English: Serial Experiments Lain
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 6, 1998 to Sep 28, 1998
23 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.991 (scored by 70281 users)
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. |
SynopsisLain Iwakura appears to be an ordinary girl, with almost no experience with computers. Yet the sudden suicide of a schoolmate, and a number of strange occurrences, conspire to pull Lain into the world of the Wired, where she gradually learns that nothing is what it seems to be... not even Lain herself.
BackgroundNo background information has been added to this title. Help improve our database by adding background information here.
Characters & Voice Actors
Opening Theme"Duvet" by Bôa
Ending Theme"Tooi Sakebi" by Nakaido Chabo Rei'ichi
Review for Serial Experiments Lain by John Kim
Introduction: I find myself typing this review thinking more about the conceptualization of existence, than the anime itself. Above all, there are two standards I hold true for anime. There are anime that simply entertain for the sake of enjoyment, and there are anime that stretches the boundary of human imagination. Serial Experiments Lain falls in the latter category and for this reason Serial Experiments Lain stands out as a true classic. Serial Experiments Lain pushes the envelope of what the perceived notion of what can be done with television as a medium. The show doesn’t just provide entertainment; it provides insight, and profound views and beliefs about technology and the role it plays in society. With that said it's time to get on with the review.
Story: Given that Lain’s story progression is very disjointed, if the execution were to be even off by the slightest, the show would have been ridden with plot holes. Lain however doesn’t need worry about plot and story in the same sense as other anime, but instead relies on the atmosphere and the characters to tell the story. What little plot Lain does have, the show works with it fabulously. Now some may argue that Lain is completely plot driven, but to each his own. Personally I believe that Lain strays as far as it can from bland episodic story telling, and in essence is similar to Citizen Kane in the aspect that the story has little to do with the show. Lain above all is a character study, and the plot only moves forward under the characters.
Art: Despite the art being off center in terms of traditional anime, it hardly deters from the overall enjoyment of the series. It is important to note that the series actually benefits from the unique art style presented in Lain. Art is not a big pulling factor for Lain, so if you are a fan of high quality art, you may be in for a rough ride.
Sound: The series relies on a minimalist approach to sound and music. Dialogue is sparse, but very profound. Sound effects are seldom used but with brevity, and has a lasting impact on the viewer. Once again, this lack of a quality that would normally be detrimental to an anime’s enjoyment, but becomes one of Lain’s strengths. The sound of the electricity running through power lines, the empty sound of Lain typing on her keyboard, and the scarce use of music. These are all memorable pieces of sound effects that adds to the overall impact of the show.
Character: Now this is where Lain shines brightest. In a vast wasteland of mundane same-old, Lain sticks out as an anime that takes its characters to a level that most anime can only dream of achieving. The character of Lain is perhaps the most deep and relevant characters in anime today. To explain upon this point, one would have to watch the series and comprehend the various themes and motif’s on one’s own. But in order to be brief, Lain’s character can be summarized as ascending from human status, to near God like power through the prowess of the internet. Ahem, I mean, “The Wired.” It’s a simple concept and seems like it has been done before, giving credit to the argument, and it probably has. But the beauty here is the cast of side characters that surround Lain. Her sister, her father, mother, and friends, are all extremely deep characters, that although don’t appear to be, are actually extremely poignant in their own right.
Enjoyment & Closing: If watched with an open mind, Lain will do more than simply entertain. It is truly revolutionary anime for its time, and the amount of depth in the show is utterly staggering. Never in my years of watching anime have I seen a show as thought provoking as Lain. If one were so inclined to contact me, we could talk for hours upon hours of the religious symbols, and religious references that run about the shows course. We could then change the subject to comparing Lain’s character to that of philosophy of the Jungian Shadow. We could converse and discover deeper and more universal meanings as time progressed. Lain is such a show that the viewer doesn’t just watch it. The viewer must be pushed to think, and who doesn’t want to do a bit a of thinking once in a while? read more
I'll just cut to the chase. I don't recommend this anime. I'll start out with the good things. The art is superb and very atmospheric. It's drawn in a unique style and it might be worth watching an episode or two for just this fact alone. If I were ever to direct an existentialist anime, I would definitely turn to this series for some major inspiration. The opening theme is well chosen and the sound effects are fairly good.
Now for the bad-- everything else. Serial Experiments Lain tries to tackle the problem of existence and identity but it completely fails. The parts that are supposed to be creepy are unconvincing and incoherent, and the attempt to create tension instead collapses into unbearably slow pacing in the storyline. Dialogue is much too short and yet drawn out. Entire scenes go by that neither attempt to interest the viewer nor advance the plot. Each episode except maybe the first one could have easily been cut in half without losing any content. The series could've been much better as a result.
The typical theme of weakening of identity as technology advances was handled very clumsily in the series, as if the writers thought that bringing up the issue alone was sufficient to be profound. It's not. The theme is nothing new in modern media.
Some reviews (not here) by mainstream critics claim that the series asks "deep" questions about contemporary life and the nature of reality, but this really is not true. The questions are old and the answers given are nonsensical and shallow. We are presented with several common plot devices in cyberpunk-- the near omnipotent digital entity that wants Lain (the protagonist) to abandon the flesh and become one with the cyber world, the use of dissociative identity disorder to symbolize Lain's mental fracture due to virtualization, the embodiment of humanity's collective unconscious made possible due to the new internet, etc. This stuff isn't new, which would be fine if at least SEL executed these things to perfection, but it doesn't. Instead the directors plod slowly onwards and resolve the philosophical dilemmas with absurd, silly conclusions about what Lain really is. It's just like they reduced everything down to magic.
Don't get me wrong, I really wanted to like this series. I enjoy cyberpunk and philosophy and wanted to look for a well done series that incorporated the two. I had heard many good things about this anime, but it just did not meet almost any of the most basic expectations I have for either anime or cyberpunk.
If you are interested in cyberpunk, Ghost in the Shell is very much the superior choice in all aspects, except possibly the art, though it's no sloucher there either. If you are interested in a coming of age story for children in a virtual world, Dennou Coil is better. For those just interested in really crazy, genuinely weird stuff-- that still makes actual sense-- try Paranoia Agent or Paprika.
That isn't to say you, the reader, might not like Serial Experiments Lain. If you have no prior exposure to cyberpunk or the philosophical issues raised within, or if you have very high tolerance to long scenes in which absolutely nothing advances the plot, or if enjoyment of the artistic merits of a series is sufficient for you, this just might do it. But it's not really enough for me. read more
Now let me start of by saying THIS IS NOT AN ANIME FOR EVERYONE! *minor spoilers included*
The story of Serial Experiments Lain is an interesting complex one to say the least. It starts of by a student commiting suicide saying she does not need to exist in this world anymore. The following day the students receive an email from the dead student and at first they think it is spam mail but that turns out not to be the case. Pretty much the whole show revolves around The Wired (or their version of a more advanced Internet) and how humans use it as a form of communication.
The main colour pallete for Serial Experiments Lain uses a lot of blacks, purples, reds and yellows. The shadows pretty much consist of most of the colours listed above. For its time, the art style overall was great.
Serial Experiments Lain doesn't rely heavily on orchestral elements and it doesn't have to. The atmosphere already sets the mood for you. There are subtle ominous sounds every now and then.
Lain is an interesting character to say the least and as much as I want to give away spoilers I won't. Lain starts of as an anti-social girl if you will, she is a very shy and doesn't really show any emotion. If you do watch episode 3, that's when things start to really pick up. I was left like :O and you will see why. There are more characters, like Lain's so called friends....well really she only has 1 friend out of that 3 girl group, Lain's family, the Men in Black and a secret organization called 'Knights of The Eastern Calculus'.
This anime is influenced by philosophical subjects such as reality, identity and communication. Those things are key to what make Serial Experiments Lain such an excellent anime. With Serial Experiments Lain being such an in-depth, confusing anime, sometimes you do feel lost and have to try and regain composure, regain your thoughts if you prefer to look at it like that. Some things may not make sense at the beginning, but then an episode or so later things will start to make sense or you will pick up something from a previous episode and slowly put together the pieces. As a whole I really enjoyed Serial Experiments Lain.
So overall just to reiterate, Serial Experiments Lain is not an anime for everyone, you feel lost most of the time, this anime is a thinker (meaning you have to be using your brain to comprehend all of it), many adult themes (not including any of that naughty stuff ;), interesting characters....and in some ways very mysterious, has an odd aura surrounding them.
I'll end with this: Close the world. txen eht nepO read more
Serial Experiments Lain is a psychological horror, sci-fi, cyberpunk drama anime written by Konaka Chiaki and developed by Triangle Staff. On one hand, I've seen enough things claim to be psychological with virtually no psychological content that I'm a bit skeptical. However, I've also seen plenty of anime with legitimate psychological horror elements foremost among them being the absolutely stellar Perfect Blue. This will be the only anime produced by Triangle Staff that I've seen so I can't provide an educated hypothesis based on that. I will say that I've seen some other anime that Konaka Chiaki was involved with, though not the head writer for most of them, and he does have a promising track record.
Our tale opens with a young girl jumping off of a tall building. Naturally, she does not survive. Things get strange when other students at her school start receiving e-mail from her. Our protagonist, Lain receives such an e-mail. That's when she starts noticing other strange things around her and starts becoming obsessed with technology. Even though she barely knew how to work a computer before.
Now, I will give the series credit on several counts. First off, it's very good at keeping the viewer's attention. It continually gives you hints about what exactly is going on but it keeps them really vague. When it outright reveals the answer, you'll probably have a good idea of what some elements of that are going to be and be surprised by others. The series is also good at mixing its surreal elements with the more realistic elements, giving the narrative a feel that's unique in a way that works.
Now, let's look at where the series falls short. The ending is the big one. I don't want to give any details away, but it's a deus ex ending. There are also some elements that are introduced, but never handled in a meaningful or sensical way. The biggest example is that there's a teacher, having an affair with an 8th grade student. In spite of the student body knowing what he's up to and rumours running rampant, he is allowed to keep his job and, somehow, doesn't get arrested or even investigated as far as you see. Yeah, I'm almost certain that would never happen. The worst part is that this nasty little sub-plot, along with being very poorly handled, ultimately has very little impact on the actual narrative. It could have been easily cut and another story device could have served the same purpose without any problems. You might wonder why I'm talking about it so much if it's pretty meaningless. Well, when I see a “psychological” series set in the “present day, present time” I expect to have that psychology grounded in reality, even if the series itself does feature surreal and sci-fi elements. A story element like this just brings you out of the story and makes you notice that this does not happen. The horror elements are another issue. They're largely just kind of weird, but not frightening or scary in any way.
The characters in this do have complexity and depth, for the most part. There are exceptions like the teachers, both their classroom teacher and the one fooling around with a student, who are basically non-entities. They, mostly, react realistically to the strange things happening around them. Except for a few notable cases where they react in reality-defiant ways that make no sense. They also have some interesting interactions and their relationships change in ways that make sense. That being said, there is one very significant issue with the characters. There are conversations where a character will make a statement and contradict it in the very next sentence. The person they're talking to will not respond to this sudden shift at all or will respond by contradicting the last thing they said in order to still be disagreeing with the person they were talking to. Which makes no sense.
The background art in this is really good. It's got a lot of nice details and the surreal elements do look very nice. There are a couple issues with it, however. The first is that some of the surreal elements, though impressive looking, don't actually tie into the narrative. To give an example, there's a scene where they show a faceless androgynous figure dancing in fishnets. It's a strange image, but you could replace it with anything else and the scene would work just as well and the imagery really should be reflective of the narrative in some way. The second issue is the way they draw the actual characters. They're kind of generic and the default facial expression for them is dull surprise. Regardless of what emotion the actor is actually conveying.
The actors are decent in this. You get some strong performances, but also some weaker ones. Shimizu Kaori delivers a very strong performance as our young heroine. Asada Yoko also gives a good performance. Igarashi Rei plays one of those characters without much complexity or depth and it does show in a rather mediocre performance. Hayami Show plays an antagonist who is really too over the top for a series that's trying to employ subtle psychological elements. The music is good. It doesn't really stand out much, but it's primarily used as a part of the atmosphere and it works in that capacity.
The ho-yay factor is a 3/10. There are some moments between Lain and Arisu that strongly indicate that Lain has feelings for her.
Serial Experiments Lain definitely has some things to recommend it. The setup is good. The narrative is compelling. The major characters are complex. The backgrounds look great. Unfortunately, it's held back by several significant problems. The deus ex ending. The story elements where the execution just renders them nonsensical. The scenes where characters contradict themselves and consequently come across as being poorly characterised. The surreal images with no relevance that are just thrown in for the sake of looking surreal. In the end, I would say that the positive factors do outweigh the negative ones, but not by a whole lot. My final rating is going to be a 6/10. It's a decent series, but not quite good. Next week, Rainbow: Nisha Rokubo no Shichinin. read more
Boogiepop Phantom and Serial Experiments Lain are very slow-paced and have very little dialogue. They both attempt to be philisophical....
90's anime style ownage: dull atmosphere, squared character design, electro music on the background, overcrowded city depression, urban mysteries of the concrete-cable town, new age at its best.
strange deaths, beautifully haunting music, and strange color schemes make these two anime series almost siblings. . .
Both mess with your brain. However, Boogiepop creeps you out with supernatural, where Lain (which does have bits of creepiness) uses the modern phenomenon of internet and the decrease in human contact. Boogiepop is perhaps less philosophical than Lain and less conceptual
Also a very surreal anime with somewhat similar darkish style.
Lain and Boogiepop Phantom are soul mates; they deliver highly convoluted stories with intricate plots that are presented in a non-linear way, which allows for some extremely disorientating moments. The mood of both is very dark and menacing; virtually all scenes are charged with nervous tension. Lain is more coherently philosophical while BP is somewhat disjointed but they share the same spirit of subversive violence, enthralling confusion and constant questioning.
Both employ a philosophic style, approaching dark, almost disturbing themes and nonlinear, vignette-effect storytelling. The character designs are similar, not surprisingly because they are done by the same artist (Shigeyuki Suga). Both series also use sparse color palettes, with Boogiepop Phantom extending it further to noise-filled, sepia tones, to reflect the anxieties and tragedies of the characters as well as give the series an over-all psychological, surreal atmosphere.
It seems that Lain and Boogiepop share the same gothic approach to their respective views of the world. I like how both make you really think about their true meanings and how deep they really are.
Watching one is like watching the other. :-D
Boogiepop is a more violent, mysterious, horror version of Lain.
Both have schoolgirls as protagonists; both have some kind of “god” in them; both are creepy, confusing, and complex; both have awesome dark/electronic/industrial music, and the same character design, atmosphere, and slow pacing.
If you liked one, you’ll love the other.
Darkness, mystery, psychological thriller... highly recommended !!!
Total mind screw. Serial Experiments Lain is more understandable and has a (sympathetic and well developed) main character, while Boogiepop Phantom is more confusing and creepier.
Both are outstanding creative series, have a really alternative development, similar art, treat about dark stuff like suicide and gives a lot to think.
Both shows are very similar to one another, and both deal with the same basic thing, the degradation of the human mind. But while Lain deals with one single person, Boogiepop Phantom deals with a larger group of people who are all connected.
almost the same art style & similar atmosphere
This show shares the same character designer and key animator as Lain. It's also very dark, gloomy, and deals with how young people living in modern Japan are disconnected from one another. Boogiepop delves more into the horror genre and it's a little easier to follow, but in terms of atmosphere and storytelling style they are quite similar.
The two shows are both willing to progress the story without clearly defining it to the viewer in full. It instead lets you take the knowledge you have and attempt to piece the events from it. These both have effective, dark, dreary atmospheres. The artistic styles are similar and have a huge payoff when you get a full story out of it.
I'm sure everything about similarity of those two wonderful non-mainstream anime was said already so I'm just adding a vote.
similar psychologic effect, similar atmosphere
Both have strange deaths and haunting music. There's a creepy atmosphere to them both. With dull blurry-like colored backgrounds and characters.
Both series involve disturbing, psychological elements born through twisted technologies. Dark atmospheres encompass the lives of seemingly average students, each with their own past tragedies and/or mental instabilities. A first glance, the plotlines are confusing—albeit, both TV shows are intended for viewers who enjoy re-watching episodes to digest the subtle details, symbolisms, and intellectual undertones.
The general feel of both anime is similar, especially in art and sound department, but story wise Lain is more open minded with no fixed story while on other hand Boogiepop does have a story you just need to look for it.
Both Boogiepop Phantom and Serial Experiments Lain are dementia anime with a confusing yet enjoyable plot.
If you like complex thinking, you should watch this. Very psychological.
Lain and Evangelion are intrinsically complex series. In both there is a strong presence of technology, which underlines the problematic relationship between individual existence and collective psychological archetypes of a symbolic order. These anime address topics such as the self, the body, the role of communication and the possibility of forging bonds. Lain is heavily intellectual from the outset and slow-paced through and through, while Eva only develops its conceptual core in the later episodes and is much more action-driven. Lain and Eva are prodigies of existential thought transmitted through a visual medium; and as such they go hand in hand.
Both are very deep, and make you think. They have somewhat similar theme, but the setting is very different.
Lain is no doubt a series to be enjoyed for every NGE fan that was attracted by NGE's psychological scenes.
Both have deeply complex plots and deal with the human psyche
Makes you think on what the hell is actually happening in the anime, and what the characters are thinking and what leads to their actions.
Dark, psychological, philosophical, mysterious, Lain and Evangelion are very similar thematically and tonally. If you like one (or if you didn't absolutely hate the last two episodes of Evangelion), you'll almost certainly like the other.
Two great psychological anime. In both almost all the characters have their own individual inner world, incomprehensible even to themselves, do not speak already about others. Immediately recall the words of Gendo Ikari: "No one will ever fully understand another person".
So, to fully enjoy these masterpieces of psychological need to put it mildly, "to apply the brain." Well, if you're fans of the genre ala "Lucky Star", or "Azumang's" image not recommend.
I've watched both of this anime and i think that anyone who has watched Neon Genesis evangelion should also watch serial experiments lain.The most common thing between these two anime is the psychological aspect.Both of them have a complicated history and also characters.Even if the history is not the same (of course) they both have to do with technology and future.Also the main character are almost the same,with big personality problems and duple personality sometimes.Also i think that in both animes the characters surrounding the main characters are problematic and difficult to understand .
Both these series are psychological in nature. It explores the idea of existence, self and being. You'll end up questioning yourself. Although NGE has more action and SEL has a slower pace.
Both have similar themes dealing with "god" and self discovery. They also share similar art styles and story telling mechanics.
Heavily influencing deep psychological thinking, themes like Existential philosophy and Depth in human inter-relations, both shows intersect in the point where the viewer is left with more meaning behind the plot and span of episodes.
If you like Complex themes, and thought-skewering eeriness, watch them both.
- Both are psychological and deep
- Both are mindscrewy (Lain more so than Eva)
- The last two episodes of Eva are the most similar to Lain
Revenge of the late 90s with these two unique pieces. Serial Experiments Lain is only similar to Neon Genesis Evangelion with the undertones, as well as the atmosphere and overall impression both series tend to leave with people. Evangelion will leave you somewhat shaken in what you consider to be "normal" in the ways of human psychology, as well as taking you through a detailed unraveling of the main characters, whereas Lain will leave you wondering more about the duality of the self and the responsibilities associated with near God-Like power (something that the viewers of the End of Evangelion wish had been discussed with a certain character). Both have a haunting feeling that I associate with them, as Demolition D+ would say, an "over your shoulder, God is watching" kind of feeling, an omnipotence hidden just beyond our view. If you enjoyed Eva, you'll enjoy Lain.
Complex plot lines, existentialism, and bizarre realities are present in both. Anime you need to think about after watching. Both could be seen as old takes on future technological development as well
both neon genesis evangelion and serial experiments lain are shows that mainly revolve metaphorical/deeper elements yet also can conjure up a sophisticated and complex plot. like evangelion, many of the scene in sal can be analyzed heavily and may take a couple rewatches to figure out what's really going on beneath the plot's surface layer. lot's of "oh i get it now!" in both animes.
similar themes and even look and style of the animation.
Ergo Proxy is a high budget show that develops way too slowly, but it's heavy on philosophical concepts of existence - similar to Lain's discussion of it. Ergo Proxy has some action but the background story and concept exploration take too long - it's 22 eps.
Lain and Ergo Proxy are insistent in their constant interrogations. They are both intelligent series that demand more than one viewing, Lain is considerably more risqué in that it twists narrative conventions to the point they no longer apply while Ergo Proxy channels its intellectuality via the plot itself, even if it lags a bit at the end.
Many questions about life. Many things that you can explain with words...but sometimes you can't just explain in a normal way. Life or death? Good or evil? What is the meaning about the most small things in the excistence.
If you like weird stuff...you will love Ergo Proxy.
Ergo Proxy and Lain are both what I would describe and Dark and Psychological Anime. If you enjoyed the ambiance of Lain, you are sure to enjoy Ergo Proxy
The theme and characters are related to each other somehow..especially Ergo Proxy and Lain. Plus some scenes and speechs feel the same too..
And of course they are sure for the ones who adore 'psychological' things..
Both deal with machines developing sentience, humanity's evolution, and have similar art styles. I high recommend both if you are looking for a thinking anime, as they both illustrate many philosophical and sociological concepts that are hard to define.
Philosophical doctrines are used in both,too.
Both have dark atmosphere.
Both have gloomy colors in them.
both are seinen with striking visuals and deep social metaphors. The characters in both are haunting and entirely human. I found it very easy to connect with their decisions and actions, and never felt the story was being pushed somewhere it shouldn't.
both series end with somewhat startling epiphanies. If you don't find your self at least puzzling over the series as a whole and fitting pieces together from every episode, I'd be suprised. I've rewatched SE:L many many times and I always get something new out of it
Both are complexed psichological anime, have a kinda similar feel.
Both are thought-provoking and mind-bending, though Ergo Proxy to lesser extent than Lain.
They are both anime that require you to think a bit more. very sad and serious vibe. both have cool story's.
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.
Also has the 'future of cyberspace' aspect. It also deals with children around the same age and is another engaging story that is a joy to watch unfold.
It fuses virtual reality with the real world, but while Serial Experiments Lain philosophizes about god and people, Denno Coil avoids the god issues and instead talks about the connection between and among people. Both stories are surprisingly deep even as the main characters are all children.
Both are dealing with the unknown in cyberspace.
Denno Coil is another series that involves children using futuristic technology.
Definitely a must see for anyone who enjoyed Lain.
It deals with cyberspace interference with normal, real world. Although it's not as dark & deep as Serial Experiments Lain it surely is well crafted and the plot will keep you wanting to watch the whole series.
Both of these Anime deal with the relationship between the real world and a virtual world that has begun to intrude past the traditional boundary between the two. Whoever, while Lain is more complex and is more focused on character interactions, Dennou Coil is more light hearted and easier to understand, and has more "Action" scenes.
Both center around a female protagonist at the forefront of new technology.
Both are cyber punk anime that have an augmented reality world existing in codes and have somewhat of a "mediator" between the real world and computer-generated.
Both shows involve a blend of cyberspace and the real world, and the main characters of both shows are grade school girls.
While Serial Experiments Lain is darker, overall, and has more subversive, symbolic elements, questioning things about life, existence, etc... Dennou Coil evades all of that and just gives us some lighthearted adventures in the cyber world.
There is conflict introduced in Dennou Coil, but it's never quite as heavy handed about the thematic elements of it's story as Serial Experiments Lain is.
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.
Paranoia Agent has the same psychological feel that makes you think, but doesn't become apparent until later episodes. But if you are looking for something more rooted in a "whodunit" fashion, this is for you.
Both are heavily psychological and philosophical (Lain is more philosophical than Paranoia Agent) with mysterious circumstances and great characters (or for Lain, character).
Both series focus heavily to the cerebral side of storytelling. The power of the mind, and how it can invade the real world in very dark ways. Symbolic and allegoric in nature, both Lain and Agent are exceptional visual treats as well as very thought-provoking and intelligently written. If you enjoy cartoons that make you think-- and more importantly, if you enjoyed Paranoia Agent-- you'll owe it to yourself to give Serial Experiments Lain a viewing. Or three.
It's all about human spirit/soul & The Net, but:
Paranoia Agent has more fragmented structure, often going sideways to tell your almost unrelated story just to keep with overall crazy style;
and just playing with questions about spirit/soul, never getting serious; while
Serial Experiments Lain has more solid structure, always staying on the way, with every episode submerging you deeper into the story;
and not answering any question about spirit/soul, but makes you think about those questions yourself.
The series both feature some really trippy/terrifying sequences, a dark atmosphere, and a plot that the viewer will have to think a lot about, not to mention that the power of the media is an important element in both.
Both Paranoia Agent and Serial Experiments Lain are thought provoking and leave a lot to the viewer to interpret, and both have stunning visual styles and interesting plot decisions, although lain is a bit more abstract than that of Paranoia Agent.
The art styles are very similar, and both shows revolve around dark, subversive presentation. Both shows are tonally very similar, but Lain has more cyberpunk elements, while Paranoia Agent has a heavier focus on individual character's stories.
Both these shows are complex psychological shows that f**k with your mind, The are best to be watch twice to understand them good.
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.
Both anime involve complex theories with strange organizations that mess with your mind (especially Lain). And even though both series have an entirely different feel (Madoka is more action-drama, Lain is more suspense-thriller), the endings are remarkably similar, and both are true works of art.
Both center around a seemingly normal girl
Both use unique and "trippy" visuals
Both become extremely dark
Both go deep into human psychology
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica is basically Serial Experiments Lain with magical girls, but better.
From the drama, to the psychological, even the story transitioning, except how the story was portreyed. The Themes are even parallel to one another, except MSMM was designed to look light and SEL was designed to be true to the theme and SEL can get a bit too deep in comparison to MSMM. Compatibility is, as estimated, is roughly over 80%
>Both are mindfucks.
>Both have some of the weirdest arts in the story of anime, they are just awesome.
>They have a dark atmosphere.
Serial Experiments Lain And Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica both have these light animations, but with dark undertones(although Lain more so). Madoka and Lain both do not completely know what the world around them really is and they do not know their fate. Both will have you questioning so many things you know.
Centered around a girl.
If you understood madoka, you should give this a try.
Both follow an estranged girl that realizes she is much more important to the fate of the world than she ever thought she could be.
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