I’ve been able to accept most of the technical details of the world of Fractale as the result of super-advanced technology, but some things in the last episode don’t make sense to me. Maybe a satisfactory explanation will be forthcoming, or maybe the writers really haven’t thought things through.
What follows is sufficiently spoilerish that you probably shouldn’t read it if you haven’t yet watched the show. (So go ahead and watch it. It’s available legally and free on Hulu.)
The Fractale System fits somewhere between the virtual reality of The Matrix and the augmented reality of Dennou Coil. The people of this world are not unconscious in pods experiencing a totally illusory world. They are walking around in the real world, but much of what they perceive is computer-generated images that they receive though “Fractale Terminals” embedded in their bodies. (People without the terminals can see the same images by wearing special goggles.)
In Episode 6 we see what happens when transmissions from the network are cut off. The accouterments of civilization that the people depend on–the buildings, streets, houses and ornamental gardens–all vanish, leaving them in an empty wilderness without food, shelter or tools of survival.
This doesn’t make sense to me. Computer-generated holographic images may be pleasing, but they can’t shelter you from a storm or fill your stomach. And it was previously indicated that such images are insubstantial. (You can put your hands right through a doppel. Except, in some cases, through Nessa.)
It would make more sense to me if when the system went down the people found themselves living in dreary featureless Quonset huts and eating tasteless nutritive paste. But then they would merely be disillusioned, not desperate.