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Serial Experiments Lain: Complete Series Blu-ray

United States
Blu-ray + DVD FUNimation Entertainment | 1998 | Season 1 | 325 min | Rated TV-14 | Nov 27, 2012

Serial Experiments Lain: Complete Series (Blu-ray)

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.41:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.37:1

English: Dolby TrueHD 2.0
Japanese: Dolby TrueHD 2.0


50GB Blu-ray Disc
Four-disc set (2 BDs, 2 DVDs)
DVD copy

Slipcover in original pressing
Figure/replica/props/memorabilia included

Region A (locked)

List price: $89.98, Price history
Best Buy: $79.99 (Save 11%)  
Third party: Buy on eBay
Available from Amazon sellers

Buy Serial Experiments Lain: Complete Series on Blu-ray

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TV show rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Blu-ray rating
Video 3.0 of 53.0
Audio 4.0 of 54.0
Extras 3.0 of 53.0
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Movie appeal



Serial Experiments Lain: Complete Series

 (TV) (1998)

Serial Experiments Lain: Complete Series Blu-ray offers decent video and great audio in this overall recommended Blu-ray release

Close the world. Open the next. Decades before the internet was something people carried around in their pockets, these words introduced anime fans to a surreal existence where computer monitors served as portals to brave new worlds. Serial Experiments: Lain and its deceptively "ordinary" title character redefined an entire generation's concept of the world wide web, prompting us all to suspiciously take note of humming power lines and central processing units. Follow along as fourteen year old Lain - driven by the abrupt suicide of a classmate - logs on to the Wired and promptly loses herself in a twisted mass of hallucinations, memories, and interconnected-psyches. Close the World. Open the Next. It's as simple as the flip of a switch.

For more about Serial Experiments Lain: Complete Series and the Serial Experiments Lain: Complete Series Blu-ray release, see Serial Experiments Lain: Complete Series Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.

Starring: Kaori Shimizu, Shō Hayami
Director: Ryűtar˘ Nakamura

» See full cast & crew

Serial Experiments Lain: Complete Series Blu-ray, Video Quality

  3.0 of 5

There has been a lot of online chatter (appropriate, given Serial Experiments Lain's setting) about Serial Experiments Lain's AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.41:1 courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment. Most of the alarmist postings have dealt with the quite noticeable banding that is especially prevalent in the series' opening few episodes, but I wonder how many of the folks virtually screaming and yelling about the issue bothered to look in the accompanying "commentary" booklet, where it's quite unabashedly mentioned in a conversation between Ueda and Saito, specifically with regard to the first episode, which has been one of the prime examples that disappointed fans have been disparaging rather vociferously since receiving their sets. The bottom line is this: the banding has always been an issue with Serial Experiments Lain. Should it have been dealt with more aggressively here? Probably. The one thing that very few people are seeming to realize is one of the reasons the banding is so much more evident in this new transfer is that this is quite noticeably brighter than either the Japanese set or the previous DVDs. This also affects black levels, which are pretty inconsistent throughout this presentation. Quite often blacks look almost like they have a milky or even purplish overlay on top of them, and yet at other times (like Lain's hair in the closing credits sequence) they're exceptionally solid and deep. My personal opinion of this set, taken as a whole, is that it is certainly a quantum leap forward from the DVD set (which frankly isn't saying much), and is often comparable to the Japanese Blu-ray set in terms of sharpness and clarity, which, banding aside, is commendable. Colors are nicely saturated and line detail, which has been a problem in previous releases, looks very stable. The brightness issue is really my biggest concern, and I have no facile explanation as to how or why it's happened, especially since it seems to be a passing situation in any given episode.

Note: It should be mentioned that some of the online chatter is devoted to the fact that the first BD, which contains episodes 1 thru 9, is a BD-50, while the second BD, containing episodes 10 thru 13, is a BD-25 (our specs can't accommodate this anomaly, hence the listing above showing only BD-50). Some feel that the episodes have been "crammed" onto the discs, but that's simply not the case. The first disc runs about 3 and a half hours, far less than a BD- 50 can accommodate at a more than amply decent bitrate, and the second disc is barely an hour and a half, again well within the capabilities of a BD-25. Whatever issues this set has is not due to the amount of content on the discs, at least in my considered opinion. Would things have improved had we been given, say, six episodes on one disc and seven on another, both on BD-50s? Maybe, but I think you'd be hard pressed to make a really serious case that quality would have been improved dramatically by such an approach.

Serial Experiments Lain: Complete Series Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

Serial Experiments Lain features two Dolby TrueHD 2.0 audio options, one with the original Japanese track and one with an English dub. The Japanese track sounds strangely tinny to my ears, overly boxy and not as full bodied as one might hope for. The English dub, by comparison, boasts much stronger amplitude and overall full bodied sound. Voice work on both languages is excellent, and the really fantastic opening and closing themes sound great on both mixes. The English language track offers sterling fidelity and good dynamic range.

Serial Experiments Lain: Other Seasons

Season 1
4-disc set

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