One way that I decide which new anime I should watch is to look up who worked on my favorite shows and then find out what else they worked on. serial experiments lain is my favorite anime TV show, so I decided to track what the creators of lain have worked on both before and after making lain.
To understand an anime, I think it is useful to understand its creators (and to be familiar with they've worked on). Oftentimes, for any given anime, there is more than one creator, and this is definitely the case for lain, which was very much a collaborative effort between several highly creative individuals. When I think of lain, I think of 4 main people who made it what it was. They are Chiaki J. Konaka (screenplay), yoshitoshi ABe (original character design), Ryutaro Nakamura (director), and Yasuyuki Ueda (producer).
I have created a table below listing the various titles they've worked on. I highlighted (in color) the titles that they (in various combinations) worked on together. Note that the anime are listed chronologically; from top to bottom, it goes from less to more recent. For anime titles that came out in the same year, I used the first TV broadcast date or first OAV release date to figure out which one should be listed first.
I should make the disclaimer that this list is probably not perfect. I tried to only include titles that the individuals worked on quite significantly. I didn't mention, for example, that Chiaki Konaka wrote 1 episode of Miyu TV and 3 episodes of Gasaraki.
Anyhow, I hope you find it useful.
|Chiaki J. Konaka||yoshitoshi ABe||Ryutaro Nakamura||Yasuyuki Ueda|
|Unico (movie) : Art (1981)|
|Space Adventure Cobra - The Movie : Animation (1982)|
|Armitage III (OAV) : Screenplay, Original Manga (1994)|
|Hyper Doll (OAV) : Producer (1995)|
|Magic User's Club (OAV) : Script (1996)|
|Birdy the Mighty (OAV) : Screenplay, Original Manga (1996)|
|Nazca (TV) : Producer (1998)|
|Serial Experiments Lain (TV) : Screenplay, Series Structure (1998)||Serial Experiments Lain (TV) : Original character design (1998)||Serial Experiments Lain (TV) : Director, Storyboard, Continuity (1998)||Serial Experiments Lain (TV) : Original story, Planning (1998)|
|Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 (TV) : Screenplay (1998)|
|Devil Lady (TV) : Series Creator (1998)|
|Digimon Adventure (TV) : Script (1999)|
|Magic User's Club (TV) : Script (1999)|
|The Legend of Black Heaven (TV) : Music producer (1999)|
|Colorful (TV) : Director (1999)|
|The Big O (TV) : Screenplay, Series supervisor (1999)|
|Sakura Wars (TV) : Series director, Continuity (2000)|
|NieA_7 (TV) : Character Design (2000)||Niea_7 (TV): producer (2000)|
|Digimon Tamers (TV) : Series Structure (2001)|
|Malice@Doll (OAV) : Script (2001)|
|Hellsing (TV) : Script (2001)||Hellsing (TV) : Executive producer (Pioneer LDC) (2001)|
|Futari Ecchi (OAV) : Script (2002)|
|Haibane Renmei (TV) : Script, Original creator (2002)|
|Astro Boy  (TV) : Script (2003)|
|Kino's Journey (TV) : Director, Storyboard (2003)|
|Texhnolyze (TV) : Scenario, Series Story Editor (2003)||Texhnolyze (TV) : Character Conceptual Design (2003)||Texhnolyze (TV) : Producer (2003)|
|Parasite Dolls (OAV) : Script (2003)|
|Narutaru (TV) : Script (2003)|