Serial Experiments Lain Vol. #2 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, February 18, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, August 24, 1999
The surrealism of Lain continues in the second volume. Lain continues to discover more about herself and the wired, while her sister has a series of encounters that make her question her own sanity. Then Lain begins to investigate the game that is driving kids to the brink of madness. Her search leads her the mysterious group known as the Knights. Who these Knights are and their connection to Deus is hinted at. Finally the Men in Black reveal their faces and their motives, but will Lain cooperate with them?
Acting: Japanese: 5
Wow another perfect disc from Pioneer. This series is simply wonderful, definitely in my top five list of all time best stories and best art in the form of film. It continues the story threads from the first disc and moves it along so wonderfully that I'm left with the desire to learn more. Wow, can't recommend this enough.
O.K. I'm calm. Let's begin the review. The animation in this volume remains consistent with the first volume. Still very stark animation that brings to life the story and characters. While watching this I was stunned at the use of computer animation and the way it was integrated into the story and settings. This is done very well. The use of sound is also perfect in almost every detail. Every sound adds the proper effect. My favorite scene in this disc is when Lain's sister is in the coffee shop. Listen once she spills the coffee to the background noise... very creepy. The plot is taking shape, slowly and deliberately. This reminds me so much of EVA. Little hints thrown all the way through the show leading up to the big finish. After viewing this volume Christine and myself talked about the plot and what we suspected was happening for over two hours. We only stopped because of the time, (gotta go to work). The acting on both parties was very good again. I know last time some people had problems with the English voice of Lain not changing her voice enough, but I think she does a great job again. She is working a little more subtly than the Japanese voice actress and that may not work for all people. The music again fits the series, and while I don't like all of it, I can't argue that it adds to the show. Overall, this series is shaping up to be simply awesome. I'm left gasping for more after this volume.
Pioneer has kept up their excellent disc quality again. Top of the line on all counts. I won't say too much about it except I'll mention the extras. You get some more stickers with this release (YAY, I love these things!), you get the opening animation without credits, and some more concept art. Also an Easter Egg if you toggle on the main screen and make Lain's eyes glow red. Hit select and see some more wacky stuff.
All in all this is a great disc from Pioneer and one worthy of any anime fan's collection. I again recommend this series to anyone looking for a great story, some very bizarre imagery. If you enjoy foreign films, and the work of David Lynch (there were scenes in this disc that echoed many of film techniques. Good to see he's influencing someone, and the results are great) this is a must have for your collection. As it is I think every anime fan should at least rent the first DVD or tape and see it for themselves.
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.
Mania Grade: NA
Audio Rating: N/A
Video Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: N/A
Menus Rating: N/A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Serial Experiments Lain