フラクタル (Japanese)
Keywords: , , ,
Notables: Animation - A1 Pictures
R1 License - FUNimation
TSUDA Minami
The story takes place in an island, where a "Fractale System" is beginning to collapse. One day, Crane finds an injured girl called Phryne under a cliff. She disappears leaving a pendant. Crane sets out for a journey with the girl-shaped avatar Nessa to look for Phryne and discovers the secret of the Fractale System.
Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network

Airing for 11 episodes starting on January 13, 2011.
Animated by A-1 Pictures.
Being streamed by Funimation.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 9 9 9 7 6 6 Ggultra2764 [series:2420#1552]
(Rent-/ Watch+)

Oy voy, this series was unsure what to make of itself. At first glance, I thought the show was gonna try making itself into a walking homage to Ghibli titles considering the nods to Nausicaa and Laputa in the show's first episode with the opening music and Phyrne's air chase scene. Also tossed into the mix was the appearance of augmented reality with Claine's interactions with the virtual beings known as vectors. There was even a point where I thought the show was gonna degenerate into some sort of harem comedy thanks to Nessa's appearance and the antics of Enri.

After a few episodes though, I came to realize that the show was gearing itself to be an adventure title with the conflict between the Temple and Lost Millennium rebels once a darker side to the Fractale System is brought up. A number of elements of the Fractale System did offer some decent exploration of the benefits and flaws to human dependence on technology as while it offered great advances in the information and resources it could provide humans, it does bring about disconnection over interaction with people beyond a vector or computer screen as Claine comes to realize when Phyrne's appearance makes him wonder why he can't meet his parents in person. In addition, there is always the human control element to such technology where a group of individuals try to control the technology however they see fit, which occurs in the form of the Temple who use the Fractale System to brainwash anyone with doubts or questions over the lifestyle Fractale provides them.

Fractale was the best series for me to see this season for its overall visual presentation. The series sports clean and detailed scenery and character designs as there was enough gorgeous designs of the holographic cities within the Fractale System and the mundane villages that those within both Fractale and Lost Millennium lived in. Battle scenes were quite fluid as well with well-animated movement of people and airships between the Temple and Lost Millennium as the two sides engaged one another in conflict.

However, Fractale had quite a number of flaws I took notice of that killed its quality for me. What proves to be the biggest weakness of Fractale for me is a number of the typical anime cliches to be found in anime that detract from the series to be too different from other anime titles. The show occasionally makes Claine into an accidental pervert a la romantic comedies like Love Hina and Chobits, for some cheap laughs. The Temple is made to be as shallowly evil as possible. Speaking of said latter cliche, there isn't much fleshing out provided on members of the Lost Millennium faction as well and often we see members committing to not so noble causes like enslaving or killing civilians within the Fractale System. This makes it so that beyond what we learn of Claine, Nessa and Phyrne, you could care less about the war going on between the Temple and Lost Millennium thanks to how shallow both factions are. And I also found the ending of the series to be a bit of a cop-out due to the lack of foreshadowing over what is shown regarding the true nature of the Fractale System.

Fractale proved itself to be quite the mixed bag of an anime for me in this season and at times, feeling like it was a mess. While sporting the best visuals I've seen for the Winter 2011 anime season and having some interesting subjects to point out with the relationship between man and technology, the series is bogged down by its conventional anime elements and the lack of depth on the two major factions that were in conflict with one another throughout the series. Fractale proved to be one of the weaker entries I've seen come out of the Noitamina anime lineup.

Last updated Thursday, March 31 2011. Created Thursday, March 31 2011.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:2420#628]
(Two episodes watched):

My first thought regarding Fractale was 'what the--?', but before long it was making a fair amount of sense. Key lines like "You can live a good life without having to associate with others" and a post-22nd century date suggested that what might have happened was that the world had gone internet-happy. I noticed a Miyazaki sort of tone to the show, what with the character designs, freaky technology, and a freedom-fighting cute girl; I hope it won't try to cram a moral down our throats. Fractale hasn't firmly grabbed my interest after one episode, but it might be fun and I'm curious to see where the story will go.

Unfortunately, episode two left me still thinking, 'where is this going?'. I wish I had more of an idea of what had happened to society, or at least some confidence that when the answer is revealed it will be interesting and worthwhile. I need some sort of frame of reference in order to enjoy a sci-fi show. Basically, a nutty girl runs wild in this episode, but little or no explanation why is supplied to us. I figured I would watch one more episode, and if I was still not feeling much interest afterwards, drop the show. But when this show's turn came again, my feeling was that I really didn't want to watch any more.

Last updated Sunday, January 01 2012. Created Sunday, January 16 2011.

Other Sites
Official Fractale Web Site (Japanese)

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