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Fairy Tail: Collection Four

FUNimation // Unrated // June 2, 2015
List Price: $54.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Neil Lumbard | posted July 15, 2015 | E-mail the Author


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Fairy Tail Collection 4 Blu-ray Review


Based on the successful manga
series created by Hiro Mashima, Fairy Tail began
airing in 2009 in Japan
and became one of the most successful anime series on television. It
has become
a long running success and continues to be a fan-favorite series for
its
quality blend of adventure, sci-fi, and fantasy. The series also
contains an
abundance of comedy and finds a good balance with the action.


The premise of the series revolves
around the Fairy Tail guild: a guild
made up of some of the world's most powerful wizards. These wizards
have their
own unique skills and abilities. They make up a family of-sorts and the
members
work on various missions to save the world and to complete a variety of
missions tasked within their guild.


The characters on Fairy
Tail
are
distinctive, memorable, and enjoyably realized and that is large part
of the reason
why this series became a huge success. Some of the lead characters
include a
fire-breathing man (who is part dragon) named Natsu, an energetic and
enthusiastic girl named Lucy who collects special port-keys which bring
out
spirit beings who help on guild missions, and Gray, who is a
tough-fighter and a
close friend to Natsu. Perhaps the toughest character of them all is
the
warrior Erza, who is a leader to most of the guild members and who is
easily one
of the strongest of them all.


Fairy Tailstyle=""> is an immensely fun anime series which finds
a good balance between various genre elements and the character
storytelling. Fans
of action-adventure anime series with a fantasy element should
definitely see
this wonderful series. It's exciting, comedic, and well-made throughout.


style="">Collection #4 - Episodes 73-96:


This set picks up with a number of
episodes that work more as
standalone character-based episodes following the end of one of the
series
longer story arcs. As the storyline picks up, Gildarts returns to the
Fairy
Tail guild after a seriously long mission. Gildarts is one of the
strongest
members of Fairy Tail but had been away on his quest.


Things are shaken up for them when
a hole in the sky opens up and a
giant storm ensues. It appears as though everyone in the guild
disappeared
through the storm except for Wendy. She soon finds that Natsu and the
flying-cats Happy and Carla are still around. Together, they set out on
a quest
taking them from Earth Land to a new world named Edolas, a place which
exists
as a sort of alternate dimension or reality to their own. Thus begins
the next
big story-arc (and it's an interesting one).


This part of the series introduces
a heavier sci-fi storyline that
feels a little like Fairy Tail meets The
Twilight Zone
. It's a perfect genre
outing. When Natsu, Wendy, Happy, and Carla arrive at Edolas they soon
discover
a alternate version of the Fairy Tail guild exists but it is one in
which
almost all of the characters are quite a lot different from their
normal selves
on Earth Land and almost act as different people altogether. Things get
quite a
bit odd in this alternate-dimension type world.


The world is bizarre and things are
complicated further when they
discover that in Edolas Erza is known as "The Fairy Hunter". Rather
than being one of their strongest friends she is an enemy to the guild
who
hunts down members. Making matters worse, Natsu and the rest aren't
able to use
their magic like they normally are while in Edolas.


<>Over the course of the set, a huge back-story unfolds
centered upon the
existence of the flying cats. There is a lot of development for both
Happy and
Carla and their character's storylines. These episodes greatly expand
on these
characters and should please fans. The set also introduces another
large battle-form saga within this
story arc, which leads up to the potential demise of Edolas.



The original Earth
Land Fairy Tail guild characters are brought back into the storyline
and must
work together to help save the day. Jellal is once again a focus on the
storyline as well. Lastly, the end of the storyline focuses on the
return of
the character Lisanna, a beloved Fairy Tail guild member who was
believed
dead... but is it the return of their lost friend or is it the
alternate-universe Lisanna from Edolas who has returned? By the last
episode of
the set, the characters return to Eath Land but the series starts to
setup the
next big arc, which kicks off on the next collection.

The animation remains incredibly
well done on Fairy Tail. The character designs are
superb and the artwork is detailed
and highly creative. The background art is stunning and a lot of effort
was
done designing the new alternate-universe style world. Production
qualities are
really excellent. I was impressed. The English dubbing work by the
Funimation
team is also high-quality and fans of dubs will be pleased with the
effort.  


The Blu-ray:


style="">


Video:style="">


Fairy Tailstyle=""> is presented on Blu-ray from Funimation
Entertainment with a combo pack release which includes both DVD and
Blu-ray
discs. At this stage in the series (prior to the release of native HD
episodes), the presentation is that of an upscaled 1080p transfer. The
series
has an impressive upscale and looks quite wonderful and near native-HD
quality.



Though the series presentation is a
bit soft because of it being an upscale
from standard definition the line detail, clarity, and colors are all
excellent. The only real issue on the set is that there is some banding
related
issues. Viewers will be quite pleased with the effort made by
Funimation to release
the episodes on Blu-ray in the best possible quality. The set also
presents the
series in the original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 widescreen.
style="">


Audio:style="">


There are two lossless
audio options on the release: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 English and Dolby TrueHD
2.0 Japanese (with English subtitles). Viewing the series
in English gives a robust surround-sound presentation and the English
dubbing is excellent. Fans of English dubs will be impressed by the
quality of
the dubbing by Funimation's excellent voice cast as well. However,
either
option will please fans with a lossless audio mix.


Extras:


As with other Fairy Tail collections, the
extras included
on this release are minimal and consist of select audio commentaries
featuring
English dub VA's, text-less opening/closing credits (songs), and
trailers
promoting other Funimation Entertainment releases.


Final Thoughts:


One of the best long-running anime series of the
past
several years is Fairy Tail. The series is a blast to watch
with great
adventure, action, characters, and animation. This series is superbly
made and
is a must-see for anime fans. This set contains an engaging sci-fi
storyline
that is a great fit to the Fairy Tail universe.


Highly 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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