This was certainly an improvement from the loincloth antics in the last episode… but still… what is the point of all these Clain is a pervert jokes? It wasn’t that funny the first time, it still isn’t funny the fiftieth time. Please come up with something else that’s supposed to be funny. More Nessa would be acceptable.
In this episode the world acquired a lot more depth and variety, as we meet another person like Clain who has a house and likes tinkering. We also saw some of the aftereffects of the Fractale system’s failures as refugees fled the area which lost its’ connection. It seems odd though that the temple wouldn’t have predicted this or reacted after the fact to move these people to a new area. It isn’t like the world is suffering from overpopulation… And everyone seems to have a mobile lifestyle anyway. Can’t they just drive their mobile homes somewhere else?
I was also wondering up to this episode why anyone had actually heard or cared about Lost Millennium since they seemed rather… incompetent. But it turns out there are other branches which are much more ruthless. This was definitely a nice touch and it seems like we’ll be seeing more of them.
This episode certainly wasn’t bad – it did manage to keep my attention the entire time and elicit a few chuckles – but I didn’t feel that it was up to the standards of the rest of the series. Just not much happened. I usually don’t mind slower episodes, since the creators will use the time to further develop the characters, but that didn’t really happen here. The only development we got was Phryne making peace with Nessa (which only happened because Nessa got bored). Otherwise, it was the umpteenth Clain is a pervert joke. Clain’s depantsing was pretty funny though. Well, at least up until the point where the pants came off. Then it was just awkward…
I would never have expected this, but Nessa is really starting to grow on me. I expected her to be the umpteenth cheerful moe girl who always smiles cheerfully and likes to play games but is disturbingly polite. (most recent example – purple haired Ika girl from Yumekui Merry) These characters are too perfect and fall right in the middle of the uncanny. Kids should be selfish little brats. And Nessa is just that. Until this episode Nessa was also cheerful all the time, but this isn’t the part I object to in other characters – she’s still selfish in how she has fun, doing whatever she wants like screwing with people in the toilet and turning umbrellas into rockets. Clain’s relationship with her is great as well – he treats her how older people generally do treat kids, he plays along with her like she’s a kid.
But this episode really brought Nessa to the next level as a character with her strong, (seemingly) unreasonable dislike of Phrynne. It isn’t all rainbows and flowers anymore. I really like how it brings out the darker, less socially developed side of children that tends to be glossed over in anime. Because seriously, whoever thinks children are angels clearly has a pretty terrible memory.
With Phrynne’s return it certainly seems that things are moving along quickly. The temple people really do a terrible job at keeping an eye on her. And I’m not sure that the best way to capture her is by shooting at her? But whatever. I hope that the bogeyman that the temple sent doesn’t last very long. His voice and his face both piss me off for some reason.
My theory is still that Nessa is Phrynne’s sister’s original personality, which was replaced by the Fractale system. Still, I wasn’t expecting Phrynne to be upset that Clain had met Nessa. I’m with him on this one – if she leaves without saying anything and left some data behind, any reasonable person would assume it was left so that they could read it. Not the best of plans on her part.
This episode was much more eventful than the previous ones. We have a lot more development regarding Team Rocket, who we realize now is part of a larger organization called Lost Millenium which wants to dismantle the Fractale system. Clain and Nessa become their “hostages”, and Clain eats food that didn’t come from a tube for the first time. Lost Millenium stages a raid on the priestesses’ ritual, in which the fat guy, the guards, some priestesses and random bystanders are killed. Phrynne comes and sings and everyone stops shooting for some reason. Nessa’s clone is one of the priestesses.
I honestly was not expecting anyone to get killed, considering how serious the kidnappers seemed to be, but this episode was actually quite bloody. It was quite a disconnect from how peaceful and low-key this series has been up until this point.
Also, I wish they would be more subtle about some of the themes in this show. The argument about Clain and Lost Millennium about the nature of freedom was particularly overblown to me – it seemed like that guy was just trying to pick a fight so they could have someone talk about it. And why did Clain get so mad at him? He more or less agreed with most of what he was saying last episode…
The thing which upset me the most about this episode though was how the Fractale system went from being morally ambiguous to downright blatantly evil. Up until this point the show could have brought up some interesting points about the nature of freedom, personality, post-scarcity societies, and privacy… but now that one side is brainwashing people, it’s more or less in the wrong by default. I just personally find it more interesting and prescient when the dystopia is less obviously evil.
The second episode of Fractale introduces Nessa, a young girl who certainly brightens up the pace of the show. I was concerned at the end of the previous episode that she would be annoying, but this proved to be unfounded. She is quite energetic but it serves well to bring more energy to show. In the first episode this already seemed heavily influenced by Ghibli and Miyazaki, and in this episode the similarities were even more pronounced, particularly in the scene where Nessa wreaks havoc in the trailer park. That kind of lighthearted, childish fun doesn’t really seem to make it into too many TV series unfortunately. Team Rocket also didn’t bother me very much in this episode; they were predictable but still amusingly stupid.
This series looks like it will inspire some discussion about the ideas of freedom, family and what a home is. Clain’s discussion with his parents about how living in a house with each other would take away their freedom and show a lack of trust was quite interesting.
My impression from the first episode was that everyone lived by themselves and only communicated with dopples, but it seems like Clain is actually an outlier in his society. I’m guessing that most children live with their parents but in trailers, although this still isn’t entirely clear.