Make your own free website on

2) Like a Drug 3) Religion
4) Alice in Wonderland 5) Connected 6) Reality 7) Omnipresence
8) Device: The Body 9) Death 10) Memories 11) Telephone
12) The Truth 13) Identity 14) Technology Conclusion
This is the anime Serial Experiments Lain.  In existence are two

worlds: the real world and the Wired world.  The overall point of

even creating such an anime in the first place was to make viewers

think.  It forced viewers to go out and search for additional

information, thus, answering the many questions that were raised

while watching.  There were no references used in writing the

observations here, therefore, they are all based on personal

opinions and views.  In other words, some of these observations

have to do with the anime directly, while others are that of my own


Back to Top

1) There is an influence of both worlds upon each other.  As shown

throughout the series, we are all connected, and it's not only by

the internet, but everything.  More will be explored in #5. The

influence of the Wired upon the real world can be seen through the

shadows created by all objects which blocked light.  The shadows

formed contained a pattern which represented cyberspace.  Then

there are the telephone lines.  Those are present everywhere, and

they are the main tools that connect us, though in here, it is

possible to connect without the use of devices, as shown by Eiri

Masami, formerly of Tachibana Laboratories.

Back to Top

2) In this case, the Wired world is almost equivalent to a drug.

 The user "connects" and is taken to a fantasy place where he or

she can escape the shackles of reality.  The funny part is how some

people still take the drug Accela... why not just use the Wired

instead?!? (Sorry, got a little too into it there.)

Back to Top

3) Next we have religion(s).  The Wired supposedly has a higher

being who seems to call himself "God," yet he is not God.  He only

thinks he is because he claims that he was the one who created the

Wired, as well as convinced people to believe in him.  Yet again,

maybe he wasn't the creator of the Wired at all, and maybe the

Wired had already been there all along before this "God" was even

born.  The same thing would apply to the God of the real world.

God could be in existence, but God could also be something or

someone that we created on our own.  However, we choose not to

think that way because we are so dependent on God.  Issues such as

this are explored even further as the anime goes on.

Back to Top

4) Serial Experiments Lain is almost like the anime/cyber

equivalent of Alice in Wonderland, but not quite there.  Only

fragments of Alice in Wonderland can be seen.  Not only is there a

girl named Alice (Lain's best friend), but we are also introduced

to this giant moving mouth in the Wired that Lain calls the

"Cheshire Cat."

Back to Top

5) We are all connected in some way.  No, it's not only through

the internet or telephone lines, but rather by any form of

communication, whether it be oral or written communication.  Even

actions that we do show that we're connected. The very simple

action of touching an object can be a form of communication, as

well as connection.  Living alone is also being connected to


Back to Top

6) The question is, what is really real and what is not?  This is

something that is, in a way, brought up, but its presence is vague.

We are presented with two worlds.  The world which we live in (the

real world) could actually be a fake, and the Wired might be real.

Then again, both could be just fragments of our imagination.  The

only reason they exist is because we make it seem that both worlds

exist, when in reality, we don't know what the truth is.

Back to Top

7) When Lain was referred to as being "omnipresent," could that

same idea also work with any ordinary person?  It is possible that

we ourselves can be in several places at once, in existence

everywhere, and so on.  A pathetic but tolerable example is our own

version of the "Wired."  We can access several sites at once, be at

all these places at once, and even talk to people all at once.

Back to Top

8) Is it necessary to have a body?  Those who had committed

suicide declared that they didn't need the real world anymore, that

the body was just something that we were in.  Though not having a

body and wandering around may seem free, at the same time, a body

is necessary.  Though the meaning of this is quite understandable,

there is also something else behind it, which I haven't deciphered


Back to Top

9) Near the end of the series, Chisa stressed to Lain that death

was unpleasant.  Depending on the way that you see death, could it

really be unpleasant?  Does it hurt?  Is it not even painful at all

if your motives to kill yourself are that strong?  To some of those

who did commit suicide in the series, it seems to be that way.  So

would the same thing apply to us? Most likely.  Or rather, yes.

Back to Top

10) What isn't remembered never happened.  Philosophical thing

here. And this is true too.  If an incident had happened, but

everyone forgot about it, then everyone would also assume that it

never happened.  If you can't remember, then it never did happen or

exist.  Poor Lain.

Back to Top

11) A telephone pole is a tool for us to use in communication.  A

telephone pole is a symbol of the internet... or is it?   Telephone

poles (and lines) can be used in two different ways: good and bad.

In the good method, they are used for simple communication among

individuals, as well as connecting to the internet.  But in the bad

method, they are abused.  How?  People are able to send threatening

messages, eavesdrop on conversations (with the usage of special

equipment... what I'd call telephone abuse equipment), do abnormal

things on the internet, and etc.  Telephone poles and lines are

continously abused in Lain.

Back to Top

12) If the truth was revealed to humanity, what would their

reaction be? That is uncertain.  This idea relates to #6, what is

real and what is not.  What is meant by "uncertain" is the fact

that we will never know because the truth itself is unknown.  No

one can ever discover the truth, therefore, we will always be

living in a world of mystery.

Back to Top

13) Lain has an identity, or at least she knows she has one. If

you were to rethink that statement, here's another thought for you:

Lain is Lain, but Lain has a fake family. They are actors. They

abandon her later on. Lain is left on her own, questioning even

more things. Is Lain a product of the Wired, or is she just someone

who only exists in our consciousness? Who/What is Lain? What's her

purpose to us? Heck, what is her purpose overall? Answer in the

series: Lain is software. Eiri says that Lain is software, but

still, Lain's origins are very unclear. Her power far exceeds that

of Eiri's, yet she was created by someone or something. In other

episodes, Lain becomes Glain, the gray alien who wears "a red

sweater with green stripes." Does this mean that Lain is someone or

something created created by higher/extraterrestrial intelligence?

Once again, this brings us back to our question: who is Lain?

Back to Top

14) Lain takes place in a very modern time, which is supposed to

be like a reflection of our own time period, except one that is

heavily evolved on the technology part. 2001: A Space Odyssey had

the same notion in the sense that in the near future, when the

technology humanity had created, would turn back on us. Technology

is good. It's a tool to help us. However, technology itself is

something we cannot always be dependent on. Technology can fail.

And if we are so dependent on techology, then we ourselves will

fail. Lain shows us the Wired, another word for the "Internet."

The Wired is so advanced to the point where users can connect and

live it like a reality. In this case, we can say that the Wired is

a parallel world to ours, neither real nor false. The Wired

could've existed long before humanity was even born. The Wired

could've been here since the beginning of time. The Real World, on

the other hand, could also be something that existed since the

beginning of time, but that is not for sure. What if it was the

other way around? The Real World is fake, to put it bluntly. Or

maybe not. The point here is that everything is a technology. We

are technology. "Devices" in Lain also referred to ourselves, such

as the head, hand, feet, etc. Technology (like the telephone

pole... yes, let's just forget that one), can be used in three

ways, actually. They are: good, bad, and nothing at all. In other

words, technology is just there. It's sitting there looking at us.

We take advantage of that and use it, which is why it comes down to

the good/bad usage of technology. The other point is that perhaps

we shouldn't have technology. It drives us to the point of being

really dependable on it. Like said before, we can get as far as

failing ourselves because our techology didn't work. To summarize

this one up, we can say that living a simple, ordinary life is the

best choice in the world. Lain discovers this through Alice, who

brings her back to reality in the end. The question of "why need a

body" is answered in that episode, or so fragments of it.

Back to Top

So far, there were only fourteen observations that I made when I

firstsaw this anime.  As Lain is watched over and over again, any

other observations I find (without references) will be added onto

this list.

Back to Top