Omnipresence in Wired

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An Omnipresence in Wired is the Serial Experiments Lain artbook that was released only in Japan in 1999. A heavily modified version, ab# rebuild, was released in 2006 in both Japan and the United States.

It contains illustrations by Yoshitoshi Abe, some of which feature text by Chiaki J. Konaka. The manga The Nightmare of Fabrication is included.

Note that any of the following information regarding the 2006 version is obtained from the hardcover English edition by Digital Manga Publishing. If you have the softcover edition, or the Japanese edition from Wani Magazine, please feel free to edit this page with information on them.


Under construction lol

an omnipresence in wired (1999)

The cover of the first edition as it appears with the plastic slip cover. The slip cover is transparent and marked with the title and white shading. The cover itself has only the picture of lain.
Page No. Contents Description
001 Title page The title of the book with a bunch of identical pictures of lain, except with different photoshop effects added to them.
002 Contents The book's contents page. Most of the data in this table is taken from this page. Except the descriptions.
003 Introduction A few paragraphs by ABe, with a translation, talking about his concept of Lain's existence and how it was manifested in his creative process.
004 the original layers See Layers (illustrations) for more info.
046 VHS/LD jackets (lif.)
052 sound track cover (CD)
055 hair cut
056 pre-image
058 posters & others
066 game illustrations
078 special issue "the nightmare of fabrication" (DC1029) Untranslated in this edition. See Manga for more information.
097 sketches (monochrome)
118 about the layers (AB with CJK) Untranslated. Abe and Konaka having a conversation about the Layers illustrations. The title of each Layer illustration is listed with the magazine issue it was originally published in.
122 about all of the illustrations Untranslated. An index of comments by Abe about every illustration in the book and information on where each of them was originally published.
127 history of AB Untranslated. A paragraph of general information about Abe, then a "general chronology" of events in his life starting in 1993 when he entered college, then a "fragile goods chronology" listing every computer he'd owned since 1990 (I think?)
The book has a total of 128 pages.

yoshitoshi ABe lain illustrations: ab# rebuild an omnipresence in wired (2006)

The 2006 edition has a cardboard slip cover (pictured). The actual cover is dark blue and unadorned except for the title and the words "Hello NAVI."

Note: The pages are not numbered, so this might not be very useful. This book doesn't even have a contents page.

Page No. Contents Description
001 Title page A picture of Lain on a semitransparent piece of paper.
005 01 touch of illustration Various illustrations paired with their rough sketches, pre-effects images from a few of the layers with their coloring altered
040 02 comic the nightmare of fabrication (DC1029) (translated of course)
063 03package illustration : DVD+LD+CD
076 04 others : game+poster+etc.
091 05 layer The aforementioned layer illustrations.
122 06 pencil drawing + step by step Corresponds with monochrome sketch in original book.
141 07 personal Color photos by Abe, and a "short history" of Abe beginning in 1993
149 Liner notes corresponds with "about all the illustrations" in the original book. Has the page number of the illustrations being described, but if you count the pages you'll always end up a few pages off.
This book has a total of 153 pages.

Differences between the two editions

What Rebuild has that the original does not have

  • Two new illustrations and their rough sketches
    • Lain under an overpass
    • Cover illustration
  • Pre-effects images of some of the Layers
  • Step-by-step for the Layer 02: Girls illustration

What the original has that Rebuild does not have

  • Chibi Chibi Lain
  • Looker illustrations
  • Gekikare! A Sales Promo Ad By Dame-Dame Lain (comic originally from a doujinshi called Tareme Paradise 5)
  • Many of the rough, conceptual sketches in the monochrome sketch section

Other miscellaneous differences

Layer text: In Rebuild, the text of the Layer illustrations were re-translated and of course the English was re-typeset, sometimes in completely different positions. A typesetting error was introduced in Layer 11. In some of the illustrations the Japanese text was also re-typeset, and in some cases completely removed. The Rebuild translation is perhaps better than the original's in general, but the typesetting looks better in the original as it's styled to blend with the image. In Layer 09, the patch of code floating to the right of lain was replaced with different code. Excepting the Layer images, there is no Japanese text to be found anywhere in the English version of Rebuild.

Pencil Sketches: As stated above, there are many rough sketches in the original Omnipresence that don't appear in Rebuild. However, those sketches that do appear in Rebuild are generally much larger, showing more detail.


Each has images the other doesn't have. They're both nice and you should get them both.