Serial Experiments Lain

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Alternative Titles

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


Type: TV
Episodes: 13
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 6, 1998 to Sep 28, 1998
Premiered: Summer 1998
Broadcast: Tuesdays at 01:15 (JST)
Producers: Genco, Pioneer LDC
Licensors: Funimation
Studios: Triangle Staff
Source: Original
Genres: Avant GardeAvant Garde, Award WinningAward Winning, DramaDrama, MysteryMystery, Sci-FiSci-Fi, SupernaturalSupernatural, SuspenseSuspense
Theme: PsychologicalPsychological
Duration: 23 min. per ep.
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)


Score: 8.091 (scored by 303850303,850 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #5152
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #246
Members: 775,539
Favorites: 28,298

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Ranked #515Popularity #246Members 775,539
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Episodes: /13


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]


Serial Experiments Lain won the Excellence Prize in the 1998 Japan Media Arts Festival. It has been subject to commentary in the literary and academic worlds such as the Asian Horror Encyclopedia and The Problem of Existence in Japanese Animation by the American Philosophical Society.

Episode Videos

Related Anime

Characters & Voice Actors

Iwakura, Mika

Kawasumi, Ayako

Haushofer, Karl

Nakata, Jouji


Takimoto, Keito


Chikada, Wasei

Sui-Xi, Lin

Yamazaki, Takumi


Cook, Justin
Ueda, Yasuyuki
Producer, Planning, Original Creator


Opening Theme

Apple Music
Amazon Music
Youtube Music
"Duvet" by Bôa

Ending Theme

"Tooi Sakebi (遠い叫び)" by Reichi Nakaido


Feb 25, 2024
Love the first line in the op being "And you don't seem to understand..."
The first few episodes of this invoke that atmosphere of mystery and discovery that a lot of the best television series have. There is some genuine creepiness and unsettling scenes that sort of precede what made Kairo so effective; that of fading into a digital abyss, of being haunted by a signal seeking connection. The ambient hum of live current carrying disembodied voices suffusing the air.

Lain presents 'the wired' through different lenses. The nature of online existence is intially arcane, an occult mystery that progresses through the series until it reaches a ...
Mar 1, 2024
Mixed Feelings
The art, atmosphere, symbolism, and concepts presented are great. But then there's everything else...

The characters were the most shallow out of any anime that I've seen, having no depth in most cases. It feels like the story was written and the characters were sprinkled in at the end, instead of them having their own lives and ideas and personalities. Other than a character's appearance, you can't really get more attached or involved, since there's almost nothing else to them.

The story was by far its weakest point, and here is where the mixed feelings come into play.
This story taking place within the context of a ...
Mar 29, 2024
Serial Experiments Lain is a story that would be infinitely better told as a few dozen-page short story or a feature-length film, NOT a 13-episode TV series.

The only reason I give it a 6 is because of reading a few think pieces about the ending that made me appreciate it a bit more. I like the *idea* of the story, but hell, I have plenty of *ideas* for stories I'd like to write someday so that's not really impressive. The thing that impresses me about storytelling is the ability of a writer to take an idea and *show* it to an audience. This show is, ...

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Poll: Serial Experiments Lain Episode 1 Discussion ( 1 2 3 4 5 ... Last Page )
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