February 25, 2011

Fractale Ep6: Paradise Lost

Posted in Fractale tagged , , , at 6:04 pm by meotwister5

We knew he had parents but of course we don’t really know what they looked like.  At this point you could infer that the man really was Clain’s father, when in fact they both share a very particular interest in old technology.  I could also assume that we’ll meet his mother along the way at some point, but alongside seeing the members of a Lost Millenia faction, we also get to see just how different yet similar the ones outside the loop are with those they claim to be an oppressive regime.

Heck in comparison Granite doesn’t seem as bad when you think about it.

Every man was born with this ability.

The airship touches down for repairs inside a dead zone, so the crew go about their tasks in order to get the ship back running at optimal capacity.  Clain of course goes for the tech while the girls go prepare the food, a very traditional and old school communal approach.  Phryne’s lack of female delicacy none withstanding, Clain finds himself troubled after seeing an LM splinter group approach Fractale refugees with a very different, yet deceitful, methodology.  He meets a sickly adult who then shows him the truth about not only the group, but how Fractale maintains it’s grip on the reality of the people it takes under its wings.

By, of course, substituting reality with fantasy.  He sees the ones tricked by the group be forced to join, again forcing him to rethink the “savage” world before him.

Git offa mah propartay!

We’ve already seen previously just how much the Fractale system dominates every aspect of the lives of its constituents, but it was only now that we really see how destitute people become once they lose their contact with the signal that feeds them Fractale’s world.  Destitute may be an understatement: they look more like lifeless and aimless zombies, shuffling about without hope or reason to live.  Cut off from the very society which they inhabit, people lose the very fabric of reality they once held dear and now don’t know a damn thing on how to live from now on.  It’s a very interesting display of despair at suddenly being pulled out from the life you once knew, where everything was given to you, to one where everything you once you is lost, and you are left to fend for yourself.

Paradise lost, as is probably an appropriate comparison.  It’s one thing to choose to abandon society at large, and another thing to be plucked up and have the rug pulled from under you.  You can’t blame the people for what they have become; all of a sudden everything was gone.  They know nothing of the world outside Fractale, so they know nothing about survival on their own.  They are forced back to a more primitive existence they have all but forgotten, and it’s not a stretch to say that people like us in our tech-run world would feel the same way should we be in their shoes.

As for the alternative… I don’t even know if you could call it a real choice!

It's like they're already married.

It is revealed now that not only does Fractale give you everything you need to live, it also pretty much supplies your reality for you.  A stone and brick town looks much better than a desolate and rocky landscape for sure, but not if you fall down a ravine to your death while walking down the street.  In the beginning it’s all a “whoah wtf” moment for Clain, but after going down and seeing just how fake everything is, you have to ask just how complacent and “brainwashed” people are to live comfortably in such an illusion without wondering why their hands go through the walls.  It’s a very precise and intricate system that’s for sure, and a testament of how a very isolated and sheltered social setting molds the minds of the populace into believing everything they see.  From that it’s almost unsurprising how much the people feel like they’ve lost their humanity after the signal was lost in their area: your surroundings help to define who you are, and losing it can also mean losing yourself.

It can drive you to despair, but can it drive you to rebellion?  The local LM branch seems content in manipulating the downtrodden and abandoned to fight for their cause.  In fact, one could argue that the very recruitment practice they employ is exactly the same as a modern-day terrorist faction operating under the guise of revolution: taking advantage of the shattered beliefs of people to fight for your cause, and forcing everyone else who disagrees under the threat of violence.  It’s, in essence, a very mirrored view of the modern times.

It was never real.

As a symbolic mirroring of a very modern reality, I don’t think the writer has made it any more obvious what he’s trying to represent in this series more than what had been shown in this episode.  This is an animated example of a social collapse in the making, a microcosmic representation of what would happen if the entire social structure propping everyone up would suddenly cease to exist.  Imagine what would happen if all technology suddenly died or goes haywire.  Considering almost everyone relies on Fractale, it would be chaos of a global pandemic proportion.  Suffice to say that Fractale IS what keeps society together; it’s loss would almost invariably lead to anarchy and absolute chaos.  That’s not even taking into account those who would use such an event for their own personal goals and desires.

So, does the author support a Fractale-like system?  It would seem so given just how chaotic a broken system is presented as, and also how manipulative those who would seek to take advantage of chaos would be.  Then again, the author also presents that living outside the system is a very reliable alternative than being inside the loop, and Granite shows that a more ancient way of life still works in a modern setting.  Either way seems to work, and that is something one must admit even if one belongs to the opposing camp.  Both have their advantages and flaws, and the flaws become more pronounced when one becomes entirely reliant in a single way of life.

The father takes his leave.

As the group’s journey continues, it becomes apparent that the journey isn’t merely one about seeking the destruction of the Fractale system, but to also show the viewer a world at odds with itself and the many different philosophies living in it.  The world is breaking apart at the seams as the glue that held it together slowly collapses, and what we are likely to see at the end is the net result once it all comes crashing down, with Clain smack dab in the middle.

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