Thursday, January 10, 2013

Anime verdict - Fractale

I had originally written a small Journal post on this series on DeviantART, roughly half an hour after finishing the thirteenth episode, but there was something about the post and my wording that I didn't like and couldn't manage to fix, so I tossed it into the digital trash bin.  Here I am, giving it another shot, but this has also given me time to think back on the series and have a more objective viewpoint.  I tend to be in "fanboy" mode when I finish any series, and the whole "OMG that was awesome" factor tends to show a lot ;)

Ultimately, I am disappointed by Fractale.  It was a series I was very much looking forward to watching, after seeing the English trailer for it on the Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike DVD (which, while I'm on the subject, I quite like).

Basically, I find the trailer better than the series.  This is actually the first anime I've watched that hasn't made it onto the Re-watch list.  Every other series has been a favourite, from Haruhi to Shana to Steins;Gate and back.

The trailer made me think the series was a combination of elements from one of Isaac Asimov's visions
of humanity's future - I'm thinking of Caves of Steel, or the shorter Profession (from Nine Tomorrows) - and Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind with a bit of Castle in the Sky mixed in.  In other words, it should have been epic.  But...I didn't find it was.  Not that it didn't have epic moments - it does.  But...

I can't quite put my finger on what I disliked about the series, unfortunately.  It had some good bits (for example Phrynne's confrontation with the head-priestess, whatever her name is, was kinda interesting) and interesting elements, but to me most of them now feel a bit cliché or "seen it before".  It's like the story was missing that special something that makes it awesome.  The only words that come to mind are "flat" or "generic", and I don't even know if they fit.  I guess it's kinda funny that, considering my interests, something like Fractale doesn't make it to my favourites list but K-On! does, hahaha

There is one thing that really bugged me, however, and I can say this with certainty.  This series is eleven* episodes long - similar to a current top-favourite of mine, Angel Beats!, which runs for thirteen episodes - but the number of sequences revolving around either fan-service or putting the main male character Clain in awkward situations (often resulting in him being called a pervert, even when most of the time he's not to blame), or both, really annoyed me.  Like I just mentioned the show is only eleven* episodes long (each running for about 22 minutes, so a total of roughly 4 hours), so the time they filled with those sequences could have been used to add to the overall story.  In fact, I might have ended up with a different view point on Fractale if they had managed to add that unknown, missing "awesome factor".

However, that's not to say that other viewers of the series wouldn't like it and wouldn't find their own "awesome factor" (since it's probably different for each viewer).  It probably has lots of fans of its own - I'm just not one of them :|  I'm hoping this will be a rare occasion...

I'll try and end this post on a higher note, however.  So far I haven't mentioned the intro, which for some reason is usually an important point for me.  I've liked pretty much all the intros I've seen so far (some less than others of course, like K-On!!'s "Utauyo Miracle" from Season 2...I probably spelled that wrong) and in this category Fractale is no different.
The intro is one of the more unique ones I've seen so far, with no character "profiles", no environments, no sequences from the series itself, nothing.  The only thing you see is endless fractals and lots of colours, and although I still can't understand Japanese I found the song kinda cool as well.  If I were to rewatch any part of Fractale in the future, it would probably be the intro ;)

But, that's all from me for now.  Once I finish Steins;Gate I'll probably be posting about it as well, plus another post concerning the currently-dormant Audi A5 project, and maybe a new multi-Blenderhead collaborative project in the works...

* Big thanks to my brother for pointing out that the series is in fact only eleven episodes long, and not thirteen.  Sorry for the mix-up!


  1. Sorry to hear you were disappointed by Fractale - but I enjoyed your review all the same.

    1. Thanks! I might just give Fractale another shot though, maybe I missed something crucial...