Review by: Eduardo Zacarias
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $54.98 US (Blu-ray + DVD)
Running Time: 300 minutes
Rating: TV 14
Release Date: Available Now
The past always comes back to bite us in the rear, doesn’t it?
Some anime series really knows how to show their viewers a good time and even more so if the material it is adapted from goes for the One Piece-styled craziness and action. The first part of the series introduced us to the colorful cast of characters that make up this world filled with magic so what we get in Part 2 of Fairy Tail is more of the high-energy antics of a wizard guild you will not forget anytime soon. Trust me when I say that if you’re not already a fan of this series you will be after this second part.
When we last left Natsu, Lucy, Happy and Gray in Part 1, they not only snuck off carry out a difficult S-class mission but they defied the Fairy Tail guild rules in the process the very second they stepped foot on Galuna Island to aid a cursed village. As it turned out, however, Gray’s past comes to haunt him as he comes face-to-face with a young wizard named Lyon and a powerful demon that was encased in ice by their beautiful Master. Now, Lyon and his followers wish to resurrect the demon known as Deliora in order for Lyon to vanquish it once and for and all thus proving that he has surpassed his Master Ur.
Of course, this has the Fairy Tail wizards going up against Lyon and his trio who are determined to help Lyon carry out this insane plan. At one point, Natsu takes on the dog-like Toby and the wizard called Yuka by himself in a comical battle as Lucy goes up against Sherry and her giant demon rat named Angelica using her celestial spirits Taurus and Aquarius.
It is Gray and Lyon’s conflict that makes Part 2 compelling as we find out the truth about these two young men and the past that connects them to this current situation. It is in these episodes that we come to realize just how complex Gray really is as well as why he has the tendency to strip down to his boxer all the time. We meet Master Ur who was not only their teacher in the art of magic but also a mother-figure whose maternal instincts cause her to make the ultimate sacrifice that eventually leads up to the demon Deliora become encased in ice. It’s a tragic story and a highlight of this second part.
As the situation reaches a critical moment filled with surprising twists you will not see coming, Erza shows up to punish the foursome for having taken this quest from S-class wizards. Her presence also makes an impact on the cursed villagers as she helps solve the mystery surrounding the curse. Sure, they all helped complete the quest but that won’t stop Erza or Master Makarov from dishing up a plate full of punishment once they get back him.
When they do get home, however, Lucy shows them a simple enough quest that turns out to be even more complicated when Natsu unleashes a powerful spell that has him and a few of the other Fairy Tail Wizards switch bodies. Normally, I’d roll my eyes at this gimmick but Fairy Tail actually makes the body switching episode entertaining and the ending is certainly unexpected. However, the series switches gears again as the next story arc takes a more serious turn.
Natsu and Lucy are joined by their comrades Erza and Gray on a mission but when they come back they find that the Fairy Tail guild has been attacked and was nearly destroyed. The only prime suspect is a rival guild known as Phantom so you better believe that Natsu and some of the others are fired up and looking for payback. Surprisingly, Master Makarov does not want revenge and asks everyone to overlook this crime. However, when a Phantom wizard known as Black Steel Gajeel viciously attacks three members of Fairy Tail (one of them being a wizard named Levy who has become Lucy’s best friend), Master Makarov finally declares war on Phantom and its guild’s leader, Master Jose.
Fairy Tail’s attack on the Phantom guild is intense and exciting as the Fairy Tail wizards battle against an entire guild in their home turf with Master Makarov leading the attack. However, the tables are quickly turned when the pint-sized Fairy Tail wizard master is taken out by a dangerous magic-sapping spell. Lucy is suddenly attacked by two Phantom wizards, one of which named Jovia who controls water. The plan, you see, is to capture Lucy whose big secret is finally revealed.
Natsu manages to help rescue Lucy who realizes that she is responsible for Master Makarov’s magical injuries as well as the near destruction of the Fairy Tail guild. However, the others do not see it that way and will fight to keep one of their own even when Phantom comes back in a powerful moving fortress complete with deadly cannon that Natsu decides to destroy before it wipes out everyone and what remains of the guild itself. Things are definitely going to get interesting in Part 3.
Maintaining the same exciting pace and action-packed moments of the first part of the series, there’s no shortage of memorable of funny moments. It’s also great that the series takes a deeper look at characters such as Gray as well as Natsu and Happy. We discover how Natsu came to be close to Happy as well as a girl that became his childhood friend. We also get a closer peek at the beautiful Mirajane and her early childhood in the Fairy Tail guild.
Never losing a beat while remaining refreshingly colorful and fun, Part 2 of Fairy Tail is still a guaranteed good time for any anime fan looking for an action series that succeeds in having a blast. We learn more about the characters in this second part and that makes for even more intriguing episodes in a series that plays up the action, comedy and craziness just right. Even if you’re not familiar with the manga you will find that the anime version has more than enough to make you a Fairy Tail fan.
BLU-RAY REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Things start to really heat up in Galuna Island as a group of wizards are closer to freeing a powerful demon from his icy prison and – on top of that – their leader will force Fairy Tail’s own Gray into settling this in a most personal manner. Back home, Fairy Tail wizards fall victim to a body-switching spell and later the guild is attacked by another guild called Phantom. Why are they attacking and what they’re after will certainly surprise.
VIDEO QUALITY: A
Once again, the best choice is obviously the Blu-ray version seeing as this is a colorful anime series that certainly deserves the HD treatment Even if you don’t own an Blu-ray player, the DVD version is not bad on the eyes either.
AUDIO QUALITY: A
The original Japanese voice cast continues to do a great job with their characters and I have to say that the English dub cast closely matches those great performances especially Colleen Clinkenbeard who is simply awesome as Erza. The opening and closing theme songs are delightful to listen to in Part 2.
You won’t find a lot of extras but you’ll find the clean opening and closing as well as a few FUNimation trailers. The best extras come in the form of two audio commentary tracks, one for Episode 15 and the other for Episode 19. Episode 15’s commentary has ADR Director Tyler Walker and Newton Pittman (voice of Gray) not only chatting but also singing an original song about the series). Then there’s the commentary track for Episode 19 that has Tyler Walker talking to Tia Ballard (Happy), Monica Rial (voice of Mirajane and the show‘s lead writer) and Colleen Clinkenbeard (Erza).
Continuing its streak of over-the-top fun and action-packed thrills, Part 2 of Fairy Tail will not disappoint in providing fans a heavy dose of what makes this genre so darn entertaining to watch. There are some sincerely memorable and oftentimes compelling scenes in this second part but, make no mistake, Fairy Tail is about having a blast and that’s exactly what it delivers.
Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment