Entrancement and Fractale

Gotta watch out for the Garda. I watched Fractale yesterday, and while I am still waiting until episode two to give any precise impressions of the effort, as I disdain making judgments after one episode, I nevertheless have found myself already truly entranced by one aspect of the show: the setting.

Now, when I speak of the setting, I’m actually talking about something much less pervasive than what one could suppose from Fractale – after all, the term ‘setting’ implies not just location physically but location chronologically. But while, yes, I do find the notion of the Fractale System and the lack of direct social contact to be intriguing, I actually was most drawn in by the physical setting.

Let’s start with the intro image. Honestly, this one is the biggest tip-off, although I’d been getting the sense that we were in Ireland (or, perhaps, an Ireland is more accurate to say) prior to the appearance of the Garda. Specifically, the western coast of Ireland, based on the presence of those steep cliffs right at the start of the episode, along with that white cottage perched on said cliffs. Admittedly, my first impression was of the Aran Islands, especially Inis Mor and Inis Meáin, although I don’t think that the first episode is on an island.

The cliffs could just as easily have been inspired by the Cliffs of Connemara, but the chapel and the stone-walls, and all that bicycling to me was pure Inis Mor. And the cottage? Obviously Teach Synge on Inis Meain!

Well, perhaps not, but it is what I thought of first!

At this point, I’ll let you just view the screen-caps versus the pictures I took when I visited the Aran Islands. Please note that the photographs are thumbnails and link to larger versions which will not appear so pixelated and weird; the wide-angles are also cut-off at the edge, so you’ll have to click to see the full shot. All the photos are mine with the exception of the ones of Teach Synge (the cottage); my batteries had died and there was nowhere to buy any more when I was on Inis Meain.










And now for some more general ones I don’t have screen-shots to match exactly to – just gives you a better overall feel for the landscape on Inis Mor.

So, at the very least, I intend to keep watching Fractale because I have fallen in love with the backgrounds =)

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26 Responses to Entrancement and Fractale

  1. Caraniel says:

    The Irish vibe was really strong in Fractale, but seeing the comparison photos really brings it home, some of these really could have been used as inspiration for the setting – its been years since I visited that part of the West coast!

    • adaywithoutme says:

      I want to go back so badly. I dream of buying a house on that rock in the sea known as Inishmore and living there alllll by myself. Too bad they can only get the internet broadcast from the lighthouse and it doesn’t work on stormy nights!

  2. Aorii says:

    Ah, so this is what you meant by Irish setting, I was puzzled by that. But gosh— indeed, the photographic comparison is too similar (although I do question if there are other locations in Europe with such similarity; the roads and ruins do feel a bit generic-old-fashioned). I wonder if this is something they intended on purpose for something relating to the system now…

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Also, the ED and some of the BGM sounded a bit Irish. I think maybe the setting is being used simply because it is so bucolic looking? Ghibli loves that kind of scenery, after all.

  3. 2DT says:

    The chapel ruins are far, far too similar for that to be coincidence. Nice catch!

    • adaywithoutme says:

      When I was watching it, I was going, “Hmm… that looks wicked familiar…” I was pretty sure that the chapel in the graveyard on Inishmore looked like it, so I went to check my photos and was beyond thrilled. It makes me want to go back so badly…

      • Anon says:

        These guys obviously went to the same places as you did for their background research =) The window inside the ruin and the shape of the walls are carbon copies.

  4. ojisan says:

    The chapel is the clincher. They did some good research, and so did you –

    My fondest dream would be to travel to the Muira Peninsua and find the Cafe Alpha of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou represented as faithfully. Ain’t gonna happen – Cafe Alpha’s a suburb, I understand. But the cliffs, the skies and the peaceful-future vibe of fractale all remind me of YKK –

    • adaywithoutme says:

      I think that the creators may’ve even mentioned YKK at some point? But I could be totally off-base about that.
      Fractale made me want to go back to the West Coast of Ireland again. I absolutely fell in love with Inishmore in particular. I took pictures of those cliffs in part by lying flat down on my stomach and hanging my head over the edge. The grass there was so beautiful, too…

  5. Jo says:

    I love it when anime re-creates real places. Sometimes the amount of research that goes into making look and feel real is mind-blowing (or maybe it’s an excuse for the animators to go on a ‘research trip’ lol..)

    Not quite sure if you watched Sora no Woto, but there was a lot of research that went into re-creating the town they lived in. Check out this blog, it’s really cool stuff…


    • adaywithoutme says:

      Thanks for the link. I’m jealous of the fact that manga and anime folks get to travel to places and call it research XD I’d love to do that myself.

  6. Scamp says:

    You know, I’m so used to seeing Garda on police cars that I’d forgotten it was an Irish thing

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Yeah, well, if one is accustomed to something, then it won’t stand out. Its like living in a city and then visiting things with friends from elsewhere in the city and suddenly noticing that these things are there. Its just not remarkable, so we overlook it all the time.
      …ha, not that Garda is anything ‘remarkable’ exactly. No offense to them, they’re just not, I dunno, the Taj Mahal or anything.

  7. kylaran says:

    Laputa was based on Wales right? That’s probably where the weird vibes are coming from.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Was it? It wouldn’t surprise me. Its been a while since I’ve watched it, though. But Fractale’s definitely in Ireland =)

  8. Mystlord says:

    Damn wait what. Now why would they pick Ireland as their main location? Interesting lol.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Probably because the West Coast is very Ghibli-esque. Or perhaps someone spent some time in Ireland and just used it as inspiration?

  9. foshizzel says:

    OOooh nice! love the pictures 😀

  10. Found this blog and hats off to the man who figured out where Fractale ‘is’- we had the job of helping Yamakan get around and it was fun…though Teach Synge it is not..you are still missing one really cool place…

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Yeah, I didn’t think it was Teach Synge, but I didn’t really take very many photos of the more traditional cottages while I was in the Aran Islands. Most of the shots I included were to simply demonstrate the similarities of the landscape in the Aran Islands versus those in Fractale, with the exception of the ones with the chapel in it.
      If it had been Teach Synge though, that would’ve been pretty awesome. I would probably have to sprawl myself upon the floor in worship of the Fractale staff forever. He’s one of my favorite authors.
      I am probably missing a bunch of places! I only spent about five days on the West Coast. I’m dying to get back.
      So are you saying that your tour company handled the arrangements for the Fractale folks to get to see these places? My head is sort of imploding at the thought of how small the world is that you happened across my blog post about the setting!

  11. Yeps- I wondered would anybody ever know about Fractale in the English speaking world but like you I am surprised at how small the world is…as for the house- you can see it the next time you visit the West Coast- see: http://www.dublintourcompany.com/dtc/tourinfo.jsp?id=3
    The house is in the middle of a village called Cnoc Suain- it is marvellous.
    We have a Japanese tour wing called Ewe Tours & work with lots of visiting media- though have to say the outcome of this one has been the coolest to date. See you on the West Coast soon- and sshh. you are the first to know 😉 But you deserve to!

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Well, probably not a ton of us out there who are aware of it, but there is an American company that is distributing it in English in North America.
      Thanks for letting me know which it was =) I’m hoping to get over to the West Coast sometime next year – not soon enough, unfortunately!

      • Declan says:

        When you do make it over let us know and I will for sure let you know how to get to Clein’s House at Cnoc Suain. I know for sure Yamakan wants to come back so send an e-mail at the end of the year as have a feeling a re-visit is on the cards. Keep in touch!

      • adaywithoutme says:

        I will, thanks =)

  12. Pingback: WTFractale…? « HOT CHOCOLATE IN A BOWL

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