In the world of
Kaneda! Tetsuo! KANEDAAAAA!!
by Cth (email@example.com)
Weeks DVD selections were brought to you by:
The letter "L" and the number "42"
Serial Experiments: Lain
5/5 (great color choice, not
"busy", conveys a mood well, eye-catching, atypical)
4/5 (Experimental animation
techniques, non-standard animation, subplot killed)
4/5 (animated menus? what's
that? Poor choice on chapter
4/5 (Different stills would be nice, no ads, 3 audio tracks that are
4/5 (Highly recommended to Anime fans or computer hobbyists; Well
All the other Anime companies can take a hint from the
designer of this cover. It stands
out at you among the sea of other anime that look similar.
The stylized logo also helps to draw the casual glancer in and gets them
to pick up the DVD, giving it great shelf presence.
It has a watercolor feel, which perfectly conveys the mood of isolation
that the film has.
As the title suggests, there are some experimental techniques
used in this film. First and most
notably, is the meshing of computer graphics into the animation without being
intrusive and offensive. Scenes
such as those appearing on TV, rather than animated and looking flat, have been
replaced with live video capture of existing animation.
This gives it a fuzzy look much like you'd see on a TV from a distance.
Small things like this go a long way in terms of showing you've put some effort
into making a movie like
this. The design
of the computer interfaces showcase some excellent attention to detail that
makes sense. Also, the repetitious pattern builds a "theme" and also
draws you into the feeling of the surrounding world being monotonous and boring
that the main character feels.
This is a pretty straightforward movie, in other words, don't
watch it expecting to see demons or mutated figures punching one another, etc.
All the characters are portrayed in a very realistic manner.
The story goes like this:
Lain walked home from school with a girl one day, only to
kill herself soon thereafter. This
girl left an email message behind to most of her classmates stating she wasn't
dead, and that she's finally free from this world and to join her.
Lain, a computer novice, begins her journey of discovery of both the
computer world that surrounds the existing world, and herself.
Her friends in an attempt to break her quiet nature, bring her to a local
club, where she observes someone killed in front of her.
There's a computer hacker group that causes trouble, and rumor has it
that Lain has ties to it. Lain
begins taking on another persona polar opposite of her own.
The hacking groups, the Knights, are looking for God in the machine.
God doesn't want to be found, and brings the hacking group into the light
where they are caught easily. Only
Lain meets with God and discovers God isn't too pleased when she rejects him.
God turns out to be a software designer who was fired and in dying passed over
to this world. God tries to tell Lain she's software and doesn't exist.
Suddenly everyone hears rumors about Lain breaking into people's files
and spreading their secrets online. Lain
convinces God to step in this world to prove his power, where she destroys him.
Lain then fixes everything right before locking herself inside of her own
Again, non-animated menus, especially for an animated film,
is pointless in my opinion. I'd
have much preferred to see a different intro/end credits for each episode, or
ideally, neither. These episodes
have a movie feel to them, but it gets broken up with the serial nature of it,
which could have been handled better I feel.
The chapter listing was annoying as well.
I didn't see any need to split the chapter layout into two sides other
than to be different.
Some production/concept sketches, which are unfortunately the
same on all the DVDs. You also have
an ad area for all the other anime the company produces which is in my opinion
tacky. If you want to have a sales
ad, at least offer some video footage/trailer like the SIN DVD does.
Highly recommended is the episode that's almost a surreal
2001 trip. When Lain tries to hook
herself directly into the feed unfiltered and almost dies.
The blaring guitar and schizophrenic nature of this episode truly
captures the feeling of it happening.
If you like anime, you should love Lain.
If you like well written sci-fi, you should love Lain.
If you're curious about how a unique animation film should look like (Don
Bluth fans take note), get Lain. My best advice is to do like I did pick up the
first DVD. It kept staring at me
for weeks to get it and I generally dislike anime for it's cookie cutter
story/animation, but this DVD is anything but that. Look around online, there's
some deals on the set, including a lunchbox carrying case if you're so inclined
for the same cost to pick them up at the local store.