First Impression – Fractale

This show was great. As expected of noitanimA. First of all, this show has such an imaginative setting! It reminded me a lot of some of Isaac Asimov’s stories – in particular the ones about the people on Solaris, where there are only about fifty people on the entire planet, and they live in huge mansions and never see one another. It is considered rude to even touch other people. It seems that this world isn’t quite at that level yet; people do make physical contact (as evidenced by the drug dealers and the police). I’m quite curious to learn more about the setting’s social structure.

It seems like access to the satellites which stores everyone’s data is controlled by some sort of religion which the girl that showed up is part of, and I’m interested to see where that is headed as well. In addition to having a great setting, the direction does an excellent job of exposing it as well. Instead of having the boy say “I am not used to human contact” we see him flinch away from the girl he meets; instead of saying “I’m going to upload my data to the satellite” we see him praying. This is one of the most important rules of storytelling: show, don’t tell, which animated media such as anime are able to do even better than books with facial expressions and cues which would remained unnoticed until the second or third time you watch the show. Yet show many shows fail miserably at this and have endless spoken exposition from the characters which adds nothing to the story. (“I’m going to punch you!” “This cross will… *technobabble*… make everyone Catholic!” Yes, I’m looking at you, Index. The technobabble part only took about three episodes.) So thank you Fractale for not assuming your viewers are idiots!

On the negative side… there isn’t too much to say, but I am a bit concerned about a few of the characters. In particular the main “villains” (although I highly doubt they will remain in this state for long) are giving awfully strong Team Rocket vibes. And I am a bit concerned that now we have a young girl who just hatched from data, hopefully this will not be like Dragon Crisis. But given the overall direction of the first episode, I think that the show will not fall into these traps.

I would have said that this is the best show of the new season, but unfortunately I already watched Hurou Musuko, which takes the cake by a long shot. I will probably make a post on this tomorrow, as well as on Madoka which had a great second episode. Infinite Stratos had a horrible second episode… I think I may have misevaluated the first one. I was laughing my head off for the first episode because I thought it was hilariously bad, and I only assumed something so cliched could be intentional. But in retrospect it seems like I was wrong, and the creators were actually serious.

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