I just finished re-watching Lain, aka Serial Experiments Lain, for the fourth or fifth time. Each time I realize something I did not catch the previous times. This is not really a review. I just wanted to go over a few things I just picked up.

This time I realized that when we first see Lain it is actually her first day of existence. All memories of Lain held by her friends are artificial. They were put there most likely by her creator, Masami Eiri. This would even include the memories of Chisa, who opens the series by committing suicide.

Much of the artwork can be described as minimalist. That and the shadows with splotches of red are the actual boundaries between the real world and the world of the wired. It gives a bit of clarity to the scene where Alice/Arusu goes to Lain’s house in episode 12 and notices those shadows.

I have heard others describe the attack on Mika, Lain’s older “sister,” as a failed attack on Lain. Lain was targeted, but they got Mika instead. I accepted that interpretation until now. Now I see it was not intended as an attack, but rather a stimulus to activate Lain’s programming. That is the only way the phrase, “Fulfill the prophecy,” makes sense. But they got Mika instead, and the stimulus, meant as a key to a software program, destroyed her human brain.

By the way, something I caught the first time I watched the series, but no one else seemed to catch, is the use of the name Navi for the computers. Yes, it is short for “Navigator.” But it is also the Hebrew word for prophet. I don’t know if this was intentional or a coincidence, but it sure fits. Doesn’t it?

Even in trying to set everything right, Lain is not above revenge, is she? Note that everyone ends up happy, except for Eiri. But that one is obvious.

Great series, though in the original Japanese dub, the words and the mouth movements are not in sync. I noticed that from a lot of pre-2000 anime series. The animation is not the best. But this is a great mind-f*ck.