Fractale Episode 11 (final)
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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Episode Summary: Barrot explains the truth behind Phryne and the Fractale System until Phryne stabs him, kills him and runs away. Eventually everyone arrives at the inner sanctuary as the Lost Millennium destroys the rest of the temple. There, Priestess Moeran is holding the final ceremony, where Phryne and Nessa have agreed to restart the Fractale System. Sunda suicide-bombs the sanctuary, but Clain escapes with Phryne and Nessa as they are transported into a secret garden high in orbit, where they learn how the entire Fractale System (including the original Phryne) was based on an ordinary 16-year-old girl with the mentality of a ten-year-old. System restarts, one year later everyone is living happily ever after. The end.
My Impressions: My oh my, I am so disappointed. After all the ragging and bitching I’ve been doing on Fractale for the past few episodes, I really wasn’t expecting much of a conclusion. However, my meager expectations were still unmet. I am underwhelmed.
Given the 11-episode limitations of the Noitamina shows, it seems they really rushed to get everything wrapped up as quickly as possible, leading to a confusing mish-mash, satisfying no one. So the “Big Reveal” is that the whole Fractale system was based on an emotionally-stunted teenage girl? So in the final few minutes after spending the entire rest of the season fighting her destiny, Phryne changes her mind? So in the end, nothing has really changed?
I have to be honest, I am quite disgusted with Fractale, so I am having a hard time writing up a proper wrap-up. It’s just not worth the time and effort to really go too deeply into the nitty-gritty of the finer plot points, because in the end never really mattered. So much of what was explored in some of the earlier episodes was left by the wayside, loose plot ends that will never be resolved. There were a few interesting moments, such as the Holy-Shit-did-they-just-do-that third episode, or when Clain visted Shangri-la. The original premise held so much potential, it was positively dripping with possible stories to be told. I’m trying to figure out where it all went so very, very wrong; all I can figure out is that about four episodes in the writers decided to throw in the the towel.
Fractale was supposed to be director Yutaka Yamamoto’s magnum opus, and he confidently declared that if Fractale wasn’t the best thing since sliced bread, he would retire. Guess what? Ratings tanked, reviews were blistering, and Yamamoto retired. (Seriously, dude, it’s just *one* flop of a show. Get over yourself already. Stop trying to be a fragile prima donna, screw public opinion and do what you *want* to do — I think if there is one lesson you should have learned from the whole Fractale fiasco is that trying to create a show with popularity as the driving force almost never works out.)
FINAL GRADE*: C-…and I feel like I’m being generous. Ultimately Fractale started out…fairly decent. But as the story progressed (or more accurately, didn’t progress), it just became messier, more disjointed and less interesting. Despite a few interesting points, it’s just not worth the time and effort. Frankly, give Fractale a pass and give Scrapped Princess or Last Exile a try instead.
(* – Final Letter Grades are only assigned to television shows where I watch the entire season.)
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:
- “Including rape in such a flippant manner is hack writing at its worst. Yamakan wanted all the drama and shock value that goes with such a terrible event, but didn’t bother to deal with any of the implications. This just comes off as childish; he could have simply said “The Fractale system is powered by the Holocaust! We clone and kill six million Jews every millennium to keep it going!” and it would have had the same nonsensical effect. This cheap, exploitive attempt at generating drama is what finally drove Fractale off the rails; otherwise, it would have been a merely mediocre affair notable only for the ruination of the Noitamina timeslot. Grade: 1/5.” – Project Haruhi
- “This crappy ending reminds me of Lost where there are a bunch of pseudo-emotional elements thrown in to distract the viewer from the fact that the entire story makes almost no sense. I still have no idea why the Fractale System needs reboots, why the other keys never worked, whether Barrot molested Phryne to make her like the original Phryne or something, why Moeran has purple hair, why the scientists needed the original Phryne, or why Clain wastes bread on his doppel dog. But hey, at least Clain will get his threesome.” – Sea Slugs!
- “My impression here is that the creators tried to cram in EVERYTHING in this last episode, which didn’t work out at all. Everything felt improperly explained, some of the events didn’t get enough screentime to leave an impact or flesh out characters, and it feels as if details are missing from everything that happened. There were some neat ideas here, but the strange thing is that almost all of them were lacking in some way or form, which certainly turned out disappointing. Grade: 7.6/10” – Emory Anime Club
- “Regardless of director Yamamoto Yutaka ill-advised move that put himself under the microscope, I really feel that Fractale had a lot of potential that was never realized. It’s still a good series, but it never took strides towards becoming a great series. That’s partly due to how the story didn’t make better use of the fantasy world that it takes place in, but also the character interactions that never developed as much as they could have.” – Random Curiosity