A Serial Experiments Lain alternate reality game called Layer 3301: De-Cipher will be launched on the occasion of 1998 Science fiction 25th anniversary of the anime.
Details on the upcoming ARG are currently sketchy, but the press release describes it as an “immersive” experience that will allow fans to “unlock new aspects” of the anime’s surreal and cerebral storyline. The rewards for completing Layer 3301: De-Cipher will come in the form of limited memorabilia of the digital, physical, and “phygital” variety and “never before seen” original cel art from the show.
Fans will need to purchase digital collectibles called Protocol Keys (named after the show’s “Protocol” technology) in order to participate and “interact with [the ARG’s] digital elements. These protocol keys will be offered for sale on the Serial Experiments Lain website this month, ahead of the ARG’s currently unannounced start date.
“By venturing into a digital universe accessible exclusively through interactive collectibles, the another The community can now further explore the concept of Network Spirituality, a theme that has captivated viewers since the series began,” said the pPress release.
Serial Experiments Lain premiered in Japan in July 1998 and ran for 13 episodes. The anime follows a quiet teenager whose life takes a strange turn after a classmate’s suicide leads her to the internet, as Wired. Ryuutarou Nakamura (Kino’s Journey 2003, ghost dog) led the show at TRIANGULAR STICK with Yoshitoshi Abe (Texhnolyze, Haibane Renmei creator) as the original character creator, Takahiro Kishida (Magical girl from Magi Madokes, Haikyuu!!) as a character designer, and Chiaki Konaka (Digimon Tamers, ghost dog) as the series’ composer. A Anime Twitter Account was inaugurated in March of this year.
Crunchyroll describes the series as follows:
Acclaimed artist Yoshitoshi Abe (Haibane Renmei, Texhnolyze) brings to life the existential classic that paved the way for blockbuster films such as The Matrix. Follow fourteen-year-old Lain, driven by the brutal suicide of a classmate, logs into Wired and quickly loses herself in a twisting mass of interconnected hallucinations, memories and psyches.
Layer 3301: De-Cipher is a collaboration between studios Kasagi And Anic, both involved in the creation of digital collectibles. Anique sells digital images of Serial Experiments Lain, among other anime, and previously held a digital exhibit for the show. The “estimated value” of these digital images can reach 75,000 yen, or about 536 USD. The ARG was created under the supervision of Serial Experiments Lain producer Yasuyuki Ueda.
In a statement from the press release, Ueda said, “I hope this will be a new possibility not only for another, but also for animation culture as a whole. My hope like anotheris that it can represent the spirit of experimentation, unbound by gender, social norms or economic agendas.
According to the CEO of Kasagi Kendrick Wangthere are other initiatives to come outside of the ARG as well, and the protocol keys “will give fans exclusive access to everything the team has in store for the [anime’s] 25th anniversary.
Source: Press release