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)
Studios: Triangle Staff
Source: Original
Genres: Avant GardeAvant Garde, DramaDrama, MysteryMystery, Sci-FiSci-Fi, SupernaturalSupernatural
Theme: PsychologicalPsychological
Duration: 23 min. per ep.
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)


Score: 8.061 (scored by 217760217,760 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #4742
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #256
Members: 583,149
Favorites: 19,448

External Links

Ranked #474Popularity #256Members 583,149
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Episodes: /13
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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, Lain

Shimizu, Kaori

Mizuki, Arisu

Asada, Yoko

Eiri, Masami

Hayami, Show

Iwakura, Yasuo

Oobayashi, Ryuusuke


Nakata, Jouji

Iwakura, Mika

Kawasumi, Ayako

Yomoda, Chisa

Mutou, Sumi


Takimoto, Keito

Sui-Xi, Lin

Yamazaki, Takumi


Chikada, Wasei


Ueda, Yasuyuki
Producer, Original Creator, Planning
Maseba, Yutaka
Nakamura, Ryuutarou
Director, Episode Director, Storyboard
Murata, Masahiko


Opening Theme

Apple Music
Amazon Music
Youtube Music
"Duvet" by BOA

Ending Theme

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

Mar 11, 2008
seraphjei (All reviews)
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 read more
Jun 16, 2015
SSaturnis (All reviews)

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
May 1, 2017
AestheticOnion (All reviews)
What really scares us? Death or the oblivion? Of course, the oblivion. It is not dying itself that frightens us the most, but rather knowing that we will lose everything we loved and cared for. All of the memories we've treasured, the choices we've made and the people we've touched; everything will cease from existence. So why do we treasure our past so much? Is that just a collection of memories the nostalgia bounds us to, or is it the part of who we are?

Serial Experiments Lain is not your average show, and definitely not something you run into every day. It is a unique read more
Feb 7, 2012
AnimeViewerJ (All reviews)
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 read more


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