Oh no, the star destroyers are coming to take the hobbits to Isengard. Set them up to shoot them down!
Today, we have giant aircraft battles filled with laser beams, bullets, and of course, nukes, so just sit back and enjoy an explosive show. (Wow, that was a lame pun) Wait, you were expecting some calm and peaceful show about the exploration of utopias. Well… times have changed. Let us just say that and move on….
Notes: Sorry for not having any April Fool jokes for you… (No explanation. /me runs)
Fine fine fine. You win, I’ll actually start off with all the peaceful things.
Background Information: In the world of Fractale, the entire world is a utopia with people not having to do anything in life. In fact they don’t even need to use their physical boides to move anymore. Instead they have holographic avatars, called doppels, that can move around the entire world freely. Being lazy and having hologram like things to do work for you sounds like an amazing life, but what in the world allows this type of world to exist? Well there is this giant system of satellites that surround the entire planet, with some functions (I wonder if this provides me with cell phone signal worldwide), more simply called the Fractale System.
If you were following along, you are probably wondering what in the world does this giant array of satellites do. Well it basically serves 2 main purposes, brainwashing ppl and allow the holograms to exist, and with that many satellites, the system has worldwide coverge. Can you hear me now? Now, you might be asking, why is there a problem with the Fractale System? Well, these satellites were made ages ago, and they are falling apart, creating holes in coverage. Oh no, people are not part of the network anymore. Well, these isolated people stop being brainwashed and start learning to live on their own. Some of these people really like this new(old) way of life and want to bring others back to the original way of life, by force, so these people form a large group called Lost Millenium.
Wait a minute, there is a large plothole here. Who are the people who oppose Lost Millenium? Who maintains these satellites? Well if you read enough stories, you can probably guess, but if you want to find out the answer, it is massive religious group whose goal is to keep the utopia alive by fighting anyone who opposes Fractale. (I don’t recall them getting an official name in the show, so I’ll just call them the Temple)
Okay that was a lot of background information. If you got incredibly bored by all of it, you might want to just skip this show altogether, but for those still following along, here is the plot.
Plot: Clain is a person who lives under the Fractale system, but loves old technology, physical things that were actually used in the past instead of these dopels. Then one day, (prepare for something incredibly cliche) a girl falls from the sky. This girl’s name is Phryne, a important person to the Temple, and Clain decides to take care of her. However, Phryne is being chased because she ran away from the Temple, so she leaves Clain, not empty handed of course, but with a loli, named Nessa. After various things, Clain and Nessa go around the world with Lost Millenium and see the various cultures of society. On their adventures, they find Phryne and discover the truth about the Fractale system, evenetually leading to the faceoff with the Temple.
Wow, that was long….. After such a long summary, you probably expect Fractale to have an amazing storyline throughout, but that is sadly untrue. Fractale can be easily split into 2 parts. The first part, the starting half of the story, concentrates a lot on the exploration of culture and philosophy. Things are very slow paced with a very few action scenes, great for Seinen fans, a nightmare for Shonen fans. Then the second half of the show starts, and almost everything changes. The second part talks about the confrontation between Lost Millennium and the Temple, so expect lots of explosions, laser beams, and deaths. Also, the scenes become a faster paced, creating a few plot holes here and there, and the focus from the story switches from philosophy to the power love and friendship, a much more shonen oriented theme. Unless you like the contrast between shonen and seinin elements, you will probably end up disliking half of the show.
Animation: Fractale shines with the radiance of the ________ ….. in this category. (Well Star Driver obviously shines brighter than whatever fills in the blank xD) Whether you like or dislike the older art style of the series, you can not ignore the amazing amount of details that populate the architecture. Every single city, ruin, and base is unique with distinct color palettes, glyphs, symbols, and various other details to create some breathtaking architecture. Besides the environment, the ship fights are also spectacular with plenty of laser beams and missiles being fired and actually cause explosions at their point of contact. (not like some of the mech shows that just draws a line across the screen and watch things around the line randomly explode) If you ignore the typical static sprites in dialogue scenes, this show receives an almost perfect score in the animation department.
Enjoyment: Fractale is a little hard to rate. On one end, we have a story that is half entertaining and half that is flat out boring. Second, we add in the fantastic animation… It seems like we are missing a couple of other things people might look for when making a decision about anime. As I mentioned earlier, there is a loli in the story, this can be the cause of distress for some and excitement for others. Nessa, the loli, acts very childlike, always curious and has very optimistic views of the world, so she can really be annoying for some but great comic relief for others. Personally, I didn’t find her jokes very funny, so the beginning of the series was very boring for me. The other thing that I would like to cover about this series is the emotional attachment between characters. Unlike a lot of harems and other shows where the storyline doesn’t matter, Fractale builds up a relationship between you and the characters a bit in the first few episodes, but with the speed things happen in the ending episodes, these feelings get degraded, leaving you with only some care for the end of the series.
In the end, Fractale would have done a lot better if it found a target audience and just stuck with it, instead of switching genres half way through.
Technical Rating: 6/10
Personal Rating 6/10