Level E 13

Level E goes out on a lofty note, which is not surprising considering the high level of quality it has sustained. A somewhat inocuous cliffhanger last week instantly comes into play: and more signs that the princess is not who she says she is surface. What follows is an intoxicatingly entertaining and confident story of intergalactic political intrigue and cerebral (and physical) cat-and-mouse.

As per usual, this story never lets you see all the cards it’s holding until the very end, but you’re having so much fun, you don’t have time to scratch your head. Things are always kept nice and breezy, even with the fate of earth on the line, but the lack of serious drama is never a problem. When Prince’s brother – who turns out not to be his brother, but then again, actually is – attacks him with a sword, we see perhaps for the first time what a truly slippery bastard he is.

But that double-twist – that his brother and bride are impersonating imposters to attempt to trick him – is perfectly executed. His brother may not be a match for him, but the princess is at least a match for him in the brains department – and perhaps even someone worth falling in love with. Thus in this final arc, Prince’s whole purpose for being on earth – to find some exploit worth his time and effort – would seem to pay off. And the final twist with the cat…nice touch! Rating: 4

Series Mean Ranking: 3.500

Fractale 11

Well, Fractale couldn’t really have ended any more amicably for our core trio of Clain, Phryne, and Nessa. The Temple is destroyed, along with most of the war-making might of Lost Millenium, but Fractale is still rebooted. And, oh yeah, Clain finally mans up and confesses his rather obvious love for Phryne, which she is only too happy to requite.

Clain also made the mature choice to let Phryne and Nessa go through with the reboot (following them up a very long elevator into an orbital garden). Nessa can’t live forever on her own, and the reboot ends up merging them into a melange; Nessa’s personality in Phryne’s body. This even surprises Clain, but it sure beats the reverse; and being in love with two girls at once wasn’t going to work ;)

So yeah, Fractale was a very nice-looking, if not incredibly-deep series. The bad guys were pretty pathetic (the “father” guy just let Phryne stab him, while the Grand Priestess just let Dias blow her up…wtf?) and the only truly perilous situation was when Clain was shot, but he pulls through almost instantly. And yeah, Nessa’s constant “I love love” declarations wore rather thin. But it still had some nice ideas about overdependence on technology, and how it may even one day merge with religion. Which, if you ask me, is scary. Rating: 3.5

Series Mean Ranking: 3.364