An alternative anime that spoke to a generation that was dreading the arrival of the Y2K bug, Serial Experiments Lain was a cult classic that was initially released in 1998. The show’s themes of mental health and digital interconnectivity were just as influential as The Matrix.
Serial Experiments Lain was a 13-episode series that centered around Lain Iwakura, an introverted 14-year old who finds herself in involved in a series of disturbances involving an online world known as The Wired.
While the world of Serial Experiments Lain was merely speculative back in 1998, it has very much become a reality in 2023. With the rise of artificial intelligence and its use in modern-day living, it was only natural for Lain Iwakura to resurface once more.
Serial Experiments Lain and Tokyo-based company Anique have worked together to launch ‘AI Lain’, a new AI-powered chatbot that allows fans to converse with Lain Iwakura.For the first time, fans will also get to hear a bilingual Lain Iwakura, in either Japanese or English.
This chatbot was trained on the original anime scripts and archived voice recordings of actress Kaori Shimizu to offer an experience that is authentic to the series’ audio experience. Kaori Shimizu gave permission to utilize her archived recordings for this project by Anique.
True to the character’s mannerisms, this AI-version of Lain Iwakura will be initially distant, reply in short phrases and avoid showing her face to the user. Once she is friendly with the individual conversing with her, AI Lain will show different facial expressions and have longer responses.
Touted as an evolving entity, the first six months will see Anique periodically recruit superfans to help introduce new elements to AI Lain. Users’ suggestions will be reviewed, and those accepted will be developed and reflected in AI Lain’s knowledge database.
AI Lain is now live and accessible to everyone via the official website and free users able to send up to ten messages. For those looking for an unlimited experience, paid plans offer additional benefits and features. More details on pricing and availability are available on the website.
Super rare physical collectables are also up for grabs with an automatic raffle entry for superfans with paid plan users of AI lain. Giveaways include original cel art from the anime production, anime film strips and more.