Fractale Episode #03 (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Thursday, January 27, 2011
Release Date: Thursday, January 27, 2011

Only Nessa could be positively excited about being kidnapped and flown through the air like this.

What They Say:
Enri flies her hostages to her brother in the village of the Granites, home to a faction of the Lost Millenium. There Clain learns there's more than meets the eye inside the Fractale system.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the introduction of Nessa last episode and the outgoing curious nature she has, it's little surprise that she's going to get Clain caught up in something. Of course, Clain's interest in old and unusual things are going to eventually cause him problems regardless since he seems unlike other people living in this time period, which is made even more apparent when he's brought to the Granites village and sees oh so many vintage items. He's the type that will even get excited about the scope on a gun that's being trained on him rather than realizing he may be shot. Nessa doesn't help much as she's generally kind of curious herself and rides on his excitement.

This shift in the Fractale storyline brings us some new information and understanding of the world as it turns out that this group is a faction called the Lost Millennium, which slowly comes out as Clain is shown more of the curious village where there's a creeping growth over the old buildings that looks very alluring in its style. While we were aware from the first episode that this occurs some time after the 22nd century, it's here that we learn that we're a good thousand years past the introduction of the Fractale system and that the people within here operate outside of that system by growing their own food, educating people the old fashioned way and avoiding use of dopples and other data networks that would be used to pour information into people. Everyone works in the fields and at other jobs rather than just lazing around all the time. As is said, humans lost their spirit and grit due to the Fractale system and the Lost Millennium is about restoring that.

There's a curious feel about all of this as it introduces a really intriguing idea about the world at this point but were seeing these eye-opening concepts through the eyes of Clain. He's got a taste for vintage and unusual so he may not freak out like a normal person who operates in the Fractale system would and I'm unsure of how well that works. He's thrown by some things but takes a lot of it in stride, whereas Nessa is just keen to be on the journey. Would Clain be a more interesting viewpoint if it was like other people who would panic over all of these concepts being thrown at him? It's hard to say which would be more engaging. With Clain and Nessa being taken on by Lost Millennium to their ship, what he sees changes his world dramatically. But it's hard to see just how it's really impacting him.

In Summary:
Fractale in its first two episodes left me uncertain as to whether it would be a show I would want to watch because of the bait and switch feel about Phryne and Nessa. Nessa has not won me over, though I approve that she learned of the color of Emi's underwear, but with this episode and the introduction of the Lost Millennium and information about how the Fractale system truly works on some level, it's gained my interest in a significant way. I enjoy stories like this, but I'm still hedging my feelings on whether Clain is the right character through which to tell the story. He's the character that's potentially between the two worlds, more so than the majority of people, so that gives him the role, but I still wonder if a more brainwashed character would have worked better and been far more engaging, ala how things worked in the Matrix where it was a huge shock to find the reality. Clain takes things mostly in stride until the end when it turns violent and it's only there that we start to get a feeling about how coddled he's truly been.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.



Mania Grade: A-
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
Running time: 24
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Fractale