Us as anime fans watch shows for a variety of different reason. Sometimes we watch shows because we can relate to the characters and stories . Sometimes we follow the shows because we aspire to want to be the positive characters especially if we grow up with some of the shows.
Other times maybe once in a blue moon a show truly resonates to the spirit of our character. Serial Experiments Lain is one of those series.
Made in 1998 by Pioneer Entertainment and directed by the late Ryutaro Nakamura who passed away due to Pancreatic Cancer shortly after making this work.
Serial Experiements Lain is based around Lain Iwakura, an adolescent girl living in suburban Japan, and her introduction to the Wired, a global communications network similar to the modern Internet. Lain lives with her middle-class family, which consists of her flaky older sister Mika, her emotionally and non responsive distant mother, and her technology-obsessed father. Lain herself is somewhat awkward, introverted, and socially isolated from most of her school peers and her family , But her routine is changed once she hears that a girl in her class received a email from Chisa Yomoda who committed . When Lain receives the message herself at home, Chisa tells her (apparently in real time) that she is not dead, but has merely “abandoned her physical body and flesh”, and is alive deep within the virtual reality-world of the Wired itself where she has found the almighty and divine God.
From then on things get more and more bizarre as she is entangled in conspiracies, cults and the realization that everything she has ever known has changed.
This show while being quite old has built some amount of following and has gone on to inspire cyber punk artwork and hacker groups. Even academic papers have been written on the show trying to breakdown the concepts and symbolism used through the show.
I could give you my own version of what the show is about but I like the original creator of the show want viewers to create new theories about what the show is about.
Character designs are done by Yoshitoshi ABe whose work has a distinct feel and makes him stand out as a artist . He has worked on such shows Welcome to the NHK and Haibane Renmei.
Should you watch this series ? Well the simple answer is yes but like Lain everything has its levels but if you would like to venture into a series that explores philosophy and concepts of technology with the occasional messing with your mind. Then this show is just for you.