Fractale Episode 9
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: The big boys go off to war leaving Clain behind with the girls; Calm before the storm.
Episode Summary: With few options left, the Temple launches an all-out assault on the Lost Millennium. Meanwhile, the fractious groups of the Lost Millennium decide to team up to attack the Temple and destroy the Fractale system, knowing that they now hold the “key” (Phryne) to Fractale. As everyone heads off to battle, Clain is left behind to protect Nessa and Phryne. However, Phryne has other ideas, sneaking away in the middle of the night to plead her case with the Temple priestess.
My Impressions: I suppose that a “Calm before the storm” episode was sort of necessary in order to get everything explained (that could be explained) before the big battle, and set the pawns into motion. But with a full episode of talky-talk-talk explaining and introspection, it sure did bring all the energy from the previous two episodes almost to a dead halt. The uneven pacing of this series is something I have grumbled about before as the story jumps ahead in fits and starts between slow-moving character-heavy scenes punctuated by the unexpected WTF moments. This series sure could have used a good, solid editor to even out things a bit.
*sigh* At this point, I’ve essentially given up trying to make sense of what exactly is going on, or puzzle out some deeper meaning to the Fractale system. Unfortunately the producers never did a great job of explaining the intricacies of how Fractale really works, which is a shame. Instead, they turned towards developing the relationship between Clain, Nessa and Phryne — which would have been fine as well, except that was not done very well, either. Fractale is turning out to be a great concept for a show, imperfectly executed and disjointed. With two episodes to go and one big climactic battle, I really doubt my opinion will improve much, and at this point I’m just riding it out without much expectation. For all the hype and high hopes at the beginning of the year, Fractale is most likely going to end up just being yet another forgotten “eh” series that is only remembered as a mild disappointment.
For more information:
- My earlier reviews:
- Info resources: My Anime List, Anime News Network, AniDB, and Wikipedia
- Watch full episodes online: on Funimation
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “This show is best when it works with the world it has instead of making new things up. I’m cautiously optimistic about the finale – Fractale has been quite decent when it sticks to the core of its story and not random trips off to God knows where or entire episodes of “Clain is a pervert” jokes.” – Draggle’s Anime Blog
- “This episode had some great, although at the same time a bit generic, buildup towards the final confrontation between the temple and the Lost Millennium group, and not to mention, the emotional developments between Clein, Nessa, and Phryne. In a way this episode had a rather intense atmosphere, yet at the same time it was a calm, foreshadowing episode. Grade: 4/5.” – Emory Anime Club
- “This was an odd little episode. It ditched the tense momentum of last week’s episode to swing back to the happy-go-lucky feel. If I had watched 9 right after 8 without that week’s break I would certainly be a bit confused. I like the almost slice of life episodes (to an extent) and I like the more tense episodes, but the way they’re arranged is too anti-climactic. What we need is more gradual transitions. You don’t go from an episode where everything explodes and we learn the secret to the matrix and then all of sudden everything is roses.” – Metanorn
- “This was a pretty moving and exciting episode, with all the Granite villagers preparing for battle and the whale pack taking to the sky. Although it seemed silly for Enri to leave her blimp behind, such is the cost of plot convenience. Phryne is as naive as ever, since Barrot will surely just annihilate LM once he has Phryne back, especially knowing that Nessa is not on board a flying whale.” – Sea Slugs!