We haven't seen anything from the perspective of anyone who uses a Doppel, or any high-population-density areas. So we don't know all that much about Fractale or the world outside the clip from the textbook and the "five o'clock prayer." (Come to think of it, I wouldn't be surprised if humanity's experienced a massive population drop due to lack of births.)Several centuries in the future, most humans have linked themselves into the
MatrixFractale system, which seems like a cross between Second Life and Big Brother. Except we can see the weird avatars in the real world. This seems mostly an excuse for everyone to spend their idle lives isolated.
That's one way to interpret it. Another is that she's lived a very sheltered life recreating an earlier age, with only second- and third-hand knowledge of the modern world.It's strongly implied she's some sort of time-traveller.
I'm not so sure about that last part. My first reaction was to take them for telepresence avatars too. But now I'm not so sure. They're called dopples, which has to mean dopplegangers. That starts to imply duplicates or copy people. The text book narration said that people were rewarded for regular uploads of their "life logs" to the "Skyhigh Hovering Server". I now suspect the dopples are virtual copies being run by the Fractal network to provide basic socialization for a massively shrunken and dispersed human population. It would explain why Clain was so at easy about dismissing his parent dopples, and why they have nothing better to do than sit at the table all day.Clain, our teenage protagonist. He's a vintage enthusiast (hey, look, a 64GB SD card !), and lives by himself in the middle of nowhere (although his parents regularly chime in through their avatars).
(Disclaimer: Manga fan too)If you're feeling completely lost, like you're joining this series halfway through... Well, you're not entirely wrong, considering this adapts the start of Volume FIVE of the manga. As a result, there's heaps of backstory alluded to, and major story beats are told rather than shown. Also, tons of supporting characters are barely introduced. I can't help but wonder what somebody completely new to the series would understand of it.
But on the other hand, this episode does try to fit in lots of awkward exposition, to the detriment of its actual story. This is supposed to be Chizuru's big entrance, and it feels like a complete afterthought. Urgh. It's only in the second half that it starts finding its footing, when Suichi's moody wandering through the city finally gets the space it needs to breathe (and I loved the wonderfully awkward end to the episode).
I'm sure that once this series gets a bit more underway, it will become much better. The source material is remarkable, after all. But the sudden jump midway into the story is sure to alienate most non-fans, which ain't good for a series with such a difficult subject matter. I really can't understand it : why not relate Suichi & Yoshino's relationship from the start ? This is just baffling.
Yeah, but that's because we know them. I worry what a newcomer would make of them.Plus, although not quite introduced yet, supporting characters' personalities do come through for me.