I want to take a second to talk about Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Seconds.
CriticalOtaku: It’s…. it’s been three days since Chaos Dragon aired in Japan and there are still no subs! WHY IS THIS ALLOWED IN THIS DAY AND AGE!
Imaginary Friend: It’s because Funimation picked up the streaming rights and they’re usually slow getting out the first episode.
Crit: HOLY- Where did you come from!
IF: I’m a figment of your imagination brought to life by your stir craziness and the fact that whatever shred of self-respect you have left prevents you from talking to a dakimakura.
As I explained in the previous article, in this series I’ve decided to take a slightly unorthodox approach- instead of a strict frame-by-frame reading of the episodes themselves, I’ll approach the series by tackling the ideas presented in the show, whether those ideas are metatextual in nature or simply influential. My hope is that this will prove more interesting and useful to readers.
The Call of Lain: H. P. Lovecraft and Existential Horror
Ok, I know I said that the author is dead last time, and to be fair I do get the impression that SEL is meant to be experienced firsthand devoid of preconceptions in the manner of other postmodernist work- with the text acting as a cipher for the viewer experience, as opposed to arbitrating it. Still, I’m from the school of film criticism that calls for holistic assessments- ultimately, the viewer experience might be an important (perhaps even the most important) aspect of review, but first-hand accounts of authorial intent can be immensely helpful in framing the work in a proper context.
As such, I do think it would be useful to go over the influences on Chiaki J. Konaka, the scriptwriter for SEL, and how that in turn influenced the show.
Welcome to Cyberia. Welcome to the postmodern. Welcome to the end of history. Welcome to Hypertext Transfer Protocol rewiring and restructuring human society and neurology. Welcome to the Apocalypse.
Welcome to Serial Experiments Lain. Hope you enjoy the ride.
Act 1 – A Proposition
There’s a school of screen-writing that posits that, since you’ve only got a couple hours or so, there is no time for subtlety and it should just be done away with entirely. The classic example is the Broadway Musical- characters wear their heart on their sleeves and sing out their epiphanies and observations, and major dramatic shifts are accompanied by large musical numbers and snazzy dancing.
The views expressed herein are my own and in no way representative the greater anime community. If I inadvertently diss your favourite show from this season or praise a show you consider bad please remember that I’m just some idiot from the internet with an opinion before taking personal offence. I’m just this because it’s fun to call AoTS after 2-4 episodes and compare that to the end of the season where I find out just how wrong I am. Order presented is roughly the order of my preferences. Without further ado, let’s begin!