DVD
Serial Experiments Lain Box Set

Starring (voice): Kaori Shimizo, Ryunosuke Obajashi and Rei Igarashi
MVM
RRP: 39.99
MVD5008
Certificate: 12
Available 23 October 2006


Lain Iwakura is a fairly average girl. Her world is shattered when a girl at school commits suicide. Even more disturbing is that shortly after this girl's death several girls at the school, including Lain, receive e-mails from the dead girl. Lain tries to get to the bottom of who is sending the e-mails by updating her 'Navi' home computer so that she can interface with the 'wired' world. As her skill at working with her computer increase the lines between her reality and the wired become increasingly blurred with the threat to her own existence becoming ever more perilous...

Serial Experiments Lain is an interesting series, although I have to admit that I thought that the creators stretched the plot to breaking point. This could easily have been a two-hour movie.

Fans of the series will probably defend this claiming that part of the show's charm is the fact that there's no attempt to quickly explain away what's going on with some strange monsters, or to partner Lain up with some cute sidekick and that as concepts go it's creepy, haunting and endlessly fascinating. And to be honest this is true up to a point.

But then again the endless shots of Lain on her computer, conversing with those in the wired world, gets a little tiresome after a while. And even when something exciting looks set to happen (the appearance of the mysterious men in black) the show quickly goes back to being a little on the bland side.

This really is a series that you have to give your full attention too. If you let your mind slip for a minute you can easily miss what is going on - and that's it. You're out in the wilderness. Lost to what on earth is happening on the screen. This really is a show that you'll need to view more than once to really appreciate.

I loved the opening titles music, as well as the majority of the incidental music. This really helped to give the show more of a chilling atmosphere.

This box set is simply the collecting together of the four original DVD releases and packaging them slightly differently. This is by far the cheapest way of owning the series and if you want to buy it I'd advise you to get hold of this collection.

All in all if you're in the right frame of mind (and feel like watching a show that is a little more meatier than other anime productions) you'll enjoy Serial Experiments Lain.

Pete Boomer

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£29.99 (Amazon.co.uk)
   
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£31.99 (Play.com)
   
£28.99 (HMV.co.uk)
   
£31.99 (Blahdvd.com)

All prices correct at time of going to press.