First Serial Experiment—[Lain]—Psyche, Layer: 03—Lain’s Decision-Making

It has been some time since rumors of the existence of a processor called “Psyche” first surfaced. First mentioned in news groups then eventually throughout the web, its name was whispered among tech-otaku, with employees of shops in Akihabara and Nihonbashi at the core.

While it’s true that every episode so far has focused squarely on Lain, this episode does so in a way that speaks more than it hides for once. Lain’s multiple identities are brought up many times, and I find no reason to question that they’re the same person. Lain never denies any accusations, and rather her actions toward the end of the episode in Cyberia suggest admittance to the idea that “Lain of the Wired” and Iwakura Lain are one and the same. My suspicions that Lain is up to something also feel confirmed, if only by the elementary-school tech wizard Taro’s similar suspicion towards Lain. (I love that I’m suspicious of the main character, by the way.)

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First Serial Experiment—[Lain]—Girls, Layer: 02—Lain the Quiet Lie

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It’s amazing how much a girl can change her face. Those middle school girls look “their age” when they’re in school uniforms, but get them in their club attire with their makeup and you’ve got a whole new look—and never believe that isn’t the point. Lain is the sneakiest of them all, fabricating different looks to fit the different situations that she finds herself in at the Cyberia club.

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First Serial Experiment—[Lain]—Weird, Layer: 01—Lain the Island Genius

Every event serves to emphasize the existence of one’s own personal reality, and as individuals separate from all others, we desire a place to belong.

Serial Experiments Lain is the longest-standing item on my favorites list, even though I haven’t watched it since 2007. I’ve seen Lain in its entirety twice, the first four episodes thrice, and the first episode now five times; and I’ve never felt that I knew the show well enough. Most Lain fans claim to have watched the series four times before “understanding” it—though everyone’s “understanding” of the show is a bit different, and tends to change no matter how many times they rewatch. Certain things like reading the Lain artbook changed my perception of the series without even watching it.

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