「グラニッツの村」 (Guranittsu no Mura)
Adventure with bloodshed? Now there’s something I wasn’t expecting, as supposed terrorists used machine guns to mow down old priestesses during the Star Festival. As it happened, I wasn’t sure what was more surprising, the fact that the supporters of the Fractale System were made out to be the “bad guys” or the casualties piling up on both sides. Caught in the middle is of course Clain, whom Sunda and Enri are trying to make realize he’s been living the life of a drone. Hmm, now where have I seen that before?
Anyway, I can’t say it comes as any surprise that the Fractale System isn’t all it’s been made out to be. After all, the character descriptions on the official website did indicate that Sunda and Enri have chosen to disconnect themselves from the system. Rather than a lifestyle preference of theirs, it turns out they’re extreme activists known as Lost Millennium who want to see the entire system destroyed and mankind liberated from its nanomachine brainwashing though. The first episode alluded towards the brainwashing part, so what I’m left wondering about is whether or not the Fractale System is someone or some group’s interpretation of paradise. From living carefree lives to having all sicknesses magically treated, I’m inclined to believe the brainwashing part is merely a means to maintain order.
Naturally it sounds twisted compared to our perception of “freedom”, and will infuriate people who don’t want to feel like they’re being controlled, except I honestly don’t see it as anything but a highly invasive yet extremely effective implementation of something we call “society”. Humans establish social norms and most people adhere to them, which could very well be perceived as brainwashing. Those who are against having their “freedom” limited for the benefit of the masses naturally lash out, and the extremely radical ones are labeled terrorists. Lo and behold, the members of Lost Millennium are considered just that, terrorists. So who’s to argue what’s “right” here? Most of us could easily say the Fractale System is corrupt and should be destroyed, but is that truly our interpretation of what’s right or just what society has told us is right? It’s pretty difficult to be unbiased given the “morals” we were taught growing up, so it’s worth noting that humans didn’t always think the way we do now, nor is there any guarantee that we’ll continue carrying on our current sense of righteousness indefinitely.
In case it isn’t obvious already, this is merely my way of thinking outside the box, and the main reason why I’m hesitant to label the guardians of the Fractale System as the antagonists of the series even though they probably will be. The one thing you can fault them on is how they hide the true purpose of the Fractale System under the guise of a religion, but one can argue that religion was “created” for that very purpose all along — controlling people through their beliefs. While I don’t mean to offend any heavily religious people out there, I would like to pose the thought that there’s nothing in the world that’s as intangible as religious beliefs yet maintains such massive followings. People are told what to believe and they just buy into it almost immediately, even though no one has seen their God or his supposed miracles. For all we know, someone cooked up the idea a long time ago to control the masses, which doesn’t seem too far-fetched considering all the religious wars recorded in history.
To me, the implementation of the Fractale System isn’t all that different, except there’s actually tangible technology backing those beliefs to bestow many benefits on humans and remove any potentially problematic ambitions at the same time. There’s definitely some food for thought in this series, so much that the subtle implications from Sunda and Enri staking their lives on stopping one instance of the Star Festival outweighed the death of Butcher in my mind. At this point, I’m not all that interested in answers behind the Fractale System anymore, since they’ve already explained a lot more than the dialogue suggests. Instead, I’m curious to know what the stance of Clain, Phryne, and Nessa will take on the current state of their world. Nessa of course warrants some questions to be raised, after it was revealed she’s a Doppel in the spitting image of an actual priestess.
Note: FUNimation has resumed its simulcast of the series after taking steps to mitigate piracy. These steps apparently include suing BitTorrent users for downloading One Piece.