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FRACTALE – 02

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「ネッサ」 (Nessa)
“Nessa”

In its second episode, Fractale still hasn’t given off an adventure feel like the series was made out to be, but the sudden appearance of Nessa and her cheerful, innocent, and curious personality made some strides towards it by disrupting Clain’s easygoing lifestyle. With her introduction, the character interactions have picked up a fair bit, making Clain’s impending journey with Nessa something I don’t mind waiting another episode for. While the premiere was arguably slow and didn’t really help “sell” the series, I for one loved the attention on Phryne and the mysterious air surrounding her flashy arrival. In a similar fashion, Nessa added to those questions as a Doppel that Clain can physically interact with under certain conditions. Thus far, it’s been hinted that he can do so when he wants her around, and can’t when he doesn’t.

More so than physical interactions, Head Priestess Moeran’s (Shimamoto Sumi) allusion to Nessa being the “key to the world” that Phryne stole served as some nice foreshadowing of things to come. By world, I assume she’s referring to the Fractale System, which for whatever reason is managed by clergymen. The involvement of religion always raises immediate suspicions, so on top of Nessa’s role in all this and the fact she knows the same prayer song, I’m leaning towards Moeran and her yet to be introduced husband/Fractale System researcher Barrot as the ones who will be doing a lot of explaining on why the system’s breaking down. In relation, Enri and her newly introduced brother Sunda (Asanum Shintarou) seem to have their own take on what’s going on, or at least that’s what their search for Phryne (and now Nessa) suggests. There’s a fair bit going on amidst the lighthearted humor, and while I’m purposely avoiding thinking too much about the hints this early on, I am enjoying how they’re slowly building up anticipation on where the story goes from here.

My personal highlight was undoubtedly Nessa’s bubbly personality, though I like how that spurred on some development in Clain and uncovered his longing to have someone to spend his uneventful days with. Overshadowed were all the lush backdrops seen in this episode, that added to the overall immersion into this fantasy world. I really liked some subtle touches as well, namely the 3D winding road and focus on the environment, in addition to the contrasting lighting in various scenes. Do they make this feel like an adventure? Not yet, but they do give the impression of a vast world with many secrets that’s begging to be explored. Hopefully the adventure officially kicks off next time, now that Enri’s hauled off Clain and Nessa in her airship.

* In case you haven’t heard, the producers have asked FUNimation to stop its simulcast of FRACTALE indefinitely until they can stop piracy of it. That’s an unlikely if not impossible proposition in this day and age, so it’ll be interesting to see if FUNimation will be streaming any more episodes. Apparently the French business model works is okay, and features the series in 1080p too.

 

January 20, 2011 at 9:25 pm
43 comments »
  • January 20, 2011 at 9:33 pmCantQuiteGuess

    I wonder if a 11 episode series can afford to take this much time setting things up. I’m personally all for it but it makes me wonder just what the scope of this adventure is going to be.

  • January 20, 2011 at 9:34 pmShimapan

    manga character design > anime character design

    • January 21, 2011 at 11:32 amEclipse

      The only difference is hair colour.

  • January 20, 2011 at 9:39 pmNinja Penguin

    The producers have forced FUNimation to stop simulcasts until they sort out the piracy. ROFLMAO! Don’t those morons realise that such a move would actually encourage the piracy of Fractale?

    Anyway Nessa is absolutely adorable. Dare I say that she is cuter than Rose from Dragon Crisis since Nessa actually has a vocabulary and independent thought.

    • January 21, 2011 at 10:17 amnobody in particular

      There’s various theories going around as to the real reason since they can’t possibly be so clueless nor quite that insane. Personally I suspect it’s nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt to duplicate the kind of buzz the fallout from OreImo’s leaked episode caused, and that FUNi’s streaming will be able to resume in a week or two.

  • January 20, 2011 at 10:03 pmClick

    I love it.

  • January 20, 2011 at 10:19 pmyoz

    I feel like it’s an adventure starting already, you got your hero realizing his wish from his heart, his partner willing to go anywhere he goes, and the albeit weird people trying to stop him. There’s also the whole religious organization that is the overwhelming power going to try and make life harder for Clain, it’s got all the pieces in place ready to move forward!

    I also like the lightheartedness of this series, it’s a good change of pace from most other series that I watch.

  • January 20, 2011 at 10:22 pmahelo

    This was a bit better with the appearance of Nessa and I’m starting to warm up to this series. Still needs a few more episodes though.

  • January 20, 2011 at 10:28 pmSigmond

    I’d have to agree with Ninja Penguin, forcing FUNimation to stop simulcasts will also force fans to go elsewhere to find the new episodes. With fansubbers working about as fast at translation, with about the same, if not better quality, piracy will only get worse because of this.

  • January 20, 2011 at 11:10 pmjrj

    still a bit slow… but I will wait for more
    and I still prefer Phryne over Nessa… for whatever reason

  • January 20, 2011 at 11:23 pmGaze of Providence

    So, to fulfill their desire to taste their concept of freedom, they threw away a very importantapart of living, using only a pitiful substitute to simulate that feeling: human interaction.

    Wow, it sounds like the internet; also, their world is truly shit, I might even go insane just the thought of it.

    Loved this Nessa character.

  • January 20, 2011 at 11:30 pmMimS

    Satisfied by French simulcast : D

  • January 20, 2011 at 11:55 pmDawn

    <3 Hanazawa Kana.

    Also, I like how jaded Clain had become–even he didn't realize it him self in the previous episode, where Phyre mysteriously commented on how he 'doesn't smile the same anymore'.

    At what he perceived to be scary, was simply something that was foreign to him. Something foreign that shouldn't be; the warmth and strength to be your self(Nessa) and let your emotions not be constrained by this so called 'free-spirited doppel system' that now leaves him without a family during his youth.

    Of course, our protagonist has seen the light, and runs off into the sunset!..and into a pit fall. :P

  • January 20, 2011 at 11:56 pmaiueo123

    Umm, is this one of those show that is better being marathoned or is it better to follow the flow of the series by watching weekly?

  • January 21, 2011 at 12:19 amMC

    The song at the end, “Down by the Salley Gardens” (1889), is a really beautiful song. I’m wondering if it gives any insight into the romantic/drama element in the coming story, or if they just chose the song because it sounded nice. I’m hoping the former as long as it doesn’t end in tragedy or regret.

  • January 21, 2011 at 1:14 amSoiyeruda

    Anyone notice that Enri’s goons look sorta like the Blues Brothers?

    Anyways, story development seems a bit slow, though I don’t mind the character introductions.

    Animation seems a bit sloppy at times, and the character perspectives in relation to the background are slightly skewed, but luckily, it doesn’t feel too noticeable.

    • January 21, 2011 at 2:37 amGaze of Providence

      It seems I am not the only one who noticed; I demand that they perform a musical number sometime in the near future.

    • January 21, 2011 at 6:40 amTay

      I wonder if it’s because the production doesn’t have enough budget to have additional processors for the rendering process. Because i do get a mural/painting feeling at times, as if there wasn’t enough to handle the detail and colors of the background against the 2D ones.
      Could be wrong, just a momentary guess :)

      Yes, could just be them, at least their impersonations fit quite well, wonder if they’ll hint it (like gaze suggested ;) or leave them as is.

      Still the story and characters alike give me an air of extraneous disbelief, and I’m thinking of taking a break for a couple of weeks to see if I draw myself back :P

  • January 21, 2011 at 6:02 amabubu

    I guess the series hasnt kicked in yet i like it but its not great. The animation is good but the characters arent likeable at all.

  • January 21, 2011 at 6:59 amFidelDesu

    Nesaa is so cute ~ =3 i love the prayer song , any idea where i can listen to it ? maybe a download link ?

  • January 21, 2011 at 7:01 amSilentCid

    Yeah Funimation doesn’t have a way to stop it. Besides most of those raws comes from the channel it’s being broadcast itself.

  • January 21, 2011 at 7:30 amPoiira

    I’m seeing this as sort of the explore-the-town-before-you-go-off section in an RPG, so I’m not really worried about the pace picking up a bit. I AM worried about how they will pace it with only 11 episodes lined up, but I have faith in Yamamoto. Can’t wait for next week. :)

  • January 21, 2011 at 8:36 amAndré

    They won’t be able to remove the piracy from the Internet. And even if they do that, their shows will lose 80% to 90% of its public outside Japan and they won’t be able to sell any DVD, manga, figures, etc afterwards. LOL. In Brazil we have a decent manga and DVD anime market even though we don’t have any anime being aired on TV… That’s of course thanks to piracy of anime shows on the internet. Yeah, piracy is the reason why companies are able to sell manga and anime DVDs here. They should find a way to make money from Internet instead of removing legal streaming partners. In fact, cutting Funanimation streaming service will make them lose money and won’t stop Fractale’s piracy.

  • January 21, 2011 at 8:39 amGermanguy

    My Guess into the Blue? Neesan is the Human form of “Fractal Core”. As if all the Data from the 5 Hour Prayers, crate this Girl

  • January 21, 2011 at 9:05 amXanathos

    Einstein said “Science without religion is lame, and religion without science is blind”.
    Think about it.

  • January 21, 2011 at 9:09 amdustandechoes91

    When this gets dubbed, Nessa should get the same voice actor as ed from cowboy bebop. (Similar voice, only Nessa would need to sound a little girlier.)

  • January 21, 2011 at 9:43 amKinny Riddle

    Appearance of any character by Hanazawa Kana = Pure win. lol

    But I still don’t understand the decision to have hers and Phryne’s hair colour changed from purple to red and brown respectively. What was wrong with purple anyway? (For anime characters, that is. )

    The detachment people have with each other in the sense that they forgot what companionship means, as seen by Claine’s parents, reminds me a bit of that Bruce Willis movie Surrogates.

    By removing that companionship, humans become dependent on the Fractale System, which is probably how the religious order Phryne comes from keeps the world in control.

    PS Man, Claine discovering that touch-doppels are mainly used for sexual purposes is sure going to inspire a lot of doujinshi artists involving plenty of Claine x Nessa “action”, with Phryne thrown in to make things merrier. lol

  • January 21, 2011 at 10:27 amJay

    my comment was removed :(

  • January 21, 2011 at 12:13 pmBossun

    I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that they want FUNimation to magically stop all piracy of FRACTALE. First of all, for any company it’s basically impossible. Second, FUNimation is an American company. The people uploading the episodes are mostly Japanese people ripping the direct feed from their TV stations. So asinine

  • January 21, 2011 at 1:23 pmZaku Fan

    The episode is still building the cast and backgrounds. So far still ok but it doesn’t grab view attention like Level E (mystery + comedy), Zombie (comedy), Madoka (mystery), Gosick (mystery) or even Yuki Merry (mystery).

    I find myself relegating Fractale to the last few positions in the to-watch list even though its proceeding on fine. It might be the number and expected strength of its rival shows is bad for Fractale.

  • January 21, 2011 at 2:55 pmGermanguy

    And again, many Energy invested in Animation of the “main Girl”. I dunno, as if they dont like to draw the Boy.

    Well, i admit. the Girl is really good animated and Emotion is honestly drawing, good skills. But the Face of the Boy, looks so “simple”

    • January 21, 2011 at 4:43 pmGermanguy

      Ahhh, i know now. These Doppler’s are so simple, they save Money, where they invest in the Main Actors.. Cunning :)

    • January 21, 2011 at 5:03 pmGuadalupe Victoria

      Why do you randomly capitalize words?

  • January 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm♕Croosboy♕

    Really nice catch:
    http://randomc.net/image/FRACTALE/FRACTALE%20-%2002%20-%2004.jpg
    i still feel that this is slow but i also feel that “hey dont drop me yet” kind of feel
    well anyway:
    Nice Kana Hanazawa is using Kobato or the book movie voice for Nessa. ^_^ that bubbly(nice i been looking for that term thx divine. been puzzling for it for awhile) personality really is good
    Nessa+Kana Hanazawa +Nessa’s action reminds me of K-ON!’s free going feeling of Yui
    wonder how she teleported? down stairs. that was fast
    She sure is fast.
    Lol i really though Clain would say “Nessa’s smile is cute” but instead “Nessa’s smile is scary”. made me laugh

    • January 21, 2011 at 9:17 pmP0NCH

      Nessa reminded me of Yui too lol.
      Way too adorable XD

  • January 21, 2011 at 11:45 pmDonQuigleone

    “Overshadowed were all the lush backdrops seen in this episode, that added to the overall immersion into this fantasy world.”

    S’not fantasy, it’s Ireland! Woo for my home country! Though I’ll admit it’s as to “real life” Ireland a bit like Makoto Shinkai’s stuff is to real Japan.

    I’m getting a real kick out of seeing my home country animated though.

    As to the show itself I think it’s developing nicely. I quite liked Nessa, and this episode seemed a bit less generic compared to last episode. The purpose of these early episodes may be to lure us into a false sense of security, who knows. That or it’s kinda a standard coming of age type thing going on. Anyway there was some good quality character development going on here with his relationship with his parents being quite well dealt with.

  • January 22, 2011 at 6:17 amDyne

    Clain should be named Plain

  • January 22, 2011 at 8:38 amXanathos

    Phew, if only we could have a way to let everybody see this series and make the creators gain at the same time. I mean, it’s building up… I’m getting not only a fresh but clear idea of the world Fractale is trying to depict, and also character development… keep it up! =D

  • January 22, 2011 at 4:13 pmsealouse

    I’m kind of thinking this show would have made a better movie. The first episode was drab, but if it was combined with the second episode overall it would have drawn in more people IMO.

  • January 22, 2011 at 8:57 pmChocolate

    I really like Nessa’s bright and lively, and curious personality. It’s much more refreshing than the regular tsundere types that appear in most anime, and the world of fractale seems more interesting with her around :P There really isn’t any plot, but I like the setting and world.

  • January 23, 2011 at 10:29 amMatroid

    Central message of this anime: “Parents, spend some quality time with your kids instead of playing video games and surfing the web and partying. Otherwise, don’t complain when they bring a boyfriend or girlfriend home.”

  • January 26, 2011 at 11:27 amNadavu

    This series has such a Miyazaki feel to it..

  • January 26, 2011 at 3:19 pmNine

    Orz.. i still don’t understand about what’s going on in these 2 episodes…