Fairy Tail: Part 2
FUNimation // Unrated // $54.98 // December 27, 2011
Review by Neil Lumbard | posted January 4, 2012
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
Fairy Tail Part 2 Review

The Series:

Fairy Tail began airing in Japan in October of 2009. Over 100 episodes have been produced to date. The series is based upon the successful manga series created by Hiro Mashima. It stands out as one of the most notable recent anime series through a balanced combination of quirky science-fiction, fantasy, and an abundance of humor that keep things consistently interesting. The series is also action-packed and focuses on a guild made up of extremely powerful wizards. The series follows the Fairy Tail guild (not a big surprise there!) and the heroes that make up the band of quirky magicians seem goofy, well-spirited, and willing to work together as necessary to complete any mission.

The characters on the show are a central reason as to why the series works so well. It's the character element that grabs the audience attention the most. The central characters in the series are Natsu, a fire-breathing man with dragon skills and possible background, Lucy, an energetic girl who collects port-keys which unleash spirit being's with enough energy to win against any potential threats of the Fairy Tail guild, and Gray... a guy who has tons of skills and who always happens to take his shirt off somehow. There's also a comedic blue cat with the guild who is close friends with Natsu. The cat's name is Happy. Happy has wings and is capable of flying. Another strong supporting character is found with the tough fighter Elza.

Each character contributes something to these adventures being so humorous, exciting, and thrilling. Early episodes don't feature quite as much character development as one might be hoping for but there is a strong likeability factor for each of the main characters featured on the show and it helps to keep in consistent in entertainment.

Fans of comedy and action will want to give this series a chance. Fairy Tail is an immensely enjoyable show. The best thing about this series is that it is a ton of fun. It isn't the most complicated of shows (at least this far into the run) but the cast of fun characters and offbeat situations makes it an easy show to enjoy without having to over-think it at all.

The premise is enjoyable and the execution of the creative elements works effectively so it isn't surprising that the series has been able to find mass popularity and appeal in Japan. Fairy Tail is a winning combination of some of anime's finest fantasy/ sci-fi genre aspects.


The Set: #2 - Episodes 13-24:

The set begins by concluding the story arc established during the first Fairy Tail set. There is major confrontation between Gray and an old friend who was trained by the same sorcerer. The mysterious island that has been inhabited by people who are turned into demons by a strange force is in even more danger of weirdness. The demon scare-force Deliora is being unfrozen by a group of conspiring foes. What exactly do they hope to gain with awakening the frozen beast? These episodes are so easy to become absorbed in quickly as the story intensifies quickly and never pauses for a moment's breath until the arc is resolved. The episodes following this arc are then seriously hilarious as a momentary break - the best episode on the entire set is probably one where all of the characters switch bodies. It's definitely one of the funniest episodes in the series and it has a certain Twilight Zone stylistic approach that helps the material.

Anime fans looking for the next big series to watch have found it here. This is probably one of the most entertaining shows of recent years and it is so likeable that it makes it easy to want to marathon the show. Don't hesitate to add another excellent collection of episodes into your "must-see" lists. Fairy Tail is sure to entertain with it's beautiful animation, fun characters, and other magical elements.

The set contains the conclusion to the first set's biggest story arc, a few comical side-stories, and the backstory behind Gray's almost-nervous-tick of taking off his clothes. Concluding the collection is a run of episodes with some of the most intense elements viewers have experienced with the show to this point. A major obstacle and danger is looming for the Fairy Tail guild!  What will happen next? Who knows... but I'm certainly looking forward to seeing the next set already!


The Blu-ray:


Video:

Fairy Tail is presented in a combo pack release which contains both DVD and Blu-ray discs. The Blu-ray presentation is an upscaled 1080p transfer that presents the series with strong, bold colors and good line detail. The transfer is somewhat soft because of the nature of an upscale presentation. These episodes were originally animated to be presented in Standard Definition yet Funimation has done an excellent job with this upscaled release as it does in fact deliver a solid presentation in the original broadcast aspect ratio of 1.78:1 widescreen. The video is every bit as impressive for the second set of Fairy Tail.

Audio:

Fans are treated to two lossless audio options (which are both encoded as Dobly TrueHD tracks). English 5.1 surround sound provides a slightly more enveloping aural experience with better use of sound effects and music reproduction, while the 2.0 original Japanese language dub is relegated to having a slightly less expansive soundstage. When viewing Fairy Tail's first set I opted more for the original language track but this time around the English track won over more frequently. It's a nice dub, and the second set seems a bit more developed and accurate than the first set was in properly adapting the characters.

Please Note:

The images in this review are taken from the DVD discs included in this Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack.


Extras:

The extras include commentaries on Episode 15 and 19 of the series (with select members of the English voice cast), clean opening/ending credits, and trailers for Funimation releases on DVD/Blu-ray. It was a bit disappointing but also unsurprising to discover that both of the commentaries were just as uninteresting as on the first set. It's basically random recordings with little cohesiveness. I mean, come on now... one of the commentaries even has a Fairy Tail voice actor playing music on his guitar.


Final Thoughts:

The second collection of Fairy Tail episodes is even more entertaining than I expected. The first episodes of the show were so enjoyable but lacking in character development. While I still have a feeling that there is a lot more to learn about these characters it was surprising then that several episodes helped develop Gray's character. The show is extremely funny, cool, and entirely worthwhile. This is absolutely recommended.  Highly Recommended.



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