Clain and Nessa find themselves somewhere where the lights never go out.
What They Say:
After they crash their ship, Clain and an ill Nessa find themselves in the extravagant city of Xanadu under the care of deceptively friendly doppels.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Fractale goes in an amusing direction with this episode, though one that at times feels a little out of place for it. The bookends piece of it is that Clain and Nessa were off on their own flying around in a small craft, having found their place aboard the main ship after all this time and just enjoying their life there, only to have it crash along the way due to a malfunction. The exploration of what happened is told through the eyes of those that are investigating it from the Granites ship as they piece it all together, showing us Clain and Nessa together in it and the wreckage they find and the road they take, so to speak.
Where the show spends the other part of its time is where Clain and Nessa have ended up as Clain awakens in the magical city of Xanadu. It's a very friendly place with the doppels that are there as it has something of a Vegas feel to it with its opulence and wealth abound. And its sensuality as Clain wakes up to a very attractive and chest-heavy female doppel that wants to show him the way to truly enjoy the place. Naturally, he's separated from Nessa and the two of them end up on separate paths towards coming back to each other. Clain gets shown quite a fascinating place as Xanadu really feels like a magical world all of its own. It's over the top in a lot of ways, but it's reminiscent of how wealth is used to impress with its grandeur. And Xanadu certainly does that, though you know there's an obvious dark side to all of it beyond just the fact that it's run by the doppels.
Each of the main plots that run through here has their moments as there are threats to be faced, but the story with Clain and Nessa is more interesting simply because it's prettier and dominates the episode overall. The city of Xanadu is one that draws you in easily enough, especially with the way it looks, but also with the way the doppels in there utilize it to take advantage of people. It's a visually engaging piece on a number of levels, though the obvious boobie fanservice at the very beginning is rather off-putting I felt. The flip side of the story with the rest of the cast tracing their steps has some neat moments to it and it feels more in tune with what we had seen before with it being more real world/natural world compared to the Xanadu side.
Fractale continues to be a series that feels like it's very uneven in its story structure. Some series can pull this off and be engaging, but Fractale has left me uncertain about it. This episode starts the characters down a new path where there's a neat little trick at the end about where they'll go next, but the majority of it is spent inside the opulent doppel city where they have their own plans in mind and mess with both Clain and Nessa. I really liked the visuals, but the story felt like it was just passing time more than anything else rather than advancing the story. It's very pretty and it's good to see the way Clain handles it, but certain parts of it just didn't feel like they came together right.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
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.