Friday, August 6, 2010

Serial Experiments Lain

Serial Experiments Lain is a good series from the 90s if you can get past how totally strange the whole thing is. It's never very straightforward, and asks you to pay attention pretty much the whole time. It does recap most of its significant events at one point, but even that is obscure with it just seeming randomly edited to some freaky guitar playing. Very basically, it takes place in a world not quite like ours. It was a bit ahead of its time, predicting some aspects of Internet culture before it really took off. People use "Navis" to connect to the "Net", and eventually the main character Lain gets involved, but she starts to find ways that the Net world crosses over to the real one. Eventually there are major questions about the very nature of her existence. There are various factors tugging and pulling her like a mysterious god-like figure and a secret society that might be pursuing her. It successfully builds an atmosphere of paranoia and questions of what's really going on. If you pay attention it never gets too crazy, and after a while it actually makes sense, for the most part. It obviously gets more intense as it goes along and gets into a lot of really bizarre imagery, but they actually do a good job of resolving it in a way that keeps everything within the realm of understanding. It's not exactly a fun show, but it's a really intriguing one if you can deal with its oddness.

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