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FRACTALE – 04

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「出発」 (Shuppatsu)
“Departure”

The fallout from all the bloodshed and moral implications last time wasn’t nearly as thought-provoking, but does raise some new questions on the character side of things. Most pertain to Phryne’s motives after her sudden reappearance, as she seemed to be helping with the Star Festival, only to reveal later on that she wants to see the Fractale System destroyed too. Throw in the fact that she’s Moeran’s daughter, presumably in some religious successor sense, and Phryne is turning out to be more mysterious than the paradise technology that supposedly rests on her shoulders.

Thus far, the story’s done a good job keeping me second-guessing myself on what being the “key to the world” entails, with the way Phryne was upset with Clain for awakening Nessa, and the suggestion that she’s afraid of being alone. In the latter case, I was left wondering if the Doppel Nessa is a copy of her real “sister”. It seems probable, though I gather there’s a much bigger purpose to Nessa than simply companionship, seeing as they don’t get along and Phryne didn’t respond to Sunda’s question about her.

Amidst all the new questions, the character interactions were the highlight this episode, which director Yamakan has said he wanted to emphasize in this series. In some cases, the sudden outbursts felt a bit misplaced, most notably the slap Phryne gave Clain, but I loved the seriousness in her reaction juxtaposed to Clain’s confused one. Then there was Nessa’s “raging circle strafe” that I had to watch a few times to get some more laughs out of, Clain’s “man on a mission” game face as he chased down Phryne, and Barrot’s (Miyamoto Mitsuru) livid yet utterly childish comebacks. They were minor aspects in the grand scheme of things, but gave more “life” to the characters by not having them shy away from what they’re actually thinking — a pattern we see all too often in anime. They say it like it is, just like when Phryne popped the big question on Clain if he loves her. Her forwardness was a breath of fresh air, even though I didn’t see a “hell yeah!” response from Clain like I was hoping.

In terms of the overall story, I’m a little bit disappointed that the Fractale System has been demystified so quickly, dumbing down the plot a fair bit to an ongoing clash of ideals between Lost Millennium and the Monastery. The fractales themselves have already been shown to be the artificial stars that reprogram humans to maintain order too. I am however holding onto hope that there will be another layer to the system’s “dark secrets” to provide a little more depth. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the increased attention on the aforementioned character interactions, which includes the Granites family bonding and the rift between Phryne and Nessa. I still find the series very engaging in that regard, coupled with all the lighthearted moments, with the main plot tying it all together. There’s plenty of time left for surprise developments.

 

February 4, 2011 at 4:52 am
22 comments »
  • February 4, 2011 at 5:08 amSilentcid

    Yeah she had the look like she was going to slap him. Unfortunately for him he didn’t read it well.

  • February 4, 2011 at 5:33 amdu5k

    I was hoping to see the two Nessa(s) together on the trip! oh well…

  • February 4, 2011 at 5:37 amstarss

    She, or someone, probably programmed their doppel to look like her sister.

  • February 4, 2011 at 6:05 amfirecow

    According to UTW the fansubber, there is no Fractale next week. Boo that sucks I want to see more.

  • February 4, 2011 at 6:12 amNinja Penguin

    best episode yet imho. Fractale has really gone up a few gears.

  • February 4, 2011 at 6:24 amRobz

    The development really give me the feeling I get when I play old school JRPGs, with the “normal easygoing life>someone appears that suddenly change MC’s life>big struggle ensues>they go on an adventure” kind of development.

    I find it sad that Nessa didn’t go with them =(

  • February 4, 2011 at 7:34 amFidelDesu

    without a doubt Nessa is my fav char this year! she’s so adorable!~

  • February 4, 2011 at 11:22 amTehJawknee

    Again, Fractale has managed to keep me guessing. It’s not a masterpiece yet, but it’s better than people give it credit for.

    Nessa really is more complex than she seems. As when she was trying to hit Phryne, she couldn’t touch her. Makes me wonder what Phryne thinks of her, seeing that Nessa can’t be touched by those who don’t want her around.

  • February 4, 2011 at 11:23 amZaku Fan

    Nessa was very funny this week. I’m thining that they need Phryne to sustain the system, maybe her sister is so detached because her humanity was sucked out from her and Phyrne is next? Is nessa what her sister was like before?

  • February 4, 2011 at 12:12 pmyoz

    When Nessa sang for Butcher, it really felt like she’s pure and innocent as she also grieved for his loss with everyone else, in her own way.

  • February 4, 2011 at 12:28 pmGaze of Providence

    There goes the Blues Brothers. Is it me, or is something going to go horribly wrong next episode?

    • February 4, 2011 at 1:36 pmbear

      Thing haven’t gone horribly wrong already? Only going to get worse I think.

  • February 4, 2011 at 2:10 pmRickyMack

    i find Clain’s attitude a bit frustrating due to his denseness, but i gotta say it’s probably the most realistic reaction to all the madness going around him. while he was shown the truth through the star festival many people don’t change their beliefs solely from one instance of atrocity, say for instance the wiki leaks vid of the US soldiers mowing down some reporters and the civilians who tried to assist the reporters.

    most try to rationalize the situation like: well we’re in a war zone and i could have conceivably mistaken that camera to be a surface to air missile, and the reporter’s escorts were carrying rifles so they looked like terrorists.

    so while we’re clearly shown some villainous characters on the temple’s side, and some clearly good characters on lost millennium (man i was totally worried the oba-san was gonna bite the dust looking for nessa), at this point i’m still not sure which side is the “good” side.

  • February 4, 2011 at 2:24 pmPoiira

    • February 7, 2011 at 1:21 pmacolyte

      Time to complain to the animators.

  • February 4, 2011 at 2:35 pmAndré

    I’m hoping for more action and blood next time.

  • February 4, 2011 at 5:17 pmewok40k

    Well, Clain tried to do sensible thing and run away from the whole mess, but he was foiled by his love altruistic need to help Phryne…
    Lost Millenium seem to be quite ruthless in risking civilian casualties in their assault on the “live update ceremony”, but the Church of Fractale seems to be not much better despite claiming benevolence.
    In a classic style of rock beats laser antique airship with missiles took down antigravitic one armed with death rays. Tech disparity makes me cheer somewhat for LM, although possibly because the church tech looks … alien?
    This episode raises more questions than it answers. Why is Phryne running away and why she wants the system to break? What are her realtions to sister and Nessa? What is the meaning of loving or hating love? and finally why is she so important?

    • February 7, 2011 at 1:23 pmacolyte

      One thing that’s still hard for me to grasp is we have to realize that Clain was also ‘brainwashed’. However, he’s one of those characters that has an imperfect brainwash – as he can’t understand why his parents have to live away from him (which the rebels later mention that this is a result of the brainwash)

  • February 4, 2011 at 11:57 pmGuy

    i couldnt help but cry a little when butcher was lying on the ground and the girl (dont know her name :d) was lying on him hitting his chest and calling him fat while crying for him XC
    sad stuff good episode thiugh.

  • February 5, 2011 at 2:13 ambriex

    Hell yeah Nessa’s Raging Circle Strafe!
    Nessa’s cuteness +1000 point. XD

  • February 5, 2011 at 7:47 pmThe Story You Don’t Know

    I’m not sure if it’s the right word, but right now i think i’m HOOKED to this. I’m not sure why but all I know is that this anime’s plot is way better than all other current animes. Why? Mainly because they don’t focus on fan service shots like most animes now do. Also, the plot is really makes sense. I get this “What if?” questions running in my mind because of this. What if this is to happen in the future? What if it already happened? It’ not like those “what if” questions you get in watching “senseless” animes. What if I’m the boy in that harem? What if I choose all of them?

    • February 8, 2011 at 2:26 amGhostalker

      A product is produce with a target audience in mind, perhaps you are not into harem shows, that may be the reason why it doesn’t make sense to you. But it’s not good to generalized a specific genre just because you’re not into it.