Taking a look at a Spring 2011 Series, Fractale, today. The story takes place on an island resembling a futuristic Ireland (certain scenes are directly taken from Galway city in the west of Ireland), in a world ruled by the “Fractale System” that ensures mankind’s stability and prosperity. One day, Clain meets a fleeing girl called Phryne, who disappears during the night leaving a pendant. When he is able to activate the pendant (which turns into a “doppel” named Nessa), Clain sets out for a journey with the girl-shaped avatar Nessa to look for Phryne and discovers the secret behind the Fractale System. (Wikipedia)
I found this series, in the beginning, to have the potential to reach the pinnacle of all science fiction, that is, to be able to blend current trends and issues with with a fictional, futuristic setting that provides the playing field for a character to overcome these issues. The issues relating to the real world would be like “are we too interconnected?”, “when do we know that machines are taking over too much of our lives?”, and “when do we become too dependent on machines and begin to lose that which makes us human?”.
The animation was beautiful from the outset, and for the first few episodes, I was thoroughly impressed with just about everything, the plot, the characters, the suspense, but around a quarter of the way through the series is when the plot takes a sour path. It’s not that it developed in some unsatisfying way, it’s more like it didn’t develop at all. The mid-part of Fractale sees little to no development other than occasional side-quests and misadventures with Clain, Phryne, and Nessa.
Along with a plotline that flatlines until the last two episodes, I personally would’ve liked to have seen more explanations or in-depth histories of the Fractale system. The series seems to end without anyone having a clue as to why a young girl and her dopple are the keys to a system that they also don’t know why it was introduced or why it was failing.
In the end, Fractale had the potential, but didn’t deliver, perhaps to short-sighted writing, or maybe it was pushed to completion before it could’ve properly ended. Either way, we can add another science fiction series that didn’t quite live up to our expectations.