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Opinions (A):

Its like we never left. Fairy Tail’s second series is upon us, after about a year of wait, we’re finally back to the story and the painful cliffhanger that we left on. The first episode of the new series had two major roles to fulfill, one was to prove that Fairy Tail still had that magic that had entranced us all from the first series, and two, to get moving back into the story as quickly as possible.

I think its clearly evident from the latest episode that things are going to be going great. The series wisely chose to get straight back into the story of the current arc, rather than try and catch up people with any boring recaps or too much retreading of old material.

And man, I have to say, just from the first episode, all the expectations that the last series built up to in that cruel cliffhanger are already starting to pay off. One of the things that I constantly praised Fairy Tail for was how well paced each individual episode was, and how meaty the content was. This new episode was no different.

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The episode opened up with what I assume to be the dark future that we got to see before. The whole world is red, broken and in flames. Interestingly though, the world is also full of dragons again, something that we haven’t seen in the series for a while.

The opening scene, with Lucy and then Natsu jumping into action was pretty darn sweet, no question. The whole In medias res approach to storytelling is nothing new, but seeing Fairy Tail do it for the first time and do it well was great to see.

I’m curious to see how we got to the point where Natsu and Lucy are pretty much alone, in a destroyed world, fighting for their lives. Is it time travel? An alternate dimension? Or does the world really go to hell following the events of the Grand Magic games. As always, Fairy Tail throws a bunch of interesting questions into the mix, while answering some old ones.

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The big reveal I think, was when Natsu, Gajeel and Wendy went to Dragonbone Graveyard together (with Lucy, Gray and the Exceed Cats). This was really a big moment for the story at large, as Gajeel rightly pointed out, the graveyard proved the existence of Dragons.

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More interesting though, was what happened when Wendy unleashed her last new spell, Milky way. Being able to summon the spirits of Dragons and hear their voices is a pretty darn amazing power, if a bit limited in scope. Still, the power gave us a way to truly understand what happened in that graveyard, and the exposition was truly interesting.

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Zirconis, the Jade Dragon was the one who was summoned by Wendy’s spell, and ends up dropping bomb shell after bomb shell on our heroes. In essence, a huge part of Earthland’s mythology and world building is established here, and the information is pretty surprising.

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It turns out that Dragons were the first dominant race on the planet, not humans, who were little more than prey for the superior creatures. Interestingly, in a Devil May Cry Sparda sort of say, one of the Dragons decides that he wants to coexist with humans, and calls for a world where such happens.

Its not revealed that dragon is, but my bets are on Igneel. Given how much of a role Igneel has had in the series, and how he decided to “not get involved with the human world” anymore, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was one of the dragons that was at least in favor of this peaceful coexistence, if not the dragon behind the whole thing XD

Its especially true because Zirconis clearly knew of Grandine, who we’ve seen talking to Igneel once before in the series.

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It was also interesting to know how the inevitable war between the two factions of Dragons that were for or against this idea ended. It was the creation of the Dragon Slayers themselves, that led to the co-existence faction winning the war of sorts. Its interesting to note that, according to this mythology, Dragon Slayers are actually stronger than the Dragons themselves, something that we’ve yet to see happen.

The big twist though, was the reveal that Acnologia was originally Human, a Dragon Slayer that went berserk, killing every dragon he could find, and who ended up becoming a dragon himself by the end of it.

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Acnologia is also known as the Dragon King, and with all that considered, its lucky that Fairy Tail had Mavis to save them when they did come in contact with Acnologia during the S-Class Exam arc.

Of course, its unclear whether Acnologia transformed into a Dragon because of his use of Dragon Slayer magic or because of Zeref.

The arrival of The Captain of the King’s Guard and Yukino, reveals some interesting new information about Zeref too. It seems much like Deliora, Acnologia was created by Zeref. For what purpose? That’s the million dollar question isn’t it?

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I’m personally not convinced that Zeref is actually evil, despite how much everyone else seems to believe so. In a way, the whole Acnologia being turned into a Dragon seems like a punishment more than anything else doesn’t it? I mean, how do you punish a being that has committed Mass genocide of a species? Transform him into that very species he’s been killing.

Either way, Zeref apparently needs to be defeated for Acnologia to be killed, which could also explain why it/he rushed to Tenroujima when Zeref was attacked. Interesting answers, and new questions, Hiiro Mashima-sensei just continues to delight with more and more interesting mysteries.

Of course, you’d think this entire reveal about Zeref, Acnologia and the history of the dragon was the only bombshell that the first episode was going to drop, then well… prepare to be surprised.

In a scene that I can’t quite grasp yet, we had something major happen at Saber Tooth’s guild as well. As expected, the Guild master of Sabertooth was none too pleased with Sting and Rogue’s performance in the last battle.

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As we can all remember from a year ago, Natsu completely owned both Sting and Rogue at the end. So, because of that, I had expected Sting and Rogue to get some bad treatment equal to what Yukino got (Which was beyond disgusting… and still is).

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And true enough, we had the Guild Master not only beat around Sting and Rogue, but ultimately KILL Lector in front of Sting. The whiplash from that shock was intense enough, but what came next, I was totally not prepared for:

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Sting ends up killing the Guild Master in a fit of justifiable rage. The fact that the Guild Master is actually annihilated there and then is just… unexpected? Surprising? Yes, all of those things, but its also kind of satisfying to see that twisted sicko get what was coming to him.

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From the looks of it, his own daughter was gunning for it to happen anway, which probably means that she now takes over as Guild Master? Either way, Lector is gone… Something that, despite how little we’ve seen of the character, was quite a tough pill to swalllow. As a result of that, Sabertooth’s Guild Master himself was taken out too.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Grand Magic Games wrap up now, given that Sabertooth is going to be a very different guild now. The clash between Sabertooth and Fairy Tail in the final event of the Grand Magic games is something that’s definitely got me excited.

Finally, the episode circled back to our post apocalyptic landscape, with Natsu taking on battling a bunch of Dragons. The action scene here wasn’t the best I’ve seen from the franchise, but its still too early to really give a verdict on the quality of action in the new series, given we haven’t really seen that much.

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The scene itself, was pretty powerful though, and it was hard to watch Natsu try and take on a near incomprehensible number of Dragons alone. Again, the big question of how we reach this point is going to be the big thing that this arc will probably build to.

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The one question we didn’t get an answer about though, was who  the hooded figure that Jellal ran into was. As a result of the meeting, however, he learns about the whole Eclipse Project and the Festival of the Dragon King. Who is the hooded figure? My guess? Its Levi, since she apparently is the only person who we’ve seen other than Natsu and Lucy in that destroyed world future. But of course, time will tell.

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The final thing I’ll touch on is just how well done all the story beats and everything was. We dove right back into the meat of the story, but that bar scene at the start of the episode following the OP was a pretty nice reminder of all the character dynamics that we had come to love in the last series. It did seem a bit erm… artificial at times but it still worked pretty well nonetheless.

Okay, so story-wise, character-wise, Fairy Tail is still as awesome as it was, so what about the production? The big change we’ve had in the production is that of the character designer. Shinji Takeuchi (from Gintama) is the new character designer, and I actually like what he’s done with the character designs and general art style of the characters.

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The characters resemble the manga a lot more closely now, and there’s more of a roundness and thinness to the characters that contrasts to the last series. Its a change that works, and matches the original vision of the manga, so I can’t say I have any complaints.

All the seiyuu are back and it was great to see everyone rock their roles like they always have. The animation… I’ll be honest, I wasn’t too blown away by it this episode. Judging from the OP/ED though, we’ve got some good stuff in store for the future. Since Fairy Tail is a long running series, there are budget concerns to handle, so spectacular action right out of the gate not happening isn’t surprising.

All in all, I’ll reiterate that Fairy Tail is back. Its better than ever, and its really a joy to have the series back. Fridays are going to be amazing again, and it’ll be great to cover the series again. Welcome back Fairy Tail, and Thank you Hiiro Mashima-sensei, for actually making this happen, as I honestly wasn’t expecting it to happen so soon.

Opening 01 – “Masayume Chasing” by BoA:

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Okay, so I’ll say that Fairy Tail has been a franchise that has always had great music. Its been rare that I’ve found an OP from the series that I haven’t liked, if not loved. The new OP hits it right out of the park again.

Where to begin? Lets talk about the animation first. I loved what we saw in the OP. Yes, there was a bit of a spoiler, but I think the OP proved to be a nice teaser trailer for what we’re going to see soon. Very slick animation too, with some great battle scenes, and more moody reflective bits there too.

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And that ENDING! Man, this series is definitely pushing the Natsu and Lucy pairing a lot harder than last time, and its something that I can’t say I’m unhappy about XD. There was also a nice little moment there for Gray and Juvia, so lets say I’m pretty much sold on this OP.

The song itself, was pretty much amazing. I’ve never seen a moody, melachonlic peice from Fairy Tail, but man, it works and then builds up to the more intense stuff we’re used to hearing. I can say that BoA really did a smashing job with this one, and its definitely one that I hope to get the Full version of when it releases.

ED 01 “Kimi to Kare to Boku to Kanojo to” by BREATHE:

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Did I say this series was pushing the Natsu x Lucy thing? Well the ED just brings the fanservice up to 11. It’s a nice calming peice, with an animation that focuses on a cute date moment between Lucy and Natsu. Honestly, I can’t picture Lucy and Natsu sitting down at an outdoor cafe, but hey, I’ll take it. Great stuff.


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Alright! Its back to weekly blogging for me! Next week we get into Fairy Tail’s tussle with the Captain of the Guard, as well as the finale for the Grand Magic Games! Oh man… Next week will be just as awesome!

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The Owner, webmaster, designer, coder and writer for the site. Anime Evo is Setsuken’s (Hassan's) proclamation of love for Anime, which he can’t seem to get enough of. He’s a 26 year old male, and current resides in the USA . A writer for a number of years Hassan is also a 3D Artist, a Game Designer, a Web Designer and a Huge Anime Obsessed Enthusiast.

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  • FlareKnight

    Woo, Fairy Tail is definitely back!

    So glad we got right into the action and didn’t spend an episode just going over backstory and what’s going on.

    Surprise after surprise with this. The Sabertooth meltdown was crazy. But maybe not that surprising considering what kind of guy the guild master is. Not the kind of person that is going to avoid pissing people in his guild off.

    Pretty cool that Wendy gets to go dragon medium for us. Not a combat skill but has its uses.

    And yeah, seems like they are pushing the NatsuxLucy stuff to just make up for lost time XD.

    • setsuken

      Indeed, this episode was pretty amazing. Its great to see Fairy Tail in top form right out the gate. Really does feel like we picked up right where we left off.

      And hey, I’ll take that NatsuxLucy Stuff as much as possible. I only hope we get more romantic development in the series and the story as it progresses =D

      • FlareKnight

        If only the series had as much romantic development as the OP/EDs we’d be talking about the marriage date XD.

        Was glad that we could just get right back to it. And wow did we get right back to it with some serious moments.

  • CaptainPancakes

    Not enough Erza. “F”

    • setsuken

      I’m at least glad we saw some of her in that bar scene. Always great to see Erza go nutts over pastery XD

      • CaptainPancakes

        Now for my actual thoughts about the episode…

        …It was fine. TBH I’m probably one of the few who was expecting more. As you said it “feels like it was never gone” and that was the biggest problem because after a year of wait it felt like a year delay between some episodes and didn’t really feel like a grand return. Just something in line with the rest of the higher quality episodes. Was hoping for something that really signaled that Fairy Tail was back! Not just an episode that aired after a one-year hiatus. This was definitely a higher quality episode but that’s what it felt like to me.

        Not to say that this wasn’t a step above other episodes though. Lector’s death was definitely something I wasn’t expecting (and was quite shocked at — though not entirely disappointed because I didn’t like that cat x3). Also did the guild master…just…die? (:3)

        Surprised he stayed in the guild after a life long friend died though. I think that’s mostly out of human behavior and sort of disappointing as we need the dragon slayers to unite after all! (yes i’m fanboying at the moment please hold)

        The thing that urked me most about the new episodes though were two things.
        1) The absence of Erza.
        2) The NaLu pushing.

        Don’t get me wrong, I love NaLu as much as the next guy, but I always thought Fairy Tail was annoying in the ways that it sometimes forces ships down our throats. The best example I have is Elfman and Evergreen at Tenroujima Island. It was sooo blatantly obvious that they wanted us to ship them and while I won’t deny their chemistry, it felt very out of place. All this pressure against NaLu isn’t helping make the case at all either. For me, ships are more effective when subtly building up to it. But this OP and ED just threw it up in my face. Like wtf? I don’t even think that pairing is canon, so unless NaLu is confirmed for a 2014 anime-only love fest, it’s just unnecessary teasing and a bit urk-inducing when we mostly know it probably won’t happen until the end of the anime, meaning they know we want it but won’t give it to us. It’s annoying when that happens TBH. They’re already doing that enough with Zeref’s “good guy” moments and the twenty episode arcs.

        /end rant

        Still despite my being a bit critical I still very much enjoyed the premiere and I’m looking forward to the next one.

        • setsuken

          Honestly I think those are valid criticisms. I never quite looked at like that, but I can see where you’re coming from with regards to the shipping.

          I guess its a problem with shounen in general, where ships are rarely given that much focus in the actual story, and instead us fans of couples are forced to gather whatever scraps we can when we can.

          I don’t doubt that the level of pushing in the OP/ED was a bit extreme. Me? I’m kind of the sad kind of fan that will take whatever he can get.

          That said, seeing the whole idea so blatantly teased, I can see where you’d get pissed off at it as well. I do think that the ED scene in particular, felt really out of place. Given how the characters are, I can’t see Natsu and Lucy going to a nice outdoor cafe in nice clothes, sipping drinks and then Natsu handing Lucy a Fairy Tail necklace. Then again, I took at as more of an alternate reality kind of thing.

          On a more positive note, like you said, there were some serious surprises. The sudden deaths in the Sabertooth scenes definitely took everyone by surprise.

          Lastly, I’m glad you liked the episode, but still felt the need to critique some of its finer details. That’s what this post and Anime Evo itself is all about, and I look forward to hearing more from you in the coming weeks! =D

  • Pitou

    Just out of Curiosity have you read the manga during the time the break or are you still going in blind.

    • setsuken

      It took an exceeding amount of self control, but I managed to hold off reading the manga. I am definitely going in as blind as I was with the first series XD

      Love the name btw, Hunter x Hunter is another amazing shounen series! =D

  • Krelra

    I like the new character designs. It does indeed feel like we never left.
    I think the Amazing Op was the *Its Back* thing for me and its better than ever the animation on Wendy’s Milky Way was just amazing. and im going to say was not expecting the Guild Master to die.
    Well then again he did deserve it for killing Lector I wonder if sting will ever be the same

    • Thank You! I’m glad someone else feels that way about the new character designs.

      Agreed Fairy Tail has generally always had great OPs. You know, that’s a good point with regards to the VFX with Wendy’s Milky Way. That’s probably where most of the animation budget for the episode went. That said, We didn’t have any horrible spots either XD

      I think the OP hints at the fact that we’ll have a much darker Sting now that all this business with Lector and The Guild Master happened.

      And yeah, don’t get between Titania and her pastries XD

      • Krelra

        The new designs are almost like. The Manga drawings come to life. Its a little jarring at first. but I found I liked them after a few minuets
        . I think they are indeed overall better. They are kind of Unique to. I cant remember seeing designs like that in any other anime.

        • Having seen manga scans/manga chapters and what not since the last series (Frequently we’d have some good commentators point out manga to anime differences without spoiling stuff), I was definitely used to the art style.

          That said, I think more anime should do what Fairy Tail did, where the anime resembles the manga art style as much as possible. in Fairy Tail’s case, I’m sure its actually harder to animate with the more fluid-ish style of the manga (since there’s less defined 3D shapes to reference).

          I’m sure the popularity of the series and the added new budget are the reason we have the slightly different art style XD

          And yes, totally, the new art style does make Fairy Tail stand out a bit more from the rest, which given how stiff the competition is, can only be a good thing XD

      • Captain Pancakes

        “…always had great OPs”


        • FlareKnight

          Did say generally though. With the amount of OPs this series has had, even a couple less than stellar OPs would still leave them above average.

          • Captain Pancakes

            Oh come now I was just making fun a little. Most FT OPs are fine.

            (i still hate the 2nd op tho o3o)

        • I can’t disagree on the fact that we’ve seen some duds XD

          Agreed, I wasn’t a big fan of the second OP either.

    • FlareKnight

      Sting’s development going forward should be interesting. Just a terrible situation. Already felt like he let Lector down by losing against Natsu like that and then he sees his friend get annihilated.

      Of course they probably should have seen something this serious coming. They saw how Yukino was treated like crap and should have been aware of the kind of person the guild master was.