To say this is a thought-provoking series is an understatement. Certainly the most philosophically deep anime that I have seen, even moreso than Evangelion. The eerie ambient soundtrack serves as an appropriate underscore to the onscreen action, perhaps making it even more evocative. The opening song is also enjoyable, as well as the animation in the opening sequence. The characters are very well-done. You come to know only a few in-depth, but the lack of knowledge about other characters was very well executed, creating significant intrigue into their true natures, constantly keeping you rapt in attention. The artwork was different to what I am accustomed to, but in a good way. Certainly the intent of the work seemed to be to create a series that was more graphically artistic than standard anime fare. Good use is made of computer graphics as well. At some points the scene is almost completely white, with only a few objects or people being animated to effectively indicate the mood and tone of the work. The story itself is very complex. As Lain gradually becomes enlightened, so does the viewer. And with each epiphany comes many more questions. It would be difficult to discuss the plot of this series without giving too much away, but the summary on the first collection does a good job of introducing some of the themes within: Life, Death, Reality, God...
It may take a few viewings to fully appreciate the ideas presented within, but I think it is definitely worth your time. This is a series to watch again and again, and with each viewing gain a better understanding. Overall, its among my favorite series, and possibly the best anime I have ever seen.
Composite grade A+ (4.00)