Viewers of new anime Fractale are pondering just what on earth happened to the character designs in the TV anime versus those of the light novel/manga.


Opinions range from the needs of easy animation (although this fails to explain the drastic change in palette) to interventionist animators going overboard in reworking the designs, but few have nice things to say about the changes.

The fact that the manga and light novels designs and the anime designs now look so different as to be hard to identify as even being the same title also comes in for criticism – a particular problem for homepages and merchandising.

However, a minority does insist the new work should be appreciated on its own merits rather than be pilloried for not looking exactly like the original.

The anime has also been unkindly referred to as “looking like some kind of Ghibli doujin anime”:


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    Avatar of AzureHakua
    Comment by AzureHakua
    03:50 17/01/2011 # ! Quality (+0.9)

    Oh so it wasn't just me... phew....

    But seriously though... purple hair is waay better.

    Avatar of OhYeah
    Comment by OhYeah
    03:52 17/01/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Outside of the title, just out of curiosity, how many people expect to recognize the characters on a DVD case to buy it?

    This has serious issues.

    Avatar of Bazzyrick
    Comment by Bazzyrick
    05:08 17/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    When the characters appearance is one of the key identity points in a film, game or anime then almost completley changing their appearance is a very stupid thing to do.

    (Cough lara croft COUGH)

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:40 17/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.7)

    Not such a big deal with Lara since she was fugly as hell to begin with:

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:35 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.3)

    New Lara Croft is WAY better.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:37 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Well purple hair or different colored versions are often taken as brown... such as in tales of vesperia, Yuri's hair is purple and referred to as black.

    Avatar of AzureHakua
    Comment by AzureHakua
    06:40 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Yuri's hair is totally black. xD

    But I get what you mean. Although, purple and black are more close together.

    In this case, it's a light purple that has turned into a brown color, and in the case of the loli, red.

    Avatar of Kitsunemimi6
    Comment by Kitsunemimi6
    14:11 18/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The fuck did they do to the hair colors, I don't care what the reason is, there is no excuse to completely change the hair color or color orientation of 1's hair color...

    & to make it worse, there isn't a single hair color in the anime that is unusual or even vibrate for that matter...the color is apart of the appeal for the hair even if only a small part...

    Oh, & the eye colors!...The fuck is wrong with those clowns?...

    Comment by Anonymous

    New Lara is hot. She looks hotter than when her boobs were square.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Honestly, I think it makes it stand out a bit more compared to the rest of this season. Let's face it, purple and various other humanly impossible hair colors are common in anime. Your more likely to notice and remember something that actually looked normal at this point. I mean, what are you more likely to remember, a harem comedy with a "this loser is you" hero or one like the original harem comedies where he's a talented prince being chased after as a political tool?

    Just cause your use to it doesn't make it a good thing.

    Avatar of toyNN
    Comment by toyNN
    05:12 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    True on the DVD promotions but also its one of the shows I was looking forward to watching because of how the art and character designs looked from those of the novel/manga. Seemed like Fractale could be special based on that...but now its just another show...

    Avatar of PirosThe3rd
    Comment by PirosThe3rd
    09:51 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    . . . . . .
    The character design looks familiar.....

    Avatar of PirosThe3rd
    Comment by PirosThe3rd
    09:54 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It looks like different people.....

    Avatar of Manjix
    Comment by Manjix
    18:01 17/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    I was wondering if I was watching Fractale, seems like I was. I lawled.

    Avatar of Megidola
    Comment by Megidola
    04:21 17/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    I don't get why they changed from purple to "realistic" coloured hair, when the boy's "dad" appears to be a talking spoon with sunglasses...

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:44 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    That was just a holographic avatar of his, considering he's in another town. Same goes for the mom.

    It's like you being in another city, but your current avatar showing up at the Thanksgiving family dinner. So that at least you're "present".

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:27 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Can't they just make their avatars look the same as their real selfs? I mean it's one thing to have funny looking avatars when hanging out with strangers like you do on the internet. But it's another if it's meant to spend meaningful times with your family.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:27 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    No idea, just from what I've gathered from the first episode is that a lot of folks use Dopples to be somewhere, but not be there physically for whatever reason.

    Whether that be a police raid, like on the market, due to the drug selling, or like with the family dinner.

    And that face to face communication is something that's becoming rather rare, because people prefer using the Dopples.

    Also didn't get why the heck the father is settled down in another town, considering he retired from his trading job. You'd think he'd want to live in the same place as his son then, or at the least have the son move to him.

    But maybe more shall be revealed in the coming episodes.

    Avatar of salazar84
    Comment by salazar84
    03:59 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I also got the feeling something was wrong when i was watching the episode...

    Also the caracthers looks somehow different from the manga and anime (I mean by personality but i could be wrong)

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:09 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Lol I thought it was practically a ghibli film turned anime. I did like it though. Looking at the light novel characters though I feel like something awful is going to happen when the story actually starts..

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:24 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I too think that purple hair look much better on the zange lookalike, but the staff probably wanted to make the hair colours more realistic, and that isn't a bad thing.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:51 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Though I'd question their reasoning as to making two characters originally with purple hair into different colors...

    Avatar of yuriphoria
    Comment by yuriphoria
    07:52 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    But she looks too much like zenge, which is good in a bad sense.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:28 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    zange anyone?

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:49 18/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    thank god they cut the moe crap, so they wont ruin the story

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:08 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    @Azure lol thoughts the same

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:33 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    They had to get rid of the "female artist" style that includes making everybody's hair ridiculously god damn curly somehow.

    It isn't really that surprising to be honest.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:38 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    is that why your name is azure? haha

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:25 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    "What the hell happened to Fractale"

    I was thinking the exact same thing.

    Avatar of Riiku
    Comment by Riiku
    04:33 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Oh, I have a good thing to say about this:

    The creator's decision was stupid, I wont watch this piece of shit, and therefore will have more free time.

    This is a good thing.

    Avatar of King Tiger
    Comment by King Tiger

    this is a common "practice" in the west

    my advice for Japan: dealwithit.gif

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:59 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The West also likes shitty adaptations.

    Avatar of Uncommon0taku
    Comment by Uncommon0taku
    05:12 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    dang - yur getting more negative hits than positive hits,... yur gonna fall off the top five rank if this keeps up.

    Avatar of King Tiger
    Comment by King Tiger

    @ Uncommon

    all I did was spoke my mind and people be hatin'

    aw well I suppose~

    Avatar of Ryan Saotome
    Comment by Ryan Saotome
    03:56 17/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Can you imagine something like K-on having completely different looking characters in the anime version? This is a disaster

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:32 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    quite so
    this design is plain and unrefined to the point of being physically painful on the eye

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:38 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, perfectly.

    Comment by Anonymous

    It's kinda weird, but "disaster"? Some of you people just take shit like this too far.

    Avatar of Omega Direx
    Comment by Omega Direx
    03:57 17/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    It does look a little ghibli-ish, but the mood of the show so far is very pleasant.

    Avatar of Omega Direx
    Comment by Omega Direx
    04:01 17/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    I've never read the light novel, so I don't have any attachment to the original character designs. I might be part of the minority that thinks "the new work should be appreciated on its own merits". More importantly, I might be one of a dying breed of fans who couldn't care less about character design as long as it doesn't look completely amateur and the plot is solid.

    Avatar of Stanfield
    Comment by Stanfield
    05:18 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree with you, as long as the plot is still fine I couldn't care less about character design. Isn't it the plot that really matters in a story?

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:05 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The anime is the source material.

    Avatar of Satonaka
    Comment by Satonaka
    05:34 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Same here, having no prior knowledge of the original source material, I enjoyed a majority of the show with the exception of the scenes at the home with the short girl who owns the blimp; those were quite boring to me personally, but hopefully it gets better.

    I can see the original character in the anime designs being a hit or miss for people tho considering they do look quite good, but not like the originals and those to me look a lot better imho.

    Still for better or worse, quite interesting, will be looking forward to see how the story progresses from here.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:01 18/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    " The anime has also been unkindly referred to as 'looking like some kind of Ghibli doujin anime' "

    Not that it's a bad thing.
    I think it looks pretty interesting.

    Aside from the part where the main protagonist's parents look like.....whatever they are "doonies" or something....LOLs

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:47 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Comments I saw on the first episode, also compared it to Ghibli, but all of them were favourable actually. *shrugs*

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:03 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    my thought when i saw the air chase:
    Nausicaa valley of the sky ?

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:22 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Thats exactly what I thought. From the glider to even the style of her clothes look similar to what Nausicaa was wearing near the end of of film.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:35 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    ghibli-ish in the old school-ish sense, but not quality

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:56 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It's stuff like this that makes me glad I don't try and read up on original manga/light novels for adaptations all the time. It makes it a lot easier to just appreciate it for what it is when I don't know what it was supposed to be.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:04 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    one thing :

    isn't Fractale supposed to be an original anime project?
    The light novel will come next month ...geez there's typo's there and everyone believe it ....

    Avatar of VillainousHanacha
    Comment by VillainousHanacha
    06:54 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Wow, I heard they made some changes, but this is pretty drastic. This is not just hair color, but also body shape and proportions as well. Even as someone who never heard of Fractale until the Anime and has no knowledge of the Light Novels, I can't help but feel concern. Keeping character designs consistent is the 1st step in adapting something, and if that at least isn't followed, then what's stopping them from changing other things? (Like with the Xebec-made Negima Anime).

    To anyone who follows the Light Novel or the Manga, my heart goes out to you.

    As for the Anime version of Fractale, it looks like a cross between Ghibli and Birdy The Mighty: Decode. To be honest, I liked what I saw in the 1st episode, but that's probably because I went into it Tabula Rasa. But even with no prior connection to the source materials, I'm still worried. With a change this drastic (even the extremely inacurate Seikon No Qwaser Anime didn't change character designs) I KNOW other things will fall to the wayside in terms of accuracy to the source material (like with the Xebec Negima Anime).

    However, I won't stop watching because of this. I think some of the original designs look better, but by no means is the Ghibli/Birdy style art with the pastele colors bad. I quite like it. The central concept does seem interesting. But I am a little more cautious than I was before. Changes like this are usually a symptom, just a sign of a deeper problem. But nothing I've seen so far is persuading me not to watch this. But once again, I'm only able to do that because I'm going in a clean slate, with no prior knowledge of either the Light Novels or the Manga.

    But I will say this, to anyone who read the Light Novels, I wouldn't blame you if you dropped this already. I can understand, as non-accurate adaptions are a rather large pet-peeve of mine.

    Avatar of CoolServbot
    Comment by CoolServbot
    15:21 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Its not adaptation decay. The manga was made specifically to hype up the anime, (similar with the Evangelion manga) but the designs for the concept art are the original designs. I don't know why would the anime artists make so many changes.

    Avatar of VillainousHanacha
    Comment by VillainousHanacha
    18:30 17/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    yeah, I did some research after the fact and found out that Fractale is more akin to a Multi-Media project, similar to Angel Beats!, than an actual Light Novel/Manga to Anime adaption. Considering the Manga came out in late 2010, and the Light Novel has yet to even come out yet as well, there really has been no time for the "source material" to develop a Canon to adapt, so Multi-Media seems to be the best explanation.

    With that said, I now feel like a total idiot for not having done some quick research before commenting on the matter. Anyone, please feel free to ridicule me for my ignorance.

    I take back what I said about the Fractale Anime being Adaption Decay, because obviously it's not really "Adapting" in the first place.

    However, I am puzzled (and somewhat concerned) by the decision to suddenly change the character designs on us. As you said, I really don't know why they would do that. It's not like one set looks particularly easier to animate than the other. It quite out of left field really.

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