February 6, 2011

Fractale Ep4: Between Black and White

Posted in Fractale tagged , , at 12:28 pm by meotwister5

I think it’s much too easy to segregate and compartmentalize many aspects of society.  In politics you’re either a Democrat or a Republican, and the political amalgams in the middle are poorly recognized.  You’re either a capitalist or a communist, and anything in between is considered a bastard child.  When compartmentalized you’re either one thing or the either, never neither, and never both.  What becomes of people, isolated from everyone else, because they end up in that little gray area in between that cannot fully accept either choice?

Clain either has to make a choice from the ones given to him or, as many more progressive thinkers would say, find a different answer for himself.

A bumbling pair.

Aboard the airship Clain begins to have second thoughts about the entire organization and the violent methods they employ.  They may have started as a group of bumbling self-styled freedom fighters, but their capacity for cold-blooded violence is unquestionable.  He goes to the hold to speak and free Phryne, much to Nessa’s objections, only to be discovered.  When they get back to the town the group has finally been branded terrorists by a rather lenient temple, and decide to have the core members escape just before the temple finally attack the town.

In the middle of the violence stands Clain, going to retrieve Phryne as Nessa throws a fit.  In the end they escape on board the airship, but leaving the young Doppel Nessa behind.

There's not a whole lot of difference between heroes and madmen.

A lenient and forgiving organization portrayed by the opposition as oppressive overlords?  The Temple System that is governing the Fractale system that links everyone together has only now officially declared the group as terrorists and criminals despite indications that they’ve been a violent rebellion for a while, with deaths and property to their name.  The temple priestesses and the organization itself has shown to have impressive degrees of restraint when dealing with opposing organizations, a rather unexpected approach to one being called an authoritarian regime.  Rather than an iron fist they started with an open hand, and despite the relative amount of creepiness displayed by the priest chosen to lead the assault on the LM, this method isn’t something you’d associate with them.  They are, it seems, not as much the oppressive regime the LM portray them as, even if you do object to their methods of government.

It is coming.

The Lost Millenia, on the other hand, well by now we know what their ideology is and the methods they employ to realize this.  They are self-styled freedom fighters yet it has become obvious that they don’t really care about collateral damage in the process.  They are, how you say, a classic violent guerrilla group trying to bring down a government they deem oppressive through force.  You still have to wonder of course what they really want to achieve, considering how they want to free people from the system yet gun down the very same people they’re trying to save.  Their leader in his boisterous declarations and high idealism might as well be considered to have something like a messiah complex.  Then again, what or who is there to save when everyone goes down in the crossfire of energy blasts and bullets?

This ain't the time for that shit!

The series has so far focused on comparing and contrasting the two opposing forces vying for control of the land and its people, in the midst of what the temple calls the coming fall of Fractale and society itself.  In a world where life, at least from Clain’s point of view, is viewed in black or white, confusion is expected for those who are forced to exist in the gray middle ground.  Is there really a preferred social order in either form?  The Temple System using Fractale may provide one with all the necessities in life and comfortable, impersonal communication, but at the same time the price being asked is obedience and some forms of mind control.  The Lost Millenia espouse a more organic and personal existence returning to the days of social living, yet in the process use violence and the disconnected chaos such a life may bring.  Who is right and who is wrong?  Clearly we know that either side isn’t exactly as they seem, but the opposition of each side aren’t exactly pure and noble causes either.

Both sides have their light and dark sides to them.  Put them together and against each other, and you see that in between lies a muddied swamp of conflicting ideals that bring together the good and the bad.  The gray area in between is saturated by the ever imposing figures of two ideologies at war, unable to find a peaceful middle ground or any form of coexistence.  One could assume that the gray moral area between them would be a neutral table for parlay and negotiations, but not, between them lies only a battlefield for now.  A battlefield Clain is forced to fight in.

The ones left behind.

It would now seem that this concept of “love” that Nessa wants from Clain may as well be different from the one Phryne asks of him.  This love, whatever it is, might just be one of the major factors that will come into play to resolve the major and minor plots of the series.  Hard to say at this point, since Nessa seems to have been left behind.

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