Fractale is an adventure set in a world where a system of satellites, the Fractale system, runs to maintain a virtual world in conjunction with the real world which satisfies basic necessities and allows people to interact with dopples, virtual avatars. Clain meets a girl, Phrynne, a priestess and Nessa, a dopple, who are the key to restoring the breaking-down Fractale system. The three travel together while avoiding the forces trying to capture them.
The main problem with Fractale is that the use of time is terrible, which really matters in an eleven episode show. The middle episodes were a complete a waste— they added only inconsistent information about the world which didn’t relate to the titular Fractale system, and were more or less long sequences of jokes about how Clain is a pervert. They weren’t even funny. Then, of course, because so much time was wasted, the ending was rushed. The series asks so many questions, but doesn’t look at any of them in detail.
Fractale has an interesting setting, certainly, but it is treated so inconsistently and without lead-ins that it seems fragmented and not like a single world. Initially, it seems that everyone in the world lives alone in trailers, and Clain’s living in a house is a social taboo. But not long after we meet rebels who live in a town. Then there are refugees fleeing from a town destroyed when parts of the Fractale system shut down. Can’t they just pick up and move if they live in trailers? Then we jump to a decadent city run by shepherds, and a secret base with robots and clones. It just seems like the creators didn’t know what to do with the setting and changed their mind every episode. The world of the first episode didn’t seem anything like the world of the final episode, and they weren’t able to build a consistent and believable world.
In addition, the creators don’t really address any of the issues raised by the Fractale system at all after the first episode. Clain’s parents raised an interesting question in the first episode, saying that asking people to live together infringes on their freedom. It’s never mentioned again. There are some references to “data drugs”, but it never plays much of a role. Plus, it’s never explained why everyone is so dependent on the Fractale system. It doesn’t grow food, does it? And you can’t live in virtual houses, even though the refugees seemed to- Clain did fall through the floor of one. At the end of the show, the characters end up restoring the Fractale system, but no reason is given. They came to destroy it and ended up fixing it, but why? It just seems like they’re going with the flow. In general, the show ignored the interesting questions in favor of Clain being a pervert.
Fractale also had a strange mix of a peaceful, beautiful Ghibli-esque setting with acts of brutality. One minute we’re laughing and running through the trailer park, the next we’re gunning down innocent bystanders, getting raped and stabbing people. There’s hardly any transition between the two, and I couldn’t really take the violence seriously due to the rest of the show. It just seemed completely out of place.
- Plot / Script – 6 / 10 – Too much time wasted on Clain being perverted, not enough time on the Fractale system. Inconsistent world-building.
- Characters – 7 / 10 – Clain gets annoying because of all the jokes surrounding him, and the main villain is a complete joke, but otherwise interesting (particularly Nessa and Phrynne).
- Production – 8 / 10 – Great animation, especially when they try, such as the scene with Nessa’s mischief in the trailer park and the town market.
- Overall – C-
Recommendations – Ghibli Movies, Dennou Coil