Serial Experiments Lain

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Serial Experiments Lain
Premiere July 6, 1998
Finale September 28, 1998
Creator Chiaki J. Konaka
Network/Provider TV Tokyo
Bandai Channel
Style 30-minute anime science fiction
Company Production 2nd
Seasons 1
Episodes 13
(List of episodes)
Origin Japan

Serial Experiments Lain (1998) is an original science fiction anime program created by Chiaki J. Konaka with character designs by Yoshitoshi ABe.

The series is set in a future where everything is connected to the Wired, an online network similar to the Internet but far more advanced. Japanese schoolgirl Lain Iwakura takes very little interest in computers, until one day a classmate commits suicide and other students report getting e-mails from the deceased girl. Lain goes online to discover that she too has received messages. Instead of dismissing them as a hoax, she starts to correspond with the dead girl, who claims that she is not really dead, but has merely left her body...

Lain is drawn further and further into the online world, even as the real world begins to warp around her. Children are being harmed by a video game, her family has been acting strange, there are mysterious men in black watching her every move, and strangers seem to know a completely different Lain walking around.

Serial Experiments Lain is best known for the strange voiceovers in each episode, including the prologue and episode title. It is also full of disturbing psychological imagery and dense technological dialogue where real people and machines in the history of computers are referenced often. Many of the elements of the series are standards for cyberpunk fiction, particularly the use of cyberspace, an unwilling protagonist who gets wrapped up in something much larger than she completely understands and complex conspiracy theories.



Japanese Voices English Voices Character
Main Cast
Kaori Shimizu Ruby Marlowe Lain Iwakura
Ayako Kawasumi Patricia Ja Lee Mika Iwakura
Rei Igarashi Celeste Burch Miho Iwakura
Ryunosuke Ohbayashi Gil Starberry Yasuo Iwakura
Yoko Asada Emily Brown Alice Mizuki
Kotomi Muto Lia Sargent Chisa Yomoda
Takumi Yamazaki James Lyon Man in Black 1
Jouji Nakata Robert Wicks Man in Black 2
Sho Hayami Sparky Thornton Masami Eiri
Keito Takimoto Ian Hawk Taro


Season Premiere Finale #
TV Tokyo
Season One July 6, 1998 September 28, 1998 13


  • At a Glance: Additional information about the series.

DVD Releases

Title Release Date #
Individual Discs
Navi July 13, 1999 1
Knights August 24, 1999 1
Deus October 12, 1999 1
Reset November 23, 1999 1
Special Collections
Serial Experiments Lain Boxed Set November 28, 2000 4