Serial Experiments Lain Volume 4 -

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Mania Grade: A

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  • Audio Rating: A+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A+
  • Menus Rating: A
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • 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

Serial Experiments Lain Volume 4

    March 17, 2002

Serial Experiments Lain Volume 4
© Madman Entertainment

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!
Audio: Truly great. There were hardly any dropouts in both the Japanese and English versions, and Madman was careful to preserve every bit of this show. The speech was always clear, except when it was intentionally made to sound fuzzy. The Japanese voice actors and actresses did a superb job, capturing the emotions and fears of each character. The people involved in the dubbing should also be commended for making Lain possess one of the best dubs I have ever heard. Very little of the dialogue was actually altered, except to make it sound correct in English. Pioneer obviously values the original track and the fan's respect. Kudos to them for that. They have definitely earned my approval. The sound effects itself deserves a huge wow. From the hum of the electric wires to the static, each sound complimented the show and creators in impressive ways. The music completely suits the series, brooding and mysterious, it can even be sometimes rather depressing.  

Video: A beautifully clear and crisp picture makes Lain a delight to watch. Because of its nature, most of the series is rather dark and grey, and even despite this, everything shone on the screen. Each movement was like liquid: smooth transitions that melted into the backgrounds, the only exceptions were intentional. I'm pretty sure the quality of Madman's R4 version is equally, if not better, as sharp as Pioneer's (USA) R1 one. And I have never seen such gigantic subtitles on a DVD before.

Special features: The special features were not too bad. Madman even incorporated an omake (hidden extras) into this disk, however small it was. The disk also included over 10 pages of concept art, as well as trailers for Lain merchandise and Madman releases (which Madman humorously titled "Madman Propaganda").

Packaging: The front cover for the R4 version of Lain is almost exactly the same as the original R1 US Pioneer one. The only minor difference is the position of the black strip (which displays the volume) is moved to the top to make room for the rating on the bottom, and the addition of the Madman logo. The image of Lain in front of a desolate staircase captures the essence of the final volume of the series perfectly, emitting a dark lonely feel to it. The gloomy colors and Lain's expression also add to the general feel of the DVD. The title "Serial Experiments Lain" is written in it's typical format, and placed neatly on the right, next to Lain. The back of the DVD is also extremely appropriate, with a small screenshot next to each episode title on the left side, and Japanese staff credits to the right. At the bottom is the listed special features, DVD and region information, and all the studios involved with the English version production of the series. Inside the clear DVD case on the left is a scene selection listing with the Lain cover in the background. On the right, underneath the DVD (which is held by a M-locking Mechanism case) Madman showcases their other available titles and their website. This all comes together to form a very nice packaging format.

Menus: Madman has come a long way with their DVD production, and it shows. Their Lain menus are some of the best I have seen them create, which only proves that their future disk will feature even better menus. The initial menu screen is a very nice blue, with the episode selection extremely large and tense music in the background. Other menus screens had the same consistent layout, some with the absence of music. There was, however, one problem with the DVD. Whenever I chose to watch an episode in English with no subtitles, I would watch that particular episode fine, but as soon as it slid onto the next episode, the subtitles automatically came back on, forcing me to manually return to the menu and turn them off. However, if I chose to watch an episode in Japanese with subtitles, everything was fine. This problem was on the other Lain DVDs as well, but it is not too big a problem, especially if you watch your anime mainly in Japanese. I would not let this discourage you from buying the Lain DVDs Madman produced.

Content (A): Lain is undoubtedly not for everyone. The content dealt with in the series and they way it is conveyed is sure to isolate some, and it is advisable that people don't go into it thinking it is like any other conventional anime. Because it is most definitely not. Watching an episode of Lain will surely leave you thinking, "What is going on here?" Most scenes are jittered fragments that slide confusingly to reality and the Wired, continually blurring the line between the two as the show progresses. The fourth and final volume of Lain contains the last 3 episodes, and finishes off quite nicely, but not quite as you would expect. For one thing, the conclusion is actually quite...uplifting, which completely contradicts the entire show. After Lain finds out she is nothing but a program she destroys her creator and deletes herself from everyone's memory. She becomes extremely sad as she misses Alice, her best friend, and her "family". So she returns many years later and sees a much older Alice with her boyfriend. Alice finds her very familiar, and through their conversation, Lain realizes that she can come back and see the people that she loved whenever she wants. Personally, I felt this was hope for Lain, a concept that seemed pushed aside throughout the series. Upon further consideration, this ending was very appropriate, as it contrasted to everything else in the Lain's life, as well as gave the show one final twist. For people who don't mind their minds being challenged and unique story representations, Lain is definitely worth your time. It's intelligence will truly surprise you.

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
Sharp 68cm Stereo TV, Akai ADV-1000 Mutli-region DVD Player


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jnager 3/13/2012 2:51:14 PM

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