When I first started watching Fractle on Funimations video site, I was surprised at what the show was offering. I knew that the world was supposed to be set more or less in the distant future, but I wasn’t expecting it to be presented in a way that very much resembled earth today as we know it. At first the presence of faux humans, called dopplars, confused me, and I couldn’t understand why they were present at all. They didn’t seem to fit the art style, nor present any real purpose to the show.
However, as I slowly started to get used it, I realized that they had a deeper meaning. In a world where there are no troubles to speak of, and indeed when interaction with your own race is optional and unnecessary, dopplars represent the escapism in every person. The feelings of wanting to withdraw from society. Basically, that sums up the world in which the protagonist, Clain, lives.
As I was watching this show a few things became obvious, the foremost being that this show is the only animated television show I’ve ever seen to have so closely replicated a Hayao Miazaki movie. This in and of itself is a feat, however, it not only replicated a master storyteller and artist, it is still able to maintain originality and put its own thoughts into the development of its story.
The moment I first realized its closeness to a Miyazaki movie was during an airship scene. As we all know, Miyazki is infamous not only for his air scenes with fantastic flying ships, but also his style of drawing them with bug like precision. When I saw this girl on her airship, I immediately thought of the classic scene from Naussica: Valley of the Wind.
Another scene which screams Miyazaki shows Clain climbing down a cliff in order to reach the wounded heroine.
The animation is also INCREDIBLY fluid. I was pleasantly surprised because one normally doesn’t see such great animation unless it is a feature film. I understand that it is the first episode, so I’m doubtful (but hoping) that the quality of the animation will remain consistent.
The music for this show is amazing as well (Keeping in touch with the Miyazaki vibe.)
It gives off a major Joe Hisaishi feel. It’s mostly orchestral, and it matches what is going on incredibly well. This is one of the very rare times when I have fallen in love with a soundtrack on the first episode. It’s so good, the music is noticeable. It’s like weaving a second layer of mastery over an already good product. The person in charge of this mastery is Souhei Kano. Little is to be found on him through your standard Google search, so I shall have to dig deeper and perhaps write something on him once I can find out more.
Now the opening for the show, although simplistic, is a very stand out song. Entitled Harinezumi, it is preformed by Azuma Hitomi. The single will be avaible on March 8th, and you can bet your bottom dollar that it will be mine. The art for the opening is very psychedelic, and very effectively imitates the same effect one would have of setting fireworks off inside a dryer. The thing that made me love it, despite its simplicity was the text. Instead of standard sit-on-the-screen text it flows with the backgrounds, making it the thing that stands out more.
The ending came as a surprise to me, because I found out halfway through that it was being sung in English…
I say that because the singer’s accent was so thick, that it was hard to make out the words she was trying to say. Even worse than that. I found out that she was attempting a classic Irish folk song, Sally Gardens, a song I have many fond memories of playing on my Irish tin whistle. Now I’m not saying that it isn’t a right feel for the show, I’m just saying that I wish it was better done, perhaps with a singer who obviously knows what she is singing. The animation to this song is just like the rest of the show. Simple, yet artfully presented. I very much enjoyed the fact that the only movement was the nature centered around the girl. It presented a very Miyazaki like statement, and I must say, like the opening it only added to the presentation of the credits.
Overall this show is probably what I have seen to be the best of the season yet. I am very excited to see where it goes and I’m hoping that this show becomes the most popular yet. I’m also pleased to know that it already has been licensed and is going to be released in the US. I am for sure planning on purchasing this, if the rest of the season has what the first episode had to offer.
All in all this show was…
Overall Score of the episode: 10/10
Overall Score of the show: 9/10 (I’m tentative to have this much faith in a show after 1 episode, so we’ll see how it goes.)
|My face when I see naked women.|
|Yeah. Use your imagination. Geez.|
|They tried to make me think the fat one was an ambulance…|
|You won’t understand with your eyes closed, ya mook.|
|These peoples facial expressions amuse me|
|I call this, the shocker.|