Fractale BD Review
Here we go again.
Fractale is another
science fiction anime series that doesn't know what kind of show it
wants to be
and thus it is something that becomes uniformly uneven and confusing
with its apparently
strong affection for convoluted storytelling and over-the-top scenarios
barely defined characters. You've seen
an incredible amount of series just like it. They might not have been
well-drawn, but the lack of having believable characterization and
plot developments is a true staple of a disappointing anime.
The series begins with our lead
hero. His name is Clain and he
seems to be having some doubts about exactly how things work in the
within the futuristic Fractale world he has known during his years. He
to wonder how he fits in with everything else. It isn't long before
experiences a entire new world - one that suggests something he never
experienced before. A girl starts to fall from the sky (in a bluntly
animation nod towards Laputa: Castle in
the Sky) and she is a mysterious princess that he must soon help to
from those searching for her. Not that she's really going to
of much protection. Clain is much more bumbling.
This science-fiction based future
world is one in which people use
doppels (i.e. as doppelgangers, get it?)
that are advanced avatars taking the place of actual human bodies and
experiences. Doppels are a advanced way of society living with less of
problems facing humanity. It removes some hardships, and enhances the
unit - according to those who created the system. In
the world of doppels, parents and children
don't live together under a single household and families are never
for extended periods. People live alone. Only children are raised in
before doppels are then utilized. And some new technology suggests that
advancements have been made where even kids of society's future-world
left without the basic realm of humanity and of being a natural kid.
None of that sounds too bad or too
convoluted. It's actually a
decent setup for what I was hoping to declare a thought-provoking and
science fiction anime. The first episode was actually the most
of the series. Even with annoying call-backs to one of Miyazaki's best
things seems full of potential and I was excited to see where the story
progress. I was quite pleased with this initial episode because it was
and despite having an unquestionably ambitious storyline being
still managed to be an episode about introducing some of Fractale's
The establishment of character,
slow-build, and minimalistic
storytelling within an ambitious show wasn't something that stayed
long. The visit was fleeting. Before long,
Fractale became another aggravating series where things start
with no apparent reason within the world already established and the
begin to run around without any character development. It disappears
replaced almost entirely by action sequences, ridiculous
increasingly showy animation, and characters that enter the story with
introductions and placements within the framework of the show.
Convoluted anime series aggravate
me more than any other kind of anime
series being produced on a regular basis and the reason
for that is because you tend to start the series with hope
that it might eventually lead towards
a satisfying conclusion but it almost always doesn't end on a good
descends into an incoherent salad - a blend of ideas that is hastily
together and that doesn't taste so good.
Not even the deluxe salad dressing
(or in this case, the
breathtaking animation) can dress up the way things don't blend well
There is so little balance and structure to this show and it winds up
no different from any other convoluted mess -- and then you wind up
just had a burger with no mayo or ketchup. Just some meat and cheese,
least then it's simple and satisfying and not a failed salad with too
ingredients. And as beautiful as the animation is (its easily one of
looking series of the year), Fractale
doesn't manage to remove story failings contained within its entire
eleven episode run.
Sometimes even the biggest
health-buff might feel inclined to have
a quality hamburger over a poorly made salad... and Fractale
is a pretty uneven salad: a bizarre combination of a
zillion ideas that don't blend together smoothly and never match the
release is a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack. The Blu-ray is herein reviewed.
The screenshot's utilized in the review are from the DVD edition.
Fractale looks magnificent
on Blu-ray. The High Definition image is the perfect way to see the
animation. The series is presented with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and
solid for the animation to spread its wings and be a beautiful sight to
Fractale looks great. You won't complain about it lacking in visual
Colors are vivid and detail is surprisingly strong.
5.1 Dolby TrueHD English dub soundtrack is more robust sounding than
Dolby TrueHD Japanese version but the better of the dubs is the
Japanese language version. The English dub seemed to take some
making changes to the script that just didn't seem as worthwhile to me.
viewers would enjoy listening to the Japanese language version more. I
episodes with both dubs but I had a clear preference for the original
way, experiencing either version offers decent dimensionality and
clarity on the dialogue and luminous musical accompaniments.
language option includes optional English subtitles.
The extras aren't that interesting
for the most part. Commentaries
are included on episodes 1 and
the main inclusion was several promo videos for the series in the form
of an Original
Preview (:32), Promotional
Videos (3:50), DVD and
Blu-ray Commercials (1:08), and the U.S.
also get the standard inclusions: Textless Opening (1:32), Textless
(Japanese Lyrics) (1:32), Textless Closing (English Lyrics) (1:32), and
Trailers for other Funimation releases. Some viewers may consider the
trailer for the upcoming Blu-ray re-release of Serial
Experiments Lain exciting.
Art Sanctuary is a cool way to
view artwork for
the show by scrolling through the images.
the one really neat bonus is a brief
orchestral video of some of the music from Fractale
being performed. The Shobi Wind
Orchestra, Tokyo (4:52) is exactly that kind
of piece and its
a rather cool bonus for any orchestral buffs and fans of film and anime
Fractale is a convoluted science fiction
series about a society in which people are replacing themselves
that sounds interesting to you, go ahead, but otherwise you'd be better
with a rental at best. It doesn't help that the characters don't feel
defined and developed. It certainly didn't help contribute to my own
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.