Talk:Serial Experiments Lain

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Serial Experiments Lain is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Article milestones
October 15, 2006Peer reviewReviewed
October 17, 2006Good article nomineeListed
December 13, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
January 1, 2007Featured article candidatePromoted
January 25, 2010Featured article reviewDemoted
Current status: Former featured article


What, no links to, not any mentions of TEL ? I'm flabbergasted. 15:03, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

What is TEL? The TEL page doesn't list any obvious things you might mean by that. --Gwern (contribs) 21:57 1 September 2007 (GMT)
I know this is old, but I think the OP was referring to the “Thought Experiments Lain” fan site. It's fairly well know in the English fandom and has a rather comprehensive analysis/breakdown.


Schizophrenia and psychosisEdit

At least from the first 4 layers I have watched, Lain seems to have very schizophrenic like hallucinations. Also the settings intentionally confuse night and day, very much like someone in psychosis. Should we should include this somewhere in the article? Dissociative identity disorder is pretty obvious anyways. My $0.02 --AnjinSan43 17:53, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm pleased I'm not the only one who has thought this. Emotional detachment, paranoia (MIB are watching her house), "broadcasting" delusions, hearing voices, hallucinations... only DID is not really a schizophrenia symptom, but the show's creators may not have known that. Vintermann (talk) 19:02, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

something about this should definitely be added to the article on the section about mental disorders, capgras delusion basically defines what happened to lain's family in the series, not to mention the general conspiracy and thought broadcasting themes relating to schizophrenia — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:17, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

lain having schizophrenia is also directly referenced in the official game for the playstation — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:21, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Keep watching. The meaning is deeper than simple psychosis. As such it is redundant to include. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:07, 5 July 2020 (UTC)

Not a iMacEdit

Lain's computer was not modeled after a iMac but the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh. The iMac was just coming out when the Anime was made, and as of that time little resembled what the iMacs of today look like. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:10, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

That line was talking about Alice's Navi, not Lain's. Nervertheless, your contribution is good, so I restored what you removed, and re-worded what you added for clarification. Kazu-kun 19:04, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Images and FAEdit

This article has been tagged for having excessive non-free images for ten days, but no effort appears to be underway to address this issue. If it is not addressed, the article could lose its FA standing as appropriate non-free image use is a requirement for being FA, so I'm starting this discussion so the issue can be discussed and addressed before that happens. AnmaFinotera (talk) 20:38, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

There! I removed the characters images. That will take care of the possibility of losing the FA status. Now I'll start looking for a group image replacement. Kazu-kun (talk) 20:53, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
The rest of the images meet FU creteria accordingly. The number of images is not an issue, taking in account what they're used for: they all illustrate critical commentary on what the images themselves depict, which is related with the sections they're placed in. Per guilines this the best usage for FU images, as it clearly assert the need for the images. There's no need for that tag, and it's you who have to prove the contrary of you want to place it here. State your concern about the particular image/s you have problem with, please! Kazu-kun (talk) 21:15, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Removing the tag because you disagree with it is not appropriate as discussion has been opened. I see no critical commentary on the recurring image of Lain going to school. Nothing in the article discusses Lain custom computer system beyond mentioning its probably a Mac, nor does the article go into detail on its make up. "ABe imagined Lain cutting her own hair and making a ponytail of what was left" interesting, but nothing in the article goes into further details as to why that's relevant nor provides the additional commentary. None of those three images adequately meet FU criteria. AnmaFinotera (talk) 21:27, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, you should have stated your concern when you placed the tag in the first place, as indicated in the tag's guideline itself. Anyway:
The image of Lain's computer exemplifies the cyber-punk setting of the series, which is discussed on the section (actually, it's discussed recurrently trhoughout the article). I think that's an appropriate FU usage.
The image of Lain's hair illustrate ABe's motivation for Lain's hair design, which is important enough to be included in the artbook. Maybe the caption would need to be re-written and expanded to reflect that though. Actually both images could use a caption re-write to make their purpose more clear.
What I don't totally get is the image of Lain going to school. I have an idea but it would be OR without a citation.
Tell you what. I'm going to re-write the captions, and you can post what you think about here. Kazu-kun (talk) 21:55, 24 March 2008 (UTC)


The last revision was to remove the genre Drama from the infobox for SEL. The note said "per project consensus, we don't use Drama" could someone elaborate on that? We are talking about Drama not being appropriate in refrence to this specific title, right? -SeaFox (talk) 01:21, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

No, in discussion on genres in the project, it was agreed that drama is too general a genre for use in the majority of series. One or more specific subgenres should be used instead. It was felt that, for the most part, saying its a "drama" would also be like saying its "fiction," giving little usable information. See Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (anime- and manga-related articles)/Archive 3#Genres for the archived discussion. AnmaFinotera (talk) 01:26, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
I guess it's just that the statement "we don't use Drama" implies there is no such thing as dramatic anime. I have trouble seeing "psycological thriller" as subgenre of Drama. Yeah, cyberpunk = subgenre of SciFi, that's easy. To say that the genre Drama itself is too broad, implies there is a subgenre for every situation. Shouldn't we follow the same guildlines as regular TV articles? The difference between live action television and anime should be a difference only in presentation of the story. -SeaFox (talk) 03:07, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Thriller is characterized by the conflict between the protagonist and an antagonist, and that's what makes it Drama. In a psychological thriller the conflict between the main characters is mental and emotional, rather than physical. But since the conflict is still there, it is indeed Drama. Kazu-kun (talk) 04:01, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
So is the category of Drama completely obsolete now (in other words, should we be now regenreing any titles that are listed as Drama)? Or are some articles still allowed to be listed as so? --SeaFox (talk) 02:04, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
It's not about being allowed, but anyway... yes, some articles should be listed as Drama, but first let me clarify the logic behind this. There are basically three types of genres: (1) the ones that describe the action (in general), such as Thriller, Adventure, Action (the genre), and Romance; and (2) the ones that describe the setting, such as Science Fiction, Speculative fiction, and Fantasy, as well as some of their subgenres. The third category includes mostly other subgenres of the second one, for example Space Opera and Sword and Sorcery, which describe both the setting and the action.
Now, all the genres included in the first and third categories are inherently Drama, becouse drama basically means action. Therefore it is appropriate to use Drama as a genre when it's paired with a genre of the second category, and no genre from the first or third ones can replace it. Note, however, that since Drama means action, it doesn't really describe anything, so you should really try to find something more specific to replace it; think of Drama as the last option.Kazu-kun (talk) 04:19, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

I disagree that the series is an example of cyberpunk. It should be scifi and psychological thriller. Cyberpunk is too narrow and it has a very different atmosphere. (talk) 00:07, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm certainly no expert, but while the story follows a different route than your usual 'runner discovers that megacorp boss is a dragon' story, most, if not all, of the setting and visual cues are typical cyberpunk. --SidiLemine 16:18, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

References to computer scienceEdit

Instead of just going ahead and doing this for it to be reverted immediately, I'll establish a consensus here: can we have a paragraph or section devoted to SEL's connections to formal computer science and informatics? I think it was quite well-researched and it'd emphasise these points - which many viewers seem not to even notice, and probably never will unless they rewatch it - and do justice to the people who decided to put them in. I can think of a bunch:

And less academic connections:

Alternately we could merge the article on The Wired (which needs work anyway) and mention the aforementioned points as well as discussing The Wired's relationship to the real-world comm. networks, web and internet. Maybe with a discussion of The Wired and the allusions to computer science, a whole new section could be fleshed out…?

ʈɧɛ fɨʂɧ (talk) 19:40, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

No-one's responded so I'm going ahead with this... ʈɧɛ fɨʂɧ (talk) 23:31, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Also in one moment we can see lisp code in Lain's portable navi. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:05, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Spelling error?Edit

..."Think Bule Count One Tow" ("Think Blue, Count Two" is an Instrumentality of Man...

I've never watch the anime, but is that spelled right? I'm unsure so I didn't change it. Itzjustdrama (drama?) 01:49, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

That's how it's spelled when the phrase appears. The phrase is used as a login password, and this guy mentions it's probably deliberately misspelled to prevent someone from cracking it through a dictionary attack. Musashi1600 (talk) 05:01, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for clearing it up! Itzjustdrama (drama?) 01:57, 4 August 2008 (UTC)


Just added a note about the Navi term note 39 as of 2008-09-14). True, I have no direct reference by the author that they thought about Canon's product, but the nature of the product and the innovations it embodied seem evidence enough to me. Feel free to revoke it that seems doubtful. Bokken | 木刀 19:44, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

No original research, please. --Fukumoto (talk) 04:24, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

When The Machines StopEdit

Just a note, in case anyone wants to get a hold of it, it seems that Susan J. Napier's "When the Machines Stop: Fantasy, Reality, and Terminal Identity in Neon Genesis Evangelion and Serial Experiments: Lain" has been reprinted as part of an anthology on Japanese Sci Fi. I remember it was difficult to get a hold of during the FAC. -Malkinann (talk) 21:26, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

I have also reacquired my copy. A further source is in Mechademia, an interesting comic-essay on Lain. (The most surprising part is the author's theory that even the 'real world' in Lain is itself a Wired, because how else could Lain edit everyone's memories and all the physical traces?) I will probably scan it soon. --Gwern (contribs) 18:01 12 December 2009 (GMT)
Update. I've scanned it. It really is interesting, although I'm not sure how to incorporate it. --Gwern (contribs) 04:09 26 January 2010 (GMT)

Not good external links, but maybe otherwise usefulEdit

Removed them from the article. Storing them here for future use. Goodraise 17:43, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

  • Bitel, Anton. "Movie Gazette: 'Serial Experiments Lain Volume 3: Deus' Review". Movie Gazette. Retrieved October 11, 2006.
  • Toole, Mike (October 16, 2003). "Anime Jump!: Serial Experiments Lain Review". Retrieved September 16, 2006.
  • Bitel, Anton. "Movie Gazette: 'Serial Experiments Lain Volume 2: Knights' Review". Movie Gazette. Retrieved September 16, 2006.

Some references I removed from the article that may come in handy later on. Goodraise 21:01, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Why were these removed? These are perfectly normal & good links for the External Links section. --Gwern (contribs) 21:24 24 September 2010 (GMT)
They're just reviews. "External links in an article ... should be kept minimal, meritable, and directly relevant to the article." They may be directly relevant to the series, but that's it. Listing them is not minimal and I don't see the merit in doing so. It's clutter. However, they could become useful to the reception section at some point. Goodraise 22:26, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
That's your only rationale? It offends some sense of minimalism? Then I've had this argument already: Talk:Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise#Sources. I'm going to restore them. --Gwern (contribs) 23:49 24 September 2010 (GMT)
Yes, that's my rationale. It may be only 1 rationale, but it's 1 more than what you have given so far (that "These are perfectly normal & good links for the External Links section" is merely an opinion). I'm not going to read the "argument" you've linked to. Reading mutual accusations of bad faith and worse is not my idea of having a good time. Perhaps you could summarize for me what brilliant argumentation you used to sway consensus to agree with you? Goodraise 00:17, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
So in other words you expect me to write and rewrite my arguments until they finally meet with your approval, and then you will deign to explain why segregating valuable links to the talk page where they will never get seen by our readers and in all likelihood never used until they are finally archived (and then they're guaranteed to never be used) is, all appearances to the contrary, a great idea and I am an idiot for treating the External links section like it has been used for the past half-decade.
No thanks. Feel free to stop toying with me. --Gwern (contribs) 16:02 25 September 2010 (GMT)
"So in other words you expect me to write and rewrite my arguments until they finally meet with your approval" – No. I expect you to spend 30 seconds to summarize your argumentation instead of linking to an old discussion, the first third of which consists of two editors engaging in various forms of incivility, and expecting me to read it so that I might find a convincing argument wedged somewhere in between some insults.

"and then you will deign to explain why segregating valuable links to the talk page where they will never get seen by our readers and in all likelihood never used until they are finally archived (and then they're guaranteed to never be used) is, all appearances to the contrary, a great idea" – No. I could not possibly have meant that because I had no idea that that was your argument for keeping them in there because you had not told me.

"and then you will deign to explain why ... I am an idiot for treating the External links section like it has been used for the past half-decade." – No. I never deign to explain why I'm holding an opinion, when I'm in fact not holding that opinion. And even if I was thinking that your mental capacity was inadequately low, I wouldn't mention it because it would be irrelevant and mentioning it would be unconstructive. Although, now reading this, I can't refrain from pointing you to WP:SEWAGE and reminding you that "other people have done it" is not a good argument for anything.

It may come as a surprise to you, but some of us are actually interested in hearing arguments (for the sake of understanding why someone holds an opinion and to evaluate if one should hold that opinion as well). Anyway, now that you have concisely explained your reasoning, albeit in the form of an accusation of bad intentions, I agree with you to some extent. I still think we shouldn't stuff EL sections with links to reviews, but I now see the advantage of keeping them in an article over moving them to a talk page section. So, putting one or two such links into an EL section would be acceptable to me, as long as it is intended as a temporary solution only and as long as they don't make up the majority of such a section's content. If it's more than one or two, I can very well live with a further reading section (as implemented by Malkinann), again, if it is intended as a temporary solution. Links to reviews in my opinion just aren't valuable enough to keep around unless the intention is to use them as a citation at some point.

Your hostile attitude leaves me puzzled. I wonder why you assume bad intentions on my part or that I'm "toying" with you. (I'm not toying. I'm dead serious.) Have we interacted before? Have I stepped on your toe some time in the past? I tend to forget these things quickly. Well, actually, most of the time I don't even realize when I'm offending people. If I owe you an apology, let me know. Goodraise 20:11, 25 September 2010 (UTC)


Proposing that a character list be created from the character section in this article, per current practice and WP:SALAT. --Malkinann (talk) 21:16, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Being current practice is not a good argument. Not every work of fiction needs a list of characters. As of right now, I don't see why this series would. For the time being, I'd suggest following the advice given by WP:AVOIDSPLIT. Also, what part of SALAT supports this proposed split? Goodraise 17:27, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
In general, character lists are considered to be a valid split. Also, the article is reaching the point in WP:SIZE where it may need to be divided. --Malkinann (talk) 19:55, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
"In general, character lists are considered to be a valid split." – Nonsense. Lists of characters need to be justified. Also, SIZE is no longer part of the Manual of Style. Goodraise 12:17, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Firstly, that's a deletion discussion from two years ago, when WP:FICT was still in force. I don't think it holds today. Since when has WP:SIZE been depreciated from the manual of style? --Malkinann (talk) 19:40, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
FICT wasn't even mentioned in that AfD, which is no wonder, seeing as it was not in force at the time. SIZE has been removed from the MoS on the 26th of May. Goodraise 20:24, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
I also see no need to separate the short list of main characters into a separate article. This discussion is over one month old now, removing the template. john factorial (talk) 14:58, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Manga Impact'Edit

Manga Impact: The World of Japanese Animation, 6 December 2010, ISBN 978-0714857411; pg 140:

Lain Lain, an introverted adolescent, receives an email from a classmate telling her that she committed suicide a few days ago. This is the start of a disquieting, labyrinthine narrative in which clues are gradually revealed that will enable Lain to solve the mystery in the initial email. The 'Wired', an information network similar to the Internet, has managed to replicate reality, opening the door to a sort of extra-corporeal immortality and to the possibility of a new, virtual, mysticism. The multifaceted conceit combines echoes of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with conspiracy theory in a wide-ranging story that involves the viewer in the detection of occult clues and the quest for their meaning.
That age of information produces its own nightmares: in this case, a new information network that calls into question the true basis of reality and the mechanisms that enable the individual to make sense of the world. Serial Experiments Lain is ground-breaking, tortuous and devastating. Directed by Nakamura Ryutaro, with graphics by Abe Yoshitoshi and screenplay by Konaka Chiaki, the series explores the depths of newly hatched anxieties, employing a deconstructivist narrative, eloquent and eerie, with its own conception of space (almost always conceived in terms of isolation) and a complex atmospheric soundtrack. Adopting the themes of 'cyberpunk' and the aesthetic reference of the new Japanese 'cinema of terror', this series proceeds to explore the question of identity in those shadowy zones where the virtual and the material coalesce and reveal the fragility of the collective perception of reality.
J.Co. [Jordi Costa?]

--Gwern (contribs) 19:49 23 December 2011 (GMT)

Knights of the Lambda CalculusEdit

The Knights of Eastern Calculus are a reference to the Knights of the Lambda Calculus. (talk) 11:17, 20 April 2014 (UTC)


Video gameEdit

This is obviously not a RS but—sourced, badly sourced, or unsourced—it certainly bears noting in the video game section that

a, the game and guide book are exclusively in Japanese;
b, the game has an entirely separate storyline from the anime; and
c, that it ends with Lain's murder/suicide of herself and her unlucky-at-love female therapist.

Rather too much to gloss over in favor of vague quotes that the creatives hoped the player to "feel... understand... and... love" Lain. — LlywelynII 16:17, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

Impact lain had on internet communitesEdit

I think this could be a very interesting subject to address. For example there are imageboards like arisuchan, lainchan and wirechan. If this is a topic that finds some interest here, I could give you more information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A01:B5C0:5:4000:0:0:0:F7F (talk) 21:11, 27 October 2019 (UTC)

I believe that the Lain imageboards deserve at least a mention in the #Reception section, though if you do decide to add information on them, please be careful not to violate WP:NOR. Goszei (talk) 18:48, 28 October 2019 (UTC)
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