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Explanation: "device" sequences in lain

Originally shown at the end of each episode (except the final episode) to announce the title of the next episode, there are 12 of these sequences in total. This was done in lieu of episode previews as you might see in other anime. The person in the "device" sequences is Kaori Shimizu, Lain's seiyuu (voice actress).

Listed in order:
Device#01 Eye
Device#02 Mouth
Device#03 Hand
Device#04 Ear
Device#05 Tongue
Device#06 Foot
Device#07 Nose
Device#08 Hair
Device#09 Uterus
Device#10 Body
Device#11 Heart
Device#12 Face

As to what it all means:
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a device as--"a piece of equipment or a mechanism designed to serve a special purpose or perform a special function"

I think the point of the "Device" segments in lain is to play around with the idea that the line between humanity and technology is blurry, and that where the "natural" (yet clearly machine-like) human body begins and ends is unclear--as our various organs might easily fall under the above definition of 'device'.

If we lose an eye or an ear, does that make us less human? How much of our "natural" body can we remove/replace/augment before we are no longer considered human? In my opinion, the creators of lain are asking us to reconsider our notions of what it means to be human, especially in the face of new technologies (like the Wired) which are increasingly changing the nature of our existence.

(I posted an earlier version of this article to the (now-defunct) Anime Grapevine on 10/26/2000)

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Last updated on May 4th, 2001
Lawrence Eng