Fractale 6

This week we learn that there are more factions of Lost Millenium than the one Sunda heads up. We also meet a very interesting individual who is strongly hinted as being Clain’s real father, who wants to restore Fractale to what used to be a beautiful town, stating his belief that humanity can’t live without the system. He even shows Clain and Phryne a projection of the town in its prime, which is possible during the new moon. I really liked this guy, but the fact that he seems to be dying (cough-cough) probably means he sadly won’t achieve his goal.

His wishes run totally counter to Lost Millenium, but neither Sunda or the other leader, Dias, interact with him. Instead, Sunda and his crew simply wait and watch as Dias leads the refugees to a tent village to get food, shelter, and ahem…”vaccinations”, claimed to boost the immune system of the Fractale-coddled bodies. Clain sees this and is immediately impressed with the kindness and generosity of Dias’ group. Phryne (and I) are rightly suspicious. I like how Phryne is not only less naive than Clain, but as good a runner, too!

Sure enough, the vaccines destroy the refugees’ Fractale terminals. Dias lets them know in a very evil “By the way” manner, and when one hapless guy tries to run for it, Dia’s henchmen fill him with lead without hesitation. Thus Dia’s crew isn’t so much a family like Sunda’s, but one that preys upon helpless hopeless people and forcably conscripts them to join the fight against Fractale, which most of them want nothing more than to return to. Pretty nasty, but not surprising. Almost deja vu, in fact, but at least they make Sunda’s group look better. Rating: 3.5

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Puella Magi Madoka Magica 8

Wherein Sayaka loses her hope, her mind, and what’s left of her humanity, and falls, apparently transforming into a witch. This was a stark and cruel end for Sayaka, who never recovered from Kyubey’s scathing words that her soul was in the gem she bore. That gem continued to degrade, and Sayaka gave her first grief seed to Sakura and rejected it from Homura.

In case we weren’t already well aware, Kyubey is the villain here, at least so far. He seems absolutely hell-bent on making Madoka a maho shojo, and she actually asks him, but before he can oblige, Homura kills him just in time. Of course, he comes right back, the bastard; any entity that can cause miracles to happen won’t go so easily.

If Sayaka is indeed gone, Madoka’s choices have multiplied, and none of them are easy: she can contract with Kyubey, and trust that he speaks the truth that she’d be such an unparalleled magician as to be able to perform any miracle she likes. He could well be lying, but then again, it’s telling that someone so unwilling to become a maho shojo would happen to be the one with the most potential. Now that she has not one but two friends to try to save from oblivion, the temptation to contract is as tempting as ever.

But there can be no doubt, that a contract with Kyubey is as good as a deal with a Faustian devil: whatever wish Madoka will have, there will be a heavy cost – just as there was for Sayaka, Sakura, and Homura – that could not only leave Madoka wishing she’d never contracted to begin with, but wishing she’d never been born. This series is rapidly becoming my run-away favorite this season And the main character is still just a whiny ordinary girl! Rating: 4