The fallout from the Star Festival only gets worse and worse now that there are lots of dead bodies at it.
What They Say:
When the Granites nab Phryne during the Star Festival ambush, the temple authorities retaliate with an attack on the secret village in hopes of recovering the priestess.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The introduction of the Star Festival and how the Fractale system works at least a little in the previous episode was certainly an engaging idea, one that offers a lot of possibilities. Bringing Phryne back into play so early on after her going back and swapping in Nessa for Clain to deal with was a surprise since I expected the two to not come back into contact for some time. The Star Festival itself is a really interesting moment here as the people who weren't shot and killed come back to their senses after the new imprinting only to discover all the dead around them. The panic isn't as much as it could be, not as muted either, so it leaves you with a sense of sadness that gets washed away by the sudden action that takes place as the Granites manage to take advantage of the confusion by grabbing Phryne.
The kidnapping of Phryne will not go well, but there are a couple of revelations along the way that are useful, if not entirely accurate. Sunda learns that Phryne is basically of the same opinion as the Granites in that the Fractale System must end, but the impression you get is that she doesn't agree with their methods of doing it. With her having escaped before and leaving some important information with Clain, information that he's obviously been researching which she didn't want or expect to happen, she has a plan of her own but hasn't yet set it forward. Regardless of her own plans though, now that she's been kidnapped, the temple will do what it has to in order to get her back and send those who grabbed her to eternal rest. There's a hard edge to the temple that comes through in the first few brief scenes showing how the react to the news.
Fractale does offer up some action with this episode as the temple sends some of its forces to deal with the village, which they knew about for some time as is usually the case, and it's fairly well handled for most of it as they focus only on the Granites with only some side casualties. It takes an odd turn when Clain and Nessa see Phryne up to something in one of the buildings and that just pushes them all together again with Phryne now being more in the mindset of actually not doing anything for the temple since she has her own goals.
Fractale offers up some more interesting tidbits in this episode but also some confusion, largely centering around Phryne. The changes in her since the first episode are things that don't quite gel yet and you hope there's an explanation. Her light and friendly nature is completely gone, especially when dealing with Clain after he shows up and reveals that he investigated the data she had left protected with him to some extent. She even makes statements about hating love, which comes across as very different from how she was in the opening episode. Add in that Nessa is all about love and you can see that those two don't get along, but seeing the way she reacts to Clain leaves you feeling somewhat put off. The series continues to offer up some interesting ideas, ones you want to see really fleshed out more with the Fractale system, but this episode again gives the show a strange and uneven feeling where you don't think we're really making progress because we're unsure of what the goal is.
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.