"Layer 12 : Landscape"
Episode 12
Layer 12
Directed by Ryūtarō Nakamura
Written by Chiaki J. Konaka
Original air date September 21, 1998 (Japan)
Episode guide
Layer 11
Layer 13

Layer 12 : Landscape is the twelfth episode of Serial Experiments Lain.



Stock opening footage. Lain says, “I see that is so. This world’s so simple. I’ve never known that. I had felt that this world was only scary and vast… But now I understand. I feel very relieved.” A female voice replies, “I said so didn’t I?”

[Title: Landscape Layer 12]

It is daytime. Alice is sitting in class. Her head is resting heavily on her hand. She is watching Reika and Juri talk with Lain at Lain’s desk. Juri giggles, “No, Lain!” Reika adds, “You said that so brazenly, Lain.” Alice thinks to herself, “Lain.” Lain responds to Juri and Reika in an earnest manner, “But it’s true,” then she giggles. Alice thinks, “What does it mean?” Alice closes her eyes. She feels the gaze of someone upon her. Alice opens her eyes and sees Lain is watching her. Reika and Juri continue their conversation. Lain smiles at Alice. Alice is unable to reciprocate so she looks away. Alice hears a buzz from her pocket. She checks her pocket Navi. The message on her screen reads, “You can rewrite unpleasant memories.” Alice says aloud, “Really?” The message disappears. Alice looks at Lain and asks, “Really?” Lain continues to smile at Alice. Alice looks confused.

Digital Lain’s image is in the Wired. She says, “Humans can really only exist inside another human’s memory. So many versions of myself existed. Not that there were many of myself out there. I was just inside of many people.” Her image is tuned out.

The mirror ball at Cyberia is still. The club is relatively empty again except for Myu Myu, Masayuki, and Taro. JJ the DJ can be seen in the distance at his booth. Taro has on some type of Navi goggles. He says, “I see!” Myu Myu asks, “Hey Taro. Who are you talking to?” Taro laughs. Masayuki asks, “What happened?” Taro turns to look at his friends and says, “I…kissed an angel.” Masayuki and Myu Myu look at each other with stunned expressions. Myu Myu’s face then looks suspicious and she scolds, “Taro.”

Crowds of people are walking in the city. A variety of voices call, “Lain.”

Digital Lain comes back on line. She quickly tunes back out again.

An on screen male reporter says, “After this adaptation of Protocol 7, the Wired and the real World will share information seamlessly. Next story: Love Lain. Love Lain. Love Lain. Love Lain. Love Lain.” The news is tuned out.

Digital Lain pops back on screen. She looks around, then zooms out.

A flashback to the crime investigators finding Masami Eiri’s body on Track 13. Masami does a voice-over while a variety of tripped out images are shown. Masami says, “All of the functions of a human’s flesh can be described in terms of materialism. Flesh is merely an engine. If the physical limitations of the flesh limits the evolution of mankind, humans are likely to be forced to end their race by a god that actually doesn’t exist. Information inside humans is not only what they gained by themselves from the point when they had an unconsciousness. Humans have been connected with their ancestors, who thus formed the human race. They received information from their ancestors. But that is just data if it isn’t shared. Humans can evolve by themselves. In order to do so, they have to know their actual structures. Do you think about; what you really are? Humans have always been connected. I just restored them. You did cause it. So, you may do anything you want.”

Digital Lain is standing outside. She is smiling as a brisk wind blows around her body.

A vehicle is parked in a barely lit parking garage. It is the car of the men in black. Carl lights a cigarette and exhales deeply. Smoke fills the front seat of the car. The shorter man does not appreciate the second hand smoke and bats it away. He asks Carl, “Haven’t you quit yet?” No answer is given by Carl. The shorter man leans back into the drivers seat and says, “Why did things come to this? Certainly, we did our job.” Carl answers, “Not only did our client believe the computer maniacs playing at a secret society were burdensome…” The shorter man asks for clarification, “What do you mean?” Carl replies, “Our client has been communicating with Masami Eiri. No, they may have been controlled by Eiri.” The shorter man snaps, “stop talking about Eiri.” He is already dead.” Carl hits his cigarette and puffs out smoke and a reply, ‘He is not dead.” His partner is stunned. Carl explains, “In fact, the existence of flesh really does not matter..” The shorter man is appalled by Carl’s statement, so he quips, “You…” Their conversation is interrupted by the sound of an approaching vehicle. A car stops near theirs and its headlights illuminate them. Carl and the shorter man get out of their car. Both have on their goggle/visors. A man gets out of the other car and lays a suitcase down on the ground. The shorter man snaps, “Is this the reward for our work? Have we been suckered?” The man turns out to be their boss/client who previously grilled Lain about her family. He answers, “You may interpret this however you like.” Carl reminds him, “You said that we should escape. Where should we go?” The man smugly replies, “Well, somewhere where there is no electric wires and no electromagnetic waves from satellites.” The shorter man yells, “There is no such place on Earth!” The man turns and heads back to his car and says, “You must find such a place if you want to escape.” Carl asks, “What will happen?” The man does not answer. Carl continues, “What will occur by connecting the Wired and the real World without devices?” The man smiles and says, “Something wonderful. I’m looking forward to seeing it.” He gets in his car and drives away. The shorter man says, “What,” and is unable to finish as his body goes into convulsions. He screams from the pain and fear. Carl yells, “What happened?” The shorter man’s body begins to contort into strange positions. Carl pleads, “What are you seeing?” He runs to his fallen partner and scans him with his visor. He pulls the shorter man’s visor off and checks his eyes. An image of Lain can be perceived within the shorter man’s retina. Carl is shocked. He lets go of his partners body, which he had been cradling. The shorter man’s head lands hard on the concrete. He is dead. Carl is terrified. He begins to sweat profusely and makes frightened cries. He scans the garage and is in a full panic mode. He sees an image approaching him and screams in mortal fear.

The power lines are humming. It is dusk outside. Alice is walking towards Lain’s house. She looks up at Lain’s window and sees the mass of wires extending from the house. She pushes the doorbell. When no one responds, she opens the gate and heads for the front door. The door is already open. Alice tentatively walks into the house. She is shocked to see the house is in total disarray. Graffiti is sprayed on the walls. Mountains of trash line the floors. Alice maintains polite custom and removes her shoes before heading further into the house. She softly calls, “Lain?” No matter where she looks everything is a mess. As she gets closer to the staircase she notices the house is filled with a strange mist. The stench of the air chokes her and she has to stifle a cough. Alice begins to climb the stairs. She is forced to take a step back when she sees Mika sitting on a step. Mika is using her hand phone and saying, “Pee…pee…gaaa.” Alice is frightened and slams herself into the wall. She puts her hands to her head and cries, “No.” when she looks up again, Mika is gone. Alice determinedly resumes her climb up the stairs. She swallows her fear and approaches Lain’s door. She gently pushes the door open and asks, “Is this Lain’s room?” Alice stumbles past all the machinery that is Lain’s Navi system. She calls, “Lain.” Alice’s eyes widen and she jumps back and knocks over some equipment. Lain’s arm is raised just in front of her. Lain emerges from under a pile of wires and clothes. Alice yells, “Lain!” Lain slowly replies, “…ce?” Fear is in Alice’s face but she has come to confront Lain and get her questions answered. Alice asks, “Lain, what did you do?” Lain appears to be somewhat dazed. She replies, “Nothing. I was only watching.” Alice snaps, “What?” Lain just smiles at her. Alice says, “I… I thought that I’d gone crazy. But that’s not it. Why did you leave only mine?” Lain remains silent. Alice continues, “Why did you leave only my memory?” Alice falls to her knees. She is crying. Alice asks, “Why? Why do I only have to remember such a painful memory?” Tears are streaming down Alice’s face. She yells at Lain, “Do you hate me that much? Lain?” Lain looks up at Alice. She is confused by this angry response to all her hard work to erase the rumors about Alice. Shouldn’t she be happy things are better? No one knows about her and the teacher. Alice says, “I can no longer bear this…” Lain says, “No, Alice,” and moves closer to her distraught friend. Lain is now only inches from Alice. Lain says, “Because I don’t want to make you sad.” Alice cries, “No, you did this!” Lain moves closer to Alice. Their faces are almost touching. Lain says, “Alice was alright. You became my friend even though I didn’t connect to you.” Alice says, “What are you saying?” Lain pushes her face closer to Alice’s, almost as if she is going to kiss her, but instead she says, “Alice is my only friend. I don’t need to connect to you.” Alice sits back, away from Lain. “Connect? What do you mean?,” Alice asks. Lain closes her eyes and smiles. She answers, “Everybody and me…” then again gets herself right up into Alice’s face. Alice turns, gets up and runs to get away yelling, “NO!” Lain says, “I love Alice.” Alice stops and turns to Lain and says “Do you know what you are saying?” Lain replies, “Humans have all been connected in their unconsciousness. I’m just reconnecting them. Alice says, “Lain, you…?” Lain interrupts, “I did nothing . Nothing to do with ‘I’ was real here or there. But I was there. I am a program designed to break the barrier between the real World and the Wired.” Alice repeats, “Lain is a program?” Lain explains, “Alice and everyone else are just applications too. In fact, you don’t need your flesh.” Alice and Lain stare at each other. Alice drops back onto her knees. She gently reaches out one of her hands to cup the side of Lain’s face. Lain is startled by her touch. Alice’s face softens as she says, “No.” Lain says, “Eh?” Alice continues, “I’m not sure. But I think you’re wrong. Your body is cold but it’s alive.” Alice removes her hand from Lain’s face. She then takes one of Lain’s hands between her own and places it on her chest. Alice says, “Mine is too. Here.” She allows Lain to feel her beating heart. The two girls remain in that position for several minutes. Alice says, “Doki doki.” (This is a Japanese phrase that is supposed to signify the sound of a beating heart.) Lain repeats, “Doki doki.” The two girls continue to repeat this in unison, then start to laugh. Lain asks, “Why? Why?” Alice replies, “Because I’m scared. My heart is racing because I’m scared.” Lain notes, “But Alice is also laughing.” Alice agrees, “Yes, but I’m scared. I’ve been scared. I wonder why?” Lain repeats, “Why?” The voice of Masami Eiri answers so only Lain can hear, “She is afraid of losing her flesh. You can control that emotion by dodging the impulses of the brain.” Masami appears behind Lain. He is not visible or audible to Alice. Masami continues, “You can refuse unpleasant impulses. You can choose only pleasant and comfortable things.” Lain replies, “Really?” Alice asks, “Lain, are you talking to someone?” Masami says, “Lain if you love her, why don’t you connect with her?” Lain replies, “I don’t know.” Alice grabs Lain by the hands and demands, “Lain, who are you talking to?” Masami says, “You have a little bug. No problem. I’ll debug you for a long time. Come, Lain.” Masami reaches for Lain. Alice jumps as she sees a ghostly hand reach for her friend. Alice stands up and backs away and shrieks. Lain says, “I can’t understand you, God.” Alice gasps, “Are you talking to God?” Masami asks, “What can’t you understand, Lain?” Lain says, “You could make the Wired free from devices. Telephones, televisions, networks. Without them you can’t do a thing.” Masami agrees, “Yes, they were born with human evolution. The most evolved person has the right to evolve them…” Lain turns to look at him and asks, “Who gave you that right?” Masami gasps. Alice becomes even more afraid. Lain states, “A program to synchronize to a peculiar resonance of the Earth is Protocol 7. It makes the group of the unconscious into a consciousness. Did you really invent it by yourself?” Masami’s hand begins to shake. He replies, “What are you saying. It can’t be! It can’t!” He is enraged and spits out, “Are you saying there is no true God?” Lain stands up before replying, “As you already lost your flesh, you can no longer understand it.” She begins to walk towards Alice. Masami cries, “NO! I am all powerful! I made your flesh in the real World.” Lain protectively embraces Alice and begins to pull her away. Masami continues, “I gave you flesh and an absolute ego, which were dispersed in the Wired. And…” Lain calmly interrupts him to ask, “If I am that, what are you?” Masami replies, “I’m not! I…” The girls watch as Masami begins to painfully reclaim his lost flesh from the Wired. His body forms into unnatural configurations of flesh, rendering him into a monstrosity. Lain says, “The Wired is not an upper layer of the real World.” Masami slurs, “What do you mean?” Meanwhile, Alice is trembling with terror. Lain remains calm and says, “Yes, you were a God in the Wired. But before the Wired appeared… You were only the proxy God for those who were waiting for the appearance of the Wired.” Masami is still contorting into a hideous flesh being. He says, “Proxy? That’s not true!” A huge tongue like appendage shoots out of his mouth. It wraps itself around Lain and Alice. Alice screams even more. The tongue lifts them off the ground and squeezes them together. Alice scerams hysterically. Lain cries, “Alice,” and tries to calm her friend down. Lain angrily confronts Masami, “You said that your flesh wasn’t necessary, didn’t you?” All around the room Lain’s Navi equipment begins to explode. Wires come unattached and writhe around like snakes. Lain’s Navi equipment propels towards Masami’s flesh and crushes it into a bloody pulp. Lain and Alice are freed from his grasp. A mountain of the equipment has buried Masami Eiri. Lain holds onto Alice.