I came back from the gym, tired and weary, ready to watch some anime. Upon opening my anime folder I thought to myself “I don’t want to watch Madoka Magica right now, I’m too tired. I need something more pleasant and easy to sink into. Ah yes, Fractale!”. This is not a thought process I foresaw myself having prior to this season beginning.
Fractale is incredibly easy to sink into though. I’m not sure whether this was down to ignoring the nonsense of Yamakan or that I was tired enough that I probably would have accepted whatever happened in even Rainbow Gate, but the cynical moe levels that bugged me in the last episode didn’t seem to be present in episode 3. It definitely felt more like the whimsical adventure it had been promising from the start.
The plot of Fractale appears to be one of ‘stick it to the man and fuck the system’ in a very anti-establishment manner. I know it seemed very black and white in who was meant to be the bad guys in this episode, but something felt off. The goofy level of the brother’s speech suggested they really weren’t quite sure what they were doing. Although a more likely reason the speech came off goofy was to highlight how Clain was incapable of taking them seriously so they could offer the contrast later on with the gunning down of old ladies and brain washing. It’s just in the earlier part of the episode, I found myself siding with the Fractale system. Deliberately rebelling against free health care annoyed the left wing part of my psyche. That is, until my left wing psyche was totally overruled by the chef part of me.
You’re telling me you only eat from tubes in the Fractale system? Where’s that gun, I’m joining the rebellion. Their not taking my joy of cooking away without a fight. Especially if my only companions were doppels who couldn’t taste my cooking (not that anyone eats my cooking anyway ;_;). Speaking of which, I wonder what senses Nessa actually has. Obviously she has sight and hearing, but would the system bother with giving her a sense of smell. They did give doppels the sense of touch, or at least the ability to tell the difference between hot and cold, judging by Nessa’s cry of ‘so warm’ when she hugged Clain.
One part I liked about the episode was how it presented danger. Clain was a delighted captive, in ecstasy at the idea that someone had a gun trained on him using something so antique as optical sights. Even the attack on the religious ceremony never felt particularly dangerous, even when they had bullet proof vests on and submachine guns. But when the old ladies and goofy sidekicks start dying, I was jerked out of my trance and realised ,much like Clain himself, that shit had suddenly gotten real. It was very skilfully done, which isn’t something I’ve really had the opportunity to say about Fractale so far. The third episode charm, it’s become a thing this season.
Final note: The faces of the praying folk when they were being brainwashed looked awfully similar to mine when I’m watching the Fractale opening. The Fractale system is brainwashing them by showing them the opening on repeat, you heard it first here!