Layer:03 - Psyche
Episode 3
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Directed by Ryūtarō Nakamura
Written by Chiaki J. Konaka
Original air date July 20, 1998 (Japan)
Episode guide
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Layer:03 - Psyche is the third episode of the anime series Serial Experiments Lain. The episode was written by Chiaki J. Konaka and directed by Ryuutarou Nakamura. It was broadcast in Japan on July 20, 1998.




You've heard of a girl named Lain, right?
 Lain of the Wired.


The episode opens again on a crowded Tokyo street. In front of the Cyberia Café, the police have arrived to investigate the shooting. As Lain and Alice exit the club, a voiceover states: "You've probably heard of Lain..."  The voice continues, "Lain of the Wired."

We see Flashbacks of the shooting, the laser sight, and flowing blood.  We move to Lain being questioned by a detective at the police station. The detective comments that they have been unable to reach Lain's parents by telephone. Lain is confused about this. The detective is concerned because they cannot reach anyone by telephone at Lain's house. As Lain's interrogation continues, Alice watches from an outer room. She enters and apologizes to Lain. Alice explains it was her fault, frantically grabbing Lain's hands. Lain is ina state of confusion.  She has trouble even speaking Alice's name, sounding practically robotic. Alice is called by her mother to leave. The detective informs Lain that she can go home.

As the police car carrying Lain pulls up to her house, it is noticeably dark while others in the neighborhood are inhabited. Lain walks around the dark house looking for her parents. She goes to their bedroom and finds only two empty double beds. Lain enters her own room, finding it deserted as well, except for the glowing light of her Navi's screen. She sits down in front of her computer. As she stares into the monitor, a plasma-like ball approaches her. She just sighs and then again looks around the house to see if anyone is there. No one can be found. Back at her Navi, Lain checks for messages. None are there. She says, "Good Night, Navi."  The Navi responds, "Good Night, Lain." Lain seems surprised.  Lain falls to sleep in her bear-suit.

When morning arrives, Lain opens her door to the sound of her mother in the kitchen. A hearty western breakfast awaits her. Her mother chides her for oversleeping. Lain tries to tell her mother something about the previous night, but then stops. She leaves the house and again notices someone watching her. This time it is a black car with mysterious red lights that seem to track her. She runs away. On the train to school, she seems to be hearing a male voice calling her name. It says "Do you understand?" Lain asks, "Who are you," to no one in particular. The voice responds, "You are not alone." Lain gasps and stares out the window at the passing wires.

At school, Lain's classmates are talking about the events at Cyberia the prior night. Reika, Juri, and Alice seem to be very popular for witnessing the crimes. Juri calls across the room to Lain, asking Lain if she got in trouble last night. Reika adds, "It wasn't our fault." Alice starts to move toward Lain but is bombarded by the others with questions about the gory details. They ask Alice to tell them about it.  Lain gives a strange smile. Later during class, Lain is at her desk doodling frantically, making spirals on her notepad. A male voice says, "One misses the whole point if one regards the Psyche as a processor. As a multipurpose information terminal Navi is already popular, even among school children. But the activity in the Wired is limited by the machine performance even now."

Chisa Yomoda (10).png
Lain turns and sees a shadow that appears like Chisa
The spiral that Lain is drawing starts to spin in a smokey swirl. The voice continues: "Psyche can enhance the functions of the Navi." Chisa's voice interrupts as the swirl grows larger. Lain turns and sees a shadow that appears like Chisa looking in on the classroom. Chisa continues "In the real world, it didn't matter if I was there or not. When I realized that, I was no longer afraid of losing my body." When we see the shadow up close, it looks like an old woman. Lain begins to shake and places her hands to her ears. A distorted male voice is heard, "Who is Lain?" and then the spinning paper returns.

In the school hallway, Alice is talking with Juri, Reika and Lain. Alice comments "Something weird happened to us. I know that we saw someone die up close last night." Reika butts in saying "But we felt as if we just saw a movie or a TV show. I'm sure we were there but if felt like it wasn't real." Juri agrees and tells Alice not to take it too seriously. Meanwhile, Lain opens her locker and seems a small manila envelope on top of her shoes. Alice responds that she thinks it is strange that they can't take the situation more seriously. She turns and says, "Right Lain?" and then notices the letter in Lain's hand. Alice asks if is a love letter. Lain says, "No, but maybe." Juri and Reika descend on her saying, "Show me, show me." Reika takes the envelope from Lain and says "You shouldn't hide things like this from us." Alice chimes in, "Stop it you're picking on her again." Reika opens the envelope and a small brown looking square comes out. No one seems to know what it is, including Lain.

Lain is walking home to the familiar electrical hum. She removes the small object from her pocket and looks at it. Suddenly she says, "Psyche," and just stands there and stares.

The scene changes to a psychedelic view of wires in the night. Several disembodied conversations are overheard, as if they are traversing over the wires we see. Female voice: "No, my voice mail was tapped! I can't believe it." Male voice: "There's no relevant information in the resume received. We're examining it for your company." Female voice: "I love kissing. Even by myself it makes me happy." Male voce: "After that silly incident with the kid and Accela the supplier got scared and now we can't hardly get any of them." Another male voice: "Psyche appears to be made in Taiwan and there is a rumor that it was designed by a group called Knights. But I'm not sure if the Knights really exist." Female voice: "Did you feel good while dying?" And now we see Lain sitting at her Navi. Male voice: "Yes. I felt like hugging myself with joy." Female voice: "No! There is someone in my room! A small child-like but wrinkled man is looking at me." The voice is crying, "Help me!" Lain stare on at her usual Navi screen. A different female voice says "I have a photograph taken when you were with your secret lover. If I take this to your company…" Lain turns away from the Navi screen and looks at the small device. We hear, "Lain, why aren't you here yet?"

As Lain grips the device in her hand, the Navi announces: "You have mail." Lain's father interrupts before she can read it. He asks if she has started using her new Navi, and then turns on the lights in her room. He asks if there is something wrong. Lain shows him he device she received. He says he does not know what it is. She implores, "But Dad, I believe that you do." He says, "I told you I don't know!" and he leaves.

Later, we see Lain leaving her house. She sees the black car with the small red lights watching her again. Lain runs away. We see Lain in the city approaching the Cyberia Café. Lain tentatively enters the club. A man stops her and says, "Lain, you haven't been here for a while." Lain looks at him. The man is surprised and says "You look too girlish today." He leaves to go back to his partying. Lain looks at a table in the corner where Taro, Myu-Myu, and Masayuki are seated. They are the three Lain ran into in the stairway the night before. Taro and Masayuki are teasing one another. Lain interrupts asking "Do you know what this is?" showing them the device. Taro asks, "Isn't that the Psyche?" Masayuki and Myu-Myu can't believe it. Masayuki asks, "Where did you buy it?" Lain just asks again what it is. Taro is shocked and says, "With that you can gain access to the Wired perfectly, even with this." indicating his hand-held computer. Lain asks, "How do I use this?" Myu-Myu cattily says, "How stupid!" Masayuki asks Lain if she will sell it. Taro retorts, "Idiot, you could never buy it." Taro then turns to Lain and asks, "What is your Navi?" Lain isn't sure, but thinks it is the latest Tachibana model. The group is impressed.

Taro asks if she has worked on the inside of it and Lain shakes her head, no. Masayuki asks if she's in second or third year of Junior High. Lain replies, "Second." Masayuki points out that she should have studied information basics and tells her that the Navi layout is in her textbook. As Taro stares at Lain, Masayuki gives detailed instructions: "Connect this on the backside of the main processor board. It will re-route the original information back to the processor and it will work automatically. It's easier than building a plastic model kit. Just beware of static electricity." Lain smiles and thanks the boy. Now we hear Taro calling to Lain: "Wait a minute. Information is not free both in the Wired and the real world." Masayuki asks, "How much, How much?" Taro continues: "Aren't you Lain?" Lain turns, surprised. Taro says, "I saw you in the Wired once." Lain asks: "Me? In the Wired?" Taro responds: "But you look quite different. It's common to assume a different character in the Wired, but yours is quite the opposite." Myu-Myu says "Really?" Taro continues: "You were here when that stupid incident happened, weren't you?" Then he asks: "What are you up to?" Lain responds, "What can I do?" Taro says, "Go out on a date with me." Taro says that he would rather go out with the wild Lain, though, instead of the current one. Lain turns angrily to him, but then Taro says, "I'm just kidding! Whenever you like." Myu-Myu jealously asks, "What are you talking about?" But Taro says to nevermind and beckons the group to leave. Myu-Myu snipes at Lain on her way out.

The next day, we see Lain's sister coming home from school. As she passes the black car, the red lights do not follow her. Mika sees two men standing on the doorstep. She asks what the men are doing there. "Who are you?" One man just responds, "You didn't meet us." Mika says "What are you talking about? I'll call the police. The other man asks, "What for?  We were never here," and they walk away. Mika is angry and tells her mom to call the police if the men come again. Mika heads upstairs and stops at Lain's open door. She looks in and asks what she's doing. Lain is seated on the floor in her underwear surrounded by pieces of her Navi. Mika asks again "What are you doing… dressed like that?" Lain tells here she has to avoid static electricity. Mika thinks that's silly. Suddenly the scene becomes static-like. A strangely happy Lain sits up in strobed action and says, "Welcome Home, Sister!"

Characters Introduced

  • JJ the DJ


You've heard of a girl named Lain, right?Lain of the Wired.


In the real world, it didn't matter if I was there or not. When I realized that, I was no longer afraid of losing my body.

Chisa Yomoda

Information isn't free, not in the Wired or in the real world.


Most people take on a personality in the Wired that's different than what they have in the real world but yours are total opposites.


I want the wild Lain.


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