Serial Experiments Lain has been quite popular with western anime fans and some decent merchandise has sneaked its way over to the UK following its DVD release here.  CD soundtracks, t-shirts, figures and bags have been released in the US, meaning they are quite readily available in the UK, and Japan has treated itself to stuffed toys, some superb art books and a console game amongst other things.


Art Books:
A handful of Lain artbooks were released in Japan, and some of them are now very rare.  However, the ones that are easy to get hold of are crammed with Yoshitoshi ABe's superb art and one even features a Serial Experiments Lain short manga story. 
Click on the image to see a larger version.

Lain Plush:
  Yes!  Now you too can own your very own cute n cuddly sullen cyber genius!!  Proof, if it was ever needed, that the Japanese will make anything cute n huggable, the little 'chibi' Lain plush even comes complete with her trademark teddy bear pyjamas.  Click for a larger image, but beware the cuteness...



  Two Lain soundtracks are available on US import from Geneon Music.  The one to the left is the main series soundtrack but also available is the Cyberia Mix CD, which features plenty of warped trip-hop and electronica.  Click to see a larger image.

 There are now a couple of Courier style bags available in the US, courtesy of Geneon.  They come in two colours - black or grey - and are good quality, if a bit pricey.  Click to see a larger image.


Lain Iwakura and Bike-chan


Computer Game:
 A Role Playing Game (RPG) based on Serial Experiments Lain was released on the Sony PlayStation in Japan a few years back but sadly never got an English language release.  The game featured plenty of new ABe artwork, some of which is included in the Lain: An Omnipresence In Wired artbook, and continued the story past the end of the anime series.  However, importers beware, although the game is well regarded it is quite heavy on Japanese text.  Click to see a larger image.

Obligatory Odd Merchandise!

Serial Experiments Lain Lunchbox:  A limited edition lunchbox was released as a very unusual DVD set in the US.  Made of metal, the lunchbox contained all four DVD volumes of the anime series, but has sadly since been discontinued.  Why a lunchbox was considered perfect for holding DVDs we have no idea.  Click to see a larger image.


Availability & Prices:

Artbooks:  The excellent Lain: An Omnipresence In Wired book is one of the less common and most expensive imported art books, setting you back over 50 from import retailers such as Otaku UK.  It is possible to order the book from specialist retailers such as Forbidden Planet, but you will often pay more than you would online for it.  For those who wish to order it (and we highly recommend it) here is the ISBN number, which will enable shops to locate it on the systems with ease:

An Omnipresence in Wired:  4-78971-343-1

Other art books are available, including the series companion 'Visual Experiments Lain', but these are even harder to come by than the Omnipresence book, although the price of them is around the more manageable sum of 20.

Plushes & Toys:  The various stuffed toys, dolls and action figures are available from many specialist retailers such as Forbidden Planet, and from some online retailers and action sites such as eBay*.  The prices vary but the plushes are usually around 15-20, and the action figures and dolls around 15.

Soundtracks:  The Japanese soundtrack CDs are available from import sites for between 20 and 30, but their US reissues are far gentler on the wallet and can usually be picked up for around 10-15 each.  The best bet for soundtracks is online retailers such as Anime-On-Line, Otaku UK or Amazon, although some specialist retailers (such as the Sheffield Space Centre) stock them and others (like Travelling Man) can order them for you.  They also crop up from time to time in larger branches of big chains like Virgin and HMV, but this can't be relied on.

Bags & Apparel:  Serial Experiments Lain courier-style bags are available from some online retailers and specialist high street shops for around 30, and can be ordered from most Sci-fi goods shops.

Computer Games:  The PlayStation game was only released in Japan and is not very easy to come by.  In order to play it you would need a PlayStation or PlayStation 2 console which has been 'chipped' to accept imported games (warning: hardware alterations such as chipping invalidates your console's warranty) and a television capable of displaying NTSC signal.  The best place to get hold of the game is through auction sites like eBay* or very specialist computer games shops which deal in imported 'retro' games, and the price could be upwards of 30.

Lunchbox & Metal DVD Slipcases:  The US release limited edition slipcases and lunchbox DVD set are now very rare and prices vary dramatically when one does turn up.  Your best bet for these items are auction sites such as eBay*.

*Auction sites can be rife with unscrupulous individuals who will knowingly sell you pirated goods.  Although the risk is mainly with DVD and CD purchasing, and you are pretty safe with imported console games, there is a notable amount of pirated toys and apparel cropping up.  To minimise the risk of being ripped off make sure you check Digital Anime's excellent Piracy FAQ.