New Alternate Reality Game Marks Serial Experiments Lain Anime’s 25th Anniversary

(Last Updated On: June 9, 2023)

Kasagi, the digital collectible anime studio, together with Anique, a Tokyo-based company, unveiled their plans on Thursday to introduce an innovative alternate reality game (ARG) called Layer 3301: De-Cipher. This immersive experience is set to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the iconic Serial Experiments Lain anime.

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The official release date of the game has not been announced by the companies. However, players can acquire access to the game through the purchase of a unique digital item known as a Protocol Key. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Serial Experiments Lain anime, early access to these Protocol Keys will be available this month exclusively on the dedicated anniversary website.

By utilizing their Protocol Key, players will be able to engage with various digital components, unlocking new chapters of the anime’s captivating storyline. As a result of their progress, players will be rewarded with exclusive incentives, including limited digital and physical memorabilia, as well as rare cel art—hand-drawn or painted stills from the animation that have never been publicly showcased before.

During the early stages of production, a team member suggested that we shape Lain’s world in such a way that viewers would perceive it as a futuristic setting merely three years ahead. Our ultimate desire is for Serial Experiments Lain and the Layer 3301 event, commemorating its 25th anniversary, to evoke the essence of the Japanese folklore spirit known as “zashiki-warashi.” This concept embodies the notion that something is subtly concealed or lurking within the vast depths of the Internet. On occasion, one may stumble upon a fleeting sign or symbol that carries profound meaning, only for it to vanish before they fully comprehend its significance.

In November 1998, Pioneer LDC released a video game of the franchise on the PlayStation console. Later, in 2010, Funimation acquired the licensing rights to the thought-provoking cyberpunk series previously held by Geneon. They subsequently released the series on home video in 2012 and 2014. The streaming platform Crunchyroll joined the journey in 2017, bringing this acclaimed masterpiece to its viewers.

With the artistic touch of Yoshitoshi ABe (known for works like Haibane Renmei and Texhnolyze), this existential gem set the stage for blockbusters like The Matrix. Embark on a mind-bending adventure as fourteen-year-old Lain, driven by the tragic suicide of a classmate, immerses herself in the Wired—a twisted realm of hallucinations, memories, and interconnected psyches. Crunchyroll removed the series in 2018.


Source | Press release

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