In the anime Fractale, the Fractale system runs the world. It makes life easier, with advanced medical care and by allowing people to travel anywhere by means of a “doppel” which lets you essentially have virtual net avatar in real life, making travel free and safe. One day a boy named Clain meets the priestess Phryne, who is being pursued by mysterious assailants. He takes her home and treats her wounds, but she disappears the next morning. However she left her brooch and out of it pops a doppel named Nyssa. They go off to find Phryne. In the course of their search they discover the dark secret behind the Fractale system.
The good news is that Fractale’s art is gorgeous. The opening is psychedelic, but well-animated and attention grabbing. It makes heavy use of fractal art (of course). Aside from that, the main animation is smooth and polished. It’s competently drawn and easy on the eyes. And the “doppels” give the animators a chance to really show off and draw some interestingly weird things in otherwise normal scenes. And the dubbing on this series was decent. Nothing spectacular, but it’s done well and doesn’t create any plot holes.
The bad news is that the story is fairly weak and predictable. Several times it seems to go straight for shock value, rather than for good storytelling. So you get a fairly straightforward plot, with a few moments of drama-for-drama’s-sake thrown in. Combine that with a characters who are either annoying (like Nyssa) or forgettable (like Clain) and you have a series that, at best, you’ll remember for its good animation, but more likely you’ll just forget outright soon after watching it.
I’d say that this series should be kept for ages 16 and up. From fairly graphic violence, to mentions of rape and attempted rape, to a medical exam that borders on sexual harassment, this is a pretty mature series.
This isn’t an awful anime. There are anime with worse stories, worse characters and worse art. Fractale has good art, a decent story — even if it’s a wildly predictable one — and bad characters. You could do a lot worse. But you could do a lot better as well. I’d recommend Castle in the Sky or Lost Exile for anime with a similar feel to this, but is better executed.
Fractale: the complete series
directed by Yutaka Yamamoto
275 minutes, Number of Discs: 4
Publisher’s age rating: TV-14