tv show religion

Why You Should Watch Serial Experiments Lain. (Analysis)

So, it’s come to my attention that during my few years of watching anime that nobody really talks too much about the psychological series that were experimental and unique in comparison to epic, story-driven series that are (more than likely) the same and unoriginal or (more than likely) bland and uninteresting. There are several series I can name that get more credit than they should, but yes, there are several modern hits that are worth watching and still hold up to this day, for example, Fullmetal Alchemist. However, something about the anime that came from the 90′s - Neon Genesis Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, and even Sailor Moon to an extent, all hold something that several modern anime cannot capture: amazing characterization. It’s in this that we can see familiar archetypes that have been replayed over and over with newer releases, and it’s easy to see why they got so far, because the 90′s anime were different. Serial Experiments Lain, an anime created in the late 90′s, is different as well, but because of its creative atmosphere, intellectual ideologies, and fascinating characters, makes it worth every minute of your time.

Serial Experiments Lain is worth your time because it actually focuses on psychological and philosophical material rather than just action and adventure. Now, both of the latter are good in an anime because it gives its audience something enjoyable to watch, such as good fighting in something like Dragonball or Naruto, or it’s pleasant to see characters bond over the journey, like Fullmetal and even Spice and Wolf. However, there aren’t many anime that take the cake for being a series you can be rest assured you will think about for a least a little while after you watch it. Even if you don’t think much about philosophy or psychology, you will get something about of watching Serial Experiments Lain because it’s goal as an anime is to make you question. You’re more interested about the wired, or the Internet world in Lain’s plot, rather than who is going to go against who. There are several moments that make you actually pause the scene and have to step back, not sure of how to interpret something that intimate, or something so far beyond your ordinary thinking that you go, wow, an anime that actually does something like that? 

Originally posted by mpencil


Lain focuses primarily on the deconstruction of technology, but also primarily on the deconstruction of people, and society. Lain Iwakura, the strange character found in the GIF above, is the persona of what separates and combines the wired world fro the physical world, and basically in Serial Experiments Lain, she could very well be one of the strongest reasons to invest yourself in this series. I know personally that many people are drawn to shows which have characters who are unsure of what they are, or their purpose. Lain is exactly this: she doesn’t understand much of the physical world and is often questioning her role. The entire series delves on this concept, that these wonderfully written individuals do not comprehend some of what this world is giving to them, and it’s not just Lain who questions this: it is Lain’s father, mother, and sister, along with her friends, especially Arisu. Lain knows that there is something farther out there that she has to learn for herself, and you are with her because you also feel as though whatever is out there, whatever is hidden from the basic layers of our world, should be revealed, and you relate to Lain because of this reason.

Lain also focuses on serious topics regarding social identity and socialization. Lain constantly suffers from DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder), since she alone is not just herself, but multiple personas in one entity. 

There are also several other disorders that are established within Lain as well as other characters, from depersonilization disorder, schizophrenia, and even depression, and keep in mind, these are are mental. There’s no telling what kind of other disorders these characters face, which is why it is so interesting that this show allows its audience to experience these characters feeling this way - to allow us to see this for ourselves.


Serial Experiements Lain was created in the year 1998 by director Ryutaro Nakamura. The reason I think the year of creation is so important is because the message it carries is so relevant to today’s society because we can understand how technology has grown since the internet first was created. When Lain first was released, the series itself was only just following the creation of the internet, yet it already establishes that we as a society would use it to its fullest (or even to this day, not yet fullest) potential, like prophesying how we would we would wearing goggles to communicate with others, or how we would glue our eyes to the screen to play video games, or how messages can be sent faster than the legitimate timing of a blink of an eye. Serial Experiments Lain also contributes to how we interact with others online more and more as time progresses in comparison to physically. This is evident as Lain talks more with her wired friends rather than Arisu and the other girls. 


One reason in particular I always enjoyed Serial Experiments Lain is it’s use of art.  Yoshitoshi ABe, the character designer for Lain, contributes his more realistic style of artwork and backround designing to give Lain that down-to-earth yet experimental feel the show has going for it. There is an array of dark shades and rustic colors, but also at times there can be colors that seem outlandish. The animation itself isn’t too gaudy, and it doesn’t try too hard: it knows the focus of the show lies within the characterization and the processes of thought, therefore it knows vibrant and flashy animation would only spoil the theme of the series. 


If you want to watch Serial Experiments Lain, please keep in mind that it is a series that while everyone can get something out of watching, it focuses of the why’s and how’s. Lain is not a series to watch if you’re in desperate need of graphic homicide, slaughter and gore. It’s also not a series that involves a trek, where characters explore the galaxy, and honestly there aren’t many scenes in Lain where you can call it a comedy. However, Serial Experiments Lain is the perfect show to watch if you want something interesting. If you love the ideas and deep thinking, you’ve practically hit the gold mine. Not many other series like Lain will take you to such personal levels, hitting all the marks - socialization, religion, philosophy, psychology, theology - not to mention the amazing build up that will take you on the rollercoaster to find, how do you perceive the universe? Even if Lain doesn’t make you question our world or our motives, it will make you at least question why characters do the things they do, and it will give the encouragement to find those answers as you finish watching. As Lain says, “No matter where you go, everybody is connected.” And with this show, we will be.

anonymous asked:

In light of your recent instagram post, I'd like to hear your thoughts on the racist and nationalist ideas that have been propagated by the pagan/fantasy communities. Specifically, the controversies surrounding bands like Wardruna and the lack of POC representation.

WHOOOOOO buddy this is going to be a long one. I really think I could write an entire book on the subject so this is going to be an extremely abbreviated version (feel free to let me know if there’s anything I need to clarify.) In short, I am so incredibly FRUSTRATED with the crowds that come into the reenactment/pagan/fantasy communities looking for a white utopia. I can’t even begin to explain how fucked it is. I think a lot of people don’t even quite understand why it is they are drawn to areas like Viking history (or the tv show), Celtic religions, and Tolkien’s realm of fantasy but they do all have one thing in common: they’re all incredibly white washed. I’m definitely not saying it’s wrong to enjoy one or even all of those things, but there’s a refusal to be self critical that I see in those communities and it makes me a bit uncomfortable. We live in a white washed society; we were raised constantly internalizing every day acts of racism and haven’t been taught to make ourselves aware of why we like the things we do. And I’m just going to say it, a lot of the time our internalized racism makes its way into our interests and as such makes communities like the Celtic pagan and fantasy communities incredibly non-inclusive. In this way it also attracts people who read history the wrong way and who believe by romanticizing the past we can create that fucked up white utopia that the fantasy and pagan communities sometimes seem like. But I am SO not here for that. There’s an absence of people speaking out about racism in the community….more like a dead silence. And I really believe it’s because people recognize that it hasn’t been inclusive in the past and there is definitely some guilt associated with that (from the less terrible people, at least.) but I don’t believe dead silence and hoping the Nazis just magically disappear is going to fix anything. In a world that is increasingly more friendly to white supremacists and increasingly more dangerous for minorities we have to be loud and work hard to create environments that promote equality and human rights. In the past, Celtic centered neopagan/fantasy communities have been primarily white and that’s why the nationalists and racists have found their way in, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. I believe strongly in fostering an environment that is welcoming to those who may have felt unsafe before; a place where they know they will be defended fiercely. In the same way, I don’t believe we should be glorifying history as some better time. Those are the kinds of ideas that give nationalists their amo and it’s the same kind of ideology that has been used to kill millions in the past. I think we need to be real with ourselves and continuously ask what kind of message our interests are sending. As far as Wardruna goes, I don’t know much about the band themselves, but it does make me uncomfortable that they aren’t loud about the presence of neonazis in their community. They have definitely singlehandedly created this “macho Viking warrior” subculture and I think the racism that goes along with it is definitely something that needs to be addressed.
I’m sure there’s a lot more I could be saying but I hope I was specific enough! If any of you would like to add thoughts or have questions feel free…I’d like to open this discussion :)


I’m fucking tired of this whole boycotting shit.

If you aren’t aware, people are boycotting this monday’s shadowhunters episode because luke and magnus are not in it.

Most of the boycotters are only pissed and boycotting because there is going to be no malec, which is fucked up. Like can you please watch the show for something besides malec? And for the people who are boycotting because luke and magnus arent in the episode (not bc of malec) then boo hoo to you. RAPHAEL WAS LIKE IN 5 EPISODES IN LIKE THIS WHOLE SEASON WITH ONLY A GOOD 3 LINES AND I DIDNT WE DIDNT BOYCOTT NOW DID WE?? I understand malec is important and I love it a lot, and when they have moments its amazing and I love it. I do agree that shadowhunters writers like to tease us with malec for the episode and then save it to the last second of the episode, which is wrong, but this new episode is going to be heavily based on Simon. And I don’t fucking care if you are all mad there’s no malec, because news flash, SHADOWHUNTERS IS NOT THE MALEC SHOW, IT IS THE SHADOWHUNTERS SHOW.

Also, this episode is going to be heavily focused on Simon and his religion, the Jewish religion. You salty malec stans are getting mad that malec isn’t getting enough airtime and you need more rep, SO DOES THE JEWISH RELIGION. You never hear about Judaism in TV shows or movies or anything. All it is, is “happy christmas” “merry christmas!!” And there’s always a Christmas special for like every show. What about Judaism? There’s like no rep in anything, and FINALLY there is a tv show focusing on that religion and a very holy day for that religion and you salty malec shippers are mad because your ship isn’t going to be in the episode? BOO HOO isn’t that terrible. Saphael has not been in like any episodes, and I’m not here boycotting my ass for more saphael am i? So can you please think about OTHER THINGS THAT ARE TRYING TO BE REPRESENTED IN SHADOWHUNTERS BESIDES MALEC BEFORE YOU GO BOYCOTTING?? Thank you! It’s actually very like annoying especially to me. I am Jewish and it annoys me that these people aren’t gonna watch the episode because 2 CHARACTERS aren’t in it. Like please watch it, thank you. It’s disrespectful. It’s a big episode for jewish people, who are finally getting the rep they deserve, and you can’t be happy about it? That’s just fucked up…

Some thoughts on Extremis that I wanted to share. (This is for the more conscious and open-minded among us.)

The episode was very well written. Steven may have taken a jab at organized religion but he did not discount or belittle faith. In fact, he took it a step further to show how each and every one of us has a belief system. What is the one thing scientists and priests fear? Truths that challenge their beliefs about the world. 

In Extremis, Steven created a ‘brain-in-the-vat’ scenario. Picture yourself as a brain, simply floating in a vat and connected to a simulator of some sort. Every single thing you think and feel will be real to you, except you cannot know you are in a vat. In this case, truth is limited because you cannot possibly know what you don’t know. 

There are two outcomes: (1) You have a belief there is nothing else beyond the realm of the truth that you know. (2) You have a belief that there is more. There is something beyond the realm of your known truth.

What I appreciate about this episode is Steven’s message. Be like the Doctor. Examine what you believe. A healthy amount of skepticism and doubt in your belief system might be more rewarding to you than you think. In the words of Socrates, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”