Fractale Episode #09 (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Friday, March 18, 2011
Release Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011

The die is cast and the world goes to war over the Fractale system.

What They Say:
After the Granites lift Clain, Phryne and Nessa safely from the rubble of the destroyed lab, the factions of the Lost Millennium face the fateful decision to unite for their best shot to bring Fractale down - or surrender.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Fractale's large storyline that is at play here continues to feel like it's not had anywhere near the time to be properly laid out for it to have a serious impact. Such is the case at the start of this episode as those in power within the Fractale begin to warn the world that the Lost Millennium factions out there are like little axes hitting the tree of life itself. One isn't all that much to worry about because the Fractale system is so large and robust, but when you have a death by a thousand cuts, it becomes much more problematic. With the virtual representation sent to all those that exist within the Fractale system, it certainly creates real awareness of the danger at hand to their cushy, protected and simple lives as they now exist.

Interestingly, as much as members of the Lost Millennium try to promote their plan as saving humanity from itself, the majority of people that hear about it are against it completely because they only see it as destroying their lives and all they've ever known. It's an honest and realistic response, especially when you have people that are very comfortable with things and don't see the need to change. Humanity has very different ways of finding what works for it and as a group, the Fractale system has given a lot of it what it needs, but it's also hidden the dangers as well, which is something we've seen to varying degrees of success over the course of it. But this public calling out of the Lost Millennium by the Fractale system has not put the group in a very different position than before. They now have to decide whether to really come together themselves to do what's needed to be done or to just continue to fracture as a group.

That the Granites and the other factions of Lost Millennium will use this as their chance to take down the system is obviously a no brainer, but it's like we're coming into a war that's been going on for a thousand years during the last five minutes of it. So much of the right context, pain and angst of it all, the real meaning of what's been lost and why it's so critical to make this change is left out. There's a certain beauty and appeal to what's going on here, but it lacks critical resonance for it to work properly. We've spent time with this faction for a bit, met another and gotten a very small taste of how things operate in the religious side of the Fractale system as well as seeing how the system doesn't work well at times, but it's al been very small snapshots of these issues rather than a real exploration that makes it connect properly. There's an empty beauty to Fractale that you can see as a viewer, but that's about as far as it goes.

In Summary:
Fractale opened rather strongly with its first episode but it's been a difficult show to reconnect with ever since. It's had some great moments and some interesting ideas, but it's been terribly uneven and has spent parts of its time in strange areas rather than really making every episode of it's all too short run count in ways that helps to make it resonate more. This episode sets things up well for where it's going to go for the couple of remaining episodes, but even with the potential tension that can be built upon here, it decides to spend a good chunk of it with Clain, Phryne and Nessa all sitting around drinking tea as the main forces progress. It makes sense that things went this way, but it kills a lot of the buildup tension we get initially. It just offers a way for Clain and the others to get properly involved, but it just feels kind of forced as a point of dramatics than real storytelling.

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: B
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