I was watching Fractale the other day and decided that it’d be a good idea to see what the internet thought of the show.  How stupid of me!

As almost none of you may know, I liked Fractale.  I thought it was a clever, well made anime.  The setting and the premise were the biggest selling points, and the plot and characters weren’t bad.  I also liked the (arguably simple) theme of nature vs. machines/countryside vs. city.  It was complex enough to make a point and simple enough to keep the focus more interesting things.

And then I read Scamp’s post.

And just now I read Janette’s post and Psgels’s post.

Now I’m not one to go out and say “You’re wrong,” but I am one who loves saying “I don’t like your post.”  And I don’t like Scamp’s post.  I don’t like Janette’s post.  I actually did like Psgels’s post, though.

I don’t really want to spend this post discussing meta and how posts should be written (mostly because I’d never follow my own guidelines anyway), so I’ll get straight to the point.  I think Fractale and Sora no Woto are very similar shows.  The main difference is that whereas people had incredibly low expectations for Sora no Woto (“K-ON! ripoff!”), people had incredibly high expectations for Fractale.  This also equates to “me arguing that Sora no Woto is a good show… along with everybody else” vs. “me arguing that Fractale is a good show… against everybody else.”

Once upon a time, I thought that people weren’t so easily influenced.  But now I’m a more cynical, more oldfaggy person who knows better.  Something like a half-mad, half-genius director claiming he’ll save the anime industry is enough to kill a show, even if the show isn’t actually that bad.  Just look at the raging comments on Scamp’s post.  It pains me to read them, because none of them offer a convincing argument why the show is bad.  People just repeat what Scamp says in his post and offer nothing more.  Plot holes?  Specify please!

Yes, I’ve bashed quite a few series without offering any decent explanation in my time, but at least people refuted me.  Here, it seems that everybody’s in agreement that “perhaps Yamakan should f**k off and retire already.”

IMO, Fractale was made with “saving the anime industry” in mind.  It’s clear from watching the show and from the scathing reviews of the show that Fractale tries to do too much – Yamakan wants to stuff all of his ideas in there.  It did not turn out like he planned.  The ideas were not fleshed out and there were too many of them.  Great.  How does that make the show horrible to watch and the director “a total retard?”

Personally, I loved Kannagi.  It’s one of my favorite shows and I’ve rewatched it a couple times.  However, I did not like the last few episodes.  They sacrificed comedy to bring closure to a shitty plot.  I also did not like how the “God” aspect with the frog/lizard/spider/etc. impurities gradually vanished from the show.  Kannagi showed, nice and clear, that Yamakan could do amazing things but was not consistent.

… so, what were you expecting?

9 Comments on “fractale”

  1. fangzhao says:

    Fun Fact: This post was originally titled “what influences me” and I was going to write about different things that influence how I feel about anime. That would include things like other bloggers’ posts, my roommate and his poor taste in anime, aniclub, /a/, some forums, MAL/AP reviews, etc. I ended up writing about Fractale because I was irked by all the Fractale hate, especially after I read the comments on Scamp’s post. Why does everybody agree? I find it strange that not one person bothers to say “I liked Fractale” or even qualify their “Fractale sucks!” with a “but ____ was decent” comment.

    But then again, I didn’t bother to comment there either so I’m just some hypocrite.

    P.S. Though I would love to see meaningful discussion on posts rather than collective hate/bashing…

  2. BTA says:

    I actually really liked the last episode of Fractale. I loved the video of Phyrne and the plot relating to that. I just wish there was another episode so they would have had time to explain more about the Fractale system itself (why is there a “key” in the first place, anyway?) and tie up some loose ends (how *did* they make it down from the giant space elevator thing if the temple was already destroyed?).

    Overall, though… I feel like there definitely were a few bad episodes. But the last one was not one of them, in my opinion at least.

  3. Dez691 says:

    I like Yamakan but still think Fractale is bad. The first 2 episodes remind me a lot of Kannagi, but after that it becomes a mess. Things like people being able to touch Nessa are left unexplained, new episodes start with no link to previous episodes, etc.

    It really annoys me that it has this great setting for sci-fi but wastes it on “love” and “friendship”. It ended without even explaining how doppels work. Are they separate entities that act like you? Or does the user control the doppels? It obviously can’t be the first one because in that episode where Clain was shot there was a line “there are people who can only experience the world like this” by mysterious guy x, but if that’s the case then how was Clain’s dad controlling his doppel? And who exactly is x? Was there even any point in him appearing and making Clain crossdress? Who knows, maybe even Yamakan doesn’t.

    And what the fuck was that space elevator?

    Anyway, I get it, Yamakan was trying to get revenge on otakus for Kannagi with the whole Phryne is not pure deal, and maybe even with the “only people who love me can touch me” as a metaphor for 2D things. Clain is how otaku see themselves, people call them perverts but they know their love is pure and non-sexual. The point is that there are better ways to do this, he didn’t have to ruin a good setting on a great timeslot for this

    Anyway, rant over

  4. Scamp says:

    Having people parrot my opinions in the comments, while good for my ego, doesn’t do much for discussion.

    Or maybe it’s because Fractale does indeed suck. In the earlier episodes I was disappointed that it wasn’t living up to its billing, but I assure you that by the end the pre-hype had totally left my mind

  5. Janette says:

    I’m sorry you didn’t like my review. I’m still very immature when it comes to writing reviews, and need to practice more. Psgels is pretty much the top of the pyramid when it comes to reviews.

    I gave Fractale a lot of the benefit of the doubt for a long time, after many people gave up. I do pride myself on building my own opinion no matter what others think. But to me, There were many scenes that were built up to poorly (Phyrne being strangled by the Priestess) as well as some incredibly uncomfortable imagery for me as female viewer that just didn’t make sense. Even now, I don’t understand why that table was there.

    The ending was one event slapped down after another without effective build up, explanation, or transition. I had to agree with Scamp that I was insulted by the storytelling. It was the only way to describe how I felt.

  6. Taka says:

    Here’s my entry on an as of yet unpublished winter season review:

    Fractale – To me Fractale really really wanted to be Pale Cocoon. We’ve got a society that while advanced, is heavily controlled and repressed, a secret elevator that comes out somewhere above Earth, a girl from modern times, a memorable song that has significance to the story. If only it were half as good as Pale Cocoon. Fractale is just a hot mess and while the production values are always high the story is difficult to follow at best and completely nonsensical at worst. There is no feeling of flow among the episodes despite the fact some are meant to lead into each other. The characters spend too much time being idiots.
    -Nessa loves love
    -Clain’s dad is a pervert voyeur too
    -The newcomer girl who played Phrynne has a soft lisp
    -Toyosaki Aki’s large-breasted avatar of a disgusting pottery dealer
    -Nessa wreaking havoc wherever she goes
    -Lost Millenium pumping some old biddys full of lead
    -Fat-guy-whose-name-Taka-can’t-remember’s death
    -Awesome OP
    -Clain getting shot
    -Clain not dying after being shot
    -Clain in general
    -“Hiru no hoshi ni…”
    -Eri liked Clain for some goddamn unknown reason
    -Show had nothing to do with fractals
    -All those things I said above
    Voice Talents
    Hanazawa Kana as Nessa: Using her to voice the female lead is cheating

    I try to strike a balance but Fractale was a hot mess to me. The biggest problem is Clain drags down the story. I could forgive some of the non sequiturs if the protag was enjoyable to watch.

  7. KannoFan83 says:

    I lost track of Fractale around ep 9 or 10. I went into in without knowing any of the hype, etc. Initially, I really liked it, though I’ll admit, it got a bit confusing later on. I would still like to finish it at some point – the way things were progressing, I’m not expecting a clean cut end. All of that said though, I agree with Fangzhao that I think a lot of the hate, or at least the intensity of it, was unwarranted. I still don’t understand what’s so wrong with Clain, for example.

  8. ToastCrust says:

    I liked Fractale! I was wondering when I’d meet another person who did xD

    Just polished it off recently, in fact.

    That said, I did enjoy all the funny business around Yamakan. I’m not sure where he got all of that ego after directing a few really good opening/ending sequences, and a fairly fun show that did drama messily.

    Nessa loves love.

    I liked a lot of Fractale. A lot of its individual parts are brilliant, even. It’s the packaging where it really falls apart for me.

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