There are so many colorful ways to describe this episode, and all of them don’t exactly do justice to the extreme sillyness that just went by in this episode’s 24 minutes.
“This is an episode that truly takes an interesting, wacky look at western comics and character tropes, poking fun from a very silly over the top angle.”
No? Alright, let me try again.
“This is the episode where Lucy, Natsu and Happy try to learn Transformation magic, which leads to some truly odd results, resulting in one of the most crazy scenes to come out of Fairy Tail.”
Hrm… Not Quite there yet. I think the best way to explain it is so:
“This is the episode where Fairy woooman takes on Mistah Purpul and The Cigaar. The dark heroes Fairy Mann and Fairy Boi arrive to help, but Fairy Wooman won’t allow anyone to steal her thunder. She takes down the bad guys, and then goes on to end the episode standing on top of a rooftop, the art style of her face now “realistic…”
Alright, Alright… I gave it the good old college try, but there really is no way to truly describe the balls to the walls crazyness of this episode. I think, as anime fans we’re often had the unfortunate opportunity to look at some truly twisted and stereotyped opinions and views of what non-fans consider to be Japanese animation and what it represents.
Its rare, but its times like this where I think the reverse is just as bad. The Japanese taking a parody approach to stereotyping western comics and characters is just as weird, and odd to see. That said, while this episode poked fun at western comics in such a weird way, the odd part is that this episode kinda still worked out to be entertaining. This fact not only perplexes me, it actively disturbs me XD
There’s the phrase for a special kind of entertainment, where its “so bad its good”, and that term can definitely apply here. But even that is selling short the crazyness of this episode. Its got a build up, a weird cadence.
The episode starts off kind of normal, with a pretty standard Fairy Tail humor setup. Lucy, Happy and Natsu want to learn Transformation Magic from Mirajane, alongside Macao and Wakaba. The writing is on the wall from the get go, that there is no possible way that this idea can go anywhere but south.
And it does, complete with a funny moment of Natsu and Happy transformed into a weird version of Lucy, with Lucy gazing upon two rather versions of itself. There’s even a bit of Natsu x Lucy teasing, which I’ll take whenever I can get it.
That’s probably where the original gag ended too I’m sure, because from there on the episodes gets progressively sillier.
A lot of the credit goes to Erza for that, who’s sort of become the comedy whipping girl as of late in Fairy Tail. She ends up buying a super hero costume at a story that is a weird, sluttier version, Japanese-ified version of Catwoman from DC Comics. And I stress that its a version, an interpretation of a Japanese artist entirely focused on fanservice, and a love for Tuxedo Mask From Sailor Moon. I mean just look at it:
Yeaaah. There to poke fun at Venom and Maybe Sandman from Spider-Man ( I’m guessing), is none other than Macao and Wakaba Transforming into “Mr. Purple and The Cigar”:
I think its the absurdity of the names, the riff of popular western villain characters, and the japanese pronunciation of names that just brings it home. I’m not sure how funny it was to actual native Japanese speakers, but I think its the compounding of all these factors that changed this from “Its so bad… its good to” to “This is just so… what were they smoking? But… It’s actually kind of really funny… Like Hilariously funny.”
Its not only that I’m just laughing at the joke and parody that the episode sets out to do, but I’m actually laughing at the way the joke is being told, and jokester itself. I’m not sure if that was all part of the original intent, but damn if it doesn’t work and result in a few good laughs.
And then the icing on the cake has to be “Fairy Man” and “Fairy Boy”. There’s this prodding stuff about “Dark heroes” probably hinting at the whole idea that Anti-heroes seem to be the “thing” in western comics these days, but all that’s lost by just how absurd the whole thing of Fairy man and Fairy boy is, and how its a riff at Ironman and Batman and Robin at the same time. At this point, Fairy Tail has just gotten so crazy, that its hard to not just sit back and roll with it.
Its rare that anime can do this, where the sheer force of crazy and stupid is so overpowering that it works. And of course, the last bit with Erza’s rendition in the episode changing, is both funny and makes it clearly evident that Fairy Tail is in on the joke.
This is definitely an episode that’s not taking itself seriously, and its using the characters, the situation and everything in such an outlandish way, acting like a jester that just sinks to new lows, all in an effort to make you laugh. And like I said, this brand of silly humor ends up working, if only just barely.
Is this comedic genius? No, I don’t think so. That kind of meta-humor is where series like Gintama are king. That said, this weird brand of humor, and this one off episode are there as a truly different offering. I will say that unlike the last episode I talked about, the humor, the hilarity and sillyness of it all kept me engaged.
I was engaged, and even if it was simply by watching the downward spiral of the humor and sanity of the episode. Is this a worthy episode of the series? I’m not quite sure. Its an episode that might be entirely skippable, but skipping this episode would be doing yourself a disservice. There is simply nothing like it that’s been offered in this series, for better or worse.
And hey if this episode doesn’t do it for you, the anime production staff at least included some Biker-Mira Fanservice Shots in the ED:
Seems like we’re getting into the filler arc that will tide us over till the next manga arc. Lets do this I suppose? XD
Note: The remaining two episodes plus this week’s episode posts are coming tomorrow!
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