Fractale | 03

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The Village of Granites view

Fractale is a clever art piece.  We’re viewing only a portion of the art, like we’ve zoomed in on a microscopic detail in a corner.  Slowly with every episode, we zoom out and we’re shown another piece of the art.  Fractale  is telling us, sometimes things that appear beautiful up close is not so pretty when viewed from afar.

So Clain is a bigger geek than we thought.  Enri’s hideout is an “antique” playground for him, and we witness the depth of his obsession when he doesn’t even flinch at a gun pointed at him.  Enri is also kinder than she lets on like pointing out Nessa to the locals who need visors to see doppels.  The reason eludes Clain but we can deduce it’s because they don’t have terminals which Sunda later confirms.  After watching Sunda, it’s easy to see where Enri gets her personality.  His flamboyant and comical theatrics puts William Shatner to shame.

The way people treat Nessa portrays their feelings about Fractale.  The local women and children are friendly and consider her a novelty.  The little girl shaking hands with Nessa shows their lack of prejudice whereas ojii-san doesn’t even greet her.  Anything associated with Fractale is an aberration to him.  Sunda’s smile and politeness can’t hide his hate which is expressed in his inability to touch her.  Enri reluctantly bonds with Nessa which suggests she doesn’t hold a grudge towards all things Fractale unlike her brother.

It’s hinted there’s racial diversity by observing the characters’ outfits.  It’s mix of european and east asian fashion.  The oba-san and grumpy ojii-san wear chinese shirts.  Enri and Sunda wear european inspired aviation clothing.  Nessa’s outfit bears a strong resemblance to a modified hanbok with a distinct japanese touch.

Lost Millennium is basically hippies rebelling against the system.  They want to think for themselves and earn what they have with sweat and hard work instead of being lazy, helpless noobs under the Fractale system.   They’ve intentionally removed their terminals as a symbol of their commitment to a “natural way of living”.  However, taking down Fractale means facing off with its biggest supporter, the temple.  Here the temple is set as the enemy, a power-hungry institution bent on keeping the status quo.  They use religious propaganda to control the people and to keep the system alive.  Sunda is trying to recruit Clain or at least convince him to remove his terminal.

The purpose of the hospital scene is to affirm Clain’s belief he’s better off with his terminal.  There’s no war over resources, people have access to the best medical care with no wait time, and no famine.  When ojii-san tells him he doesn’t “know true freedom”, he’s calling Clain naive.  It upsets him and he sulks.  It must sting when he considers himself an adult and knowledgable about everything, but only a child thinks he knows everything.

The celebration later highlights Clain’s dulled senses under Fractale.  In E01, he learned to appreciate his sense of touch when he hugs Nessa.  Here, the soup awakens his sense of taste and smell which he then has to describe to Nessa.  It’s then we realize she only has 2 (sight and hearing) out of 5 senses.  Her sense of  touch doesn’t count because it’s not permanent.

His naivety is a recurring theme throughout the episode.  He’s the poster child for everything Sunda is fighting against.  His sheltered life made him blind to the reality of whats going on.  His ignorance really shines when Sunda takes him to “disrupt” a Star Festival.  There are guns, body armor, and a battle speech to boot but Clain acts like it’s a field trip.  He believes the festival is just a harmless gathering to keep terminals working.

The festival is actually systematic, mass brainwashing by the temple to keep people docile because “when left alone, humans start having unnecessary thoughts,” says Sunda.  He gives examples that resonate with Clain who thinks about his own unhappiness growing up with doppels instead of his real parents.   This also explains Butcher’s earlier comment, “I wonder why the temple is so anxious.”  They must be having difficulty containing the discontent rising in people and brainwashing them more often.

The violence which soon follows is magnified by the frank portrayal of the atrocity taking place.  Neither side think anything of shooting in the middle of the crowd.  Clain’s inexperience with combat shows; he’s horrified as innocent people are indiscriminately killed around him, and he’s paralyzed from shock.  In stark contrast, the much younger Enri is composed and thinks nothing of gunning down her enemies.   

Sunda’s ulterior motive for bringing along Clain was to force him to face reality.  What he grew up believing is a lie.  The temple is not a benign group; they’re militant and ready to kill anyone who oppose them.  Whether he likes it or not, he’s now a part of the war between LM and the temple.

The shocker ending is capped off with the grand return of Phyrne.

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