Posted by psgels on 20 January 2011 with categories: Fractale

So, the first time in which Noitamina is featuring on a moe adventure. On one hand, this did lead to this season having nothing but teenagers in it (save for only Wolverine), but for Noitamina it’s interesting to see that they’re trying out new things and directions. The announcement of Usagi Drop says enough that they haven’t sold out, and that this series is merely a way to diversify the timeslot. it’s setting in any case is bringing enough interesting stuff to the table.

Last week, I mentioned how the annoyance of the characters was probably going to be the major issue with this series. After the second episode, I still stand by that, but things did change a bit. In particular, the male lead showed that he can actually be a male lead: this episode showed enough of his sides, both his strengths and flaws. With a bit of development he should be fine to push this story forward, provided that his hormones aren’t going to act up too much like they did in the previous episode.

Instead we have this new girl, along with that team rocket clone. My problem with them is that they feel artificially stupid and oblivious to their surroundings. The team rocket clone are just a bunch of annoying morons whose saving grace is that they seem to work for someone who knows what he’s talking about, while the new girl (who is probably going to be the female lead) acted really strangely when she ended up destroying that trailer camp. She got better as the episode went on, though.

I was going to write the following down as a flaw: the way in which nobody really seems to notice that new girl as she ended up destroying the trailer park. But then again, as I rewatched the episode, I pretty much realized that people aren’t able to see her. The setting is definitely the best part of this series: I like its ideas, the way it’s portrayed, and this episode also showed that it knows how to put in these small details in its storytelling. Oh, and the background art is also really gorgeous.

Now, compared to Kannagi’s first two episodes the starting episodes of Fractale didn’t have the same production values or slick characterization. Still, after the episode 2 point Kannagi pretty much went nowhere and drastically decreased in quality, while I don’t really see the same thing happening with Fractale: it’s got a lot of potential in its setting. All that’s left is to hope is that the more annoying characters won’t get in its way.
Rating: * (Good)

14 Responses

  1. Firechick says:

    I really want to see this now. Unfortunately, the creators won’t let FUNimation stream this episode for some reason.

  2. m says:

    The gang is probably stupid, because they’ll turn out to be decoy antagonists. They’ll transform into good mooks, and it’s an easier about face from incompetent than from sinister. The austere Temple of Doom people will probably turn out to be the real problem. I’d guess they’ll be the rigid adherence to tradition villains, whose efforts to preserve the system we will ultimately see as destructive, when the anvil is dropped and we see that they venture into some terrible sacrifice territory. Then the Fractal System is reformulated so that hard work, nuclear families, and face-to-face interaction are given the respect the audience knows they deserve, because they grew up before anyone had personal computers.
    Loups=Garous/Surrogates/Life Was Better Ten Minutes Ago. The End.

    Rather than think of Kannagi at all, when I watched this, I just thought of how much better Scrapped Princess was by episode two, and it aired in 2003.

  3. Kim says:

    Why are people calling it the team rocket clone. It is so obvious a homage to Nadia Secret of the Blue Water Grandis, Sanson and Hanson. The girl isn’t much like Grandis but the guys are direct copies of Sanson and Hanson. Look them up and you will see what I mean.

    And yes I agree with the above poster that they are probably decoy antagonists.

    Of course because of the situation with Funi who knows when I will get to watch this episode.

  4. psgels psgels says:

    Kim: now that you mention it, they indeed have some similarities. I mostly labelled them as a team rocket clone because it was the first thing that popped up in my mind.

  5. Kim says:

    @Psgels you weren’t the only one I have been seeing the same comment everywhere but I think it is so obvious they are meant to be a homage to the characters from Nadia that I was just frustrated (probably unjustly so) that no one else noticed it. :)

  6. Solaris says:

    Chara and events reminded too much of Ghibly to only be citations.
    There’s also the fact they changed anime chara from that better one they’ll use in the novel illustrations and manga.
    I am afraid it’s a low move to let the audience associate Fractale to Ghibli’s masterpiceces by the looks and gain undeserved popularity with that.
    Actually the story looks promising, but i’d rather find this a masterpiece if the story keeps up good, and not by an illusory suggestion by borrowing someone other’s style.

  7. Bear says:

    This episode was decent, like the first. Nothing to really blow anybody away. Hopefully it’s just a slow buildup with all of the hype that came with this title. Still a bit disappointed at the change in character design from the promo art. On the bright side, Kana Hanazawa is friggin’ adorable. I’d probably be annoyed by Nessa were somebody else voicing her!

  8. Skoopman says:

    I really like the design of this Anime, it looks like good old 90s Anime. Nice animation, beautiful backgrounds and not much CG.

  9. Denizen says:

    The antagonists here are an homage to old villains that are deliberately cheesy without being too important, more from Studio Ghibli and Nadia than a kid’s TV show, as is much of the episode.

    Personally I thought this episode was superb, seemingly simple but offering absolutely loads of creativity and intrigue into the world, with certain things implied that you actually have to think about and work out rather than just have it told to you.
    Frankly I love this show already, and I love what it can become from here – the characters are all interesting and likeable, and the world whilst grounded in lots of sci-fi ideas is something special, blending references to lots of good things into a nice package.
    Ordet I find also have the knack for silly but understated humour, making something pleasantly funny without overdoing it and ruining any comedic value like most anime do.

    This seems that sort of anime that could really go through a large adventure and remain enjoyable the whole time, but even with just 11 episodes i’m sure it has enough ideas and exploration to leave a good taste in my mouth when it ends. The pacing isn’t too bad either, and I wouldn’t mind if it just ambled all the way to an ending this way.

    Personally I would rate this episode very highly as for me, it represents all the things I love above anime. The first episode had me unsure, but with this setting it pulled off something really nicely and I really hope the potential it created is met.

  10. kbot says:

    This reminds me so much of Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water.

  11. Hogart says:

    I am having a tough time enjoying this one. I’m trying, but nothing’s clicking for me – the characters and voice acting are pretty awful, the direction and scenarios forced, there an undercurrent of pretention, and any mystery involving Clain seems to be coming down to him being yet another Neo. But I do like Ghibli-esque stories, so here’s hoping that they overcome the awful and at least deliver a decent adventure I haven’t seen a million times already.

  12. Ncrdrg says:

    Fractale definitely has a solid setting. I really like it. The main lead is not very distinctive yet but the fantasy of the whole story with all the gorgeous background artstyle, combined with the OP/ED provide a relaxing, calm fantasy experience.

    It’s entertaining but it’s probably going to progress with little steps along the ride.

    The only complaint I really have about Fractale… (well, except from the Funimation licensing ridiculous fiasco) is the character designs. They just seem a bit too tame, not eccentric enough. Maybe a bit too western? They don’t really grab me.

    But then I started seeing the original designs and I’m not quite sure why they made such drastic changes. They were very good in the first place.
    Mind you, I’m sure they’ll grow on me but I don’t understand their move at all. And that’s from someone who doesn’t mind fiddling with the story and setting to make the anime more unique (Some people are mad at Wandering Son & Bakuman for that, I’m not, I love it)

    Here’s the best direct comparison I could find:

    I dunno, it almost feels like they ported a japanese anime to NA cartoons.

  13. Solaris says:

    It could be a move to let people associate this anime to Ghibli’s masterpieces by borrowing their graphic style.

    As a matter of fact original chara was indeed better.

  14. moochi says:

    i really like the world they are in, as in the world that they built for this anime. however, the characters do not connect with me at all. everyone in this anime pisses me off in one way or another. team rocket clone is just ridiculous, like seriously, can you be that stupid? i will watch one more episode but frankly, i’m super disappointed.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 08:59 AM)
    I say this because people often like to hype up the genre or those elements. I bring this up/think about it now because I played a game called undertale lately on my brothers recommendation and he was all like it emotionally destroyed him but I never ended up crying, I mean don’t get me wrong its a good game, there were laughs to be had and there was sentiment but it wasn’t THAT sad/funny.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 08:44 AM)
    Given how many people cry at some drama, clannad included.
    That reminds me…
    I can’t actually remember the last time in my life where I cried, I draw a blank.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 07:58 AM)
    @Aidan: Something always feels off to me when you criticize clannad, I mean I’m critical enough of key these days too but it seems odd that you rank it as an 8 on MAL when you’ve always made it sound its more of a high 6 or a 7.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:45 AM)
    But I’m no fan of gung-ho soldier games/most fps games so I am glad clannad, a visual novel outsold call of duty.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:44 AM)
    I said it once I’ll say it again. I preferred the clannad movie over the tv series, had more style, a more mature feel to it and cut out all the superfluous arcs/comedy for the better. It also concludes better than the series. The emotional involvement in the kyoani version doesn’t work for me anymore, doesn’t hold up. However the film remains emotionally engaging after revisiting it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:19 AM)
    Holy hell Clannad is selling like hotcakes on Steam. Even beat Call of Duty in sales at one point.
    Kinda happy to see a VN get recognised and it would help open up the market for more titles to come over. But..well..Clannad really isn’t all that great.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 02:29 AM)
    I can remember when I first got into anime when I was a whole lot younger I always said I would watch lodoss war, El Hazard and slayers, yet I never ended up doing so…
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:34 AM)
    Ha, the child in me would love to see a film like that I’d imagine, when I was young I was pretty crazy about Egyptian supernatural stuff.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:23 AM)
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    @Kaiser: yeah, even tho it was his highest grossing movie it managed to brought his career to a stand-still. His next film Gods of Egypt looks like it could be fun, albeit it’s just as much as a CGIfest as I, Robot. Egyptian stuff is admittedly rather intriguing, I remember a 2004 French film Immortel ad vitam that blended that with modern themes that became popular for a while.

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