Very few anime directors can even come close to matching Hiyao Miyazaki’s fame. Even people who know nothing about anime know about Miyazaki’s work, and for good reason. His films are the perfect combination of quality and accessibility and vary from good to outright amazing. Princess Mononoke is definitely the latter.
The following article contains major spoilers for every show mentioned. Read at your own risk.
Character deaths can be extremely impactful in both anime and fiction in general. If done right, they can be the most emotionally moving scenes in a story and can signal a major shift the plot. They’re also very easy to do wrong. To be clear, I don’t mean minor character deaths or random villain deaths. When I talk about death scenes, I mean scenes for significant characters that are at least intended to leave an impact. In general, a character’s death should matter at least as much as the character did. Otherwise it risks feeling unearned if overdone or unsatisfying if underdone.
Serial Experiments Lain is weird. Not in the way Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo is weird with random comedy and unfamiliar cultural references. Serial Experiments Lain is weird in the End of Evangelion style of weirdness: abstract symbolism and striking imagery mixed with a story that values theme and atmosphere over a clear narrative. When I say weird, I don’t mean it in a negative way; I’m just using it as a descriptive term. There’s really no other way to describe it in a single word. It’s weird.