Fractale 5

Their escape thwarted, Clain and Phryne are put to work on the airship doing menial labor – closely following Pazu’s path in Castle In the Sky. The rest of the ship’s compliment mercilessly riffs off the young couple’s obvious romantic tension, while the tsundere Enri constantly accuses them of debauchery. Meanwhile, Nessa is nowhere to be found. Clain thinks it’s because she’s mad; Phryne thinks its because she doesn’t like her.

But as the airship functions gradually go haywire, Clain crafts a new theory: Nessa isn’t angry anymore, and has forgotten why she went away, so now she’s just having fun playing hide-and-seek. After trying to get the crew to do fun things in order to draw her out, it is ironically Phryne who convinces her to end the game, ceasing the ship’s malfunctions.

I always like airship slice-of-life, but the whole time there was the feeling this could have been a ship at sea; not enough of the majesty and freedom of the skies was explored here (something as simple as performing maintenance from a precarious perch on the ship’s exterior would have sufficed, as was used in Castle). Still, with no safe harbor and enemies circling them, there’s no doubt that when the airship inevitably needs to land, there will be considerable hardships, contrasting with the lighthearted time-killing that takes place this week. Rating: 3

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