Fractale deliverd perhaps its most visually dazzling episode yet by dropping Clain, Nessa, and us smack-dab in the middle of Fractale Central: the city of Xanadu. It’s huge, vibrant, and futuristic, but it’s also fake and empty; Clain is the only human there; the rest are doppels – and much of the city’s structure is just 3D projections. It’s strange how one minute Clain’s snapping pics on the airship, and the next minute, he’s waking up in an extravagant, Vegas-style boudoir with an ample-busted doppel woman leaning a bit too far over him.
It’s also a bit strange that Sunda would let him and Nessa fly off on their own in the small airship…Clain did try to spring Phryne, after all, and it’s not like we’ve seen him taking piloting lessons. These oddities aside, the episode finally gives us a glimpse of life with Fractale on 100%, and it reminds me of that Animatrix short about the Second Renaissance, when life for humans became one long party.
Of couse, it isn’t all fun and games; people have to work to afford the privilege of maintaining a doppel in Xanadu; if they can’t they’re kicked out of town. For one brief moment it seemed as though there might be good people here (or at least doppels controlled by good people) but alas, eveyrone Clain encountered there was looking out for themselves, and knowing Clain and Nessa are wanted, tried to work it to their advantage.
Their schemes are thwarted when Nessa shows off her power to totally knock out Fractale at will, but Clain still gets shot. Wasn’t expecting that, but I think we know the answer to the question, “is he dead?”. There are four more episodes and he’s the boring protagonist; of course he isn’t! Rating: 3.5