I expected something in the vibe of Spice and Wolf: two people (More or less people) travelling together with banter and lots of talking through beautiful locals sans the logic-defying enjoyable economics with peaceful stuff that may appear to be boring but is really engrossing in some strange way. Fractale isn't entirely that but it does have beautiful scenery and a beginning mostly filled with wonder and peace and to me, a wish to explore it all. Also with the last part, the whole "boring but is really engrossing in some strange way" in some parts but, you know, depends on your taste.
It starts off nice and calm like, and I enjoyed it. How we are introduced to the world of Fractale, the beings and avatars (Doppels here) that inhabit it and to our protagonist Clain. Stuff happens and Nessa appears. The time between the two and the world was some of the best segments in the anime, and the slice-of-life vibe in the episodes afterward.
And then you progress to the last few episodes. At that point, it deviates from the path and doesn't feel as good. Stuff gets a bit cliche and at times creepy, turnabouts occur and then the ending. I can't say that I understood it all, as I didn't, but it's alright. Not great, but it's a smattering of things. Variety doesn't beat out quality and I did start to miss the beginning episodes a bit.
The more I look into the story, the more flaws I see. So at this point; You aren't going to watch this for the story, but for the locale, atmosphere and overall pleasantness of the beginning.
And I'm not going too much into the story, as I'll probably reveal juicy details that some may call spoilers. Overall, a mixed bag but more good than bad.
The world of Fractale, or where we start, is the countryside but that is only a large piece of the pie of the world of Fractale. There are also old-style cities, cobblestones and stone, wood, ye olden days stuff. Those was beautiful. And then you have the complete trip of Xanadu, all neonish colours, black with standout blues and such; it's amazing. The scenery is matched by the characters that inhabit it, which I loved. It had a The Girl Who Leapt Through Time vibe to it and looked simple without being too much so.
The OP took some time to get used to but it suits the trippy visuals. Started to enjoy it near the end. The EP, however, takes the cake and is worth listening to instead of moving on once the credits start rolling. The voices are nice and the other music pieces do their job well.
Some of the characters I liked, mainly Clain and Nessa; the interactions between the two and the trio of two suits and a minor, they were fun. Everybody else revolves around them (And Phryne) as they aren't as important but important enough to get the plot moving. Some of the stuff they do is horrendously cliche and stupid but they're human. Humans do stupid things because they think it's right, regardless of what others think.
I liked it. I don't regret watching it regardless of any qualms and complaints and it was some good fun all-around. Not much else I want to say at this point.