Fractale Episode 7
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Fractale is an 11-episode weekly television series aired from January to March 2011 as part of Fuji TV’s noitaminA time-slot, an original story directed by Yutaka Yamamoto, developed by Hiroki Azuma and Mari Okada. Clain lives in a futuristic utopia world known as Fractale, and one day he comes across a mysterious priestess on the run named Phryne. After she disappears, Clain searches after her, with only Nessa, a computer-generated ‘doppel’ that emerges from a pendant she leaves in his care, to guide him. Along the way, he learns the secrets about the Fractale system, and that it may not be the utopia he imagined.
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ep. tl;dr review: Nessa destroys Xanadu; Finally, something actually happens.
Episode Summary: After crash-landing a mini-blimp, Clain awakens in the wondrous virtual city of Xanadu, under the guidance of Megan. With her help, Clain finds Nessa, who has fallen ill, in the custody of her friend Colin. The rest of the Granitz crew searches for Clain and Nessa, coming across a tranquil village of nature lovers, but soon discover they are actually a bunch of rich people who are the virtual residents of Xanadu. Meanwhile, Clain discovers that Megan and Colin are only being nice to them so they can turn them over to earn the bounty on their heads; Clain and Nessa escape, but Megan ensnares Clain, causing Nessa to unleash a wave of power that destroys Xanadu. However, one of Colin’s followers manages to seriously injure Clain.
My Impressions: “In Xanadu did Kubla Khan; A stately pleasure-dome decree…”
We finally get to see some of the real power of what the Fractale System could really be in the ultra-futuristic city of Xanadu, as Clain is paraded around as some sort of feminized plaything for Megan’s (aka Boobarella) amusement. Of course it’s a ruse, as she intends to turn them over to the head honchos for a big, fat reward. But of course Xanadu is just the gloss painted over the shoddy, unkempt reality world (which is a standard theme in virtual reality science fiction, but still interesting to see).
The good news? Something finally happened in this episode! After what feels like slow and meaningless meandering for a few episodes, this seventh episode kicks it into high gear with so much occurring in twenty minutes that it feels like a couple episodes worth of plot crammed into one. Also as if the writer realized “Oh crap! This show is not 26 episodes long, it’s only 11! Better stop all the introspective pap and start with the actual plot!” And it feels quite rushed and disjointed, and I really wish the show was more like this episode to begin with.
Even more questions are raised in this episode. Nessa is being “hacked”? What about her mysterious Over 9000 power? And Phryne’s momentary vision of her attacker? I have this crazy half-assed theory that the “real” world the Lost Millennium is fighting for is itself a false reality (a layer upon a layer, Inception-style if you will), but that would just be insane. And probably too clever by half for this show.
For more information:
- My earlier reviews: Episode 1 (April 7), Episode 2 (May 16), Episode 3 (June 23), Episode 4 (July 16), Episode 5 (August 18), Episode 6 (September 2)
- Info resources: My Anime List, Anime News Network, AniDB, and Wikipedia
- Watch full episodes online: on Funimation
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “Finally this show does something with its potential! It also just shows how this series lacked vision. I mean, the final quarter was pretty much the best thing that happened to Fractale. Grade: Awesome.” – Star Crossed Anime Blog
- “Wow, talk about an eventful episode. After the rather slow episodes for the past two weeks, we get hit with a bunch of major events at once. This episode definitely upped the stakes here with Clein’s life now in danger, and amidst all that, we learn more background info about both Nessa and Phyrne. This does bring back up the question of why in the world the Temple needs Nessa and Phyrne in the first place, which has still yet to be answered. Grade: 4.2/5.” – Emory Anime Club
- “Way too many things in this episode just came out of nowhere. I didn’t even know that the world of Fractale had cities…It’s the same thing with the villain of the week. He somehow went from being a peaceful, enlightened shepherd to a rapist and drug-dealer from out of absolutely nowhere. It wasn’t even surprising, either- we hadn’t even seen the shepherd enough to remember what he looked like. It was just completely random.” – Draggle’s Anime Blog
- “For all the moments where I get the feeling this show has no idea where it’s going, they manage to have a shining ray of a decent concept. What Fractale seems to be are many different islands with different concepts that are all sort of floating in one area, but rarely linked in a meaningful way. We get little patches of interesting Fractale topics like Clain’s dad, Alabaster, the guy on life support, and so on. If they can manage to stitch all of these patches together in the remaining episode, then this show will seem less…random…and more meaningful.” – Metanorn
Coming up next from the Winter 2011 Season: Hourou Musuko Episode 7, Yumekui Merry Episode 7, Gosick Episode 7, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Episode 7, Level E Episode 7