Ranked #548

Serial Experiments Lain

Alternative Titles

English: Serial Experiments Lain
Japanese: シリアルエクスペリメンツレイン


Type: TV
Episodes: 13
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 6, 1998 to Sep 28, 1998
Premiered: Summer 1998
Broadcast: Unknown
Source: Original
Duration: 23 min. per ep.
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company


Score: 7.981 (scored by 73,743 users)
Ranked: #5482
Popularity: #162
Members: 163,931
Favorites: 5,681
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.


Lain Iwakura, an awkward and introverted fourteen-year-old, is one of the many girls from her school to receive a disturbing email from her classmate Chisa Yomoda—the very same Chisa who recently committed suicide. Lain has neither the desire nor the experience to handle even basic technology; yet, when the technophobe opens the email, it leads her straight into the Wired, a virtual world of communication networks similar to what we know as the internet. Lain's life is turned upside down as she begins to encounter cryptic mysteries one after another. Strange men called the Men in Black begin to appear wherever she goes, asking her questions and somehow knowing more about her than even she herself knows. With the boundaries between reality and cyberspace rapidly blurring, Lain is plunged into more surreal and bizarre events where identity, consciousness, and perception are concepts that take on new meanings.

Written by Chiaki J. Konaka, whose other works include Texhnolyze, Serial Experiments Lain is a psychological avant-garde mystery series that follows Lain as she makes crucial choices that will affect both the real world and the Wired. In closing one world and opening another, only Lain will realize the significance of their presence.

[Written by MAL Rewrite]


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Related Anime

Characters & Voice Actors

Iwakura, Lain
Iwakura, Lain
Shimizu, Kaori
Shimizu, Kaori
Mizuki, Arisu
Mizuki, Arisu
Asada, Yoko
Asada, Yoko
Eiri, Masami
Eiri, Masami
Hayami, Show
Hayami, Show
Iwakura, Yasuo
Iwakura, Yasuo
Oobayashi, Ryuusuke
Oobayashi, Ryuusuke


Ueda, Yasayuki
Ueda, Yasayuki
Producer, Original Creator, Planning
Nakamura, Ryuutarou
Nakamura, Ryuutarou
Murata, Masahiko
Murata, Masahiko
Ueda, Shigeru
Ueda, Shigeru

More episodes Episodes(13/13)

# Episode Title Aired
1 Weird
Jul 7, 1998
2 Girls
Jul 14, 1998
3 Psyche
Jul 21, 1998
4 Religion
Jul 28, 1998
5 Distortion
Aug 4, 1998

Opening Theme

"Duvet" by Bôa

Ending Theme

"Tooi Sakebi" by Nakaido Chabo Rei'ichi

Write a review | More reviewsReviews

Nov 15, 2015
The world of The Wired is a bit weird but it will leave you pondering. A shy fourteen year old girl called Lain first hears about The Wired through a classmates suicide. Upon entering, she undergoes though many transformations and uncovers the secrets pinning her to this world and beyond. Like with experiments, it ends up asking more questions then it knows how to answer.

Besides from Lain herself not many characters are developed. She delves into many layers of her identity, which is a major motivation and focus of the series. Dissociative Identity Disorder is explored in depth as Lain confronts her alter egos. Her read more
I found this review Helpful
Nov 16, 2015
I personally think that people who are somehow interested in philosophy (and science of course , especially theoretical informatics , maybe physics to a lesser extent) will enjoy this anime because the two main subjects that have been raised in this anime are some of the most discussed subject in philosophy : - The existence of the "self" and the existence of "God"

That's why i put a 10 foreverything ,but , you might like or not S.E.Lain , but if you not it will not be caused by the fact that it would be a "Bad" anime , but more read more
I found this review Helpful
Jun 16, 2015

Serial Experiments Lain is a paragon of many dimensions, and completely unparalleled in many more. It's a masterpiece of intellectuality, and utterly unparalleled in providing a mind-warping trip into extreme psychological and philosophical themes whose impact lingers and haunts like nothing I've ever experienced.

This is going without saying that Serial Experiments Lain is one of the most inaccessible creations of art to grace the medium of Animation, and it is difficult to even describe its complexity. There is a broad range of ideas, all of which have massive depth in their facets, which could all be focused on as a main point. read more
I found this review Helpful
Nov 8, 2015
This is a really difficult anime to grade.
I think this is an anime everyone should try watching, but I recognize that not everyone (or even most people) will enjoy it.
Being an avant-garde series, it seems unfair to judge the story by conventional standards. It's certainly oblique and hard to follow, but I think one can understand enough after the first watch to get something out of it. This is a series that wants to be viewed multiple times. Personally, I like that. If you don't (which is understandable), be prepared not to get all the answers.
The art is comparable to Madoka Magica. The characters' faces read more
I found this review Helpful


Anime: Boogiepop wa Warawanai: Boogiepop Phantom
Boogiepop Phantom and Serial Experiments Lain are very slow-paced and have very little dialogue. They both attempt to be philisophical.... 
reportRecommended by selective_yellow
Anime: Neon Genesis Evangelion
If you like complex thinking, you should watch this. Very psychological. 
reportRecommended by PandaPuff
Anime: Ergo Proxy
similar themes and even look and style of the animation. 
reportRecommended by dollie_mixtures
Anime: Dennou Coil
Both are the stories about a cyberspace layered on the real world. The concepts and details are bit more confusing and scientific in SEL. SEL is a must watch for anyone who like sci-fi anime like Dennou Coil. 
reportRecommended by abhin4v
Anime: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica
Both shows center around a girl, whose fate is unknown to her. The answers they are looking for unfold as the the two series progress. In the end they both stand alone before a great challenge and they both have to discover that they can ultimately change the world as we know it. 
reportRecommended by Radzeer
Anime: Mousou Dairinin
Perception and reality: the divergence between what one perceives and what might exist is at the heart of both series. Paranoia Agent follows a more psychological approach to unravel the relation between these vectors while Serial Experiments Lain has a more philosophical take. It is likely that those who enjoy abstract deconstructions of identity will appreciate these exercises in surreal existentialism that are Lain and Paranoia Agent. 
reportRecommended by Nocturnal

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Poll: Serial Experiments Lain Episode 11 Discussion ( 1 2 )
aero - Mar 16, 2009
68 replies by mich1ru »»
Nov 23, 8:05 PM
Poll: Serial Experiments Lain Episode 9 Discussion ( 1 2 )
aero - Mar 16, 2009
75 replies by mich1ru »»
Nov 23, 2:59 PM