So yesterday night I watched Serial Experiments Lain with dinner. For the first time.
I must have something to watch whenever I have dinner, I can’t swallow food otherwise. And thanks to yet another…
…I was left without anything to watch. Or so I though until I saw a folder I had since ages past. It was Lain, something new I had never watched. Often I had heard people saying how awesome it was cos of all it’s philosophical themes and shit. I subconsciously avoided this series fearing something akin to Evangelion’s mind fuck, but I was pleasantly surprised here.
Please note that I have only seen the first episode and all my assumptions and views are based on just the 20 odd minutes I saw last night.
The story starts off with some girl committing suicide off a roof top. Then we see Iwakura Lain, a quiet 14 year old (?) who seems to be lost in a world of her own. Either she has a very creative imagination or she’s smoking some high class crack. Either way, we see her concerned looking at one of the girls in her class crying because she got an email from Chisa Yomoda. The girl who killed herself in the beginning. Apparently many students have been getting an email from the “dead girl” and are taking it for a prank.
Lain goes home to her pc Navi (pc) and sees that she too has an email from Chisa. After reading the email, Lain has a google chat with Chisa. Chisa acknowledges that she fell off the roof, but apparently she’s not dead. Her consciousness is still alive, or perhaps her soul. I can’t remember how the conversation ends, but she goes to her dad for advice. Whether she wanted a new pc or just a discussion about having a chat with a dead girl, her dad pretty much ignores her after the initial small talk. Next day Lain is going to school and sees Chisa. Except not. I don’t know, I was just enjoying my dinner.
Now this anime came out in ’98. Looking at her dad’s setup, I’d say it was shown in the (then) current time period. So this is not a future where people can have their consciousness transferred on the interwebs, ala Ghost in the Shell. Incidentally, Chisa refers to the interwebs as ‘Wired’. Weird. I can only hope that this anime later on becomes more cohesive in it’s story than what it currently is. I suppose a certain level of mysteriousness was required in the first episode to draw the viewer in. But had I not been eating at the time, I would have simply quit and watched something else. Having something to keep me preoccupied allowed me to have the patience to go through the episode. I’m not saying it was boring, it just felt too slow.
So to sum up Lain in two words…
Still, I’m expecting much more out of this series, and thankfully I don’t have to wade through much as it’s just 13 episodes long.
And with that…