First Phryne, now Moeran? I may have gotten the purple hair and eyes look I was hoping for, but she’s 26 years older than Phryne. Try as I might, I can’t say it’s going to have the same appeal on a 40-year-old character. Of course, that was just the fallout of Barrot’s implication that Moeran is just another clone of the original Phryne, namely the 141,923rd one. The Phryne we know on the other hand turns out to be 152,589, which by the power of math tells us that at least 10,666 others were created during that 26-year span. In the sixteen years since, I would imagine more than half of that amount have been created, putting the overall scale of the cloning operation into perspective.
As horrible as that sounds, I’ll be somewhat disappointed if that’s the extent of the “dark secret” behind the Fractale System. To be fair, it was pretty eye-opening to learn something of that magnitude’s been going on and countless girls have been killed because they didn’t meet the requirements of becoming half of the key, so any disappointment is from having ample time to let all that sink in and being hungry for more revelations. It’s almost as if the writers sprung the surprise prematurely and now I’m left in anticipation of more given the handful of episodes remaining. However, the details on how combining the personality of the original Phryne stored in Nessa with the perfect copy of her body will restart the Fractale System have yet to be revealed, so there’s still that avenue to be explored.
Incidentally, the sheer number of clones and the crumbling state of the Fractale System suggest that the Monastery’s been unsuccessful in producing the perfect clone for some time now. There hasn’t been any explanation as to why that may be, but I would say it’s very likely that Phryne will turn out to be a perfect one. The thought of that leads me to two possible conclusions to this series, both of which have a sorrowful aspect to them. The first would be the Fractale System isn’t rebooted in time like Lost Millennium hopes to do with their all-out attack, which would lead to the loss of Nessa once it goes offline. The second would be that Clain learns the Fractale System needs to be kept online for some world-ending reason, and Phryne sacrifices herself to reboot it after having Nessa’s personality transferred over. If things actually turn out this way, it’ll be a very heartfelt finale since Clain will likely have to choose who he’s going to sacrifice.
Despite the semi-uplifting latter half of this episode with Lost Millennium rallying its troops from all over the world, the group picture with the Granites family had death flags written all over it. I originally thought it meant that someone like Enri would bite the bullet, but in order to truly have some impact, it would probably have to be one of our three main characters. The possible endings I have in mind coincide with that, so I’m really curious if the plot will go down that route in the final two episodes. I feel like I’ve been emotionally “baited in” with how well they’re getting along, which includes Clain’s confession that he likes Phryne. If one of them died now, it would be a huge shock.
* Phryne’s letter is possibly the best English I’ve ever seen in an anime. A-1 Pictures or Ordet clearly got someone who actually knows the language to write it. It’s not perfect but it’s close.