Fractale Episode #08 (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Thursday, March 10, 2011
Release Date: Thursday, March 10, 2011

Send in the clones!

What They Say:
The high priest holds Phryne and the wounded Clain in an underground base. A Nessa look-alike shows Clain how much the temple cherishes Phryne. Meanwhile, Sunda recruits the other Lost Millenium factions for a rescue mission.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Fractale had a rather interesting episode prior to this as it dealt with the bright, colorful but essentially dead city where Clain and Nessa found themselves before everything went badly. The ending of it, with Clain shot, Phryne captured and Nessa brought back to the ship leaves things in a state of disarray with emotions running all over the place. As stated right from the start here, Nessa went wild when she saw Clain shot and couldn't handle it. Thankfully, the Granites have a small advantage in figuring out where to go next to try and find the pair as Phryne has a GPS on her that they all used when they were trying to track down Clain and Nessa after their craft crashed.

With those at the temple now having Phryne back in their hands, they're pretty pleased by this but she's resisting the as mildly as she can while looking unhappy at being put in this position again. For those on board the Granites ship, there is an undercurrent of intent of going after Clain and Phryne, but they're more outwardly satisfied that they have Nessa in their hands so anything else really doesn't matter all that much. For Clain, he's exposed to a lot of different things where he is as he's shown some of the temple's secrets, with the clones of Phryne that are all over the place and a reminder that she is the potential key to either saving or destroying the Fractale system. The further Clain gets into the larger world, the plots at hand and the scale of events, the more out of place he seems in everything. And in a way, the more frightening that it may come down to decisions he makes that will change the nature of the world.

The further we get into this series, the further it confuses and seems to lack a cohesive structure and vision. It has an idea of where it wants to go, but it comes across as if it's trying to fit it into a very tight space and not succeeding very well at it. With each episode seemingly adding a new location to it, it never gets the chance to really settle down and allow us to get to know the characters. With some of the truths revealed here at the underground base that Phryne and Clain have been taken to, we get many more questions that we don't feel like will get a proper answer. It's like the show is going to a large, epic revelation twenty or thirty episodes too early for the kind of overreaching tale it wants to tell. And with the feeling, it undercuts the impact of it significantly.

In Summary:
Fractale started off with a whole lot of promise but has had so many issues along the way that it's hard to pin down what's hurting the show the worst. At this stage, it's simply a pretty piece of work that wants to be big and epic but lacks the build up to pull it off properly. There's never a chance to really settle in with things and get a feel for it so it either feels like it's either too languid and relaxed or it's too frantic and fast paced. Outside of the primary trio of characters, nobody is really memorable and even those three are largely ciphers for the most part which keeps you from connecting really well with it. There are great moments here and there, and it's visually appealing with a solid larger concept, but it's falling badly from the execution.

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: C
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