Serial Experiments Lain Volume 4 (of 4) (Mania.com)

Review Date: Friday, March 01, 2002



What They Say
“I’ll delete myself and reset everyone’s memory.”
Who am I? The question is asked over and over again throughout the noise. Lain destroys her own creator and loses her best friend, now Lain must decide what to do. Should she delete herself from everyone’s memory?! If she does, the real world should remain exactly the same, but if no one remembers her, did Lain ever really exist?

The Review!
The final disc of Lain has arrived, and oh what a ride she’s lead us on. Is the ending good? Is it a let down? Does it actually make sense?

Audio:
Two technically great stereo tracks. The audio styles used in series recap set the absurd mood of the proceedings naturally.

Video:
High class video to the end, even with the rapidly changing mix of styles and formats used in the recap episode. The end credits have also been altered, with the hard subbed one seen previous replaced with a version that uses soft subs.

Menu:
A pink and blue-ish purple version of the standard Copland access menu used on the other discs.. Some minor animation, nice tune and it includes the hidden extra like the Region 1 version.

Extras:
The extras follow the same solid path to the end. The conceptual art section concerns itself again with character sheets, with settings and items used in the final episodes. I personally like the Glain page. The Promotion section features the Australian Lain trailer, a commercial for the Japanese VHS/LD/DVD release and two new ads for the Lain soundtrack CDs and the Playstation game. The Madman propaganda section, the term used they use to describe their section of trailers for other releases on titles plugged in the mainstream market.

Packaging:
Double sided version of the R1cover in transparent keepcase. The front cover has a rather bemused Lain (is there any of kind?) rendered brown toned water colors, looking towards the view from the walking bridge in the final episode. Inside cover features a repeat of the front cover on the preface side with the scene selection tables for the disc (8 per episode) and under the disc hub are plugs for four other Madman discs (Blood with second run cover, Wicked City, Eva Volume 1 and Ghost in the Shell). The disc features a close up on Lain from the front cover.

Content:
First up is a series recap that introduces new aspects and angles of past events before setting the stage for the climax. As she tries to reach an understanding of what the Wired and Real World are and her supposed role is, those closest to Lain or who interact with her on regular basis begin suffer, including her own creator. Everything begins to spiral out of control and Lain elects to throw everything out, uninstall herself and reset the system. But where does that leave Lain?

The ending could be accused of falling into the Akira/Eva watch a few times to proper understand mold, but it certainly feels better in my mind than either of the other two. No matter what, it was certainly worth the price of admission.

Features
English Language, Japanese Language, English subtitles, Australian Lain Trailer, Japanese Lain CD soundtrack commercial, Japanese Lain VHS/LD/DVD commercial, Japanese Lain Playstation commercial, Conceptual Artwork, Hidden Extra

Review Equipment
JNL-7001 DVD Player, Commodore 1802 PAL Color Monitor



Mania Grade: A+
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: A-
Age Rating: All
Region: 4 - Australia / South America
Released By: Madman Entertainment
MSRP: 34.95 AU
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Serial Experiments Lain