Fractale – Episode #1

January 20, 2011 at 9:38 am Leave a comment

NoitaminA has been unleashing lots of good anime series lately. Last season it was Shiki and Kuragehime, and this season it is Fractale from Yamakan and Hourou Musuko from Ei Aoki. Fractale the series born amidst some controversy, mostly being Yamakan declaring that anime these days are just moe overload and he will announce retirement if fractale doesn’t perform well. The series has been announced since may 2010 with a concurrent manga series released a couple of months prior to the anime.

Fractale, simply put, is one show that contains a lot of charms.

It’s a world set with interesting technology, most significantly the ability to create doppels. From what I gathered during the episode, doppels are digital proxies of people. That means even if your family are far away somewhere they can still be around with you in the form of their doppels. In some way it’s kind of like the internet, and how in the modern age we start to lose the physical touch in our relationships due to technology. All these on the backdrop of a rural town of what looks like Ireland. The Fractale System, which I assume means the doppels and holograms, was designed to provide world peace, and said to have existed for a thousand years already.

The basic story progression in this episode is simple and falls on the side of clich’e. Boy meets a mysterious girl, UST, girl being chased after from an idiot trio, girl disappears leaving a brooch , and then another girl appears out of the brooch. The characters are likable yet forgettable. Not much has been explained during the episode.

Visually the general consensus is that this series looks A LOT like another Ghibli show. With Yamakan’s unique style of having the characters having smooth little gestures which makes them looks more lively (like the ones we’d seen from Kannagi and BRS), the show does have its difference. The character design deviate and simplifies greatly from the official site materials, most notably the hair colour change. I would assume that this is to make this series more friendly to the general public, though I prefer they to keep the purple hair simply because it looks better.

The OP is one unique techno track with visual of fractale patterns, and the ED is a cover of a traditional Irish folksong. The use of orchestral scores during the episode is fine with me if only they could be more memorable. I have a feeling that the studio is playing it safe at the moment. Did I mention how much I hate characters singing in the middle of the episode?

So how does the first episodes hold itself up? It has a lot of potential being one that’s soothing to the senses (not as soothing as Hourou Musuko though), and public friendly. The fractale system is intriguing yet i wish there’s more twist to it. Even though I find it to be a bit lacking due to my personal taste, overall it’s a pleasant viewing experience. Will be interesting to see how the series will progress from now on.

Edit: apparently the studio is demanding FUNimation to drop the simulcast…….I hate it when Japan does idiotic things like this….

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