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:
- Bearing a whole lot of other standard anime tropes
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.
-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!