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Fairy Tail S2 - 08 - f1

Fairy Tail S2 - 06 - f2 Fairy Tail S2 - 07 - f3

Opinions (B):

Binge watching an anime series is generally a pretty good idea, especially when its something like a shounen series. After nearly a month off due to exams and college, having watched the last 4 episodes of Fairy Tail, I’m still kind of unsure about this new series. There’s definitely some elements of the previous series that have carried over, such as the great voice acting, the story, the characters and all that good stuff. There’s also some stuff that’s just gotten lost in translation, and some of that “stuff” is what made Fairy Tail such a special and interesting series.

Simply put, Fairy Tail just isn’t firing on all cylinders lately. One of the major elements of this series that really made it a joy to watch week by week, the excellent pacing, is the first thing that’s really gotten lost in the last 4 episodes.

Up until episode 04, I think the pacing was pretty solid. We got Gray’s battle with Rufus, and that took up the majority of the episode, and despite some technical blemishes on the art and animation side, the fight wasn’t bad.

And that’s just it, Fairy Tail isn’t bad, but its not rising to become the series that it used to be before the 1 year hiatus. There’s bits of greatness thrown in here and there but generally the whole bit of the last series feels like its wasting time, delaying the story’s meaty good bits with excessively repetitive dialogue and rehashing the same exposition over and over again.

Lets take a look at these last few weeks worth of events as an example…

Fairy Tail S2 - 05 - 01 Fairy Tail S2 - 05 - 02

So episode 05, we get a look at what happened with Sting and Lector. Color me oddly surprised, as I was kind of okay with Lector dying and the despicable master of Sabertooth getting what he deserved. Yet, in the end we learn that both Lector and The Guild Master are both very much alive. In fact, The Guild Master simply gets “booted” from his position since he “lost” to Sting’s power. Oh and Lector? He’s very much alive, just been teleported to a different area and is being held hostage.

The whole thing reeks of the absurd, and yet at the very same time, there’s the whole idea of Minerva manipulating the whole issue to her advantage. Now Minerva, there’s an interesting antognist. Unlike her dumb as bricks rapist of a dad, she actually gets that the difference between her Dragon Slayer and Fairy Tail’s is the will brought on by friendship, by caring for those precious to you.

Fairy Tail S2 - 05 - 03 Fairy Tail S2 - 05 - 04

Yet… unlike Fairy Tail, Minerva uses Lector as a hostage to make Sting stronger. Its fundamentally the same idea, those precious to you make you stronger, but it takes a darker, more twisted outlook when coming from Minerva. Added to that, well, lets not kid ourselves, she may be nominating Sting to be the Guild Master, but its quite honestly Minerva who’s calling the shots.

Generally, despite how much you kind of shouldn’t be caring about the Grand Magic Games at this point, with the Eclipse Project and Lucy’s capture both running simultaneously to it, its the Grand Magic Games bits that are the most fun and interesting to watch.

I think the parts that really didn’t sit well with me were those that concerned the battle between the Garou Knights and Natsu’s party. This whole part was so… undeniably underwhelming that I was wondering if I was watching a filler episode.

Fairy Tail S2 - 05 - 06 Fairy Tail S2 - 05 - 05

For one thing, the Garou Knights were really cookie cutter characters. Fairy Tail has a bad habit of introducing uninteresting cannon fodder for Natsu and the rest of Fairy Tail to take on, and these guys were no different.

What made it worse though, was just how badly paced all the battles were. The POV would constantly change, cycling through all the fights every few moments, leading to not much progress happening on either front. Just when things would get slightly interesting again though, the switch would happen and you’d lose all that momentum and start watching another battle.

Its something so uncharacteristic of Fairy Tail, and I really felt like I was watching One Piece or Naruto Shippuden (both series have notoriously started to drag out their fights and ruin their pacing as well).

Fairy Tail S2 - 06 - 01 Fairy Tail S2 - 06 - 02 Fairy Tail S2 - 06 - 03 Fairy Tail S2 - 06 - 04

The whole gauntlet of battles could’ve really been wrapped up in two episodes instead of four. The extremely chaotic nature of the POV switching made it worse. It would’ve been nice to just see each battle on its own, and then possibly reconnect with everyone at the end. Hell, if that was too much, then half an episode per battle might have worked?

And its not like this is something that Fairy Tail’s ever been bad at. We saw the good pacing in this very series’ second episode. Its just grating to see Fairy Tail make what are rookie mistakes, when its such a long running and veteran franchise.

Calling back to the yin-yang nature of the series thus far, despite the fact that the battles were paced badly, the animation was on an upshoot. From an artist standpoint, I feel like the series is finally getting into the groove of things. Episode 8 in particular, which had everything resolve in terms of Natsu and Co’s battles, was pretty sweet looking.

Fairy Tail S2 - 08 - 04 Fairy Tail S2 - 08 - 05 Fairy Tail S2 - 08 - 06 Fairy Tail S2 - 08 - 07

Whether it was Natsu beating his opponent with his bare fists, or Lucy’s Aquarius wrecking havoc, Wendy unleashing her Sky Dragon Slayer Magic or Lily taking out Acid Bottle man, it was all nice to see those final attacks.

Fairy Tail S2 - 08 - 11 Fairy Tail S2 - 08 - 12

While the animation’s clearly improving, the dialogue was particularly cringe worthy at points. Its worth noting that Mirajane got the brunt of the abuse. Most of Mira’s battle was about her getting hit by her opponent’s “paper” attacks and going: “Oh! This one has a fire element!” or “This one is lightning”.  Not only was the audience very much aware of these facts, but the series took the rather painful approach of doing this with each and every type of attack the paper lady had.

The cutbacks to the crowd stands where the rest of Fairy Tail was, were even worse. The same basic idea was rehashed again and again by different characters; “We can’t really do anything but believe in Natsu and the rest!”.

Fairy Tail S2 - 06 - 05 Fairy Tail S2 - 08 - 01

Its like the series was afraid that the audience would forget what it had mentioned, and had to reiterate it each and every episode.

And with all that said, when things did get down to business in the eighth episode, there was more of that greatness that makes Fairy Tail such an entertaining watch.

Fairy Tail S2 - 08 - 02 Fairy Tail S2 - 08 - 03

Mirajane unleashing her full power and devastating her opponent was nice to see, despite the build up and painful journey that the story took to get there.

Fairy Tail S2 - 08 - 09 Fairy Tail S2 - 08 - 10

Lucy’s battle got a good decent amount of screen time, and some of the humor was pretty nice. The thing between Aquarius and Scorpio was definitely intriguing, and probably a lot more interesting than the actual battle that was happening.

At the end of these four episodes, which I saw in one sitting, I’m left scratching my head. Is Fairy Tail a good watch or not? I’m not sure how it answer that. Its a mixed bag, with some nice moments and some not so nice moments.

The series continues to oscillate between the good and the bad, in just about every episode so far.

Is Fairy Tail a decent, fun watch? Yeah it is. Is it as good as its ever been? No, not yet, but there’s random moments in each episode that give me hope that its getting there. Now that I’m done with school for the summer, I think we’ll see how this series goes week by week.

Preview:

Fairy Tail S2 - 08 - p1 Fairy Tail S2 - 08 - p2

So now we’re getting back to the Grand Magic Games! This should be fun! See you next week!



About :

The Owner, webmaster, designer, coder and writer for the site. Anime Evo is Setsuken’s proclamation of love for Anime, which he can’t seem to get enough of. He’s a 24 year old male, and current resides in the Unites States of A and is persuing an education in college for Video Game Design. He likes to draw, watch anime, game, and generally enjoy life. While his addiction for in door entertainment is strong, he’s also a fan of the outdoors.


  • Ian

    Here’s the thing: The battle with the Garou Knights? It lasted for three whole chapters, and the latter half of another. The anime normally adapts two chapters into one episode; if this battle had done that, it’d be over two episodes sooner. Instead, this fight made ONE chapter into TWO episodes. Funnily enough, considering how this fight was too slow in the anime, the major complaint in the manga is that it was too fast.

    • Ian

      Fortunately, I can guess from the preview that the anime will returning to the “two chapters per episode” format.

    • http://www.anime-evo.net/ setsuken

      That, puts a lot of stuff into context. There was something kind of artificial about how long things dragged on. I guess if you want to extend a fight, then you actually have to add something to it rather than the weird stuff they did here.

      Its good to see that the anime will be getting back to its standard pacing! That’s something that I think Fairy Tail does better than most anime series.

      • Ian

        Interestingly enough, the only one who seemed to actually benefit from the fight was the masked hooded guy. All he did in the manga was swing his big scythe things around, easily making it one of Natsu’s most forgettable fights. Even Hiro Mashima realized he completely forgot to give the guy a name. I believe for reference’s sake, Mashima likes to call him “Kama”. It means “scythe”. Original. -_-

        I also heard somewhere that the other four members were written into the manga after winning a character design contest. I don’t know if this means they’re fanmade characters, or if it was a contest Mashima entered and wanted to showcase them. But if they feel at all like a novelty, this would explain it.

        • Ian

          Oh, I forgot; by “benefit”, I meant he actually got a few moves (the spinning blades, the magic nullifier) and at least SEEMED more like a challenge to Natsu than an inconvenience.

          • http://www.anime-evo.net/ setsuken

            Aha. Well I guess in some ways its good, but at the same time the whole battle did seem like a big inconvenience for most of Natsu’s group anyway XD

      • Zit031

        That’s why reading the manga is better than watching the anime. No filler dialogues and stuffs. But I both read the manga and watch the anime cause I love Fairy Tail. :D

        • http://www.anime-evo.net/ setsuken

          Possibly, but well… Anime packs more content per week, and there’s the dialogue, music, animation and sound effects. I dunno if could handle reading Fairy Tail chapter by chapter, the wait between chapters would kill me.

          Although I wager I’ll move onto it if the Anime series ever truly ends.

          • Zit031

            Yes, that’s why I also watch Fairy Tail. :D

  • FlareKnight

    Personally I wonder if Minerva even has Lector. Really all we have is her claim that he wasn’t killed. And what do we base this truth on? Her trustworthy character XD? He may be alive and a hostage or this could just a be a ploy to use Sting to win the games and become Master herself afterwards.

    Weirdly I actually enjoyed the past few episodes more than the first ones of this restart. Certainly the last episode was dragged on a bit. I thought it was odd how Mira stood there for so long taking those attacks instead of just getting the show on the road.

    But aside from the strangeness of Mira’s fight I thought there was plenty of good to be found here. The first episode with Natsu and Wendy needing to team up was great. It introduced this group of executioners and it wasn’t beyond reason that the Kingdom would have an elite unit to deal with magical threats. I think it would have made for a stronger conflict if the whole thing stayed as a group battle since not only did the Garou Knight’s abilities seem to mesh, but so could Fairy Tail’s magic.

    Past that point the conflict wasn’t as interesting, but I was fine with it. Of course Lilly would have trouble with a guy literally spraying acid all over the place. Kind of wish we had more of that fight really. Wendy showing off her skills both in combat, but also as a healer was a good call-back to her original skills when introduced.

    The Lucy and Yukino fight felt a bit too comedy focused. But I get they wanted to use this chance to re-introduce the spirits to us since it’s been a seriously long time since we saw most of them. Though does make me wonder why Lucy’s powers are so plot dependent. Loke can show up to save the day here but where was all this support when Lucy was being turned into a punching bag by Minerva?

    Honestly came out of these past few episodes with a much more positive impression. Maybe it was stretched out a bit and maybe the character’s of these executioners weren’t the most complex. But I felt the opening episode of this conflict was good and wasn’t a bad way to create a threat to the rescue team.

    • http://www.anime-evo.net/ setsuken

      I do think that Fairy Tail is still enjoyable to watch. Its not flat out horrible, and I guess I seem a bit too negative on the series here. That said, Its just expectations built off of what I’ve seen before. I’d say Fairy Tail is pretty good right now, its just not at that “excellent!” level just yet.

      I definitely agree on the group battle thing. THAT part was fairly interesting, though it last for about a quarter of an episode, before we got the individual fights.

      THe Natsu Wendy Dragon Slayer combo was fantastic! XD

      See I agree, I was “fine” with it, but Fairy Tail generally does more than make me feel “This is fine”. Some of the excitement was just lost when Mirajane constantly reiterated what magic she was getting attacked with as we saw it on screen XD

      I do agree, I think after the scary episode 2, and the not so satisfying Gray battle, the series is getting better. I’m hoping it goes even better soon though.

      • FlareKnight

        Yeah, if it had been entirely team fighting I think it would have been even better. A bit chaotic to be sure, but still enjoyable. The flow might have been better just focusing on the groups and seeing the abilities play off. Kamika’s fight with Mirajane wasn’t very interesting on its own, but teamed up with Cosmos her power was more dangerous.

        Guess I just saw it as the first meeting was a great episode. Team battle was fun and had a good cliffhanger moment at the end. Following episode still had some team battling until everyone was split up and it spent time setting things up for the solo battles, but again still had a strong cliffhanger with Lucy/Yukino in dire straits.

        Then came the spirit battle which could have been shortened, but again was a good chance to re-connect the audience with the various spirits. I wouldn’t say as awesome as the first meeting, but did a decent job giving those two a chance to shine.

        The last episode certainly wasn’t as good as a whole.I don’t think there was a need for Mira to be explaining the magic since her opponent did that normally anyways. Really her fight could have been shortened if they felt she’d own Kamika too quickly alone. Kamika already saw Mira’s take-over so shouldn’t have had any surprises anyways. Could have spent more time with any of Natsu, Wendy, or Lilly that had opponents less easy to outright steamroll.

        So I think it came down to 1 great episode, a couple really good ones and a weaker last one for me. Maybe I’m just easy to please, but I had fun the past few weeks. Maybe having that week to week break just let that feeling of “now this is going to be great” carry on from that first episode of the battle to the end of it.

        But I agree that here’s hoping they really can go further with the coming episodes. Maybe this was a case of stretching out a fight a bit, but let’s hope the coming fights are ones that keep the intensity up throughout.

      • Ian

        It’s such a shame the Gray battle came out the way it did. Like I said before, the anime usually takes two chapters to make an episode. In this case, it was just the one chapter that was originally swiftly paced, gorgeously detailed, and VERY gratifying.

  • Iihiko Shishime

    I gotta say, I was pretty dissapointed that Saber’s Master is Alive in the Anime, I as far as I remember he died when Sting attacked him in the manga.

    as for the Pacing, My guess is that they are waiting for the current arc (in the manga) to be concluded, as I’m guessing that will be the highlight of the new series (the manga readers didn’t really like Magic games arc, and consider the current one to be much better so maybe that’s somewhat related to it).

    either that or they are saving the budget for the climax of this arc. could be either one;

    • http://www.anime-evo.net/ setsuken

      Really? Saber’s Master is killed in the manga? That’s quite the divergence. I’d say I’m pretty surprised that they removed that little detail from the Anime. I think I like the manga’s version much better.

      Hrm… I guess the next arc will make things interesting again. I guess even Fairy Tail can have an off storyline. That’s interesting to know, and at least the manga is far enough ahead (a whole arc) that we don’t have to worry about a hiatus any time soon XD

      • Iihiko Shishime

        I’m not 100% sure if he is but I’m pretty sure he does.

        but yes, when the Magic games we’re happening in the manga A LOT of people started to drop it. but after it was over the series started to slowly pick itself up and came into one of the best and darkest arcs so far. I won’t say any more not to spoil it.