Anime Contemplation Carefully considering the world of Anime, episode by episode.

3Mar/110

Fractale Episode 1 – Encounter

Clain's House - On the cliff by the sea (Ponyo anyone?)

From the outset, the landscape looks beautiful. Clain, our teenage protagonist, lives in a small house on a cliff by the sea. Everything seems perfectly normal until we see Clain's parents who look like very unusual computer game characters but really they're doppels. However, this all seems pretty normal for Clain who heads off on his bike to the junk market. After the police come and force all of the doppels to disappear, Clain is able to leave with a 64GB SD card, which he later discovers contains data about the Fractale system. Oddly enough though, the data references the 22nd century, despite the fact that 32GB SD cards are available today in the early 21st century. The data on the Fractale system gives us a little bit of an overview about the Fractale system and what it has done for the world.

Suddenly, two flying machines appear in a chase. This is starting to look like something out of a Ghibli film - beautiful landscapes and odd flying machines. The girl who is being perused however is shot down and rescued by Clain. They both manage to escape their perusers and Clain brings the girl (who identifies herself as Phryne) back to his house to tend to her wounds. Since brining a random girl home would raise questions, he asks his parents for some time alone and they disappear - only to reappear moments later after Clain has invited Phryne in. Cue a moment of awkwardness.

To tend to her wounds, Phryne has to remove some clothes, but I personally felt Clain's reaction was way over the top. However, compared to other anime series this typical 'service scene' was displayed in a very mature manner. No deliberately awkward camera shots and no emphasis on certain things - this is how anime should be. Phryne however suddenly feels sleepy and promptly falls asleep.

Later, when she awakes Clain is at his computer. She turns on a projector, startling him. It plays a video of Clain as a baby, with his real parents. Suddenly, Phryne gets upsets and comaplins that Clain never smiles like he used to as a baby. She then breaks out into song, completing the song Clain was listening to earlier while on his way to the junk market. However, they are soon interrupted by the doorbell.

At the door, a small girl and two heavy-looking men are here to "take care of the injured girl", despite the fact that Clain didn't call for an ambulance. However, it seems the ambulance that has come to collect Phryne is the craft that was chasing her earlier, albeit with a flashing red light on top. Clain sees right through them and slams the door in their face. However, they don't give up easily and come back in various other disguises before forcing their way in. Unfortunately for them, Phryne has slipped out and they can't find her after which they give up and leave.

After this, they both head up to an old chapel and talk. One thing I didn't notice at first is how the temple has the same symbol that is on Phryne's broach. Clain falls asleep and by the time he wakes up Phryne has gone, but left him with her broach. He heads back home and complains about her sudden dissapearance in his head.

Taking a closer look at the broach however, he suddenly realises something and manages to activate it, causing another girl to appear. The appearance graphics are really pretty, but just who is this girl? Looks like we'll have to wait another week as the ending kicks in - complete with the new girl in the ending animation.

Overall, i'm pretty pleased with this first episode. The quality of the animation is good and we've got what looks to be an interesting plot line. I'm very curious about the fractale system and how it will come in to play with the plot.

Phryne's flying machine is the one in front, looks like something out of Nausicaa.

The baddies (for lack of a better word) that come to abduct Phryne

I love her smile here

The new girl that came from Phryne's broach - tada!

 

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