Fractale 4 – Getting Mixed Signals …
I’m enjoying Fractale, but I’m not quite sure how to feel about how it is mixing tones — the end of last week’s episode was a sobering attack that saw both sides lose lives. It’s a fairly serious moment. But this bit at the end of Fractale 4 seems to be the polar opposite: It’s not really super serious; it’s part of a rousing adventure, and it comes off as if the audience is supposed to react like, “Hell yeah!” after Mr. Douchebaggy Priest Guy and his guards are blown up (and the priest gets up and shakes his fist like he just stepped out of The Simpsons). The guy isn’t hurt, so of course it’s hilarious! Just ignore the bodies strewn about the cliff . . .
I do wonder if it’s intentional. I’m liking the series, so I want to give the creators the benefit of the doubt, but it’s probably still too early to definitively say, “Fractale is trying to subvert (whatever)” or “Fractale is a giant mess that has no idea what it’s trying to do”. But it’s just weird to see a scene like that (complete with rousing adventure music) after last week’s ending and the opening of this week’s episode where the dead are being mourned. Wouldn’t anyone question it, even a little bit? I’d like to believe in the competency of the creators and hope that they figured the viewers would see that kind of thing and react like, “Huh?”
Now, I don’t have any particular issue with rousing adventures — hell, I love a good adventure story. But it also seems as if Fractale is trying to make the participants morally ambiguous. Lost Millennium is fighting for what it sees as its freedom, but they’re doing it in a violent way, and civilians are getting caught up in the battles. The religious mages are a bit less ambiguous, at least so far. They’re accused of using the Fractale System as a means of control over the people, and they don’t really hesitant to beam spam their magic at Lost Millennium. Plus, there’s the douchebag mage who is, like, Code Geass levels of comically evil.
Point is, the kick-ass adventure elements and the sobering drama elements are mixing in an awkward way. But maybe by the end it will seem as if it is purposefully awkward? We can only hope.
One thing I definitely don’t like, though, is the old “I’m about to reveal some important infor– OMG DISTRACTION I MUST GO NOW” cliche. Sigh. How infuriating is that bullshit? Such a lazy way to build tension, tease the audience and prolong the storyline. So all we know now is that Clain is special in some way or another. Well, whoop-dee-shit. I think everyone in the audience could have pointed that out. Bleh, such a tired device that needs to be put out of its misery. I don’t need every piece of information to be revealed asap (what’s the fun in that?), but don’t tease people in asinine ways.
Oh well. I am least still curious to see Phryne’s role in everything, even though I doubt anything related to that will be doled out any time soon. Plenty of time for more vague statements about hating love to be made. Hooray!
I’m not. Good riddance, I say.