Serial Experiments: Lain – 02

If you thought the first episode was trippy, wait till you see this one.

みんな、おひさしぶり!Long time no see everyone! :3 Contrary to popular belief, I am still here, alive and well (relatively), and I’m sorry if I made anyone wonder if I was really real at all. I have to extend gratuitous amounts of gratitude to Kyokai for not being too angry at me and allowing me to still be here. r.r That said, I’ve got some reviewing to do. :x

Serial Experiments: Lain. In the last review we learned that SEL looks dated and that I was frustrated at the source aspect ratio. Luckily (or unluckily) I found a makeshift solution that has helped lessen the burden that is screencapping SEL. I’m still saddened by it though: I love my HD and when I see grains I cry. Oh, how I wept.

Tonikaku, this episode opens up in what seems to be a rave club. Some bland looking dude is at a table sucking up some biru when a waitress in a gasmask walks up to the table and throws down a packet of drugs. After paying, he takes out a boxcutter and opens the pill up to see its contents. In it we see what appears to be some kind of machine, maybe a nano-machine, covered in slime. Apparently pleased with what he sees, Mr. Bland Guy gobbles the thing up and chases it with a gulp of beer. In a few seconds the dude starts to froth at the mouth and everything around him starts to slow. We learn that it makes him feel accelerated and in affect makes everything else looks like it’s moving slower. In the few screens that flick by we see people dancing, a group of girls that looks like the girls that go to Lain’s school, and a fight between some guy and a girl that looks exactly like Lain.

Not too sure about that one.

Look its a bug!

Or not.

“HHHHNNGGGGHHHH! DRUGS!”

The next morning, we find Lain at her red Navi checking if she has any new mail from that dead Chisa girl. In the background we see Lain’s sister creeping and checking up on what Lain is doing. She then starts to tease Lain about her “imaginary friend” before walking away all smug like. I wonder, what could she mean? Later, while walking to school, Lain spies some guy creepily hiding behind a telephone pole. As she walks closer she can see him staring at her. After stopping to stare back at the guy for a few seconds (cuz we all know how much she loves to stare) his creepy gaijin nose and eyes cause her to run off frightened.

“WTB used patsu.”

Outside of school Lain bumps into her classmates who ask her if she was at the club Cyberia the night before. While they argue amongst themselves how it couldn’t possibly be Lain, Lain replies that she wasn’t there. They tell her that they saw a girl at the club who looked just like her, though her personality was completely different.

Ah, friends. Who better to make creepy faces at you?

The next scene shows a short PA-like segment about the drug we saw Bland Guy take at the club. It is called Accela and it is indeed a nano-machine. When ingested the machine emits a wave at a specific frequency to stimulate the part the body that secretes a special hormone that affects a person’s perception of time (shit, long sentence). With the elevated levels of said hormone in a person’s blood, they seem to perceive time in an accelerated fashion making it seem as if everything is moving much slower that they actually are. In a sense the person sees what time dilation would look like, but it really isn’t. Supposedly with just one use the user’s mind is forever changed, though no one knows exactly how.

Drugs are bad kids. :x

In class Lain get’s a text from Alice tell Lain that she should go with them to Cyberia later that night. Lain replies that she should probably pass. Later, maybe during lunch or break, while walking the hallway, Lain thinks she sees a person creeping in a random closet. After stopping to get a better look, she indeed sees some girl creeping and staring at her. In a sudden burst of strange music, white “silhouettes” pop out of the walls and walk past Lain. A second later Creeper Girl glides in front of Lain where she sports her ever changing screaming face. Needless to say Lain is paralyzed in fear. Suddenly, Creeper Girl starts to walk toward Lain and magically walks through her before disappearing. The camera then pans out to show that Lain is all alone. o.O

In a show like SEL, when you walk alone in a hallway, you have to know shit is gonna go down.

I think I’d have a similar face if this ever happened to me.

And away we go.

After school, we see a delivery truck outside of Lain’s house. After an awkward greeting, Lain helps the guy in and he brings what appears to be boxes for a new Navi into the house. Later that night Lain’s father comes home and Lain asks if he can set it up for her. While putting the Navi together Tou-san gives Lain some speech about how communication, may it be online or not, is the key to the future. After he finishes and walks out of Lain’s room he almost runs into Mika who is creeping on Lain again. Lain then gets a text from Alice telling her that all the girls are waiting for her at Cyberia. Lain then decides to go.

“Yo. We just finished making out in front of you.”

Dressed in the most retarded of clothes, Lain makes her way to Cyberia. There her friends tease her for what she’s wearing and make small talk. In the next moment we hear a gun shot. A light breaks and people start screaming and running out of the club. The camera shows a pool of blood then pans up to show a dude with a handgun (which oddly has a laser sight on it) standing near two bodies. All of Lain’s friends run away, but as expected, Lain doesn’t and just stares at the guy. Alice comes back to pull Lain away, but just then one of the rave lights lands on the girls. The guy with the gun ends up seeing Lain’s face and starts freaking out. He starts muttering stuff about the Wired and how she’s the “scattered god’s” something and how the “Wired shouldn’t be allowed to interfere with this world.” Then he points the gun at Lain saying stuff like “I didn’t want to do this, stop making me do this.” To Alice’s dismay Lain starts walking towards the guy. When she gets closer to him she says “No matter where you are, everyone is connected.” Then we see the guy put the gun in his mouth and off himself. Interesting ne?

“DRRUUUUGGGSSSSS!!!!!”

I guess the moral of this episode is not to do drugs.

End Thoughts: Well, doesn’t this episode open up a whole new box of questions? I find that it hardly answers any of those posed in the first episode. Get used to it though, from what I remember of the series you’ll finish with more questions than you started with.

First off, there’s supposedly two Lains. Maybe it’s a doppelganger, yet the way Lain acted at the end of the episode hints otherwise. Secondly, who is this “scattered god?” And third, why are middle schoolers at raves? Don’t these clubs have age limits? Well, maybe not since we see a group of shougakusei just waltz in. Also, who was that creepy gaijin staring at Lain near her house? And what the fuck is up with those wanna-be X-Files silhouette things? They show up a lot, don’t they?

Though I’ve already watched this series a few times over, I want to point out how Mika (Lain’s older sister) seems to be spying on Lain. It’s very important.

Other than that, rewatching this is destroying my fond memories of this show. It’s grainy, its horribly animated, and sometimes I just stare and ask “wtf am I looking at?” But the story, oh gawd, the story is so rich. :x

Preview: So I’ve decided since I’m watching all of this on DVD and because the previews are shown after the last episode on the disk, I’ll just write about the previews when I review the last episode on the disk. You guys aren’t missing out anyway, the previews have nothing to do with what the next episode is about. :D

About

AFK a lot. Shiny writer. Good luck catching him with anything less than a master ball. :3
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13 Responses to “Serial Experiments: Lain – 02”

  1. Kyokai says:

    gratuitous amounts of gratitude – Lol, good one! And the bug reminded me of Matrix. I want to marathon it again but -shot- FALL IS GOING TO BE BUSYYYY!

  2. Teabie says:

    Wow, thanks for reviewing Lain! I stopped watching after a while (waaaaaaay back in 2000… or something, haha) and seeing these entries really kick me back into a Lain-esque sequencing of memories and emotions. And I love your little quotes for the pictures. Hilarious!!

    • Masu says:

      well im glad i’ve inspired at least ONE person to pick it back up. and im sure everyone stopped watching it at least once. the first time i watched lain i stopped after the 2nd episode. a year later i returned to it and couldn’t get enough. perhaps something similar will happen to you. :3

      in other news…i always try to keep mah cap-shans fresh. :B hurr hurr

  3. Overcooled says:

    Watching Lain now is painful since the animation is pretty dated now =B I’m still debating whether I should press on past episode 4…lol. Lain certainly is an interesting one, especially her clothing taste. I like her pedobear pajamas. :3

    • Masu says:

      well, you could always wait till i finished formatting the reviews for eps 3 and 4 and then decide. For me, after the 4th ep, i was itching to watch the other 9 eps. :x

  4. Raimund says:

    I don’t exactly understand how the fact that it’s 480i could make SEL a less decent anime. That’s like saying, don’t watch Citizen Kane because it’s not 3D. In fact I often think the traditional “limited animation” method has a unique elegance because it is so much graphically reduced, that more recent productions lack. Not to mention that the calm and motionless sequences, their color bleeding and contrast are what predominantly contributes to SEL’s atmosphere. Soundtrack also plays well with it.
    But never mind, I’m getting the right signals here anyway, after all it’s really one of the best out there^^

    • Masu says:

      you explained many of the reasons why im still trying to advocate it. its just that its very noticeable when i watch the episodes on my tv, so much so that it sometimes breaks the mood of the scene. that is the sole reason why i bugs me, that i “remember” that i’m just watching a show.

      and i’m glad you like the music for the show too. i’m not sure if i mentioned it, but the music is half of the show, without it SEL’s atmosphere wouldnt exist. :D

  5. Kushi says:

    Lain (the character) has issues.
    the show is interesting and trippy, but sadly that’s the only thing that seems to be good so far… :(
    But reading your review helps me digest what just happened! :D

  6. Joojoobees says:

    Lain is like the perfect art-film. It is like the Andalusian Dog of Anime. If it made more sense I wouldn’t get the same sense that the artists were committed to delivering on their vision.

    Example: All those wires that are shown, seeing them isn’t particularly pleasant for the viewer, and it must have been a pain in the ass to produce all those scenes, on the other hand, they convey a sense of this mass of increasing density that is growing on the body of .. of what? Certainly the human landscape, but also social relations or possibly identity itself.

    • Masu says:

      right? RIGHT? thought i have to say, i cant believe you just wrote that. i was planning on saving most of my theories and ideas about the show for the last review i did, as a sort of wrap up. you beat me to the punch! :O

      but im glad you see it that way too. that’s one of the reasons why i dont mind watching this series again. even though its slower than your normal slow anime, experiencing it as a piece of art (much more than a piece of entertainment) is what my love of the series is founded upon. o.O im not even sure that made sense. -___-

  7. Grim says:

    This show sounds so F’d up makes me want to watch it lol :P good post.

  8. Jamie says:

    Cool love Lain :thumb: Great anime series

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