The first episode opens with the mysterious suicide of a high-school girl, Chisa Yomoda. Chisa-chan was a classmate of Lain Iwakura, a quiet, 14-year-old high-school girl. One of the other girls in the class has been receiving e-mail messages from Chisa-chan, and Lain discovers she also has mail from Chisa-chan. In the mail she explains to Lain that she just abandoned her flesh. She assures lain that she still is alive in the 'wired' world. After getting a new 'navi' and adding a 'psyche' circuit, Lain spends more and more time in the wired. It seems that Lain has at least 2 personalities, and Lain's first personality is changing even now. Who is lain? Who are the 'knights'? Can the wired influence the real world with a prophecy? Is the real world nothing but a hologram of the information in the wired?
Wow. And I thought that Key and Perfect Blue were headtrip-inducing...this is about as introspective as they come and can be quite strange. That aside, this is one cool series. The art is incredible, the characters are very interesting, and the story is just surreal. Very seriously recommended, just try not to look too far into it or your head is likely to be in worse condition than an FBI agentís after an encounter with Cthulhu. =)
Available subtitled from Pioneer Animation.
serial experiments lain - unofficial homepage in the wired