Recently, there has been some events about Fractale that have overshadowed the show. In case you haven’t heard yet, basically the Fractale Production Committee (the copyright owner) cut off Funimation’s streaming rights in North America over illegal distributions of their product. There’s already been much discussed on the topic and I prefer to stay out of the political realm. It isn’t my arena to begin with and, hopefully, never will be. Instead, I plan to discuss the actual episode and hope these kinds of incidences never return.
What I look forward to with Fractale is exploring the world. Exploring this fantasy is what captivated me. It’s unfortunate that the world and the Fractale system have yet to be carefully examined, but I suppose that’s largely the fault of the characters with no interest or intention of exploring and understanding the world they live in.
Enter Nessa. Nessa is the embodiment of an explorer, albeit not a good one. She has the much desired energy and curiosity that will drive the exploration of both the surrounding countryside and the technology integrated in with a normal human’s life. Nessa’s curiosity to the people, doppels, and setting closely mirror our own. She has no prior knowledge of these matters and neither do we. She also has some traits of humanity programmed into her, much like our own. Of all the characters present in the series so far, the one we can relate the most to is this energetic, moe child-hologram.
I can see where a lot of people are unhappy with Nessa’s character. She’s the personification of moe. You could probably already tell that from the pictures alone. And moe isn’t exactly popular with the population that usually watches the noitaminA time slot. This group of savvy anime fans prefers what I call the Brain On anime: shows driven by detail-oriented plots, dynamic storytelling, and above all, charismatic characters. In Nessa’s case, she hardly seems charismatic and more like doppelganger (or maybe just doppel) from K-On! or likewise. What makes it even harder for her is her role in the series. I believe we are supposed to relate to this world through Nessa, seeing as we both share a similar curiosity and lack of knowledge. This seems like a catastrophe in the making.
While it seems Nessa has little fan support in the population (and even less in the world they live in), I’ll go ahead and say her personality and style will do well for the series in the end. I’m not talking about her role in the story, which is already significant, but rather her overall moe-ness that certain people find underwhelming.
Nessa’s energy is certainly vital to the story. Her eccentric tendencies to move and act are contrary to the people living in this 33rd century world. It was explained that people living here want avoid any hard work or responsibilities. Apparently, that means people want to live alone and do whatever they want to all day. None of those activities include moving, interacting, or anything exciting. That’s why when Nessa appeared, things began happening. Nessa’s perilous behavior on Clain’s bicycle caused her to fall and Clain to stop and help her up. Next was Nessa’s meandering around the village and up the clock tower. Her wandering brought Clain up to the top of the tower to which he was surprised to see the view, perhaps an early sense of exploration for him. Nessa was able to have Clain to explain more about the people, the villages, and peoples ‘homes’. Nessa’s adventure in the RV village was outstanding. Not only was her destruction of people’s homes and property entertaining but she got those seemingly lazy people up and about. Hell, they even interacted with each other! Similar to a spark igniting a fire, Nessa’s energy is required for discovery to happen.
Secondly, Nessa’s curiosity is our path to our exploration and understanding. Through Nessa’s unique interest in the environment are we able to comprehend the world of Fractale. Her observations and questions, subsequently answered by Clain, allow us to explore the more technical details of this setting. Furthermore, Nessa has that sense of humanity in her, which she brings up to the newly acquired knowledge from Clain. Clain is able to provide the defense of his world’s inhabitants, providing us a contrast between our own views and the views of future generations. The curiosity Nessa has provides us with another means of survey the world.
Through Nessa, we will explore Fractale. Although Nessa is certainly far from perfect and not even my favorite character, I feel her personality is warranted in a show such as Fractale. She is the sole provider of the energy and curiosity, both necessary for us to learn more about this world. It’s unfair to judge her after one episode based on her clichéd stereotype of a typical moe girl. Sure, it’s a stereotype that’s been done numerous times before, so much that its saturated the anime industry, but I feel we need to give her a chance in this show. For one, she’s not surrounded by other moe characters, so she’s a stranger here. Secondly, she’s assisted in some character development in Clain, which is always progress in the right direction. Furthermore, Nessa will likely change herself as the story progresses. We’ll definitely see more and learn more and likely see Nessa loss some of her moe-ness. But its not the moe-ness that’s a bad thing. The bad thing is never giving a character a chance just because of her personality and style.
Also, I realize in my defense of Nessa’s character, I had to ignore her relationship with Clain and her fascination with Phryne. To be honest, that’s the thing I dislike the most about Nessa’s personality. But that can be for another time.