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Fairy Tail: Part 15

FUNimation // Unrated // March 10, 2015
List Price: $54.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Neil Lumbard | posted April 6, 2015 | E-mail the Author


http-equiv="content-type">
Fairy Tail - Part 15 - Blu-ray Review


style="">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. These wizards work on
various missions for the
non-magic folk
of the world.
Additionally, 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.

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 (and remarkably well).


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 15 of the ongoing saga.  Part 15
contains
episodes 165-175. This set contains more adventures within the Grand
Magic
Games saga storyline and concludes the fourth season of the show.


style="">The Set:


It's no surprise
that Fairy Tail continues to focus on
the Grand Magic Games tournament saga. Anime series in this genre have
frequently
relied upon having a tournament style storyline. In style="font-style: italic;">Fairy Tail

exploring a
tournament setting at this stage in the story, the series showrunners
and creative staff
are
meeting genre expectations. The surprise then comes when Fairy Tail
pulls it
off with some amazing episodes that are some of the best in the series
to date.
This doesn't feel like filler storytelling. The arc has genuine
mystery,
intrigue, and a solid storyline.


This set features
an amazing opening episode with Hatred at Nightfall. In this episode,
Natsu
helps defend a girl in another guild who was kicked out and left on her
own
after losing one battle. It sets a dramatic and intense tone to the set
right
away. In Pandemonium, things are intensified as Natsu also faces other
members
of the guild and the storyline moves into the tournament arena.


In 100 Against 1,
Erza ends up battling 100 different monsters all at once and is
challenged with
one of her biggest battles to date. This is one of the most intense and
well
constructed episodes of the entire season and it's great to see such a
cool
storyline concept successfully done for Erza. Other tournaments during
the
season include Laxus vs. Alexei, Wendy vs. Shelia, and Natsu vs. the
Twin
Dragons (in the decidedly intense season finale). Each of the battles
in well
done and with impressive animation and generally solid storytelling as
well.


The Fairy Tail
guild continues its upwards trajectory in the competition. The members
of the
guild continue to excel at what they do best but this time around they
are
finally starting to actually win battles
and with a lot of points (which helps them move up the score-board). style=""> 
Tournament rules are changed after the Fairy
Tail guild manages to become so well-scored during their recent
matches. The
team is essentially made to remove a whole team of guild members as
they are no
longer allowed to have two team units.


Pairing down the
Fairy Tail guild to just one team essentially eliminates most of the
Fairy Tail
B team. The focus on these members during this batch of episodes is
low, anyway),
so audiences who liked these guild members might feel a little bit
disappointed.
Everyone else will probably be glad the main characters (who are
primarily in
the main guild) get more screen-time during this set of episodes.
Meanwhile, the
mystery quotient of the series increases to unfold as it becomes clear
that
part of the tournament is being staged for a seemingly-diabolical plan.


Few anime series produced today
continue
to grasp my attention as well as Fairy
Tail
does on a consistent basis. This is a genuinely great anime
series
which can easily join the top ranks of classic series alongside the
likes of One Piece, Dragon Ball Z,
and Sailor
Moon
. Not only is the production merit absolutely extraordinary
(with great technical
prowess and animation) but the writing is consistently strong and the
characters continue to be such a huge part of the reason the series
works so
well on the whole.



Viewers might love
the action-packaged adventures but it's much more than that bringing
fans back:
the characters and the storytelling manages to be emotionally-rich and
satisfying.
Fairy Tail is one of those rare
series that deftly balances the action, comedy, adventure, and great
characters
in one gigantic swoop of excellence. It is this quality of artistry
which keeps
the experience of Fairy Tail so compelling.
It is also why the series once again ranks as one of television's best
anime productions
of the entire year.


The Bottom line?
Don't
miss out on this amazing show. It is one of the best anime series of
the past several years. 


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 15 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 Tailstyle=""> 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:


Funimation's Dolby
TrueHD 5.1 English dub audio is still a 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
absolutely stellar
during this batch of episodes. The fine dubbing quality and
voice-acting is
starting to no longer surprise me. Why? Because it's so consistently
great. Fairy Tail has one of the best English dubs
in Funimation history. I am hopeful it will always remains this
impressive in
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 two episodes with some of the English dub cast, textless
opening/ending
songs, a U.S. trailer, and trailers promoting other Funimation
releases.


 


There
is also a video-commentary featuring
the English dub VA for Erza, the dub translation writer, and one other
dub
production member.


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


 Final
Thoughts:


Fairy Tail Part 15style=""> is yet another
excellent set of episodes. This set contains the last batch of episodes
in
Season 4. Funimation is quickly catching up on the series with only
season 5 to
release now (as season 6 has just begun airing).  Fans
are encouraged to pick up this quality release.


The series remains entertaining,
action-packed, and engaging throughout
the entire set. It's absolutely recommended to fans of the series.
Those who
have been following this saga undoubtedly want to see how the
tournament saga
continues. There are some interesting surprises in store and it all
builds to a
mysterious season finale which will have audiences wondering where
season 5
will take the series to next. Without a doubt, Fairy Tail
remains amongst the best anime series around.


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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