Serial Experiments Lain

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Alternative Titles

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

Information

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: DementiaDementia, DramaDrama, MysteryMystery, PsychologicalPsychological, Sci-FiSci-Fi, SupernaturalSupernatural
Duration: 23 min. per ep.
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)

Statistics

Score: 8.021 (scored by 169204169,204 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #5032
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #255
Members: 434,728
Favorites: 15,270

Recommendations

If you like complex thinking, you should watch this. Very psychological. 
report Recommended by PandaPuff
Boogiepop Phantom and Serial Experiments Lain are very slow-paced and have very little dialogue. They both attempt to be philisophical.... 
report Recommended by SY_IS_DEAD_IRL
similar themes and even look and style of the animation. 
report Recommended by dollie_mixtures
Both of them gives you the feeling of twisted reality. If you like that kind of anime, you probably like both Serial Experiments Lain and Perfect Blue. 
report Recommended by ziomson
These anime share many of the same key staff. The first thing you'll notice are of course the character designs, which are done by Yoshitoshi ABe. Both anime also share the same themes. 
report Recommended by Axersia
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. 
report Recommended by Nocturnal
Ghost in the Shell and Lain are essentially a parent work and its child, and they complement each other extremely well. It's very visible that Lain was thematically heavily inspired by Ghost in the Shell, and it certainly does an excellent job on expanding upon the basic ideas and concepts. Much longer running time than GITS allowed Lain to explore the implications of a connected and computerised world to a much further degree than GITS managed to do in its way too short feature length. GITS sacrificed a thorough explanation of its themes in order to achieve a little bit more conventional enjoyment (plot, action, etc)  read more 
report Recommended by name93
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. 
report Recommended by Lazhward
If you like the artwork of Yoshitoshi Abe, then you will love this series. 
report Recommended by rakka
Both very obscure with dark technopunk themes. 
report Recommended by WhiteRoseSister
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. 
report Recommended by abhin4v
Lain and Ghost Hound are both from the same director and scriptwriter. Besides, both have the same dark atmosphere and play with the psychological during the story. If you like Lain, you'd probably like Ghost Hound as well. 
report Recommended by Lain
The same idea "we are images as how others see us" 
report Recommended by Real-Hussein
Both give off a similar feel-- eerie, otherworldly, surreal, and at least to me it makes me feel calm. Little dialogue and lots of symbolism 
report Recommended by sleepingpowder
Both series are very computer oriented. They also explore the concept of time manipulation and time traveling. 
report Recommended by SailorKagome
Akira and Lain explore the overwhelming consequences of absolute power. While Akira is more violent on a physical level and Lain is more systematically philosophical, both are anime that force the viewer to think. Disturbingly surreal imagery sets the tone for both series as they twist the fabric of reality itself, uncovering the irrevocable connection between collective hysteria and individual alienation.  
report Recommended by Nocturnal
Both GitS and SEL tackle the themes of the melding of humanity and machinery/computers, although they approach the concept in very different ways. SEL focuses on a single girl, and her exploration and gradual absorption into the world of "the Wired" (AKA the internet). It's semi-futuristic, and very very creepy. It's also somewhat more psychological than GitS. GitS is centered around on a group of cops who deal primarily with computer and cyborg related crimes. It's more action oriented than Lain, and at least as good. It's done by Production I.G., so the animation is amazing, and blends 2D  read more 
report Recommended by honeybunch
Although quite different in style, the concept of a cyber world is paramount in both of these animes.  
report Recommended by Kamaji
Both have pretty unique and distinctive styles as well as being thematically close at times. Lain focuses more on communication in relation to identity, where Kaiba seems to explore what comprises an identity. Where Lain is obviously cyberpunk, Kaiba is involved in many of the ideas that make up the cyberpunk genre. I just got very similar vibes from the two. 
report Recommended by MEGATRON
Both have the same director, and a similar atmosphere. Both are equally excellent, but each with it's own theme and story. If you watched one of them and enjoyed it, then you will love the other. 
report Recommended by G0dSlay3r
These two titles share psychological themes, ideas about reality, existence, soul, identity and humanity and its' connection to modern society and technology. Looks like Key is the predecessor to all anime that raise spiritual queries. 
report Recommended by Tinme
Super-slow paced shows with an ominous atmosphere. They both have rather unique animation style and have that same feeling to them. Artsy anime, basically.  
report Recommended by Fujaku
Both series have a nonlinear, non-obvious, avant garde style of storytelling. The effect of this is that one has to be in complete attention while watching the show or it will be confusing and difficult to follow.  
report Recommended by RicardosFlick
Same athmosphere, questions about the people's way of thinking, a special chara-design, ... But I think Shinsekai Yori is more deep than Serial Experiments Lain. I highly recommand Shinsekai Yori for Seinens' lovers ! 
report Recommended by Kaikko
the atmosphere in the 6min ona is the same as serial experiments lain. A strange atmosphere that's not realistic to find "Who they are" 
report Recommended by justemy
they both deal with the mental aspect of things more then anything else, and both do a good job at it. 
report Recommended by Diran_kun
You'll have to watch them a couple of times to find the numerous layers hidden in each series. Vissually, both series don't bother with conformity, theu each create their own style as they go along. Both series never really end, you can create your own if you'd like. Both series leave you with your jaws and mind wide open watch 
report Recommended by vanmarckestevy
Both contain extensive and exhaustive commentary on a particular modern social phenomenon: in Lain's case, it is on internet personae and the nature of the online world itself, while NHK explores the world of Otaku and anime fandom, as well as those with crippling internet addictions, "hikkomori", and other people whose daily existence is hampered by paranoia. NHK, although still difficult to watch at times, has the greater level of "entertainment value", although neither is exactly "light viewing" and both contain some very disturbing parts. Tone-wise, NHK is noticeably more humorous and dialogue-heavy, while Lain is the more self-consciously "abstract" of the two. 
report Recommended by lukanicoletta
Science fiction titles from the 1990s that delve into the minds of their adolescent protagonists. They are also very cerebral and have some nightmarish imagery.  
report Recommended by ThatRazorGuy
Jigoku Shoujo incorporates similar psychological thriller elements, along with more dark philosophical themes. It is less cryptic than Lain, but that can be said of nearly all anime. It goes more into individual stories than the story of the protagonist and explores the question of "what could any one person possibly do to another that would make the victim choose to sacrifice their soul in order to get rid of their antagonist?" The philosophical themes focus around revenge, the human soul, and suffering instead of technology, its implications for humanity, and the human consciousness; however, the dark and philosophical nature remains. 
report Recommended by mythk
both question who u are both live a fake life both are watched and tested both are phycological  
report Recommended by starblazer
Both have technological advancement with dark theme and character with twisted belief or rather unorthodox way of thinking. both have lots of questions about the existence of anything in this world. 
report Recommended by kashimkurz
- The plots involve conspiracies - Has supernatural occurences related to advances in technology - Both can be kind of confusing, but come together as their conclusions are reached 
report Recommended by reag
Both are very complex and may seem bizarre or too abstract to some. Both use unique and interesting ways of telling their story. But, Nekojiru-sou (Cat Soup) is only a 32 minute short, while Serial Experiments Lain is a 13 episode series. 
report Recommended by Leruki
Serial Experiments Lain is the king of non linear anime, and Kara no Kyoukai 5 also happens to unfold in a non linear fashion. Both anime have a similarly psychedelic presentation, and both of them toy with the idea of perceived/subjective realities. 
report Recommended by SkiesOfAzel
What people see is what is accepted to be true. Both Lain and Flamenco deal with this view of truth, and confront their protagonists with the question of which reality they want to live in. If you liked seeing alternation between grounded relationships and surreal phenomena, take this rec. 
report Recommended by BoyHime732
Both have a metaphysical bent to them and both deal with problems stemming from interpersonal relationships. 
report Recommended by xthedestroyer
Both shows seems be psychological centered and are avant-garde-esque in presentation and directing. The two shows also contains lots of cryptic and often, ambiguous dialogue and imagery (and sometimes the imagery is very unsettling), which little of is spelled out for the viewer. There are also esoteric references to computers and programming in both.  
report Recommended by RicardosFlick
Dark and psychological shows revolving around unstable existences and artificial gods... you name it! 
report Recommended by insoo
Okay, these animes are extremely different... but they are still alike Both revolve around a girl who has powers that can alter reality Serial experients lain is a lot more confusing, and the Melancholy of Haruh Suzumiya has a lot more comedy, but I really enjoyed both series so... 
report Recommended by hiddenmoonlight
Both series adopt philosophical themes seasoned with a very dark atmosphere and an extremely twisted plot. Mouryou no Hako is more oriented towards mystery and thriller though.  
report Recommended by SailorKagome
Both are cyberpunk titles that have a similar protagonist who holds an intensely introspective and diffident persona. Both of these protagonists struggle with issues of identity in an online environment. Both are found trapped in cyberspace to a large extent. Both deal with a cyber-entity that is omniscient and holds questionable motives. Elements of .Hack//SIGN seem directly inspired by Lain and both incorporate an emotional bond between the protagonist and a special friend with even a brief scene touching on this in .Hack//SIGN which appears to be directly influenced by one of Lain's scenes. 
report Recommended by aixelsyd
Lain and Blame! are kindred spirits of the extremely trippy kind: machines blending with humanity, dialogues that throw the viewer off, a supra-reality of a cybernetic nature, intense imagery with distorted scenes and deliberate usages of static serve to create a very bizarre environment that takes the meaning of surreal to a whole different level. With this said, Lain is more consistent and offers enough to work on in terms of hermeneutics while Blame! is almost narrative free and extremely confusing.  
report Recommended by Nocturnal
In both shows, there is secrecy and mystery about known Internet group, yet no one knows who are the members or for what reason they exist. Social networking plays important role in both series.  
report Recommended by Lylaaz
“Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?” Serial Experiments Lain and the Matrix franchise share the same themes: What is reality? Can we trust in what our senses tell us? Is there another reality beyond that we can see?  
report Recommended by BDL
Both have the same writer. Have similar phsychological concepts and have acid trip like cinematography. 
report Recommended by Paxionfrut
Nothing alike. But SE Lain was one of the first animes that came to my mind when I began watching Le Portrait de Petit Cossette. Even though their feels grow apart after the first episode of Petit Cossette, they both start in this intriguing way that make you sink right into the story, in their own 'confusing' ways. Lain's focus is more towards a slow paced, mysterious, sci-fi(the internet). While Le Portrait de Petit Cossette clearly focus more on the horror(blood) and morbid romance. Despite all differences, they are both dark, intriguing series that pay close attention to the characters' thoughts and 'insanities', ones that might  read more 
report Recommended by Nayelianne
These shows explore deep and interesting themes about people. Additionally, the protagonists of those stories are very unusual which helps make them interesting. Both shows explore a stagnating world and how it can change. The atmosphere is generally creepy and darker. 
report Recommended by Shiro_Naii
Both Utena and Lain are show that pack their complex themes very densely into a story that take several viewings to fully understand. Both are considered to be quite profound by those who put in effort to understand them. 
report Recommended by Rakka_Haibane
They're both journeys to find something... an 'other', and both involve existential angst and issues with identity. Lain, though, lacks the romantic aspect (and has no ecchi whatsoever, but Yami, even with nudity animated, has the intellectual elements that Lain strived for). Yami is like the Lain if combined with Inuyasha and added innuendo. Lain is a bit more abstract, but crucially both contain inquiries about the nature of what one seeks and is. 
report Recommended by Yaoi-kun
What changes will oncoming technological advances bring on a societal and individual level? These anime from the same time period(one pre, another post turn of the millenium) pitched the question, we have the answer. And the predictions they've made pretty much hit the mark. Although wildly different in tone and structure, both made "accurate"(loosely speaking as obviously there were exaggerations for the sake of storytelling) but dystopic guesses both in technicality and abstract concepts. Very good for taking a peek into early 00s visionary ideas on future popular technology. 
report Recommended by paranesiancircle
Both are beautiful, stunningly directed, multi-layered shows that are fun as heck to dig into and theorize about. Complex storytelling and symbolism is present in both series, and both require lots of brain power and deduction to enjoy to their full potential. Flip Flappers incorporates a fair amount of fanservice, so unsuspecting Lain fans should be aware of that if it bothers them. 
report Recommended by Stacys__Mom
Both follow a type of surrealist/psychedelic route in more than one aspect. Serial Experiments Lain and Assassination Classroom are both of a similar quality control as well 
report Recommended by UnlikeTower
Both being very philosophical movies which are heavily focused on themes of human/society evolution and how the individuality of a person fits or not fit in a evolving society. Many similarities in themes but taking very DIFFERENT approaches. Of course SEL is way more mindfucking than Harmony but they both have a unique feeling of the setting which really portrays the world/society. 
report Recommended by ProfaneValkyrie
If you enjoyed watching hacking related stuff, this is another anime for you. Battle Programmer Shirase, also known as BPS (yes I know, very creative) is a hacker just like Lain. Both of them are very professional at hacking. But BPS is a little bit different from Lain due to the fact that BPS has more comedy in it while Lain is quite serious. Both of these anime is underrated maybe because it is a very old series, but don't let the animation bother you, let the mindblowing plot suck you as you watch these amazing anime thus you'll be enjoying it. 
report Recommended by R0roZor0
Shows with very unconventional storytelling, always showing and not telling, leaving a lot of points open to interpretation. 
report Recommended by Kiwii_121
the plot and the general mood is really similar, but patlabor is more easy to understand and less surreal and strange than lain 
report Recommended by GionMeccartnei
-Both plot driven -Both have an amazing MC Serial Experiments Lain is better imo, but they're both good. 
report Recommended by high_face
Kikoushi Enma is a hidden masterpiece from 2006. It is 4 OVA episodes of horror with ecchi mixed in. The screen writer is Takao Yoshioka, who adapted Elfen lied, the Familiar of Zero and Highschool DxD. Demons are lurking and a girl is investigating paranormal stories. Are you searching for horror as well? Get yourself a life lasting psychological scar today! Serial Experiments Lain is like no other. 13 episodes of reality distortion from 1998. There is something wrong with reality or maybe there isn't... ? Heal your life lasting psychological scars today! 
report Recommended by BucketOfOpinions
Both of these anime are very well written psychological thrillers. I do prefer Serial Experiments Lain as a series, but if you're looking for a good anime for beginners I would reccomend Yakisoku No Neverland/The Promised Neverland. 
report Recommended by MahouShojoAubrey
-both anime have a girl with godlike abilities for a protagonist -they have a similar ending -both will leave you with many questions 
report Recommended by ANT4
Strange and psychological, with a creative art style. Much more upbeat in comparison! 
report Recommended by bonethieves
Both make criticism of society, and are quite complex. 
report Recommended by Anderson90
The theme of the two animes are completely different, but they were made with the same spirit—a spirit of complete artistic integrity; a desire to expand the boundaries of what anime is. The art in Ping Pong the animation is daring, and while not obvious when taken at face value, the personality of the anime has a decent amount of depth. It's intellectual and philosophic components aren't explicitly discussed as it is in Lain, but it's there in how they tell the story, the character development, and the relationships within the anime. While not as superb as Lain in terms of philosophic stimulation, it's still  read more 
report Recommended by Flowering
both these shows cover the impact of the internet and surreal links between the real world and the digital world(Galax and the Wired). both shows focus on a out of normal teenage girl who is put into a situation to change the world, and the impact she makes changes the people around her for the better or worse. and both of these shows take place in a future real life setting meant with supernatural elements to them, either it be from aliens....or regular people like your close ones. 
report Recommended by NintensityCrowds
Hoshi no Koe and Serial Experiments Lain both contain the crushing feeling of adolecense and loneliness. There are heavy sci-fi elements in both, not to mention a similar style of animation. 
report Recommended by Third-Impact
Storywise they aren't very similiar at all. However, both use long scenes with little talking and movement to create tension and atmosphere. 
report Recommended by cupc
Both create a similarly disturbing mood. Both have awkward social interactions between major characters. Both have a present day science fiction bent.  
report Recommended by colonelpanic
Though the shows really are different, there's one plot point in both that overlaps; both shows consider what it means to be 'alive'.In Serial Experiments Lain, Lain is at one point asked whether she would leave her body, and go to the wired. In Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi, the characters could kill themselves, but won't simply stop 'living'.  
report Recommended by jugann
Different approach, different style, different era, different time of production. Both series deal with methods of communication and alternative realities' effect on the real world, and their effect on society. 
report Recommended by RandomOugi
Dealing with the concept of non-linear reality. 
report Recommended by dancefloor
Extreme Malware in real isolation. In a reality bodies jealously guard expansive empirical minds; in another one mind jealously arbitrates diffusive mental occupation. Barrel scraping effort causes flirtation with infectious silliness, in other words gaslighting. Approaching singular conflict with cascadingly compounding subconflicts, to extract entropy as efficiently as imaginably possible, damaging sanities either by one's rules repairably or by another's irreparably. One takes place in mindscape, while the other in the land of bodies, considering bodily needs most of which may be trivially resolved while the other focusing on destruction lack of entropy causes. Mayoiga is mildly brutish in its handling of bodies never passing a  read more 
report Recommended by eaterjolly
Two highly detailed anime's in which unassuming youngsters uncover they are actually part of a massive conspiracy which unfolds as the series progresses. These anime's are very similar in content, yet being that both are mystery, it's difficult to put forward why they are alike without incorporating spoilers, so once you give this pair a change, this recommendation will make a lot more sence. 
report Recommended by Queen_Stars
At first you may not think there are any similarities, but the art style is pretty similar in both, and they both have themes to do with the internet and the digital world, but Serial Experiments Lain has darker qualities 
report Recommended by Squirrelpaw4970
Both are very philosophical and discuss meaning of life from a very unusual perspective. Both use a lot of symbolism, have story lines that similarly reveal a little information step by step keeping the most important to very end. The title structure is similar in a way that it involves terms defined by the anime. Ah yes, most importantly, they both are very much based on historical facts. Finally, the last similarity is that you have to read a lot to fully understand the anime. For Gilgamesh - The Epic of Gilgamesh, for Lain - the history of computer science and some other things. I would indeed recommend  read more 
report Recommended by preff
Both of these two anime have top notch OPs, especially for their time. The animation and music in both OP's fit very well and will be remembered in anime history. 
report Recommended by oblivionds
Though Mirai Nikki is much more easier to follow in terms of plot, both have characters who aren't who you think they are, communication through technology, and godly figures. 
report Recommended by Wuddupashley
Both Pale Cocoon and Serial Experiments Lain are concerned with society moving from the "real" world into a realm dominated by technology. The two series are concerned as to whether this is a step in the direction of progress, or a retreat from what makes us human. 
report Recommended by vivafruit1
Classic nineties anime that are simply different from the rest in both story and presentation. SEL is darker, while KO more comedic, but they are amazing adventures that you should've seen at least once in your life. 
report Recommended by Heavy-Maetel
Both series show a fine interest in the life of someone who is determined to find out the truth and I believe that this is the closest thing to the sequel of Lain. 
report Recommended by roblychan
Both anime require you to make sense of what is going on. The story isn't simply shown as straight forward. So for now I get the similar vibe from Pet. So anyways, if you found Lain amusing to watch you might try Pet as well.  
report Recommended by Lylaaz
Both sci-fi animes have very deep stories and makes you think very hard to understand its development. GITS SAC 2nd Gig has the perfect mix of action, drama and politics conspiracy, always exploring the thin border between cyberworld and reality. Lain is more focused on drama, but share the futuristic scenario. The character developments on the two series are awesome! 
report Recommended by Superman
Both are cyberpunk type anime that deal with the concept of a "wired" world that separates you from the world in which you actually live in. Baldr Force is a more accessible anime while Lain is more of a philosphical and Avant-Garde anime.  
report Recommended by JordanPowers1995
Genre's aren't even close really, but both heroine's quickly discover their own mysterious aptitude for manipulating computers/technology. 
report Recommended by AlexTheRiot
Both will mindfuck to death if you're not prepared for it. You will not be prepared for it.  
report Recommended by Hacker4life
Both dwell on the questions of the relationship between the humankind and the Web/computers and raise the issue of whether it is possible to incorporate a human mind into a virtual reality. 
report Recommended by me_here_me_there