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Mechademia 7Lines of Sight$
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Frenchy Lunning

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816680498

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816680498.001.0001

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Topologies of Identity in Serial Experiments Lain

Topologies of Identity in Serial Experiments Lain

Chapter:
(p.191) Topologies of Identity in Serial Experiments Lain
Source:
Mechademia 7
Author(s):

Craig Jackson

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816680498.003.0010

The human-machine interface, in all its various forms and ramifications for human identity, is a frontier navigated by many anime and manga series. This chapter examines one intriguing series in this vein, the anime Serial Experiments Lain (1998). Lain explores identity as a construct without a fixed or unambiguous location. As an entity, Lain, the character, simultaneously exists in many places and in many modes—diffident, ebullient, pernicious, assertive. Eventually, however, Lain becomes aware of these simultaneous identities. A topological analysis can help in understanding and interpreting Lain’s apparent multiplicity of identity. Indeed, an analysis of identity in Serial Experiments Lain via artifacts of digitization naturally leads one to consider the topological implications of existence in a finite wired universe.

Keywords:   human identity, anime, human-machine interface, topological analysis

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