of course!) and generally is just experiencing a really forced schizophrenia.'

Basically if it actually bothered to have character and personality (especially for Lain herself) and wasn't so obsessed with its own attempts to be dark and moody and edgy it might not have been a total waste of time for them to make. Also being 'cyberpunk' does not automatically make something cool, it also has to be smart. This was not.


I haven't even had time to reflect on it yet and I disagree.

I think it was incredibly well made for what it is. I'm not an anime aficionado by any means, but it has an incredibly unique feel to it; from the storytelling to the animation to even its use of sound. It's definitely very different.

As far as the "point" of it, I think what sets this series apart is that it asks a lot of questions but it doesn't give any answers; every viewer is going to take away something completely different.

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Postby Merridian » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:25 pm

robersora wrote:Can anyone tell me if THEXNOLYZE is anything like it? Is worth watching? Because I don't want to invest time into a 22-Episode series if it isn't worth it.
Texhnolyze is depressing. It's also glacially paced, but it pays off. Mileage tends to vary pretty widely.

Seele00TextOnly wrote:It's like the makers saw that the Eva series did well and that Ayanami was popular and figured 'let's make a convoluted show that makes no sense with no reasonably interacting people, fill it with lame technobabble, never answer anything, and feature an emotionless character who sometimes has an attitude (Asuka's popular too, of course!) and generally is just experiencing a really forced schizophrenia.'
This is kind of unimportant, but Lain's crew didn't even see NGE until after Lain had aired. The only connection the two shows share is that Lain's concept wasn't green-lit until after NGE saw some success.

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Postby Mr. Tines » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:24 am

View Original Postrobersora wrote:if THEXNOLYZE is anything like it?
In the two episodes I watched, before dropping it like a brick, I would say "nothing at all like", ABe character designs aside.

We have a spoileriffic thread here -- thread/2832/Texhnolyze-is-Fing-Brilliant/

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Postby Reichu » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:42 am

View Original PostPractice wrote:As far as the "point" of it, I think what sets this series apart is that it asks a lot of questions but it doesn't give any answers; every viewer is going to take away something completely different.

I made it all the way to the end and took away precisely nothing. Then I figured I must have been missing something, and tried watching the show again years later. I couldn't get through the first DVD.

Well, maybe someday. Meantime, the OP is pretty sweet.
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Postby A.T. Fish » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:53 am

Seele00TextOnly wrote:Saw most of this recently and it was awful.


That's hardly a good way to start listing your opinions about Lain, the series pretty much demands complete viewing if you ever intend to understand it, and even then it's likely you won't get everything (hardly a problem for us Eva fans). The last episodes, especially the last one, are the most revealing and attempting to review it without watching them is pointless. I'm not trying to say every show needs to be viewed completely before being considered bad, but Lain is one of those shows where incomplete viewing pretty much invalidates your opinion of it completely, given how crucial the end is to the story. I'm not trying to be arrogant and say that I got everything out of it but at least I went through the whole thing before making up my mind about it.

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Postby Seele00TextOnly » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:27 am

View Original PostA.T. Fish wrote:That's hardly a good way to start listing your opinions about Lain
Ah, we'll then allow me to elaborate. I did see the entire series, years ago, years before I watched Eva even. I didn't mention this because all I remembered of the final episodes was
SPOILER: Show
the face off with the 'god' character who seemed pretty underwhelming as a figure, sort of a jester troll without anything particularly compelling about him or Lain herself in the end
however since my memory was fuzzy enough on it all so I figured why not try again now that I'm older and wiser and all that.

Unfortunately the series proved to be devoid of substance and not even remotely satisfying as I went along the way in my rewatch. It would take a detailed defense of just how meandering and wasteful of time this series is before I'll consider refinishing, and no I don't mean 'spoilers' by that.

I will say there are some good things about the series. The music is always good, especially the OP. the animation and design is often good and satisfying, and the setting of mood and atmosphere very effective. However there simply isn't plot and character to back it all up. Lain's parents and sister were the most interesting things in the show for me, but they simply weren't getting attention. Lain herself needed to have a character in order to bear the weight of a show and she was woefully bereft of character and personality.
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Postby A.T. Fish » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:12 pm

Seele00TextOnly wrote:However there simply isn't plot and character to back it all up. Lain's parents and sister were the most interesting things in the show for me, but they simply weren't getting attention. Lain herself needed to have a character in order to bear the weight of a show and she was woefully bereft of character and personality.


Well, ok, it's been a while since I myself watched the show but here's my opinion regarding your criticism

Spoilers inside  SPOILER: Show
Lain is an odd character due to her "nature", I don't know if you remember but by the end of the show we find out that Lain was an entity originally from the Wired that manifested in the real world, through much of the series she herself doesn't understand who and what she is exactly, a secret revealed only in the last episode. When you reach the end her seemingly "empty" personality makes sense when you consider she is, basically, a virtual program in human form. She actually deletes herself from the real world in the end and remains in the Wired (I can't remember the reason why she does but it has a "for the greater good" connotation to it). The show clearly builds itself up with a lot of confusing phenomena that can only be deciphered after the end, and then it becomes clear that everything was but the backdrop of a great mystery where Lain was the centerpiece. She is the enigma of the show, other characters such as her parents didn't get attention because ultimately the goal of it was to explain Lain, no time could be wasted focusing on other characters, the series has no space for fillers (after all, it is 13 episodes long).


That's kind of a poorly remembered take on the show but I'm pretty sure what I said above holds true, I'll be rewatching it in the near future to fill the gaps of my memory.
Last edited by A.T. Fish on Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Seele00TextOnly » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:23 pm

Well... okay, that's about the only thing that could've made what was bothering me acceptable. In that case I think the series would've been better served to have a couple more prominent secondary characters that were more often around and in conversation with Lain. Like if Alice and/or the sister had a more elevated role but still with Lain as the clear main character. But that does sort of temper my frustration with the show and the way it's presented and seemed to be dragging its feet and walking in circles.

I might bother finishing it again.
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Postby Reborn Upright » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:51 am

View Original PostEnki v.2 wrote:My suggestion to people who don't like Lain is typically to do the research. Usually it helps.

Anyone who makes the argument that animated television shows created before widespread high-speed internet should stand alone and not rely upon obsessive wide-ranging research for enjoyability gets accused of laziness. Then I kick them. Hard.


This!

This series was both exactly what I was expecting and nothing like it at all when I first watched it. Mind you, I had seen the director's other work, Niea Under7 first. So I guess I wasn't sure what level of depth to expect.

The series just captures the feeling of melancholy that's spread since the digital age so incredibly well. I'm about to start a second viewing having just picked up the Funimation re-release. Pretty excited to do so.
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Postby BrikHaus » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:01 pm

You don't need to go online to understand Lain. If you actually pay attention to it instead of texting or surfing the net on your smartphone, then you should be able to pick up a lot of important details. Admittedly, I didn't feel like I "got it" until the 3rd viewing, but I never went online to have the answers spoonfed to me.
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Postby TonyTH » Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:59 am

I feel dumb asking this after that last post, but does anyone know any good places to read on understanding Lain or anything?

Honestly I feel super lucky I stumbled onto this place. I don't think I would of understood half of Eva without it. Is Evageeks one of a kind when it comes to old confusing 90s anime?

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Postby pwhodges » Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:02 am

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Postby A.T. Fish » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:18 am

There is no Lain wiki as far as I know but the Lain page on regular wikipedia has a lot of information on the show, including things the production staff revealed in interviews.


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