Mindbender marathon: Lain/Kon/Ōtomo simulwatch

D1tchd1gger

Claymore
Lots of mentions of the real world and that of the Wired being the same, merging, etc. Certainly Lain's computer has broken out into the world by going through the wall of her room.

Was that Lain's "mum" flirting with the exec guy, who seems to be a Knight? They definitely seem to be a dangerous group after recent events.
The guy who was killed was wearing something that very much looks like a modern VR headset, but has turned it into an AR headset with the camera. I know the current generation of VR headsets isn't the first time that VR has been tried, so can't be called 100% prophetic.

Something I forgot to mention yesterday was in an outside shot the splodges of colour were moving in Lain's shadow, but were still static in the other shadows. Can't remember if it was ep 5 or 6 though.

BTW For those that like the OP Duvet is on Spotify:
 

HWR

CCG’s Reaper
AUKN Staff
Layer 7: Society

I have to agree that this episode has a lot going on - indeed I think the series in general warrants another rewatch in the near future from me just so I can see what details I’ve missed before!
 

Neil.T

Chuunibyou
Miscellainea.

(Geddit? 😅)

Did you catch the website on the pressure gauge? Mebious, I wonder if was supposed to be a reference to Moebius? Anyway the website is up and running, but I'm not sure if it's a fan made thing or not:
mebious.co.uk entry wired
I clicked on that link. And now I'd better not tell my girlfriend that there's a Lain wiki for me to potentially read. 😅

Of course, she's possibly now read this, so I've gone and blown my own cover. 😬

Was that Lain's "mum" flirting with the exec guy
It wasn't, no. That was his secretary, a character introduced in this episode, just like our goggles guy. For the record, he's listed as "Nezumi" in the end credits. It's Japanese for "rat".

Something I forgot to mention yesterday was in an outside shot the splodges of colour were moving in Lain's shadow, but were still static in the other shadows. Can't remember if it was ep 5 or 6 though.
Yeah, it's an effect they've been using from the outset. It's eerie, isn't it? I like it a lot.

###

Just a reminder, folks, that tomorrow's another rest day from the simulwatch. Then after that, on Thursday, we've got our choice between Tokyo Godfathers and Roujin Z. Which one will you be watching? Or how about tackling both? (It's both for me. 😊)
 
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WMD

Pokémon Master
Just a reminder, folks, that tomorrow's another rest day from the simulwatch. Then after that, on Thursday, we've got our choice between Tokyo Godfathers and Roujin Z. Which one will you be watching? Or how about tackling both? (It's both for me. 😊)
I'm going to be watching both. I'll probably watch one tomo and one thursday as I wont have time on friday.
 

WMD

Pokémon Master
Roujin-Z Spanish dub

For what's quite heavy subject matter, care of the elderly and military misusing public resources, this is actually a really fun film to watch. I think that stems from its art design where characters are quite fluid and not always on model, and the old geezers in the hospital who arnt too serious to give the whole thing a less serious edge. Which is odd as the main 3 characters Haruko, the project leader and the military traitor guy all take everything seriously.

The pacing also makes this an easy watch. The film is constantly plowing forward (in the second half the film this is literal as the bed goes on its rampage) so although it's a bit simple and rough about the edges it's always engaging and entertaining.

Its interesting the main premise is about making a bed for elderly care and giving them dignity but those involved are so blind to their own egos that the presentation to the media removes any dignity the old man had left. He even states it later when he tells Haruko that it's his dignity that hurts the most.

A couple of moments I particularly enjoyed were when the bed first moves and smashes through the doors and send the big man flying. He really rag dolls! Also the way Haruko politely barges her way onto the helicopter was great.

Haruko as a main character was very conceived. Determined enough to always be trying to help the old man in her care but constantly teetering on the edge of bewildered panic. She was very engaging. And the big man who thinks hes in charge but slowly comes to the realisation hes being used was a nice "villian" arc where he ends up helping the right side but isnt really redeemed and his punishment is to endlessly deal with those reporters.

The final moments also put a new spin on things as is says progress will happen whether you fight against it or not. And you can help it manifest it's best side or its worst and that's up to you.
 

Neil.T

Chuunibyou
I'll drop in my own pre-prepared post first before delving into @WMD's.

Roujin Z

"Next week, we'll pick up with the anus."

Ah, crap. Sorry.

"Our society is being crushed under a growing problem: the problem of the elderly. How far are we willing to go to preserve our nation's elders?"

And that's the core issue that brought us Roujin Z. 😅👍

I must say that Kazé's DVD of the film looks genuinely great. The transfer is crisp enough to even show the shadows of the characters painted on the cels. The disc does, however, appear to be missing a signs track, so in case you were watching that and wondering what the message that appears on Haruko's PC monitors says, it translates as "Help me, Haruko."

Later on, the message being sent back to old man Takazawa (this time just typed in roman letters) would be something to the effect of "Gramps. Wake up! You old fart."

The subtitles also dumb down a great gag found in the Japanese dialogue. When the newsreader reports on the unidentified robot terrorising shoppers, the subtitles read "This sounds like science fiction."

But what he actually says is "It sounds like something out of a TV anime."

Onto the animation, and the crazy monorail scene was a big highlight for me, as was the contrasting delicate complexity of Haruko's climactic climbing sequence. Also impressive was the part where the rampaging bed's tendrils burrow into the chassis of the ambulance; it was very reminiscent of Tetsuo's famous body-horror mutation in Akira.

Another thing I'm very enthusiastic about in this film is the Japanese voice performance for the slimy traitor Hasegawa. MAL attributes it to a VA named Shinsuke Chikaishi, who seems to have few anime credits to his name, which is very odd considering the depth of character he brings to his Roujin Z role.

Hasegawa gets his just desserts as the story plays out, though: that's one hell of a realistic-looking punch that Health Ministry head man Terada throws at him. Terada's VA is recognisable from other anime such as Kenji Kamiyama's Eden of the East and Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell.

On the trivia front, the film's title is a clear reference to 1970s giant robot anime Mazinger Z, and I also couldn't help but notice just how many mentions Sony gets in backgrounds and on props (TV screens, usually). This is due to involvement from Sony Records during production.

The end credits music is bloody catchy for it, too.
 

WMD

Pokémon Master
Onto the animation, and the crazy monorail scene was a big highlight for me,
Yeah the whole sequence (the whole rampage really) is very well executed. Though it's a big suspension of belief that the monorail would be able to stay attached with that massive robot smashing it's way along it!

however, appear to be missing a signs track, so in case you were watching that and wondering what the message that appears on Haruko's PC monitors says, it translates as "Help me, Haruko."
Incidentally in Spanish dubs (live action as well as animation) you often get a disembodied voice read signs out loud in place of subtitles which does accur in this film. Though the Help me, Haruko bit is actually done by the old man as if Haruko is imagining his plea for help.
 

WMD

Pokémon Master
Tokyo Godfathers

I really enjoy the rowdy priest at the start. He has this real wrath of God attitude which is really at odds with the rest if the films benevolent little miracles. I guess I'd describe the film as a modern urban fantasy.

It's also interesting that the film introduces at the main characters as mostly pretty awful people. Especially Gin and Miyuki. Rampant transphobia, homophobia, assault, spitting on people. They are all deeply traumatic and traumatised characters. That actually leads into the most interesting aspect of the film which is their backstories. The way they are told and revised as the story progresses until we know the truth is very well constructed. And incidentally fits very well with Perfect Blue and Millennium Actress as stories about stories within stories.

Theres a lot of fun moments in this film. Possibly my favourite being when they realise they have found the house and its in ruins, Gin steps over the rubble to the door and the key fits, then he step back inside and goes Honey I'm home.

The twist is also very well executed and something I'd forgotten and really helps create a very dramatic end for the story.

Overall I think his other films are better but this still a highly enjoyable romp about what it means to have family.
 

Neil.T

Chuunibyou
Though it's a big suspension of belief that the monorail would be able to stay attached with that massive robot smashing it's way along it!
Yeah, it really is! 😆
Just how many times heavier is the Z-001 than the monorail train?

Incidentally in Spanish dubs (live action as well as animation) you often get a disembodied voice read signs out loud in place of subtitles
Oh, wow. That's an interesting insight, dude; I had no idea. 😯

He even states it later when he tells Haruko that it's his dignity that hurts the most.
I don't remember that subtlety from watching in Japanese, so it must be a creation of that dub. 🤔
I wonder if that line is in the English dub too, because sometimes other languages are translated from the English translation rather than from the original Japanese.
 
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Pokémon Master
I don't remember that subtly from watching in Japanese, so it must be a creation of that dub. 🤔
Interesting. Annoyingly I cant remember exactly when it was that happened. I have a feeling it might have been when the students break in to find him in the lab before the first time they get caught. It was one of the old guys few moments of being quite animated at least.
 

Neil.T

Chuunibyou
It was one of the old guys few moments of being quite animated at least.
Yeah, that was the very reason the line you mentioned jumped out at me, actually. The old geezer has a very limited range of expression in Japanese. 🤔


Tokyo Godfathers
stories about stories within stories.
Wow, I like that a lot. Satoshi Kon in a nutshell?

Again, I didn't write a post for Tokyo Godfathers because I didn't know where to even start.

I will say one thing, though, even though it may be too broad a statement to be wholly true, and that is:

Hana = Tokyo Godfathers 😛
 
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Pokémon Master
I will say one thing, though, even though it may be too broad a statement to be wholly true, and that is:

Hana = Tokyo Godfathers 😛
In fairness it's because of Hana that the story even kicks off really. Also shes very clearly the glue holding the group together to begin with. Gins biggest issue is his daughter and Miyukis is her father and they've become a replacement for each others trauma. But without Hana they wouldnt be able to be near each other and so she essentially enables their healing to begin.

Hana by contrast carries a lot less baggage even if outwardly as a trans person looks like she would have the most, shes actually the most comfortable in who she is. The appearance of the baby itself is her baggage in that it's a reminder of something she'll never have (whereas the other two are focused on what they've lost) and that's the impetus for the story.
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Lagging behind, but should be able to get Roujin-Z in tomorrow.

Layer 6

I think the development of Lain’s computer system is kind of like a visual metaphor for Lain’s personal development. As the computer grows, so does her self-awareness and, given that we’re shown the children apparently worshipping her as a god, perhaps her power? It’s no wonder that her father seems to almost fear her now.

Mika’s case is interesting though. With Mika having passed into an apparently vegetative state and Lain’s newfound ability to at least mimic the socialisation of those around her, it seems almost as if Lain has absorbed her personality.

It also kind of amused me that the childlike Lain at the start of the episode seems to be happily interacting with the Knights, whereas Wired Lain at the end recognises them as her enemy.

Layer 7


Alas poor Mika. When she appears at Lain's door, it seems as if she's going to issue another passing put down as she did earlier in the series, but instead it just comes out as a garbled noise. Lain doesn't seem overly concerned either.

One thing I do find amusing is the contrast between the wannabe hacker and the real Knights. The wannabe is more like the stereotypical image of what a hacker is like, perhaps short only of his nintendo power glove and a slice of pizza, whereas the actual Knights seem to be much more inconspicious, almost like sleeper agents. I actually thought I remembered the delivery guy being Mika's boyfriend, but I was probably just confusing it with his attempt to seduce the single mother Knight.
 

Neil.T

Chuunibyou
In fairness it's because of Hana that the story even kicks off really.
. . .
I wish I could've written about Tokyo Godfathers with that clarity. That post was great. 😀👍

I think the development of Lain’s computer system is kind of like a visual metaphor for Lain’s personal development. As the computer grows, so does her self-awareness
Absolutely so; I think that's definitely the intention behind it. I think it also comments on Lain's expanding influence on the Wired and on the world around her.

One thing I do find amusing is the contrast between the wannabe hacker and the real Knights. The wannabe is more like the stereotypical image of what a hacker is like, perhaps short only of his nintendo power glove and a slice of pizza, whereas the actual Knights seem to be much more inconspicious, almost like sleeper agents.
Again, this is something that the script is actively pursuing, I'd say. Given the show's consistent tone of paranoia towards the development of technology, writer Konaka is showing us both 'types' in order to say "You know the cliché image, but this is what computer hackers will actually be like."
 
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D1tchd1gger

Claymore
Not much extra to say on Tokyo Godfathers, but I was wondering on the name Kiyoko. They say pure on the subs, but found this:
清子~ Kiyoko ~
meaning:
"清" is clean. "子" is a word that comes after a woman's name, child.
From here:
Probably just a slightly different translation.
Seems another way to write it uses sacred as the first part.

Not sure how Gin's daughter is spelt, in the credits it's just "Gin's Daughter".
 
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Pokémon Master
Lain 8

So after being left with one good connection in the world, namely Alice, now that comes under attack too. Evil Lain is stepping in to replace Lain in the real world now. First by attacking her one strong relationship in it to leave Lain alone and confused. And then setting a trap so that when Lain thinks shes found a crtl+alt+del to her situation steps in to take her life. It's pretty brutal stuff.

There was a lot nice visual work in this epsiode again. The headless chattering people which later are all Lain dolls was all super creepy. Amd I liked at the start how Lain wasnt pixelated in the game but stood there clear and proud, the exact opposite of where she'd end up. Also those family moments dont get any easier do they! Awkward to the max. Lain just wants some affirmation from her parents and they dont offer any and the scene just lingers before ending with zero catharsis!

The shot of a lonely Lain stood there as the colour and detail of the world drained away in her moment of absolute despair and confusion was also very effective. I kinda wished they'd just ended the epsiode there to be honest.
 

Neil.T

Chuunibyou
Another pre-prepared post:

Serial Experiments Lain
Layer 08: Rumours

"I'm... I'm me, right? There's no other me but me, right?"

"They're all you. I said that you've always existed in the Wired, didn't I? You're the same as me: you're omnipresent in the Wired. Wherever anyone is, wherever they go, you have always been there."


What a chilling sight: the instant where a momentarily relieved Lain seems to leave her own body. Sadly for her, she never truly existed within that time plane in the first place — despite the fact that she herself apparently created it, her aptitude at manipulating data having reached the point where it has broken free of the confines of the Wired and can now overwrite information within the real world itself. Lain is forced look on as an intangible observer as her other self skips away happily to enjoy time with her friends, free of the troubles caused by her other other self, the infamous Lain of the Wired.

I've actually taken something of a liberty with the quotes at the start of this post: Lain's line there is in fact the very last of the episode. Such is the fluidity of the delivery of information in Lain's world, though, that God's answer there seems like the perfect reply to her (at the time) unasked question.

Our Lain (if such a distinction can even be made here) is forced to witness some very unpleasant things at this midpoint of the story — none more so, perhaps, than that set of quivering, chattering mechanical dolls, all made in her image.

She's forced to feel unpleasantness too: that being the human body temperature of her own neck as she angrily attempts to throttle her alter ego. Lain of the Wired laughs it off with characteristic meanness as it being like Lain committing suicide.

By the end, our Lain is left shedding tears. She has experienced so many horrible things in such a short space of time, and it speaks volumes of her situation that she now looks to be consoled by a machine. Her Navi, though, is no more likely to give her the comfort she needs than her own parents are. It feels like Lain is being gradually isolated from those around her, her support network weakening in direct opposition to her increasing connectivity through the Wired.

Where should Lain turn next? How can she find a fix for her fragmenting existence?

"To be continued..."
 

D1tchd1gger

Claymore
There's three Lain's now as far as I can tell. The real world Lain that went off with her friends, the Lain of the Wired who was tricked by this new evil Lain. But then the last scene wouldn't work because Wired Lain isn't physical or maybe the "real" Lain isn't real.
Maybe like the "god" said there's more than that, she's everywhere. In another Matrix parallel, although this from the sequels so maybe they did nick it from Lain, she's like Agent Smith when he went rouge:

Need to photoshop her head onto all of them!
 
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HWR

CCG’s Reaper
AUKN Staff
Layer 8: Rumours

As Lain grows ever more fragmented the series only goes darker and bleaker. There’s some great themes of existentialism that run throughout this series.
 

Neil.T

Chuunibyou
The shot of a lonely Lain stood there as the colour and detail of the world drained away in her moment of absolute despair and confusion was also very effective.
It was, yeah. I don't know about you, dude, but that reminded me somewhat of the bare-bones minimalism of the final episode of Evangelion. In fact...

Lain just wants some affirmation from her parents and they dont offer any and the scene just lingers before ending with zero catharsis
Absolutely so, and Lain as a series is pretty unflinching in the atmosphere it wants to create, to the degree that it can be so cold as to be actually frigid, like in that very scene.

Honestly, I find myself admiring creations that stick to their guns like that — there's this, there's Eva, obviously (both the original and Rebuild), survival series Gantz... and another recent one that I feel like I want to mention is The Dragon Dentist. That's prepared to go to some pretty dark places during its final act, and I really can't help but applaud the creative freedom of that.
 
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