The war between the two sides heats up as each sides forces, big and small, go toe to toe.
What They Say:
The battle between the Lost Millenium and the temple's forces rages on. Phryne reaches the Archpriestess, but will her pleas to end the war and let Fractale fade out fall on deaf ears?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the various factions of the Lost Millennium coming together, the war on the outside is pretty nicely done although it has something of a simplistic feel simply because of how technology, tactics and the scale of forces involved have changed over the thousand years or so with which the Fractale system has operated. It's hard to believe they could put together too many ships and too many forces of a significant force to deal with the temple and its followers since they'd likely be hunted down easily enough, but at the same time the Fractale operators and managers themselves have come across as being fairly out of touch as well, so both sides have matched each other in different but similar ways.
As that particular battle rages on, a more personal one that's restrained and measure occurs on the inside as well as Phryne offers herself up in exchange for Nessa's freedom and a chance to let the Fractale system itself fall away. Phryne's approach makes sense from her point of view, but there is a very legitimate point of view on the Archpriestesses part about how the world would fall apart in a significant way without the system as it stands. Humanity has gone down the wrong path, but it can't go back the other way with the flick of a switch. And those in charge of it have a vested interest in keeping things they way they are with the power and control they have, but also the general belief that they are actually doing the right thing in how they're protecting and shepherding humanity. It's a situation that has an obvious end strategy depending on your point of view, but when you find elements of both to be right, it's a significant conflict. It's simply not a black and white situation.
Fractale deals with the two sides of this story pretty well here, where we see the more action side going on as Nessa and Clain get closer since they want to rescue Phryne, and the more personal action side as the Archpriestess shows Phyrne just how determined and powerful she really is. There's something to be said for someone in her position to be as hands on as she is with Phryne to make her point and I can come away really appreciating that dedication to her position, even if I disagree with it. Phryne and the others simply come across as too naïve, too pie in the sky with how they believe the world will be should they succeed. While there is some admiration for the whole pick yourself up by your bootstraps, humanity has fallen significantly over the centuries and there will be a significant weaning of the population through what will happen here, though it will all be portrayed as a wonderful change by the end.
Fractale runs through some familiar story ideas for a science fiction series of this nature, things we've seen in numerous anime and manga series over the years as well as other mediums, and while I once admired them for their beliefs in the right thing, many of them, Fractale included, leave me colder than they used to because of the complexities of the reality of the situation. Fractale has a world that's very much designed one way, and it's not the best way, but a striking shift to the balance was desired by the Lost Millennium group is one that leaves me feeling cold towards them. There's plenty to like in this episode as the two sides go against each other both in large and small scales, but the overall narrative is one that I find to be far more frustrating than I used to as my views on things evolve and change with more information.
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.