|Layer:07 - Society|
|Directed by||Ryūtarō Nakamura|
|Written by||Chiaki J. Konaka|
|Original air date||August 17, 1998 (Japan)|
Layer:07 - Society is the seventh episode of the anime series Serial Experiments Lain. The episode was written by Chiaki J. Konaka and directed by Ryūtarō Nakamura. It was broadcast in Japan on August 17, 1998.
I'll tell you but it's just between you and me. I'll tell you what's happening in this society, what's beginning to take place in our society just because you don't know about it.
It is twilight. Outside of Lain’s window is a grouping of wires. The wires are all coiled together in a manner reminiscent of internal organs. Lain’s Navi system is even larger than ever. It fills most of her room. Lain is seated in front of her Navi. She is once again having a conversation with the voices from the Wired. Lain says, “No, it’s not.. I’m just looking at …” The voices communicate via strange sounds. Lain says, “In the Wired… I will change.” A strange sound is heard then Lain says, “I’m not certain.” Another strange sound is heard. Lain asks, “Who?” then turns her head towards the doorway. There stands her sister Mika. Mika attempts to speak but can only make guttural sounds, “a….e…” Lain asks, “My sister?” Lain then turns back to her Navi. “My sister has changed nowadays.” She pauses. “I wonder.” Lain pauses again. “ I don’t know.” The Navi responds with more strange sounds. Suddenly the word ”WARNING” flashes on her Navi screen.
The scene shifts to show an infra red style camera scanning people in a crowd. A male voice declares, “I know that the Wired and the real world have a linear connection. I can exist anywhere.” A message flashes across the camera screen in English, “ I am the best.” The man’s voice continues, “No matter where my flesh is, I can send my consciousness anywhere.” The voice belongs to a bizarre man. He is walking around the city wearing a strange camera/visor/goggles apparatus on his head. It is connected to a large backpack which seems to weigh heavily between his shoulders. People in the crowd cast curious glances in his direction before moving out of his way. He is walking with a broad smile across his face. He seems to be bobbing his head to sounds only he can hear.
An office door is pushed open by an attractive female. She crosses the room and seats herself across from a man typing on a computer keypad. She appears to be his secretary as she announces his next meeting time. “Immota Consortium. It’s time for dinner with them.” He looks up at his secretary. He appears to be somewhat young and must be very important to have such a grand office. He grunts to acknowledge her statement. There seems to be a flirtatious quality to their interaction. The secretary does a little ‘Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct’ crossing and uncrossing of her legs. Her boss is watching. His Navi interrupts the moment by announcing he has mail. The boss informs the secretary, “Wait for three minutes. I’ll come downstairs.” The secretary acknowledges his statement, gets up, and leaves. The boss waits until he hears her close the door before activating his mail. A strange symbol appears. It looks like the compass used for drawing circles but this image has a triangle behind it. (It is the same symbol that appeared over Mika in episode 5) The man grins at the screen. He asks it, “How will we play now?”
Lain’s teacher is writing on the blackboard. Lain is accessing her pocket Navi during class. Alice is watching Lain. Alice looks concerned as she notes what her friend is doing.
The sky appears to be overcast. The power lines are humming. A man is sitting in an extremely messy apartment room. Trash is all over and the sink is overfilled with dishes. The man is working on a Navi. The man laughs and says, “Here!” On his screen is the same symbol and message that was sent to the business man. The messy man laughs again. “He he. Yes you idiot.” The man has an unkempt appearance. He is wearing glasses and a thick red headband. He gleefully mutters, “I’m better than you. Hee hee!”
Lain is outside on the roof of her school. She is kneeling and holding onto the railing as she peers down at the buildings around her school. She says aloud, “ The real world is not real at all.” Alice appears and speaks her name, “Lain.” Lain looks up to see her friend standing next to her. Alice continues, “Lain are you okay? “ Lain responds, “ Eh, what do you mean?” Alice answers. “You look like your old self lately.” Lain gives a nod. Alice says, “We only wanted you to cheer up, so we took you out to some places.” Lain has a sad look on her face. Alice continues, “We’d really hoped you would. But if that’s not what you wanted I apologize.” Lain hurriedly stands up and faces her friend. “No,” Lain says, “not at all. I was happy to…” Lain shakes her head no repeatedly and emphasizes, “That’s not it at all.” Alice turns to look at her. Lain seems very earnest, as if she really does not want Alice to think going out was a mistake. Alice’s smile broadens. She reaches down and gently takes Lain’s hand in between her own. Alice says, “I’m glad.” then walks away. Lain stands there momentarily looking at her hand. She quickly turns and stops Alice’s departure by saying, “Alice, thank you for worrying about me.” Alice replies, “We’re friends aren’t we? See ya.” then turns to leave. Lain watches her go. A truly happy look is on Lain’s face.
A computer screen is showing a variety of images of scenery and animals. A male voice states, “This afternoon, the Information Agency’s firewall was cracked by a hacker. Now the information in the Wired is confusing. Be aware that although the news was sent now, it will be received tomorrow or yesterday.”
A different computer screen is flashing lights and images. The word “KNIGHTS” can be seen. Muttering voices can be heard. A male voice says, “I heard it was done by Knights.” Another voice asks, “What are Knights?” The screen shows the words, “What’s Knights?” The female Navi voice answers. “Knights. They are very influential in the Wired. There is no information about the members. They are not only distributing information in the Wired but they are also developing and distributing illegal information devices.” The computer flashes a sentence in English, “Take aim? Shooting down?”. A male voice says, “I heard that Lain was aiming for them.” Another male voice asks, “Who is Lain?” The computer screen shifts to show the Infomana search engine. The keyword for the onscreen search is “Lain” The female Navi voice reports, “There is zero information about ‘Lain’” The English words “make me sad” twist across the screen. A male voice says, “I haven’t seen Lain for a long time.” More English words roll across the screen, “With no wings…with no things…one love” then “make me mad” then “double bind…no double minds” and last, “make me feel all right”. Another male voice asks, “Who’s Lain?” Someone responds, “A girl.” Incredulous voice, “Girl? So strong.” Male voice, “What is strong?” Someone answers and their words float across the screen in English, “Metaphorize. Will. Power. The light in the eyes. Existence.”
A dialogue written in kanji and hiragana is also on the screen. The text reads, “Live monotony the rest of your life.” A new line appears, “God bless you.” Another line appears and reads, “Who are you?” “Have you ever seen the Lain?” The male voice questions the other speaker, “May I ask a question?” The response is, “What?” He states the question, “Are you are member of Knights?” The screen clicks off.
A doorbell rings at nice apartment complex. A female voice yells, “Yes.” The door opens and a delivery man is waiting. (It is the same delivery man from episode 2) He walks into the apartment and announces, “It’s for you.” The home owner approaches him. She has short brown hair. She says, “Oh, you need my signature.” and runs off to get her name stamp. The delivery man checks out her rear as she hurries to fetch the item. He notices a Navi system on her table. She reappears and apologizes, “Sorry to keep you waiting.” He says, “No problem.” The woman hands him her stamp, “Here you go.” The delivery man attempts a conversation with the woman. “Is that the newest Navi? It’s nice isn’t it?” he asks her. She giggles and says, “My side job let me buy it.” The delivery man says, “I can’t afford one, even though I’m working at this job.” He hands her a package. She replies, “Keep working at it.” He says, “Yes. I have to work more. I’ll teach you how to use it, if you want.” His eyes roam down her body, and seem to say, “I have a special package of my own I’d like to teach you to use”. The woman does not miss the innuendo and coyly responds, “Hmm, you’ll teach me?” The delivery man does not back down and says, “Yes. I’m confident enough in my ability.” The woman teases him, “Do you often tempt wives like this?” The delivery man runs his fingers through his hair and says, “Not at all…well maybe.” A young boy with a backpack runs past them. “I’m home.”, he informs his mother. The woman thanks the delivery man and shows him out the door. He stands outside, stunned that his seduction has failed and walks off in a huff.
The woman’s boy is seated in front of the television. He is playing a jet fighter video game. He asks, “Mom, may I go play at Kinya’s house?’ His mother replies, “You can play a game with him over the net.” She removes a bubble wrapped item from the package. Her son continues, “But I want to ask him how to play the game.” His mom is not listening. She stares at the item. It has the strange compass/pyramid shape on it. The mom says, “The Wired is the same as the real world.”
It is dusk. Lain is walking home from school. She is startled to see the black car is parked in front of her house. The doors open and the two men in black get out. Lain appears to be slightly shaken by their appearance. She mutters to herself, “What?” The shorter man says, “Iwakura Lain? Would you come with us?” The taller man says, “We won’t force you to come. We are only asking that you do.” The shorter man says, “We won’t harm you physically.” Lain asks, “Who are you?. The taller man removers his headgear/visor to reveal his face. Lain seems shocked. He says, “We’ll tell you when you come with us.”
The strange street camera man is still walking the streets. He continues to view the Wired and the real world simultaneously through his visor. He comments, “I don’t want to remain in such a place. I can do this. Look! I’m breaking the barrier between the real world and the Wired.” The word “PEEPING” pops up in a window in his visor screen. The man continues to talk into his headset. “Please. I am as skilled as any member of Knights. Please let me join you in Knights.” A window pops up and with the English word “ACCEPTED” in it. The man continues, “Applaud me. I found it myself. Your secret channel. Please let me join.” His camera lens moves around. It focuses on a blurred infra scanned image of Lain. The man asks, “Who?” The Lain image just grins.
The black car pulls up to an apartment building. Lain’s image is reflected in the car window. She is looking up at the building. The shorter man has also removed his headgear. He opens the door to let Lain out of the vehicle. Lain exits and follows the men into the building and up a flight of stairs. A sign on the wall reads, “Tachibana Lab- Shinbashi Office”. The taller man opens a door. Lain is reluctant to enter. The shorter man gives her a gentle push into the room. A male voice says, “Come here. I can’t make this machine be recognized by the firewall at the head office. I did all I could with the applications.” Lain looks around and sees the room is empty except for the man, the chair he is sitting on, and his Navi system, which is on the floor.
The equipment is rather primitive. A standard rotary phone and an older computer make up this man’s system. “It seems impossible to do with this outdated Navi”, he says. “I’ve been using this for a long time so I don’t want to have to get a new Navi.” Lain walks towards the man. She has yet to see his face as he has kept his back to her. He turns toward Lain and says, “I’m so old.” He does not look all that old. No sign of gray in his hair and relatively few lines on his face. He laments, “If I were young like you…” Lain looks from the man to his system and says, “That jumper…” She kneels down by the Navi and points out, “Pull this…and that jumper off.” The man points and says, “I’m sorry, but would you do it?” Lain turns back and looks at him. The two men in black are standing guard at the door. Lain uses a set of tweezers supplied by the man to make the alterations to his Navi. She completes her task and turns on his Navi. The female Navi voice says, “Authorize.” Lain’s name appears as the user identification. The man leans down to the Navi and softly says a word, which is unintelligible.
A male voice emits from the Navi, “Lain! Are you a member of the Knights?” Lain sits up and is clearly shocked. The voice continues, “You are, aren’t you Lain? I didn’t know that you are.” On the screen is an image of Lain. It is similar to the image seen by the strange street camera/Navi man. The screen Lain calls the male voice an idiot.
The scene shifts and we are seeing the world through street camera man’s eyes again. He pleads, “Wait! Wait! It was so much fun what you did with the kids.” But I have better ideas. Please let me join you in Knights.” A window appears in his visor, again with the word, “PEEPING”. Lain is watching the street camera man on the outdated Navi with the mystery man. He tells Lain, “There is no national barriers in the Wired.” He pushes a button to turn off the screen. He continues, “There are many anarchists who are talking nonsense.” Lain stands up. The man is sill talking, “And there are too many fools who believe that causing mischief in a society is a revolution. But Knights seem different from them.” Lain repeats, “Knights…” The man replies, “I don’t know if you were aware of it, but your existence in the Wired was very unnatural. And Knights seemed to have a special interest in you.” Lain has started to perspire. She asks, “what are you saying?” She is trembling with fear. The man says, “Knights. You have talked directly to them.”. Lain stammers, “But I um…what?” The man closes his eyes and says, “Anyway, they want to use you for something. We have to stop it. No matter what.” Lain asks him, “You…what…? Who are you guys?” He does not respond.
It is nighttime and street camera man is still lurking about. He says, “I’ll keep the secret of course. I know you believe in Deus. I’ll obey you too.” Street camera mans heads for a flight of stairs. He says, “But is it true? I can’t believe that there’s a God in the Wired now. But I’ll know more about it when I join. I’ll believe in him.” His camera zooms in on the image of three people standing in front of him. They appear to be the blurred images of the businessman, the housewife/mother, and the messy red headband guy. Street camera man says to them, “ You? You’ve come to invite me to join?” Then his camera blinks out as we hear him scream.
Lain and the man are still in the empty room. “Name”, he says. “You don’t need our names. They have no names”, he refers to the men in black. “Nor do I.” Lain walked away from him and towards the men in black who are standing by the door. The man asks, “Tell me Iwakura Lain. Are you the same person as ‘Lain in the Wired’?” Lain just stands there sweating and trembling. He repeats, “Who are you?. Lain stammers, “I…I…” He fires another question at her, “Are your parents really your parents?. Lain spins around to face him. “What?”, she asks. His barrage continues. “Is your sister really your sister?” Lain is stunned. “What are you saying. Of course they…” He shows no mercy. “When is your father’s birthday? Lain is sweating profusely. She says, “My dad is…” He does not let her finish. Instead he stands for the first time and asks, “When is your mother’s birthday? When did your parents marry? Did they marry for love? Or was it an arranged marriage.” Lain is almost hyperventilating as she gasps, “They are…” Cruelly he declares, “Why don’t you know? Have you never heard? Have you never celebrated their birthdays with your family?” Lain collapses to her knees, sobbing. He asks more gently, “When and where were you born?” Lain is still sweating and crying. She pleads for him to stop. The man states, “You don’t know anything about yourself. Are you all right? You really know absolutely nothing…”
Lain staggers to her feet. She steadies herself and snorts, “Noisy bastard. You ask about trivial matters. Nonsense.” She is strangely calm and decidedly different than the Lain who was crying. All three of the men notice the tremendous change in her personality. It is almost as if she is another person. The main man asks, “Are you ‘Lain in the Wired’?” ‘Lain’ responds, “So what if I am.” The man continues. “You know the border between the Wired and the real world began to break without devices.” ‘Lain’ says, “So What.” The man replies, “We think it is dangerous.” ‘Lain’ has an arrogant look on her face as she retorts, “It’s interesting.” She then turns to leave. ‘Lain’ commands the two men in black to let her pass. She pushes on through them when they don’t respond. The taller man grabs her arm and pulls her back. He tells her, “You are also dangerous.” ‘Lain’ glares up at him. The main man addressed the taller man by his name, “Carl”. Carl let’s ‘Lain’s’ arm go and she struts out of the room.. The main man tells Carl and the shorter man , "She’s right. Something interesting is beginning. Let us sit back and observe.”
The scene shifts back to the housewife’s home. Her son is still playing the jet fighter video game. The moms sing songs his name, “Syo chan.”. He answers, “What’s up mom?” She replies, “Let’s play together!” Syo says, “Did you finish your business?” She replies, “Of course. I’m awesome. I’ll beat you Syo chan!” She then flops down on the floor beside him and grabs a controller. She squeals, “Get ready for it! See?” In the kitchen we see her garbage can. At the top of the trash is a burnt object. It is the remains of the item that was delivered to her.
Cars are zooming on a busy street. It is nighttime. There is a ravine off the shoulder of the road. A body lies still at the bottom. It is the street camera man. He is dead but his visor is still operating. The symbol of the compass/pyramid can be seen on the screen of the dead man's Navi screen.