>>33963>The point you make about needing the right headspace to understand it is interesting.
I think that it's appropriate for the show to begin its opening with "And you don't seem to understand." It's a show that represents a perspective on life that some share but many can't sympathize with. To a degree, I think Lain as a character is a representation of the more abstract sentiments and concepts explored in the show (anxiety, paranoia, alienation, existential dread, boundless inquisitiveness, etc.). To sum up her appeal as "cute programmer girl" or "not a Stacy" as the above poster put it seems to ignore certain relevant facts, e.g. the creator explicitly borrowed from Lovecraftian horror devices in producing the show's "vibes." There's a lot going on here apart from simple moe. Further, such explanations ignore the subset of the Lain fandom that is composed of heterosexual females. While I don't know how large this subset is, I should think that it exists in some significant capacity. My model of sex/gender suggests that if something is appealing for X reason to a member of one sex/gender, then X reason likely constitutes part of the appeal of the thing to the other sex/gender. If we accept these premises, then we can learn something about the appeal of Lain to males by learning about her appeal to females. Any miners who like Lain, feel free to weigh in.
I will conclude my hopefully well-reasoned response above with a bit of pseudoscience. Lain is practically the prototypical INTP, a personality type that is not well-represented statistically among females. This would hypothetically make her more appealing to INTP males as a "rare breed" of waifu or whatever while having the same effect on INTP females in terms of providing a rare fictional self-analog. The serious lack of INTP females in other media could contribute to the utter devotion seen in Lain's fandom. I think it's a more complicated phenomenon than that, though, and what a phenomenon it is. To be honest, Lain's "memetic power" among certain circles is apparently growing at such a rate that I'm confounded and perhaps a bit frightened. The TSUKI thing is only part of what I'm referring to. The Black Mirror writers should be taking note.