serial experiments lain is the product of an anime series produced post-evangelion, as well as the product of a society that is unsure of where its national moral values and beliefs are headed.
serial experiments lain takes place in the near future (maybe 2003) where everyone is online at all times.
"Everyone is connected" -Lain
Lain is a young 8th grade schoolgirl, who is shy, and self-involved. She isn't sure of herself, and her surroundings. She has lead a normal life, until she received a chain email from her classmate Chisa. The strange part is that Chisa had killed herself a few days before the email was delivered.
The girls in school are talking about how is is a sick prank, and that its sad that Chisa is dead. From this part on, the series starts to ascend into great amounts of metaphors, and other strange ideas.
Lain begins to receive packages from Chisa that contain computer parts that will help Lain learn more about the wired-world, and why Chisa "Abandoned her body". The series gets deeper, and less into action, and more into the thoughts, and feelings that people have in their core. This is where Evangelion has is roots.
This is the best anime, and film that i've ever seen. It has references to death, internet, individualization, BeOS, Alice in Wonderland, lsd, and how children are beginning to get lost in todays society.
The series stands as a warning about the future of Japanese culture, where it is headed, and the reprocussions that it could cause. Post-Modern Japan has changed quite a bit since WWII, and as seen in the show, it might be going in a direction nobody is sure of, at a speed that nobody can control. Serial Experiments Lain begins to scratch at the surface of what is on everyones mind, but is not yet full developed, quite similar to the show. The fears of a nation barreling towards self-oblivion, with ultra high suicide rates, low-paying-high-stress jobs, and family structures that are crumbling because of a lack of communication of emotions, and moral values.