Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Fractale Complete Series Collection
Released By: Manga Entertainment
Rating: 12
Running Time: 275 Mins
Audio: English & Japanese DD 2.0
Release Date: 15/4/2013
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes

A boy called Clain looks like he lives in a fairytale land among strange creatures called doples, and it seems like he is having a good time around them, but he doesn't know the reality behind it - the world he is living in is a lie, and soon he will find out the truth of what the world around him is all about.

One day Clain meets a lone girl called Phryne who he finds has fallen from a strange aircraft. She's not on her own though, as there is a girl and her two heavies who come after her and trace her to his house in the hills. Phryne isn't a fool, though, she hides away from them until they have gone, and gives him a special brooch, asking for a wish to grant him his hearts desire.

It doesn't make him any more happier about this as he thinks he may never see her again, but Clain tries to find out what the brooch he has been given is, and discovers another girl has come to see him called Nessa who thanks to Phryne is annoying him just like she did. Back on the Temple world, the priestess discusses Phryne and as she has taken the key to the world from them, once she gets her back, there is no doubt that she will be heavily punished.

When Clain and Nessa are captured by the resistance team called Granitez, what might have seen like a girl and her heavies is much more interesting than that. Their leader Sunda Granitez tells Clain a few lessons on their world and what it is really about, both past and present. He mentions the Lost Milennium, the time before Fractale as he believes that they were better off doing things for themselves without the use of doples and downloading endless data from the Temple. They had real schools before Fractale where teachers taught children using blackboards and chalk, rather than learning what the Temple wanted them to.  The Granitez are a faction who have been against Fractale from the start, and all it stands for. In his village, they farm the land, teach the children by hand and have good old fashioned fun without the use of doples. As they have been captured and now their prisoners, Clain and Nessa are given a small place to stay with them for the duration of the conflict, using Nessa as a pawn to bring down the Temple.

Fractale is an unusual anime series even though it does question the second chance humanity might have, but only if they fight for it rather than give into brainwashing. The Temple considers itself a higher power but it only wants the humans to know what it wants and nothing more. The story has similar elements to the Western TV series V as the humans are trying to rid their world of the aliens who are wanting to control them. Humour features a great deal in this too with Clain and Nessa given a double bed as the resistance fighters think they would make a great couple, and Nessa making fun of what colour one of the resistance teams knickers are when she peeked! The opening tune sounds a lot like a Madonna hit, but I'm not telling you which one, you'll have to guess it!

Bonus Material: Episode 1 with Audio Commentary, Episode 7 with Audio Commentary and USA Trailer.

Verdict: Unusual story, but adventurous and mysterious science fiction in a dystopian universe.

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