Serial Experiments Lain (1998)

TV Mini-Series  |  TV-14  |   |  Animation, Horror, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 6,100 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 28 critic

Strange events begin to occur as a withdrawn girl named Lain becomes obsessed with interconnected virtual realm of "The Wired".

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Series cast summary:
Bridget Hoffman ...
 Lain Iwakura (13 episodes, 1998)
 Additional Voices (13 episodes, 1998)
 Various voices (English Dub) (13 episodes, 1998)
Shô Hayami ...
 Deus / ... (6 episodes, 1998)


A week after Chisa committed suicide, her classmates begin to receive emails from her. Hearing rumors fly at school, a quiet withdrawn girl named Lain goes home that day, turns on her dusty Navi computer for the first time and has a conversation with the dead girl. Chisa's message reads that she killed herself because she didn't need her body anymore, and she now exists in The Wired. When Lain asks why someone would do something like that she gets a response: "Because God is here". Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Present day, present time! Ha ha ha ha ha...


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

7 July 1998 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Lain  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

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Did You Know?


The two MIBs actually have names. The name of the short, Asian MIB is Lin Sui-Xi. The name of the tall, Caucasian MIB is Karl Haushofer. His character was the only one to be addressed by name during the series. See more »


Lain Iwakura: [gasp]
Miho Iwakura: The wired might actually be thought of as a highly advanced upper layer of the real world. In other words, physical reality is nothing but an illusion, a hologram of the information that flows to us through the wired.
Lain Iwakura: But ma...
Miho Iwakura: This is because the body, physical motion, the activity of the human brain is merely a physical phenomenon, simply caused by synapses delivering electrical impulses.
Lain Iwakura: But mom, I...
Miho Iwakura: The physical body exists at a less evolved plane only to verify one's existence in ...
See more »


Referenced in Cowboy Bebop: Brain Scratch (1999) See more »


, from album Twilight
Composed and performed by Boa. Vocals by Jasmine Rodgers.
Courtesy of Polystar Records
See more »

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User Reviews

couldn't leave his rant unanswered
26 November 2004 | by (Stanford, California) – See all my reviews

I feel like I have to say a few things about zetes's rant. For one, it's kind of depressing when people watch 4 episodes of a show and feel like they know everything about it. To put things in perspective, this is like watching the first 35 minutes of a movie and being convinced that it's worthless. But onto his points:

1. Yeah, a lot of effort does go into making the show more mysterious, but eventually it really does touch on themes that would appeal to those looking for something intellectual, especially functionalism, descriptive materialism, and the problems with a wholly materialistic interpretation of identity. Don't expect hardcore analytic philosophy, just a nice sprinkling of references and some interesting perspectives.

2. When you first start watching the series, it makes absolutely no sense, and every episode just seems to be adding to the complexity by introducing new aspects. But by the time you finish it, I guarantee that all of these things will make perfect sense (even why Lain's family seems so shallow and undeveloped). In this sense, the series creates perfect order out of total chaos, an aspect that I particularly liked.

3. I'm not going to pretend to be a film critic, but the directing seemed pretty effective at creating the kind of atmosphere that the series needed. And many of the episodes ended with great "what the hell just happened?" moments, that forced me to revise all my theories and definitely made me want watch more.

No offense to zetes, but you shouldn't watch this anime expecting to find character portraits or traditional "slice-of-life" drama. Just like any good existentialist movie ("Donnie Darko" comes to mind here) it won't make too much sense until you've watched the whole thing and maybe even thought about it a bit. So if you feel like you won't be satisfied unless you get your moral straight-up, then this series isn't for you. It'll make you think and will only provide you with more question, not answers.

72 of 80 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Films that blow your mind or remind you of Lain lovesux54
Any more anime like this? wickedcapedkid-1
I Hope This Gets Better... Delpheno
The Origin/Nature of Lain joshua-a-mcknight
who'd you cast for a live action lain movie? pataki0021
"and then she kissed her" LizK1
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