Fractale, 2-D turns into 3-D

Fractale‘s Episode 3 was awful. Simply a 9/11 moment.

For the first two episodes, these terrorists were not really acting like “terrorists.” At first, they behaved a kind of dumb, which made them look comical and even adorable. I thought just a different life style was making them live apart from the Fractale people like Clain. I thought they were like people who refuse to buy cellphones, denying the modern society all together like the Amish. But when the Fractale people were attending the Star Festival, updating themselves with their terminals (microchips, nanomachine) inside their bodies, the terrorists started a shooting rampage. Just abhorrent. I was in the state of shock, like when I was witnessing the murder scene of Mami in Episode 3 of Madoka Magica.

These criminals claim to be soldiers of Lost Millennium. They’ve removed microchips from their bodies, so they live disconnected from the Fractale system, which they see as bread and circuses and want to overthrow. So, what does Fractale do?

The Fractale system provides people with the most advanced heath care and more importantly basic income, and everybody is paid equal without work. Very egalitarian and utopic. The Last Man, no more megalothymia. Under communism, people were paid equal, but still had to work. Sometimes gulags in Siberia. But under Fractale, people don’t even work! Thus, proletariat doesn’t exist. Even precariat doesn’t exist. So, how do they do that?

Supposedly, doppels do all the work for them. Doppels are in a sense like robots in Astroboy, or more accurately, copy robots (avatars) from Perman. And in order to own a doppel, you have to be hooked to the Fractale system with a microchip. That’s why the terrorists can’t see a doppel without the special shades like They Live. That’s how the Fractale system makes you an owner. Yes, the Fractale people are all property owners! That is the ownership society!

During the 2004 election, President George W. Bush talked about the ownership society, and I was almost embracing that noble idea. How cool to be an owner. Any kind of owner would be awesome, small business, stocks, bonds, financial derivatives, and especially house, yes, i.e., a home owner! Subprime loans seemed to give even the poor a chance to be an owner. Having “my home” and a good family is a quintessential American dream. And the American dream looked even possible for people with low productivity and low credit scores. Clain already has his own house and “family” too. He’s already achieved the American dream!

Only slaves did labor in the ancient Greek society, while citizens like Socrates and Plato did philosophy in their leisure. But in Fractale, no slave! Everyone becomes a noble class! In communism you’re a slave to the government, and in capitalism a slave to the corporations. But in Fractale, a slave to no one! No exploitation!

Yes, Clain is free from labor. Actually, this is what the Garden of Eden looked like. Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden, and Adam had to plow the land and Eve had to go through pain giving birth. Yes, cultivation and childbearing, these two pains are called “labor.” Labor is a punishment. Repeating the same thing over and over, just like Sisyphus, a life of absurdity. How I wish I was free from labor… In 3-D, we have the “right” to work, but not the right to be lazy.

Ah, in 3-D, unproductive people are ostracized under market fundamentalism. Yes, precariat, starving youth in a tent village, like Honda Tōru from Fruits Basket. We are “the unprofitable servant” in Christ’s word. But in 2-D, no girl will turn me down just because I’m unproductive with low credit scores. Certainly, I won’t feel embarrassed for being asked, “So, what do you do for a living?” like these NEET girls from Kuragehime!

Unproductive NEET girls.

But the terrorists want to destroy that ideal, by resorting to violence, killing civilians, i.e., crime against humanity. These evil doers have to be brought to justice. Why don’t they run for office, or start a grassroots movement like we do here in America instead of terrorism? But I don’t know the details yet. Maybe, Fractale runs the oppressive regime. Maybe it’s totalitarian. I don’t know yet. But killing civilians is still abhorring.

Fractale is allegedly about the future Ireland, evident from the ED, “Down By The Salley Garden” by William Butler Yeats. The 3-D Ireland is divided. And they have a long history of terrorism. But even in the futuristic Ireland, i.e., the 2-D Ireland, terrorism is still going on. That has made me totally glum.

The Falling Soldier moment

I had enough of 3-D. I had enough of reality. I don’t need to see tragedy in 2-D. Mai Hime was really depressing although it was a masterpiece. I stopped having moe on its bakunyu girls because it was too 3-D. Saccharine Capt. Tessa from Full Metal Panic!, when she was involved in torture, it was really hard for me to restore my moetical faith in her.

So, Episode 3 has left me a bitter taste in my mouth. It tasted like a durian.

Aristotle in Poetics writes that tragedy is the highest form of art. Yet, in Moetics, tragedy is too 3-D, so it’s the lowest form of art. Simply dysthymia. So, what is the highest? Comedy, especially romantic one, and romance is divinity, thus romantic comedy is divine comedy! That’s euthymia. Moethymia! Truly moetic!

2 thoughts on “Fractale, 2-D turns into 3-D”

  1. The sudden morphing of the goofy, Miyazaki-like “villains” into actual, civilian-slaughtering, terrorists certainly was very jarring. I wonder if it’s the director’s way of subverting that character type and complicating the situation. In a lot of movies and TV shows, it’s always the ‘primitive’ types who are heroes: like in James Cameron’s Avatar. The situation in Fractale superficially resembles The Matrix, except in The Matrix, we don’t question when the heroes kill people who are still plugged in but are bystanders. This show complicates matters.

    Which is unsettling, I agree, and not exactly soothing as far as entertainment goes. Sometimes that’s not what we are not in the mood to watch.

    1. @Mike

      Thank you for the feedback! Maybe so. Sudden morphing may be his style. That’s true, primitive types. Back to the nature. I don’t know why technological advancement is always the bad guy in Sci-Fi. Even Nazism idealized the medieval idyllic farm community while they heavily relied on the most advanced science at that time. Even Rocky 4, Rocky did primitive training while a Soviet did training with scientists. Yes, Fractale is kind of The Matrix.

      I don’t know if Clain would transform from just a civilian boy to a hero. It’s complicating, not really poetic justice. He wants human contact more, and accidentally takes adventure, but what he sees is a tragic bloodbath, and he vomits. In a way, 3-D christens him.

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