Region: 2 - UK
Length: 300 minutes
English 5.1 Surround
Japanese 2.0 Stereo
Hot-headed fire wizard Natsu and his team of high-powered pals are back! Harnessing the forces of dragon fire, ice, weaponry, and the zodiac, four young wizards from the infamous magical guild Fairy Tail team up. In season two the friends unite with other guilds to take on one of the darkest guilds in the wizarding world!
Running a marathon is not a spiriting exercise. If you try and race ahead in the opening minutes then you'll be sorry an hour later. But if you pace yourself you can last the race and make it exciting at the same time. Why the running anthology? Because I think that Fairy Tail is the anime and manga equivalent of a marathon. It seems kind of the same all the time but as you get through it, you begin to see the scenery change around you and you yourself have a different mood as your marathon goes on. Fairy Tail will ALWAYS be about Natsu and Lucy helping to trash sections of their world in their quest to save lives, destroy evil and earn money to party and pay the rent. But as the show goes on and their foes get harder and harder, we see their enemies strip away the normal parts of them, revealing that the cast of Fairy Tail is really as honest and forthright as they seem to be. Plus, the stripping away of their outer layers usually means the bad guys get an even hard drumming!
Following on from the all out fight between the Thunder God Tribe and the rest of Fairy Tail and Master Makarov banishing his own grandson from the guild, life in Magnolia settles down and Natsu and Lucy are naturally bored. However, as is common for these two, trouble always finds them. This time, they are facing off against a new set of foes and getting ready to meet an old one. As always with Fairy Tail, the key to the success of the show is the dynamic that goes on amongst the friends that are our main leads. Natsu and Lucy are a great double act but after Mira Jane puts it into Lucy's head that Natsu might like her, she freaks out and starts obsessing about not wanting to be alone with him. Natsu is just looking for help with something and get a punch for his trouble. Grey and Erza don't get that much development this time around as this arc seems to be a think-on-your-feet arc. Though, and I can't spoil anything, Erza does get a jolt on the last few episodes and she reacts from her heart rather than her fighting mentality. If we don't believe in these people and their motivations then the show doesn't have legs to stand on.
There is something, however, that I didn't notice before but now, I can't escape from it. If you haven't ever seen Fairy Tail, then the higher up you go, the harder it is to empathise with the characters. So as sad as it is for me to say, I think going forward, I will be recommending that viewers either buy the first volume to start off with or read up on Wikipedia and bring themselves up to speed.
Is it enough to put a damper on newcomers to the show completely? Absolutely not. The show's strength lies in it's ability to push on through and let you get caught up in the excitement of a great adventure. Fairy Tail is one of the few shows I can watch where the team actually welcomes others help and works with them to defeat an enemy. Of course, Natsu loves having new fighting partners but he still runs off to take the fight to the enemy on his own and he really shouldn't because this volume features some of the weirdest characters both on the side of good and the evil side. The evil side in Fairy Tail have have had some really colourful characters in the form of Gajeel, Jellal, Lyon and Laxus and this arc (Oración Seis) is no different with the member of Oración Seis being particular badasses. While I did enjoy their introduction and the idea that these guys are the little cog in a much bigger cog of evil, the fact that we get what is essentially a retread of the Tower of Heaven arc is a disappointment as I was hoping for something different. Yes, I know that the Tower arc takes place in one location whereas by the end of the episodes here we are on the move, but still, I had hoped for something different. On the plus side, we get the members of Cait Shelter, Lamia Scale and Blue Pegasus on the heroic side. Though, after seeing the pretty boys of Blue Pegasus and their, well, insane commander Mr. Ichiya, I would never say ever again that Fairy Tail could never surprise. Because they are all flamboyant characters and they bring an excitement to the battle and while some of them definitely shouldn't never be left unsupervised around anything really, they help make an arc that couldn't have been uninteresting very energetic.
As always, animation on Fairy Tail has stuff blowing up and spectacular aerial and land based fights. On this batch of episodes, we get more knockdown fights than elegant affairs. Though the fight between psycho Celestial Spirit Mage Angel and our own Lucy is a very complex and has a spectacular end to it. At times, Fairy Tail seems to take place in a very Tolkien universe and at others seems to want to have a Germanic, almost pastoral design to it. This ambiguity allows viewers to make their own opinions as to what kind of a world Fiore is. In terms of voice acting, the cast continues to hold their own but the newest members of the alliance that goes to destroy Oración Seis haven't been heard enough for me to have an opinion, good or bad, on them.
Fairy Tail goes from strength to strength and is now happily into a point where its own mythos is helping to bring in more people because the world now can support fans who are looking for all kinds of different stories and places to see. Whether I'll still be saying that in 50+ episodes or when the new series of Fairy Tail starts is another matter. But for now, here's more of what's bad and good for you.
This release of Fairy Tail is finally, FINALLY on blu ray after over year being DVD only releases from Manga UK. The improved definition and sound make watching the show a hell of a lot easier. Manga UK have also committed to releasing the previous DVD-only volumes in new blu ray editions now that they have access to Funimation’s HD masters and discs. The extras on this blu ray however, replicate the DVD editions of earlier with Funimation actors and clean openings and closings plus some trailers. I’ve talked before about Fairy Tail commentaries and these are no better nor no worse than the previous ones.