Lain Iwakura is an introverted and awkward fourteen year old girl. Along with many other people in her school she receives an email one day from her classmate Chisa Yomoda. This email is highly disturbing especially because this email was sent after Chisa died. Lain has no interest in using even basic technology, however after she receives this email gains a sudden interest in using computers. When she first logs to look at the email she is connected to the Wired which is basically the internet, a virtual world where people can communicate with each other. After this point Lain’s life is turned upside down after she comes across multiple cryptic clues both in the Wired and in real life. She begins asking questions and is followed by strange men called the Men in Black. Her connection to the Wired will lead her to surreal and bizarre events that will give new meanings to identity, consciousness, and perception.
This is a really strange series. It is only one cour and so much happens, however its plot is very slowly paced. Like that entire description above, that is barely scratching the surface of even the non spoilery bits of the plot. It is very philosophical in the fact that you are supposed to think about what everything means long after you are done watching an episode. There is no comprehensive official explanation as to what is going on throughout the series. That is all up to you. There are multiple theories if you want to look them up. It also acts as a precautionary tale about using computers too much years after computers in homes were becoming more common. You can see this in how Lain changes as she gets sucked into the virtual world.
Music or the lack thereof is used skillfully multiple times in Serial Experiments Lain to make scenes feel off. All the music sounds very electronic and honestly I wouldn’t even call it music. It is mostly just static in the background with a few electronic notes thrown in, however this is all that is needed to set the tone of this series. If you are going to watch Serial Experiments Lain be prepared to be slightly creeped out by pretty much everything that happens. Also be prepared to question everything and think about what is going on.
I recommend that everyone who enjoys anime watch this series because it is a classic. Every question that is raised in this series and all its philosophical aspects still hold well today. I actually enjoy having a series like this one where there is no right answer as to what is going on. It gives me the freedom to analyse it without having to worry about being wrong. Its good to think about things like this.
Final Rating – 46/50
Elder Tale is a popular MMORPG similar to World of Warcraft. One day after a massive update 30,000 Japanese players of this game find themselves whisked to the world of this game as their characters in the game. They are unable to log out and are now stuck here until someone figures out what is going on. Among these Japanese players is Shiroe, a socially awkward college student who is an expert at the game sets out to test the limits of his new reality. On the way he both reconnects with old friends and meets new ones. Now he must learn how to live in this new world along with all the other stuck players. They must also negotiate with the native NPC’s that lived in this world before the players came.
Log Horizon is a good series to watch if you like series that have a strong focus on politics and a lesser focus on battles. The battles are still pretty good, however I feel like this series does political scenes better than many other fantasy series. The way the characters relate to each other and react to their new circumstances is believable and relatable in a way. My favourite character when watching Log Horizon is Shiroe because I find him relatable in everything other than the fact that he is an expert genius at Elder Tale. I also find every scene he is a part of enjoyable to watch.
I did find two downsides of this series. The first is that the animation isn’t the greatest, especially when it comes to animals. The people were all great, even the people with animal-like features like the cat and wolf people. They were expressive and had interesting designs. However the animals moved strangely and their proportions were a little awkward which made the animation worse in scenes with animals like horses. The second problem I found with this series is that it got slow and boring a few times. There was a point near the end of the first season where I stopped watching for a few months because I just didn’t feel into it anymore. The reasons why I got bored most likely had to do with the slow pacing of this series. I did get back into it and loved the second season, however just remember that you may also get bored of this series if you choose to watch it.
I recommend that you watch Log Horizon if you enjoy MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, if you like fantasy, and if you enjoy series that focus less on combat and more on other things. While watching any anime I tend to read the comments on Crunchyroll. Many of the comments on this series were about how they related to so certain parts of the series because similar things happened to them when they played similar games. Also this series ends abruptly at the end of season two. I hope that there is a third season someday.
Final Rating – 43/50
we thank thee
for refilling our souls
and for reminding us
what it means to be knights.
Though we have truly been gone
for many long centuries,
though we have lingered here after death,
we are finally free to leave this place,
and so we leave you with this gift.
You can use it to summon a servant
who will do no evil, say no evil,
one who will never betray you,
but be warned
the only completely trustful servant
is nothing more
than an empty shell of your spirit.
alone in the alley
waiting for her hero to come,
but no one ever comes.
She is alone,
truly and completely alone.
No one is coming.
She has become the only character
in her tragic story.
But she gets up
and leaves the alley behind
to search for her hero herself.
She is still alone
but now she lives for something.
Maybe she has a hero,
maybe she doesn’t,
maybe she never needed to wait at all
and she is her own hero.
I see you
but the true question is
do you see me?
I walk near you,
greet you with joy
but you don’t look up
you don’t smile.
It is as though I’m a ghost
trying to converse with the living.
But when you do notice me
it is not for long.
You look upon me with a look of pity
and ask me how’ve I been
when that is a question
you would already know the answer to
if you hadn’t ignored my presence.
What is love
but something that all people feel
but many people still find it difficult
to find in the world.
keeps people’s hearts far apart
what is it that brings
them back together again.
What eases pain
when a gentle melody of kindness
brings one back from the brink
What is love
but something that all people have,
something that some people cannot find
and something that can save and heal.