Welcome to the serial experiments lain 25th anniversary page.
You're a peculiar one, aren't you, coming to a place like this.
Jokes aside, you truly have my utmost thanks for still being interested in this quarter-of-a-century-old work.
When Mr. Nakamura of Anique Inc. came to me with a proposal to sell NFC chip embedded serial experiments lain acrylic stands at Anime Japan 2023, I quite pessimistically responded, “People aren’t gonna buy lain stuff anymore,” but went along with the idea anyways. So, when I heard that the acrylic stands were sold out, I was touched by everyone’s kindness…
Ahem. On another note, nowadays, AI is advancing toward practical use with remarkable progress.
In fact, I even tried to use Chat GPT-3 to write this note to you all.
When gave it the prompt to create a passage that would convey my gratitude to fans in celebration of lain’s 25th anniversary, this is what I got:
serial experiments lain has had a profound impact on the world of animation with its innovative storytelling, distinctive aesthetic, and bold philosophical questions. Not only that, but the work has inspired many by offering an insightful view into the relationship between modern technology and human existence.
serial experiments lain will continue to be loved by a new generation for its profound message and vibrant artwork. And we thank you for your love and support and will continue to treat this wonderful work of art with care.
Thank you very much.
Isn’t that just amazing?!
At the time when I was working on lain, I felt so pressured and stressed. My heart was always pounding, my PowerBook G4 was always overheating, and art master Abe would often laugh at me as I ran around frantically. But, all of that is over now, for I have the power of Chat GPT (hah).
Speaking of lain’s creation, serial experiments lain started off as just an amateurish draft of mine, but the reason why this work has become so beloved is thanks to the superb animation staff, including director Ryutaro Nakamura, Chiaki Konaka, Yoshitoshi Abe, Junji Nakahara, Tomokazu Tokoro, and Takahiro Kishida. It’s thanks to their efforts that serial experiments lain became interesting.
Now that Ryutaro Nakamura, who was at the core of this project, is no longer here with us in this world, I have no intention of continuing the project. I have no intention of making a continuation, a new "serial experiments lain," under my own name, and I don't think it was that kind of story to begin with.
So, I apologize if our April Fool’s day teaser video gave you the impression that something was about to begin. Sorry for the disappointment, but there is nothing going on.
As for the teaser video, the idea for its story started when AI was literally spitting out amazing creations one after another, from illustrations/pictures to videos, and with such efficiency. It was evolving at such a fast pace that I could barely keep up with the news.
Back in the day, when I was still drafting up ideas for lain, the world was of course aware of Moore’s Law. But, even if computational and processing power were to improve exponentially, at the time, something like a usable chat AI was just a madman’s pipe dream. If anyone (other than someone in that field) seriously thought we could one day attain what we have now, they would’ve been quite cringey to be around.
Contrary to what one may think, I was one of the sane ones. Naturally, I couldn’t even begin to imagine what chat AI technology has evolved into today. So at the time, when I was working with Tomokazu Tokoro and Junji Nakahara on a dating sim game called Noël, my sane self had no choice but to do it the hard way and hash out a patchwork of conversation responses that could hopefully simulate a real conversation for the player.
This time around, I based the teaser on the theme of how lain came into existence. But there aren’t any spoilers or anything for the anime or game. Rather, the teaser is like a patch update to the work that I had originally created. If I had created lain now, I would’ve probably created it like how I did this teaser.
“What? I watched it but I still don’t get it,” you say? That’s just how it is.
“Don’t think, FEEL!” That’s the serial experiments lain way. And that’s why we decided to dish out an April Fool’s teaser without telling anyone.
For TTL, I had called for everyone to create something, but I realized that I hadn’t created anything myself. Wouldn’t I be a hypocrite if I didn’t get to creating too?
That being said, I’ve gone and thoroughly violated TTL’s terms and conditions lol.
This teaser was just something we hurriedly scraped together, and it’s a far cry from something I’d proudly show to the public, so I’m relieved that it’ll only be shared within a small circle.
For those of us who had once given up on technology’s evolution, what we couldn’t even imagine in the past is now happening in the present.
While I wouldn’t go as far as to say that everything predictable is boring, and everything unpredictable is interesting, I find that the way the unpredictable has evolved is as much exciting as it is bewildering.
Anyways, who’s to say that lain wasn’t born somewhere already, without us knowing? Perhaps she was born like an Aphrodite of the internet. She could have sprung forth from the foam of an internet sea, and after the seawater subsided, she may have even taken root somewhere close to us! For the record, I just tried to wiki Aphrodite, but Wikipedia's donation request got in the way of my search…and that’s how it’s gonna be this year. So with that, I’ll wrap up my message with this question to you all: what are your plans for 2023?
Hoping for a future where someone, somewhere, somehow leads you to an encounter with lain.
Let’s all love lain.
2023.4.1 Happy April Fool! Dear ones.