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Anime on DVD: Essential Lain
Mike Mignolia art meets anime. Throw in secret societies, the wired and a healthy dose of computer animation. A dash of men in black and something along the lines of a world consciousness. With that, you'll begin scratching the surface of Serial Experiments Lain, a 13 episode late night TV series brought to the U.S. by Pioneer. Released in four eye dazzling volumes of gorgeous video clarity, this series is one that for many has been living up to the hype brought about by those who had seen it raw or some early fansubs of it.
Lain gained a lot of popularity early one simply due to the great opening song (and animated sequence) sung by the English group Boa, entitled Duvet. A lot of soundtracks and singles alone were sold based off of the perfectly fitting and easily sung song by this group. Lain is a series that some people will simply be in awe of and others will feel is contrived. Rarely does such a heavy series not take itself so seriously yet give the viewer such a large amount of material to digest and interpret in their own way. Often a series will begin to get into heavy dialogue explaining away everything in an effort to make sure every viewer can understand. Lain doesn't devolve into this, rather it allows discussion of the show to continue for a long time past its original viewing. It's also a show that begs numerous repeat viewings to glean things that may have been missed the first couple of times around. With such an intriguing story, intricate characters and gorgeous animation, it's little wonder that this show has become a darling of the fan community.
Serial Experiments Lain also set the benchmark for a TV series release in region 1. With proper chapter marks, full opening and ending sequences and extra goodies here and there as well as easter eggs on each disc, this is the style from which all TV series should be molded and built upon. The four discs in the series achieved high marks in each category during individual reviews. They've also achieved critical acclaim of many reviewers and fans. With all the good things with this release, it's little wonder that it's included in the Essential Anime Collection. No DVD library should be without it. Useful links: Lain Mailing List Anipike Site Listings Thought Experiments Lain