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Fairy Tail: Part 14

FUNimation // Unrated // December 2, 2014
List Price: $54.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Neil Lumbard | posted January 12, 2015 | E-mail the Author


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The
Series:


Fairy Tail
is a popular action-adventure-comedy series which follows a group of
wizards
who are all a part of the renowned Fairy Tail guild, where magic beings
with special gifts work together on various jobs and missions for the
non-magic
folk of the world. These talented wizards work together to face enemy
guilds
(the type who use their magic without a positive approach), and prepare
new
skills as they train to become S class wizards (the top ranking of
guild
members across the world). From saving the day to being hilarious,
these
wizards are a familial bunch that represent the world's best in magic
guilds.


One of the most
popular ongoing anime series of the moment,
Fairy Tailstyle=""> is a series which has already had a second
extension on life after a four season run and is currently in its fifth
year.  Based upon the similarly popular manga series from artist
Hiro
Mashima, which began to be published in 2006 in Japan, the manga was
adapted
into this similarly successful anime with a premiere arriving in
October 2009.
The anime series production became such a huge success in Japan and was
licensed
and released by Funimation to great response in North America, where
the
series now arrives on Part 14 of the ongoing saga.  Part 14
contains
episodes 154-164 and is a introductory volume for the season. This set
contains
the beginning of the Grand Magic Games saga.


style="">The Set:


Season 4 of Fairy Tail
is now underway with Part 14.
The saga of the show continues with one of the most popular and
fan-favorite sections
of the series. As a staple part of the anime storytelling world, it's
almost a
requirement  (at this point) that
long-form anime series eventually introduce some sort of battle
tournament into
the mix. The basic concept has happened again and again throughout the
genre
and is mostly differentiated in the characters participating in said
tournaments.


Fairy Tail joins
the mix of action anime to implement a major tournament into the
storyline.  As the Fairy Tail guild decides
to once again
participate in the Grand Magic Games, where various magical guilds all
participate in tournament style battles with each other over which
guild is the
most powerful in the entire wizarding community, things begin to
intensify. Fairy
Tail hasn't had any luck coming in first in the past but feels
determined to do
so this time now that the guild has a higher number of high-ranking
members.


The season begins
with the return of some old foes who are now reformed and want to stop
bad
wizards from across the region. An independent guild has been formed
with these
wizards and it's not affiliated with the main wizarding council. The
Fairy Tail
guild encounters them along their way to the main tournament, stories
are
swapped, and they learn about difficult training techniques which could
help
them to win the competition they are entering.  None
of the guild members seem to really want
to do the vigorous strength training but attempt to anyway because of
the
looming competition.  


When the Fairy Tail
guild arrives at the location of the new year's tournament they find
that the
rules have changed drastically from previous years. Now a strange new
form of
elimination is used to disqualify over a hundred guild members. It
leaves less
than ten remaining teams to battle it out to become the winner of the
tournament. Fairy Tail soon discovers that more than just the rules
have
changed this time: now there are multiple guilds out to "get them"
and they have to fight a even harder fight to even survive the
competition. During
this initial batch of episodes in the Fairy Tail Grand Magic Games
tournament
battles include Lucy vs. Flare, Elfman vs. Bacchus, Mirajane vs. Jenny,
and
Kagura vs. Yukino.


A huge reason for
the show's success is it's wonderful cast of characters. It's the joy
of the
lovable and entertaining group that the show retains such a strong
sense of
humor and an impressive storytelling quality.  The
series is infinitely more enjoyable
through the use of wonderful goofballs who are a part of the magical
guild. Characters
include a descendant connected to dragons named Natsu, the incredibly
powerful
Erza, who is one of the strong warriors of the bunch and always someone
looking
to help keep the guild running smoothly, Gray, who happens to be a
hands-on
fighter who regularly misplaces his shirt, Lucy, who can call upon
magical
spirits to help at any time, and the talking and flying cat by name of
Happy
(who is besties with Natsu).


From a production
standpoint, the animation on Fairy Tail
is easily one of the aspects that is most impressive. The series looks
finely
polished and designed with strong detail and art of consistently high
quality.
The character designs are impressive and the background art does manage
to
remain lush and creative whenever need be. Whether the show is focused
on an
important dramatic moment, comedic sketch, or action-packed sequence,
the
artwork does consistently work remarkably well.


I continue to enjoy
Fairy Tail as one of the better anime
productions currently being made in Japan. The series is often near the
same
level of the quality as seen on One Piece. This makes Fairy
Tail
a must-see series for fans of anime. The series does
seem to alternate between more comedic character-centric episodes and
long-form
sagas. The latest saga has arrived: the Grand Magic Games tournament
will be a
driving force in this fourth season. Continuing to be a quirky action
anime, Fairy Tail enters a fan-favorite section
of the show and is absolutely worth seeing.


The Blu-ray:


style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; text-align: center;" align="center">style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">


Video:


Fairy Tai Part 14
arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p High
Definition presentation. As with other sets (beginning with Part 11),
the show
receives native high-def encoding, which looks just as good as the
previous
upscaled presentations. Color and clarity and quite strong and the
image looks
pleasing for the most part. The animation and the quality production
merits
continue to shine through. The series does look a bit soft but this
seems to be
inherent within the source. Viewers will be pleased with the
presentation
despite some minor issues with banding and aliasing. Fairy
Tail
is presented in the original broadcast aspect ratio of
1.78:1.


style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; text-align: center;" align="center">style="">Please Note: This release is a
Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack.


Audio:


Once again, Funimation's Dolby
TrueHD 5.1 English dub audio is the
impressive selection that I have a personal preference towards during
my
listening experience. The series is provided with both English dub and
Japanese
dub lossless audio options which is a nice feature. The work of the
English dub
ADR director remains stellar and the quality of the voice-acting
continues to
surprise with its excellent quality. Please note that the original
Japanese
audio is 2.0 Dolby TrueHD stereo and it will not be as dynamic as the
English
dub option.


style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; text-align: center;" align="center">style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">


Extras:style="">


 


This
release includes two audio commentaries
on selected episodes with participants from the English dub cast,
textless
opening/ending songs, a U.S. trailer, and trailers promoting other
Funimation
releases.


 


Lastly,
Funimation has provided a featurette
entitled Being Lucy: With Cherami Leigh (16 min.), who is the voice
actress for
Lucy. It's an inside look at a recording session with Leigh as she is
working
on her vocal performance for the part.


The release also
contains the standard inclusion of reversible cover art and a beautiful
slip
(o-card).


 Final
Thoughts:


Fairy Tail Part 14 is
another batch of the exciting and
entertaining series. This new season introduces the biggest long-form
tournament
saga on the show which is akin to other anime series tournaments where
characters must duke-it-out to become victorious. Now it's time
characters from
the Fairy Tail guild participate in their own tournament towards
becoming
crowned as the greatest magical guild throughout the kingdom. As per
usual, this
is a series anime fans will enjoy. It's a strong start to season 4.
With worthwhile video and audio quality, this set is certainly a
Funimation release well worth owning for
series fans.


Highlystyle=""> Recommended.



Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.

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