A thoughtful response to current anime.

Category Archives: Fractale

Concluding Thoughts – Fractale

Good things about the show:   Fractale clearly had a lot of effort and care put into the world behind it.  They created a playground to explore philosophical issues like identity, the value of technology vs. good old fashioned hard work, and the good of the many vs. the rights of the one.  At its best, Fractale was a lens for me to tackle these sorts of issues.  It also had riproaring adventure!  A loose coalition of rebels flying a ragtag fleet of airships to attack the evil temple?  That is that sort of thing that makes me lick my lips and exclaim “yum!”

Bad things about the show:  It felt abridged.  The philosophical issues I delighted in were not explored in sufficient depth, characters were introduced and then disappeared forever without comment, whole plot arcs were compressed into sub-episode extents.  Fantastic locales were rushed into, perfunctorily explored, and then rushed out of again, like a European tour group on a tight schedule.  They obviously had more than 11 episodes of story they wanted to tell, it’s a shame they couldn’t take more time.  Also, many of their plot devices fell flat, especially their attempts to build tension.  Golly, are the protagonists going to find shelter in time not to be crushed to death by this cave-in? Of course they are.  Is the protagonists’ airship going to reach the closing door one second too late, crash into it, and kill them all?  Of course it isn’t.

Memorable moment in the show:

Nessa’s destruction of Xanadu.  I couldn’t believe they didn’t follow up on that!  Once the episode was over everybody pretended like it didn’t happen, when it was the most emotionally affecting scene in the show.  I guess everyone was worried about Clain being shot, but one man versus a whole city?

Worthwhile characters in the show:  Well, Clain’s retro obsession made him a little more interesting than your generic default protagonist, but really the only good characters in the show were the two opposing rebel leaders.  I enjoyed Nessa for a while, but it kind of ruined it for me to discover that her quirks were due not to her being an imperfect simulation of a normal human but due to her being a perfect simulation of a broken human.

All in all: Has some interesting ideas, some really good bits, but it completely fails to effectively string them together.  If you have an anime club that is analogous to a book club, I think that Fractale could generate some really good discussions, but otherwise this is an anime to pass on.

Fractale – Episode 11

Hey all, Locus Cosecant here. Spring Anime Season 2011 is beginning right now, with cool & cute shows like Kaiji Season 2 and the Chaos;Head sequel starting airing in the next couple days. Should I begin covering Spring, or finish up Winter first? I have ~9 episodes to go to finish out Winter, although some of that will depend on whether or not Madoka ever finishes aired. Also, I intend to make a concluding post for every anime I conclude. At a rate of 1-2 posts a day (which is terribly optimistic, but w/e), that would mean a week or so going by before I even start on Spring. Can you wait that long? These reviews are a service to you, so let me know what you think.

In the spirit of lighting a single candle rather than soliciting feedback about how best to proceed in the darkness, let’s finish out Fractale with episode 11. I am rooting for an episode of transcendent beauty that will legitimize everything that has gone before.

…thirty minutes pass… Read more of this post