26 CommentsFirst Impressions, Fractale / By Scamp /

Fractale episode 1

Ah screw first impressions (despite putting this in the first impressions category anyway). I had set my sights of blogging Fractale long before the season started. Despite my endless fanboying over how great Noitamina is, I’ve yet to blog one of their series. I think I’ve already established that I’m not Wandering Sons target audience. Meanwhile Fractale is a proper adventure anime. The first episode didn’t exactly blow me away, but it was still extremely solid.

The obvious highlight of the episode is the world building doppelgangers. It’s a strange concept that I’m not entirely sure I understand. There is an original person behind these blobby creatures, but they live somewhere else and these are just holograms with their personalities attached to them.  The ideal world created by the Fractale is one where you don’t have to interact with real people. A world in which everyone has become a hikkikimori. Seems strange to paint this as an ideal world, but the idea that you can turn your parents on and off at will is a rather appealing one. I do love how the police is capable of turning everyone off and the kid then proceeds to steal the memory card he was holding. He could have done that himself, but he’s so used to the Fractale system that he never considered doing the same thing himself.

The main character flipping out because a girl undressed is a typical anime lead character reaction and I’ve seen people whinge about that happening. But think about it for a second. It would have made far less sense for him not to flip out. The guy hasn’t had real human interaction in years. Faced with this much skin, the guy doesn’t know how to react and simply panics. That’s what is meant to make their relationship tick. A person he can’t switch off, which is why he gets so angry when she just ups and leaves. If he hadn’t flipped out, it would have made his character false. You can’t be a ladies man when the only ladies you’ve met are pink lampshades attached to water coolers.

That said, I still don’t really care about the characters yet. I get what they were going for but the characters lacked personality for me to care much. My thoughts prior to its airing was that Fractale would be a steampunk Spice and Wolf, which doesn’t look like a prediction that will be too far off the mark. It’s made a hell of a lot better job of making a fascinating world for the lead characters to explore, but that’s all for nought if they can’t make the characters themselves interesting. Maybe this new chick will create a better dynamic, because I certainly wasn’t feeling these two.

Final note. That opening song. Wooooaaaaaaaahhh acid trip woooooaaaaahhh

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  1. Posted January 14, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Oddly enough, this reminds me of an old science fiction story, but I can’t recall the author… I *think* it was Asimov, and shares some superficial parallels (especially with the people avatars). What struck me though was the Ghibli-esque stylings, kind of like Castle in the Sky or (I dare say) Conan the Boy in the Future. All in all, it’s piqued my interest, which is always a good thing.

    That said, is it any surprise that Aroduc HATES this? Gosh, I wonder what would actually make him like a new series these days.

  2. Posted January 14, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Fractale looks it should be in Anime no Chikara rather than Noitamina.

  3. Posted January 14, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    I thought this would be better :<
    Maybe it gets better. The world is kinda interesting, but I don't really care for the characters. And didn't have the chick at the end blue hair in the promo images and not red?
    Or is it a different one?

    • Posted January 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      They’re the same.

  4. Posted January 14, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Excusing the protagonist flipping out at half nude girl trope? Really? Really? There’s a difference between a realistically embarrassed reaction and the tired, old, boring flipout reaction that was on display here.

    I was hoping that this would be different from all the other boy meets magical girl stories, but the exceedingly by-the-book execution of the characters and writing has put me off. Even the scifi elements aren’t that interesting, merely another case of what movies such as Avatar and Surrogates used. The dystopian nature of the setting still does hold potential, but it looks like this might go the way of Sora no Woto, where characters and interactions and writing that are generic to a fault waste the setting.

    Heck, even the art was lackluster, with the 2D on 3D scenes being jarring, and lackluster character designs.

    • Posted January 14, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. What is it about a “girl” that freaks him out? One, we don’t know when exactly his last human interaction was. But assuming its been years, assuming he’s as naive as a baby, wouldn’t the appropriate reaction be indifference? Naked girls should have no meaning for him any more than a naked doppel would for us.

      • anon
        Posted January 16, 2011 at 12:26 am | Permalink

        Especially considering the girl doesn’t give a shit, probably because she also hasn’t had too much human interaction.

  5. Samshel
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Mmm this one went off my radar, I’ll check it out to see how it goes.

  6. Vain
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Well that was dull. I still hope that this anime turns out better but so far there has been so few things to make it original. I suppose a slow start is ok but I hope that this picks up a little pace.

    Definitely a let down to all the expectations everyone seemed to have for it.The characters so far seem so bland and the 3 doofuses didn’t help that one bit. Not one moment did I thought that this anime is at least bit exciting or funny. Even the parts about the system that could have been interesting seemed to be downplayed.

  7. Avv
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    I’m kinda surprised to see some of the reviews out there for Fractale. I guess people were expecting a lot more from the first episode, either action or story-wise. I know people aren’t happy about how Clain met both Phryne and Nessa but I think it did a fine job introducing the world, the main characters, and hints about the Fractale System. Maybe people were comparing it directly to their expectations than to what was actually aired.

    The first episode wasn’t perfect but what’s great now is that most of that introduction stuff has been taken care of. I guess we’ll start exploring the world in the next episode (or one can only hope)!

  8. Posted January 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    People are complaining about Clain’s reaction to a naked girl? Hnnn…like you, I thought the depiction was pretty spot on for how one would react if they had had little to no human contact for most of their life. He seems to be keeping up with the world through technology only, so has probably only learned about girls from various forms of media. Imagine having no human contact and learning about human relationships solely through television series and movies, and that’s probably where he’s coming from. He knows that there’s something inherently embarrassing about seeing a naked girl and reacts accordingly. When he calms down and puts medicine on her back, he stops being so embarrassed, where other male anime leads would have been flipping out and unable to help her. I also liked how the entire scene wasn’t played up to be titillating in any way, and offered little to no actual fanservice. It’s really refreshing to see.

    • Posted January 14, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think the hubbub is necessarily with just his reaction per se. it’s the disappointment in seeing an interesting new world be spoiled by the presence of a boy who has done nothing to separate himself from the scads of other spineless, personality-less male protagonists we’re used to seeing. We were shown the promise of something different and unique, instead we got the same old character tropes. His reaction was merely a symptom of the larger problem.

      • Posted January 14, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Right. The other big example is the bad guys, who weren’t funny, who weren’t even amusing. They were tiresome and boring. You can put the same old shit in a cool new setting, but it’s still the same old shit.

      • Poro
        Posted January 15, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        If ur so cynical about it, go away and not watch anime. Anime has its staples that no matter how hard we try 80% of the viewers will be willing to watch the spineless male lead over and over. I think that this ur globalizing the spinelessness and the bad guys. Pretty sure there will be some character development with the male lead. I mean how would you react when you see a naked woman? No, not go and rape her. The other reaction. That’s right you would act at least twice as flustered and look the other way. No? you would just stare like a total pedophile? Yeah didn’t think so.

  9. Posted January 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think the doppels are automatons that act on their own based on the users’ personality, I think they’re more like avatars you can directly control from a distant location.

    As for the OP sequence, those are mathematical “fractals,” like the Mandelbrot sequence. Get it? Fractals in your Fractale anime?

    The new girl has a big lock-looking thing on her groin (seriously) so you don’t have to worry about them getting too busy.
    Really, take a look:

  10. Posted January 14, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    This sort of ideal world is fairly common in science-fiction … it’s almost always far from ideal underneath the surface, haha. Social commentary and all that. It’s more relevant than ever, too, considering how powerful and widespread social networking sites and communication technology are now.

  11. Posted January 14, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand why people are freaking out over the not-even-naked-girl reaction. It was clearly overdone – probably intentionally. What kind of character screams like that? Hilarious stuff right there…

  12. Posted January 14, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Based on the end of the episode and the ED, it seems like purple-haired girl won’t be around much anymore anyway.
    (And then I went back and read your chart and realized that’s the point.)

    And I didn’t know people were unhappy about his reaction.

  13. alexvoda
    Posted January 15, 2011 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    I am surprised no one has mentioned this, or maybe it is so obvious it is not notable but:
    What this episode reminded me the most of is Dennou Coil.
    I mean with all the tehno babble (that as a programmer I greatly enjoyed) explaining how the system works this really seams like the future of that world, which in turn you could see as the future of world presented in Summer Wars.

    Since the only information available about this show was the description on the chart (thanks for continuing chartfags work) as the preview added 0 information, I was expecting something similar to Shukufuku no Campanella(the anime, not the adult video game) with a magical, maybe “dimensions colliding” setting. I was not expecting a Matrix type of setting.

    Posted January 15, 2011 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    The OP reminded me of the kaleidoscopes I used to think were the coolest things ever.

  15. winabagel
    Posted January 16, 2011 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    “EXTERMINATE” (in bad cockney accent)

  16. Posted January 16, 2011 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    wow, the entire premise of this series, especially the concept of the fractale system, sounds almost exactly like the system in the novel “Feed” by M.T. Anderson. now i’m wondering if there was any relation there or not.

    i like the miyazaki-esque scenery and aircraft designs. reminded me of nausicaa and castle in the sky :D

    i’ll probably keep watching this just for those two relations. the plot seems a little meh so far as well as the characters.

    and lol @ the ridiculousness of the guy’s overreaction to nekkid girl. not as OMGTERRIBLE as people made it sound, but still eye-roll worthy.

  17. Posted January 18, 2011 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    It’s good to know that you are blogging this one just because our opinions differ when it comes to the characters. I want to see either they will grow on you or I’ll get tired of them.

  18. winabagel
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

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