「虚飾の街」 (Kyoshoku no Machi)
“Superficial Town”

After all the flipping back and forth between lighthearted and serious moods, it was probably only a matter of time before this series pulled out one of its bigger trump cards in an attempt to blow viewers away. This time around, it looks like it’s done just that, going for that “oomph” factor with not one, but two big turn of events in rapid succession.

I’m almost inclined to say it went the “Madoka route” given that series’ knack for wowing audiences with its unexpected twists, except Fractale did much the same in its own third episode. The difference is it didn’t build on what transpired then, which should change now that Clain’s on the receiving end and lying in a pool of his own blood. It was a pretty good cliffhanger, exemplified by Nessa’s scream and Phryne and Enri arriving moments too late, and was only taken away from by Nessa’s Fractale System destroying explosion just prior, and how I can’t fathom the possibility of our main character dying on the seventh episode.

I imagine Clain will be saved by a combination of emergency treatment and the medical benefits of being connected to the Fractale System, so the questions I have are the ones surrounding Nessa. She’s the doppel of one of the Monastery’s key priestesses and possesses the power to both destroy cyber paradises like Xanadu and sever all user terminals attached to it, suggesting that the entire system might be dependent on her. If that’s the case, it should be big news to Lost Millennium in their attempt to bring those so detached from reality back to the real world, and will likely be a cornerstone for development in the remaining four episodes.

The introduction of Gail (Juku Ikkyuu), his doppel Megan (Toyosaki Aki), and Colin (Kamiya Hiroshi) has already shown another side to the easygoing lifestyle, in that there’s no shortage of personal greed in the world even when the Fractale System is supposed to take care of everything. It also hinted at some traumatic experience Phryne’s had when Gail hit her and subsequently looked like he was going to rape her. That I wasn’t expecting, though I do appreciate how it adds another layer to the story, alongside some unexpected antagonists trying to cash in on the bounty on Clain, Phryne, and Nessa’s heads. Colin in particular also helped break away from the relatively straightforward Lost Millennium versus Monastery progression and added to the adventurous feel of the story after Clain found himself in a surreal cyber paradise, raising questions on whether he’ll have a bigger role in the grand scheme of things.

Finally, I should mention that the nameless priestess seen talking to Barrot this episode is played by the same seiyuu as Clain’s mother and Tsunami Granites. I’m inclined to conclude that there’s no relation between any of them because Yoshida Ayuko isn’t a prominent seiyuu, but it would be pretty wild if Clain’s mother turned out to be an antagonist.

 

51 Comments

  1. I just know that there are going to be even more pedophiles (not the lighhearted, lol he’s a lolicon you pervert) and implications of rape on the way here, I just know it.

    Gaze of Providence
  2. This was a great episode.

    Is anyone else annoyed by the hardcore hatters of this series? If I hear one more person call this series a harem echi comedy I am going to blow a gasket.

    mario2man
  3. I thought he didn’t get to rape her, at least he was going to, but was surprised by her reaction in that instant (don’t know how she reacted but he kind of liked or showed a kind of pleased expression after she did, hmmm). This makes me think, the priest has something behind it; maybe just me, but his favorite tomboy stuff sounded suspicious by the end of the episode. And i like how Nessa’s hand just moved and swoosh an enormous power swarming against the knight (standalone terminal), looks shiny. And Mwahahaha Clain I’m your mother stuff, would just, well, i don’t know if i would react if that came about; wait, then Phryne is Clain’s sister. Hmmm that would just make it jungle wild! Maybe i’m just overthinking it 😛

    Ine
      1. it does not actually ruin the mood of it, it just makes it more dramatic. I don’t think he raped her but the sole implication that he would makes it all a bit more dark and gloomy, which is good if you ask me. Life ain’t a bed of roses you know:P

        prejsu
  4. for some reason the design of the buildings and the city in general just dont seen to fit at all in the story, i really expected to see only small villages all around the world and a giant floating temple at the end in this series.

    zeropi
  5. Clain seems to be realizing he may have feelings for Nessa, anyone also notice how he fell right through Nessa when he got shot? Maybe there’s an implication that he’s dead, considering how only people that “like” Nessa can touch her, at the very least it signals that he’s lost consciousness.

    I think it’d be a good direction (for shock and awe purposes) if Clain was actually dead and then the perspective shifts to Phryne, but like that would ever happen =/

    RickyMack
    1. I was under the impression that the reason Nessa couldn’t catch Clain is that, despite her capability to transmit the sensation of touch via something like force feedback mechanisms in the fractale terminals (nerve induction?), she’s still just a virtual projection that’s incapable of actually interacting in any meaningful way with solid matter.

  6. I think its interesting when near the end, Colin’s (who by the way looks female) words on the Fractale system allowing for people to have a life when they cannot due to physical limitations. I really think in the end, Clain’s father has the most correct idea on the Fractale system in a choice of sustaining (priestess), destroying (lost) and rebuilding (clain’s dad)

    Zaku Fan
  7. Well, TTGL did it, so yeah.
    The last half of the episode turned a series that I was starting to just coast through to one that had me at the edge of my seat, so bravo.
    Anyway, can you say “Mood Whiplash?”

    Bio D
  8. I think Divine just had the wording wrong.

    I think he meant was that he was about to/going to rape her. But then gets knocked out.

    One thing I didn’t understand was the blonde douche in the armor. How was he able to take something using the fractale system (?) and shoot Clain with it. Was it even the Fractale system? I mean Nessa DID erase that city. So I don’t see how he could have used it.

    And even if he could, how did Clain get affected by it? Shouldnt the bullet pass though him? I want to say maybe Clain is special and can physically be in contact with things from the system. But that doesn’t make sense cuz that other doppel couldn’t touch him.

    This show is just full of surprises

    ROFLWAFFLELAWL
    1. That is his real self-form outside Fractale, and he even implied it’s a stand-alone (complex) terminal. In addition, Fractale is the only thing that can free him from his current restricted self. Therefore, the droid he’s on is not connected to Fractale, thus unafected by Nessa’s power.

      Ine
    1. Yeah, Gail’s doppel is Megan as far as I’m aware. They hinted at it at least four times.

      1.) Megan told Clain she switched her doppel to this more attractive one.
      2.) Gail checked if Nessa was still on the couch and the scene immediately changed over to Megan’s perspective.
      3.) Gail got offended when Phryne couldn’t appreciate his art, showing their common interest in sculpting.
      4.) Nessa’s explosion wiped out Megan and sent a feedback surge to Gail.

      1. In addition, when Colin mentioned his concerns that the reward will be lowered because there is another girl “Phryne” to be caught, Megan told him that there is no need to worry, then they immediately switched to the scene where Gail was one on one with Phryne.

        So far the most exciting episode of Fractal. It seemed quite strange the pace of this episode compared to the previous ones. Interesting if they will keep the show as exciting as it became. Though, I’m also completely fine with the approach taken in the previous episodes.

        vladrin
  9. Enri finally nails a true pervert… lol!
    Seems we have witnessed true power of this seemingly childish doppel… and its over 9000!
    No wonder the Church side is in such hot pursuit!
    I wonder what would Clain say if he ever would find out who was behind that sexy buxom doppel… You can never know who is on the other side 😛
    The situation is kinda messed up with Clain shot and Church battleship arriving.
    The whole situation reminds me to have standalone EMP-proof systems in case of total net failure if I ever get to have an army of droids!

    ewok40k
  10. Either I give this show too much thought, or it has some plot holes. Please help me understand this show better.

    Ok, so having a connection to Fractale and having a doppler are different things. Having a doppel means being able to directly live and touch Fractale’s virtual reality. Like that fountain Clain couldn’t touch. A doppel would be able to touch it. People who are connected to Fractale, but are real and not doppels, can see the virtual objects but not interact with them directly.

    Here’s a big question though: I have memories of some guy of Lost Millenium saying that they had cut Clain’s connection to Fractale so they couldn’t track him down. If that is true, then Clain shouldn’t be able to see anything. In the last episode, that other sect of Lost Millenium cut many people’s connections to Fractale. When Clain’s father turned on the Fractale system, those people couldn’t see anything. So Clain shouldn’t be able to see the glory of this virtual city. Somebody explain that to me, or is it a plot hole?

    Here’s a plot hole for sure: If Clain can’t touch the fountain, the virtual floors, the nice virtual decorations of the bed – he certainly didn’t need to run from those virtual giant knight guards. After all, they can’t put a hand on him.

    My final doubt is regarding the doppels. The doppel and the real person are not the same thing. A person can have a doppel, which for what the show lets me understand, is like having your brain uploaded to a virtual reality where it can take a virtual body and act on itself. Basically, having a virtual clone you can control. It’s not “you”, it can do stuff while you do your stuff. Clain’s parents had doppels while they worked on their stuff. This sculptor talked with Lost Millenium while his doppel (a female doppel, lol) talked with Clain. That makes it seem like they’re two different entities. Yet obviously the real person should have control over his/her doppel, otherwise I don’t get how this would work. (Confirmation on this please).

    My final doubt is whether apart from having doppels which people can control, they can also live through their doppels. Picture Avatar (not the awesome tv show, James’ Cameron Avatar), people got into a machine and lived through another body. The only difference is that in Fractale, this other body is virtual. That’s why I mentioned the mind uploading thing. The blonde man truly made it look like it was that way. Unable to move with his real body, he lives through his doppel. He even said, according to my dubs, to the female doppel of the sculptor “remember when you had to be real for a while”. Why did he say that? The show clearly makes it look like every doppel has a real self anyways. It just doesn’t make any sense. The sculptor is already very real and living his life. It just…makes no sense.

    Please tell me, all of these are plot holes, or is the Fractale system clear and I’m getting confused?

    sacchi
    1. I honestly don’t know about the doppels and how they work (subconscious control? maybe? whut?) but as for Clain, they didn’t remove his terminal like the refugees, he was in a dead spot where Fractale doesn’t work. So he still has his terminal.

      Poiira
    2. LM (and Nessa?) tried to cut Clain’s link to the temple guys. That’s why the priestess says to Barrot that they still can’t get through the protective barriers around their target. It wasn’t clear to me whether Nessa’s “virus” was an attack by Colin or the result of the temple’s trying to break through. It would make sense either way.

      I _think_ the deal with doppels is that you have to be “on-line” constantly in order to get realtime feedback. The Xanadites do this, and rack up large net access fees. Everyone else that we’ve seen makes do with the twice daily free update/download.

      What I don’t get is what hardware, if any, the doppels are running on. Nessa in particular. Was she running first on Clain’s home machine, and since then on Lost Millenium’s airship control computer? Was she more powerful this episode because she could tap into Xanadu’s super-bandwidth connection?

      I’m not 100% sure whether Clain is bleeding real blood from a real bullet, or virtual blood from a virtual bullet. That gun seemed to materialize out of nowhere, suggesting that it was a virtual gun. After all, why would Colin want to kill Clain? More likely he wanted to immobilize both Clain and Nessa to hand them over to the temple. The gun might be a higher powered version of the tangle-weapon that Megan threw.

      r3dking
  11. The cliffhanger would have been definitely 100x way better if Phyrne cried as well lol 🙂
    But I guess she was already expecting that Clain could be saved by the Fractale medical treatment system.

    The Story You Don't Know
  12. darn, they’ve just extended “There Are No Girls On The Internet” trope across the century… with Nessa being the sole “FBI agent”(?)

    shame it almost worked…

    (yes, my mind’s numb…)

    info600
  13. I know what you mean with “Madoka route”, I’d even say that episode 3 shocked me more than episode 3 of Madoka Magica. And of course this episode too was pretty shocking.
    And lol Seiyuu related speculating is scary, it would be VERY wild indeed if it turned out to be the case about Clain’s mom.

    Rockmanshii
    1. Yeah, I was just as shock at Fractale’s ep3 and Madoka’s ep3, but of course for me Madoka’s ep3 has a lot more impact because the character kinda grew on me already. The big difference between the two as what Divine has already said is this shows inability to build up on what has transpired, especially in key issues, this has happened for me again in the final minutes of ep6. The series just keep on shifting in its mode when I feel that they will try to explore some serious issues only to get trolled because it is only but a setup for another laid-back scene, making the built up seems for nothing and at one point I just get lose on what the series really wants to portray. I mean, I hope they made up they’re mind already.

      Now with the events that was transpired into this episode, I just hope I will not see another blushing Clain after the first 2-3 minutes of next episode

      1. I have to correct my statement above:

        “…is this shows inability to build up on what has transpired” is my opinion. Divine’s original statement is “The difference is it didn’t build on what transpired then.” I’m just clearing up things, I just realize the the context of both statement differs in a certain degree.

    1. Our dependence on technology will only increase when we eventually starts migrating to space. For our survival, we can’t just stay in this planet forever, sometime in the near future, what was science fiction on Gundam and Macross franchises will be a reality, or so I believe.

    2. To me, Fractale asks us the question “How is the world shaped by technology, how society and cultural values will change, just what is important that we should preserve, and whether or not this is a world anyone wants.”

      But yeah, generally it does reflect on how much we rely on technology, and what the world and people may amount to when technology reaches new heights.

      Chocolate
  14. In a quick thought, if the gun and the knight wore actually physical (as Colin implies it’s a stand-alone terminal), then Clain was shot for real; or if it is a virtual shot, which then would be mentally which can be as damaging unless dealt with fast; which brings me to, hope it doesn’t happen, but Clain ending up in the same state as Colin. Then again, could be overthinking on my part.

    Ine
  15. The blood showed up on Phyrne’s hands, it’s real lol.I can’t get over Nessa’s Piss colored Final Flash, like wtf was that?

    Also, people that Nessa likes can touch her has been somewhat explained in this episode, that blonde guy said she sends some type of signals to people like clain that enables that.Whether those signals get sent to the brain or people’s terminals is unknown ;/

    anishuma
  16. I found something quite interesting but I don’t really know if it’s really worth the attention. I was watching Citizen Kane for one of my class and I found out that they talked about Xanadu too !!
    I wondered if this was a coincidence and look up on wikipeda guess what I found : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xanadu and here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Xanadu

    Mix both of these description and you get a wonderful city of wonders and hypertext project !

    “It became fabled as a metaphor for opulence, […],Another example of this is Charles Foster Kane’s estate in Citizen Kane (see Xanadu (Citizen Kane)”

    and

    “Project Xanadu was the first hypertext project, founded in 1960 by Ted Nelson. Administrators of Project Xanadu have declared it an improvement over the World Wide Web, saying “Today’s popular software simulates paper.”

    Source : Wikipedia and others.

    Am I overanalysing this XD ?

    Silverwolf1492

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