Lain - 'Navi'
Science Fiction/Drama

Lain is a tale of a thirteen year old girl wrapped up in a mysterious world that slowly reveals itself to her. When e-mails from a classmate who recently commited suicide start turning up, Lain grows to wonder what is happening. It's at this point the introverted little girl starts to find out that the world isn't as black and white as she was led to believe. Hints about a world known as the Wired, where her classmate has left her body to go leads Lain to get a new, more powerful Navi, or computer, so she can get on the Wired, or internet, to find out more about this mystery.

Animation in this series is not relegated to just cartoon animation. Bits of computer generated effects add to a more visceral affect. Lighting adds a huge part to the package. Scenes outside are washed with a bright white contrasted by the deep, sharp shadows. Shadows aren't just black, they're littered with red and purple spots, giving them texture and volume. While the characters are not overly detailed, they still carry a physical volume and movement that carries well.

The pace of the story is slow at first, but builds high amounts of tension. Every little thing comes together to complete the package. The sound effects are excellently done, from the constant hum of the power lines around Lain's home to the screaming traffic of the downtown area. Excellent voice acting helps in bringing a strongly written story across well. Anything less might have led to disaster. Both the sound effects and visual pace of the story lend in building tension and intrigue. The further into the story you get, and the more that's given to you, the more odd and unusal the tale becomes.

Lain's strength is that it doesn't rely on on high-speed action to get through the story. There is no fighting to solve problems. The cerebral aspect of this series aid in building the intrigue and buy the time you finish the fourth episode on this dvd, you're hooked enough to want more.

- - Vane

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