Serial Experiments Lain Vol. #4 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A+

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  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: A+
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: A
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Serial Experiments Lain

Serial Experiments Lain Vol. #4

By Chris Beveridge     November 23, 1999
Release Date: November 23, 1999

Serial Experiments Lain Vol. #4
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.

What They Say
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 volume of Lain. Does it live up? Let's talk.

From an audio perspective, the disc is definitely equal with previous releases. A good percentage of the show, though in stereo, is crisp and clear through the center channel with several sequences shifting to the left and right speakers. Dialogue is undistorted and very understandable.

The video on this disc continues to shine and in several sequences probably exceeds parts of the previous releases. Some sections look grainy, but that's the directors intent with the bits of video snow and other tricks to achieve certain looks. From my perspective and on the system listed in the equipment section below, this is a flawless looking disc.

The fourth volume contains probably my least favourite of the five Japanese covers, though I like them all, I wish they had used the one from the first Japanese release. The back cover contains a decent amount of information and doesn't really reveal much in the way of spoilers for the final three episodes.

The menu continues the same style as before and works without any issue. Selections are accessed quickly and accurately, the page artwork feels perfectly creepy and it just a great effective menu for this series.

But in the end, as always, it's the content that counts. Frankly, I'm at a bit of a loss to really review these final episodes. Everyone will come away with something different and will be sharing their reactions to it. Some will find it contrived. Others brilliant. Many simply won't get it. What is evidenced by the final volume is just how much structure went into the series planning and Chiaki Konaka really deserves a hand for how wonderfully it was all done.

One of the more amusing sections was at the very beginning of the disc, where the first half of episode eleven is a recap with new and old footage of the previous ten episodes. Most times recaps explain pretty well what's gone before. Yet this recap just continues to pile the strange and absurd upon each other with some wonderfully scored music and drops it in the viewers lap.

This series won't appeal to everyone, but it's gotten quite a lot of recognition and hype in region 1 with it's release on both VHS and DVD simultaneously. Is it deserved? In my mind, yes. Long time fans and those with a decent knowledge of Japanese society and wired related experiences will find plenty to amuse and enthrall at times throughout the series. Casual fans may wonder what the buzz is about and be equally enthralled or just pass it off as something weird.

I can only imagine what those late night Japanese viewers must have thought when it was being broadcast.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Credit-less ending

Review Equipment
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.


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