To those who are not familiar with Fairy Tail (If you're reading this review for Part 10 then you should be up to date with it), I'll clue you in. Fairy Tail is easily one of the most popular anime/manga currently available... It's a series that revolves around the lives of a Fairy Tail guild wizard. The show has a plethora of great characters, fun story arcs and not a whole lot of filler with solid writing. Fairy Tail balances humor, fantasy, and action flawlessly. This set contains episodes 109-120, which continues one of the series best arc thus far featured in these 10 collections and showcases exactly why the series has won over so many!
Part 10: Episodes 109-120.
Since I did not review the Part 9 box, I'll recap some events. In the last box set of Fairy Tail, it was once again time for our favorite guild to begin a yearly traditional tournament where Master Makarov promotes one deserving member of Fairy Tail to S-Class, the strongest class of wizards, something only few have attained, such as Laxus, Mystogan/Jellal, and Gildarts. Not only Is it described as one of the hardest trials a wizard can go through, but it is considered an honor to be even able to compete. Those chosen for the competition are Natsu, Gray, Fried, Levy, Juvia, Elfman, Cana, and a mysterious man who claims to be Mystogan's pupil, named Mest, are selected. Makarov asks for the competitors to team up, and the selected teams are Natsu/Happy, Gray/Loke, Cana/Lucy, Mest/Wendy, Fried/Bixlow, Juvia/Lisanna, Levy/Gajeel and Elfman/Evergreen. Together the teams head to the mysterious Sirius Island, where they're given one task, be the first to locate the grave of Fairy Tail's first guild master, Mavis.
Once at Sirius Island, a darkness looms over Fairy Tail in the form of Grimoire Heart, whom are known as the fiercest guild to exist. The leader, Hades, Master Makarov's predecessor of the Fairy Tail guild, is hell bent on wiping them all off the planet by resurrecting a mysterious dark wizard known as Zaref, who has an uncontrollable power that cannot be contained.
Toward the end of Set 9. The previous fight against the seven kin of purgatory, the strongest members of Grimoire Heart, has left Wendy, Mest, Carla, Pantherlilly, Lisanna, Evergreen, Mirajane, Gajeel, Loke, Levy, and Master Makarov are all down for the count. With the numbers falling for Fairy Tail, and still 5 members of the Seven kin of Purgatory, the Fairy Tail members are in for the fight of their lives here in Part 10.
As this set opens, we're thrown right into the middle of the action as Lucy tries to hold off Kain Hikaru, while Natsu recovers from his battle with Zancrow, whom has retreated back to his master. These opening episodes I felt were the weakest as the fight is a bit silly, with Kain using a voodoo doll to fight Lucy and eventually Natsu as well. As Lucy and Natsu fight Kain, Juvia and Erza try to hold off Merudy, a member of the seven kin whom seems to have a personal vendetta against Gray. Meanwhile, while all of the battles are taking place, Gray runs into a woman connected with his past named Ultear, whom seems to have ulterior motives as to why she joined Grimoire Heart.
While the fights between Fairy Tail and Grimoire Heart grow more intense with each passing episode, Cana tries to find the meaning in her life by avoiding the battles and trekking alone through the island to find Mavis' grave. Mest must scramble to stop the remaining members of the Grimoire Heart from resurrecting Zaref, a dark wizard with uncontrollable power, while also trying warn the Fairy Tail guild of the Magic council's impending plan of unleashing the etherion, the weapon used to destroy Jellal and the tower of heaven, upon Sirius Island.
As the final battle against Hades continues to approach, the Fairy Tail guild grows weaker with each passing battle. Many are injured, some have to stay behind to protect the injured, Natsu and company have been put through the ringer, and it's up to an old friend/enemy from the past to step in and protect Fairy Tail against their strongest enemy yet. With the entirety of Parts 9 & 10 focusing on Fairy Tail's battle against Grimoire Heart, the storylne is still not wrapped as this collection comes to a close, although there is a hook that leads into the next box set. While Fairy Tail is triumphant over Hades as expected, Zaref finally fully awakens and is ready to unleash the full depth of his powers. Not only will Zaref have to be dealt with, but they'll soon have to go up against acnolgia, a mysterious force to be reckoned with.
Content wise, there is not much more to say about this box set. Part 9 was the amazing buildup, while Part 10 is the explosive payoff, twelve episodes of almost nothing but fighting, featuring everything a Fairy Tail fan wants from the show... an abundance of fantastic action, some great character development for some of the side characters, and doses of humor injected to counter the intensity. The first 2/3's of the box set is spent on nothing but fighting against Hade's lackey's in the Grimoire Heart guild, while the last 3 or so episodes are of the remaining Fairy Tail members going up against Hades in an all or nothing fight. While I would have liked a little bit less fighting time against the Grimoire Heart seven kin, more time could have been added to the Hades fight, as those episodes are easily some of the best, if not THE best episodes to date in Fairy Tail.
+ The final fight against Hades is spectacular.
+ While not getting much screen time, the dynamic between Gray and Ultear is terrific.
+ Dub cast continues to be excellent. Fairy Tail is easily one of the best dubs on the market.
+ Character development for Cana.
+ Excellent fight scenes, although a little too much.
+ Laxus' return is a welcome surprise.
+ Supporting cast gets time to shine. It's nice to see characters such as Fried, Loke, Juvia, Cana and Bixlow get some time in the spotlight.
- I'd say there is a bit too much action. The entirety of this box set is action, and because of that, it starts to feel a bit bloated, like I'm watching Dragon Ball Z.
- I'm personally not a fan of Kain and his voodoo magic. The opening episodes with him squaring off against Lucy were quite boring to me.
- The Goku trope. That cliché where apparently only the main character can defeat the primary antagonist, despite much stronger allies being present.
Video and Audio:
Fairy Tail has always had a lot of bright, vibrant colors that look great and stand out well, so this set is no different. I did notice some banding issues at some points in this set, but they're almost non existent to really take away from the overall look. The series were not meant to be viewed in High Definition due to the limitation of Standard Definition. FUNimation's upscale is solid though.
As for Audio... Again, no different from previous sets. We're given 2 audio tracks, the TrueHD English 5.1 and the TrueHD Japanese 2.0 Stereo track. As usual, I watched the English dub, and as I already stated they deliver great work. The English 5.1 track works well while avoiding any problems such as dropouts or distortions during playback.
- Marketing a Fairy Tail: A twenty minute interview with a graphic designer, a trailer editor, and an associate brand manager at FUNimation. They delve into the process of finishing the product after receiving the materials from Japan.
- Episode 109 commentary with Cherami Leigh, Bryan Massey, and Tyler Walker, whom are Lucy, Kain, and the ADR Director for the series, respectively.
- Episode 119 commentary with Tia Ballard, Rick Keeling, Jad Saxton, and Tyler Walker, whom are Happy, Pantherlilly, Carla, and the ADR Director for the series, respectively.
- Two textless opening themes.
- Two textless closing themes.
- U.S. Trailer for the series.
- Typical FUNimation trailers for shows such as Attack on Titan, Date A Live, Eureka Seven, Red Data Girl, Serial Experiments Lain, Spice & Wolf.
With Part 10 continuing the most intense storyline that Fairy Tail has given us to date. The series continues to show us why it's one of the best anime currently on the market as we get everything we've come to expect from this series, excellent action, hilarious comedy, character development, and a nice hook that will lead us into the next box set. Part 10 come recommended.