40 CommentsFractale / By Scamp /

Fractale episode 11 (finale) and Final Review

I suppose I better write about the final episode of Fractale.

That was shit.

Can I go home now?

All right, I’ll do a full review of the series.

Before Fractale aired, the director Yamakan declared that moe was the cancer that was killing the anime industry and that he would create a show that stepped outside that and appeal to a wider audience (not quite in those words, but that was the general gist of his ramblings). He even managed to get himself a slot in the famous Noitamina timeslot, a place dedicated to hosting anime that don’t suck, for his upcoming personal original anime production Fractale. This is all pretty ironic to look back on, because Fractale proved to be:

  1. Moe
  2. Bearing a whole lot of other standard anime tropes
  3. Shit

Fractale sets itself out as a sci-fi show set in a post-scarcity world where nobody interacts with each other because they can create doppels to do that for them. Therefore everyone lives in complete luxury in whatever setting with whatever types of people they choose to live with. It’s an interesting setting and one that Fractale occasionally explores but never attacks, almost as if they brought up that plot point by accident and it has nothing to do with the overlying theme of the anime. Occasionally the show will come across a character who uses the Fractale system in certain ways that seem like a fascinating exploration of that character’s psyche, but then abandons said character pretty quickly.

One of the points brought up early on by the Fractale system is that people living in it don’t experience proper human contact. The whole point of the first episode is showing the main character, Clain, and his bafflement and embarrassment with meeting a real live in the flesh human girl, who proceeds to strip in front of him. You would think this would therefore be a running theme throughout the show, but that was ignored pretty quickly. The closest it got was having another female character call Clain a pervert in about 5 times per episode. I’m guessing the show thought it was being funny by saying this? I dunno, it’s not like Clain was doing anything perverted anyway, was that the joke?

It did try to cover basic human interactions as part of the plot, but this was even more laughably tackled. Over the course of the show, Clain sees these people he has joined up with, the Lost Millennium group, who are against the Fractale system, mow down old grannies. It offered the viewer two sides of the story, the Fractale System and the Lost Millennium group that opposed it. But that one good scene was instantly devalued by ignoring it from there on in and introducing another eviler group of the Lost Millennium, making the massacre of grannies from the group Clain were with seem like a totally cool thing in comparison. This comes to a head towards the end where Clain joins in the granny genocide campaign, telling the Good Lost Millennium group that it’s OK that you kill people because you’re my friends!

That’s just the themes seem to appear more often, but other parts of the plot make far less sense. The plot’s finishes up on a revelation that God is not 16 years old, but actually 10 and therefore pure. What this had to do with anything I have no idea, but Fractale seemed to like telling us this in a very dramatic fashion. The Fractale System bad guys were equally baffling, also obsessed with purity for whatever reason and generally being a deranged bunch of lunatics who filled their armies with suicidal grannies. For a show that seemed to be presenting both sides of the arguments, surely you shouldn’t have the Fractale guys be such a bunch of lunatics who like licking the face of our brave heroine?

Now this could all be fine in another series. You can be silly but still have a lot of fun. First off, Fractale isn’t fun, unless 10 references to Clain being a pervert per episode is your idea of a good time. But mainly, Fractale pretends it’s deep. It’s all about Themes and Issues and is Like Totally Serious. But it brings up these points with no idea what it’s doing with them. It’s like it has taken ideas and scenes from other anime it’s seen, realised that these scenes make this anime great and stuck them into Fractale without realising why these scenes make that other anime great. You can have psychotic villains who lick their pure heroines, but not in a show where your also trying to present a balanced view of those sides of the conflict.

The reason I hate Fractale is because it offends the story-telling lover part of me. This is not something that is apparent in the early episodes. This is something that only rears its true ugly head in the later episodes where it tries to bring its plot to some sort of nonsensical conclusion. It has taken a lot of different plot points but has never considered how they tie in together. It’s thrown out scene with Deep Meaning without realising that the meaning that scene protrays has nothing to do with whatever previous scenes the show has had, or even contradicts previous plot points. I’m guessing the Fractale Production Committee meeting went something like this.

– OK guys, this anime Fractale is going to be so awesome! It will have a girl who you can only touch if you like her. That means Love is important and stuff

-And his parents will be a water cooler and a pink lampshade

-And then the rest of the team will betray him, but he was actually working for the priestess all along

-The big-breasted girl will actually be an old man

-But then it will turn out it was his dad all along

-She was talking to the Cart Driver, who turns out was actually the main character!

Yamakan: -Great Ideas! We’ll put them all in!

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37 Comments

  1. Posted April 2, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Oh gosh, it’s like if the latest Bakuman manga arc was happening IN ANIME.

    /comment you can’t understand 8D

    • Posted April 3, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      lol. But I thought his idea to form ideas was cool…

    • AncientOne
      Posted April 6, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      The idea may have seemed cool, but it really was epic fail. If he had left it at just 5 people he would have been able to pull it off though. >.>

  2. luffyluffy
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    SAVING THE INDUSTRY WITH PURE SHIT

    • OHEMGEE
      Posted April 3, 2011 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      THAT’S HOW IT GOES DOWN IN A WORLD OF LOGIC SUCH AS OURS (:

  3. mizu
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Agreed. Fractale was a mess. What was up with all the plot holes anyway? And in the end Phryne and Nessa seem to have become the same person, but why does Phrynessa act like she really is 10 years old? Am I the only one who found that kind of creepy?

    I still can’t hate Fractale, though. In my opinion it was just averagely bad and everyone should have not bothered with it.
    Yamakan, you can retire now~

  4. fathomlessblue
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    This season’s noitamina timeslot didn’t get the lowest ever ratings for nothing. Saying that, as much as I had reservations about Wander Son and the rather niche audience it would appeal to, I genuinely really liked that series by the end of it’s run. A bit soft, yet pretty mature overall. Fractale on the other hand has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. It started off ok and just became worse and worse. A six year old could write a more focused story than this.

    The part of the show where I went from disliking to actively hating the storytelling was the whole “Phryne raped by her father” subplot. It’s not like such a plot device is new in anime, take Now and Then, Here and There for example (seeing as it’s been bandied around so much lately) The thing is, as horrific as the abuse in that show was, the fallout was used to superb effect; it meant something to the story. In Fractale it’s used for nothing, I couldn’t care in the slightest about what had happened tp Phryne. When you have to resort to using such unpleasent subject matter for cheap shock value, only to fail at even that, then you have absolutely no idea how to tell a story.

    So yeah, if this is the best he could come up, then perhaps Yamakan should f**k off and retire already.

  5. Posted April 2, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    The worst part about the whole purity thing is that it COULD be interesting if done in the right way, but it’s so clumsy and goofy that it just made me laugh at it rather than think about what it’s trying to say, which is Fractale in a nutshell.

  6. Posted April 2, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Right after Barrot delivered that clumsy info-dump that was so incredibly stupid Phryne jacked him with a hidden knife, I laughed. And I laughed all the way through the episode, with the space elevator, the revelation of God, and the happy-go-lucky farming and “you’re going to be like that pervert too hahaha”. I could only marvel at such a spectacular trainwreck that I could not help but laugh at, and all of my anger and frustration at Fractale just melted away. It was therapeutic.

  7. Posted April 2, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    At least the big breasted woman who was a man was a lot more interesting then the most of main characters.

    …oh what the hell, Nessa wasn’t great either, I just had a soft spot for her.

    • Azalius
      Posted April 3, 2011 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      I thought that too. Then I thought about it a bit, and realized he was pretty much 70% of people who play females in MMOs, minus the whole rape thing.

      • Posted April 3, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        He’s still more interesting.

  8. Posted April 3, 2011 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    In the future, the internet will be powered by rape.

    • Posted April 3, 2011 at 3:33 am | Permalink

      What makes you suggest that it already isn’t?

    • Scamp
      Posted April 3, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      The internet is already powered by porn

  9. Posted April 3, 2011 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    that ending was….so terrible it was hilarious, but even then the hilarity seemed forced so then i was making a -_- face by the end. especially with the final ecchi joke. they just had to, didnt they? ugh.

    the ONE thing i was waiting for was the mention of that weird robot thing that shot clain and the person/doppel that was inside. of course we never see this thing again anyways. blah. whatever.

  10. Posted April 3, 2011 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    The thing that hurted me the most in this series is that they just had to make that freaky Nessa-Phryne combo. God that was asdfghjkl

  11. Posted April 3, 2011 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I think the Fractale anime would have been quite interesting if it would have been executed right. They have the right formula, but the thing that comes out in the end is shit. So, yeah, Yamakan, retire already.

  12. Posted April 3, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Yes we can all go home now xD

    Decent show but quickly became really boring for me after 5 episodes in, but had to finish it anyway. If the story and characters were better this might have been great sadly it was not.

    Guess I ended up watching it just for Nessa which is bad to say! A few winter shows ended up doing that for me, just watching for my favorite character.

  13. romulus
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    This was so annoying. I counted the effin seconds until I can forget this shit for all eternity.
    I thought this was going to be the anime of the season plus I swore never to watch Madoka. Now Madoka is one of the best animes I have ever seen plus I wish this didn’t exist.

  14. hikaru
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I feel bad for asking my mum to watch this with me. What a waste of our time. Neither of us really understood what the point of the whole anime was, and neither of us had any inclination to discuss it either…

  15. averaen
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    I can’t believe I actually watched this show the entire way through. After episode six or so I knew it had no idea what the fuck it was doing, but I kept plugging along with it. “Surely at some point it will pull together,” I thought to myself. What a fool I’ve been.

    The OP & ED were both great though.

    • Posted April 4, 2011 at 1:51 am | Permalink

      Agreed. Love that OP

      • YutaniUAC
        Posted April 4, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

        yeah the OP is pretty trippy

  16. Posted April 4, 2011 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    It still baffles me how anyone could screw up such a great premise. I was writing more coherent stuff in fourth grade, and that’s not an exaggeration because I still have it and I know what it says. The writers are as much or more to blame than Yamakan.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 4, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

      That’s kinda true. As much as we like to blame Yamakan, the directing wasn’t necessarily that suspect. It was the writing

  17. Posted April 4, 2011 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    Funimation announces it’s releasing this and Freezing on DVD, and as far as I’m aware, they don’t release every show they stream.

    Pirating is what is keeping anime from being popular in America. Obviously.

  18. Posted April 4, 2011 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    i just remembered that scene where phyrne looks at the blood on her hands and tries to wipe it off “it wont come off! IT WONT COME OFF!!” i half expected her to find a balcony to leap off of. lol. /crazy nerdy macbeth reference

    • Posted April 4, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

      I want a Macbeth anime. I love Macbeth. That would be fab.

      • Scamp
        Posted April 4, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

        Watch Berserk

  19. Posted April 5, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    the last episode was beyond shitty. they killed the only good character (Sunda0. It wasn’t even necessary. I rage at how conceded it all are

  20. Posted April 6, 2011 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Combining unusual subplots without resolving any. Huh.

  21. Posted April 8, 2011 at 3:56 am | Permalink
  22. twyce
    Posted April 13, 2011 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Just finished watching and have two questions.

    1) What’s with the comment about him talking to the Cart Driver, who was actually the main character? I got the other references but that one went over my head.

    2) Was Phryne actually raped? I assumed that’s what he was talking about but then he was having her medically examined. Based on him asking how close she got with Clain, I assumed he was checking to make sure she was still a virgin. That’s how he’d test she was still pure, as he put it. Since he never had time between the start of that test to rape her and the conversation with Clain (well, maybe when she was flying back on the ship but that’s a small window and seemed unlikely to happen right then) I didn’t see rape as much of an option. I guess that also confused me.

    Thanks.

  23. yfr
    Posted June 17, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Was Phryne actu­ally raped?

    The story plays coy, and possibly the writing team couldn’t decide.

    My interpretation is that she had a bad sexual experience of some kind – possibly bad only because it was scary. It could have been physically enjoyable cuddling and petting, but maybe her father broke into the room before she could actually have full sex.

    But the story implied that her hymen was supposed to be intact.

  24. yfr
    Posted June 17, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    but why does Phrynessa act like she really is 10 years old?

    For most of the series, Phrynne was neurotic and uptight, but in need of affection. Nessa was excessively childish but capable of giving affection.

    This means that they were two aspects of the same original personality.

    The last episode means that the original person managed to re-integrate. She was traumatized by whatever happened, but not so traumatized that she couldn’t live life. She was capable of giving affection and capable of being silly – that’s why she giggled like Nessa. But she was also capable of being a woman, that’s why she compared Clain to a little child.

    Other shows have done the sexual trauma angle a lot better. Frankly it’s kind of easy to over-use that kind of drama. It’s easy to say, “ooh, this girl’s rape/fondling/molestation was traumatic because she’s the messiah who can save the world.” It’s a lot harder to say, “Here are six girls who were raped in various ways, and none of them have super-powers, and none of them are the chosen one, and yet we expect the audience to give a damn.”

    • April
      Posted September 9, 2013 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      YES, she was raped, originally. No they do not “play coy”, you just have to be intelligent enough to see it. There’s a ton of references to it. Why was the 16 year old Phrynne so childish? Because she was raped. It’s a normal thing to see in rape victims. Staying happy keeps things okay. Pretending to be happy keeps things okay. That is why she was like that. Nessa was the happy piece of her that was what anchored her to herself. When she was brought into Fractale, they were split because 10 was most likely the last time she was “pure”. A very VERY bold reference to her being accustomed to the rape is in episode 7 when they find the large group of people pretending to be villagers. One of the older men with a dog thinks he has her alone and attempts to molest her. During this time, she dissociates and he says, “Oh? You’ve suddenly become obedient. This is good.”

      Addressing the subject of purity. Their original god had been defiled by her father. She had to stay pure and intact so that she couldn’t have the fulfilling relationship with someone else (and possibly lose her virginity to them). She had to stay pure so that she could be defiled again by the “father” that was shown in these episodes. This is directed to the others: Before you try to say that there was no connection, be sure it isn’t because you’re too stupid to find it.

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