Saturday, 12 March 2011

Fractale - Episode 8

Last week's episode of Fractale ended a rather contrived instalment with a huge cliff-hanger that seemed to throw Clain's life into jeopardy as both himself and Phryne were finally tracked down by their far from friendly opponents within the Fractale system... what next for this twisting and turning series?

Unsurprisingly if we're honest, Clain is very much still alive and kicking as episode eight kicks off, albeit not exactly in great shape as both himself and Phryne are captured by proponents of the Fractale system, and a group headed up by who appears to be Phryne's father.  With Clain in need of medical attention, he uses this as leverage against Phryne to get what he wants, that being to ensure that Phryne is still a suitable "key", around which virginity seems to be a rather important aspect.

Meanwhile, after an incredible recover from his wounds, Clain awakens to find himself being watched over by Nessa... or is it Phryne... in fact, who or what is Phryne?  The truth is soon revealed to him via rooms filled with girls which look like Nessa, but who are very much real (no Doppels here) and are apparently clones of a younger Phryne.  From here, the order of the day for Clain is finding Phryne, and the pair are re-united (complete with a still unstable and downright angry Nessa) at just the right time, with a couple of Lost Millennium factions (one being the Granitz family) setting out to "rescue" their captured charges.

All in all, this certainly wasn't a bad episode of Fractale by any count - it peeled away another layer of what is going in within the Fractale system even if it doesn't entirely make sense yet, and watching Phryne's plight and Nessa actually being rather a bad-ass when she gets angry was interesting and/or entertaining in its own right.  It still feels as though there's something missing here however - while I could delve into questioning whether this is further commentary on otaku proclivities from Azuma (be it the cloned, empty vessels of Phryne or the obsession with Phryne's "purity"), this series continues to feel like a lot of disparate elements that have been stuck together without too much concern for its wider story.  This makes for some interesting episodes or even segments within episodes, but by this juncture I feel a desperate yearning for something to tie it all together and really get to the crux of matters without jumping around here and there with no real over-arching purpose in sight.  Perhaps the remaining episodes will bring this to light, but until then the nagging sense of dissatisfaction will linger at the back of my brain I fear.

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