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 308325308,325 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #5192
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #246
Members: 785,555
Favorites: 28,685

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Ranked #519Popularity #246Members 785,555
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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.

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, Original Creator, Planning


Opening Theme

Apple Music
Amazon Music
Youtube Music
"Duvet" by Bôa

Ending Theme

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

Episode Videos


Jun 18, 2024
I've been meaning to finish watching this show for almost four years, but I could never force myself to finish it and I would drop it again and again after watching few episodes for long time on repeat. But today is the day, that I can finally say that I finished it. Maybe I just needed to grow into it to truly understand what it is about. Even though the entire series is shrouded in the paranormal cover, it's very "human" and I think almost everyone can relate to it on some surface. It's avant-garde gem about loneliness, finding your true self and place in ...
May 15, 2024
Mixed Feelings
Serial Experiments Lain seems to have left a significant mark on anime, often rated highly. That being said i found my experience with the anime rather disappointing.

One of the main parts of the anime is it's horror that is especially prominent in the initial episodes. The series begins with a deeply unsettling atmosphere, haunting imagery and creepy(ish) audio. The first few episodes create a sense of unease and makes you feel like the anime will be laced with these great moments of psychological horror. However, as the series progresses the horror element disappears completely. The more convoluted the narrative seems to go, the less creepy ...
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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