Fairy Tail vol. 20 (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)
September 8, 2016 by Dennis Amith
“Fairy Tail” vol. 20 features the war between the wizards and demons begins as the “Tartaros Arc” brings us one of the darkest episodes of the series yet! Recommended!
Image courtesy of © 2014 FUNimation. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Fairy Tail Vol. 20
ANIME RELEASE DATE: 2015
DURATION: (Episodes 227-239) 350 Minutes
BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1), English DolbyTrue HD 5.1, Japanese DolbyTrue HD 2.0, English subtitles
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Originally created by Hiro Mashima
Directed by Shinji Ishihara
Script by Atsuhiro Tomikoa, Fumihiko Shimo, Masashi Sogo, Shoji Yonemura
Music by Yasuharu Takanashi
Character Design by Aoi Yamamoto
Art Director: Junko Shimizu
Chief Animation Director: Takao Sano
Anime Production: A-1 Pictures, Satelight
Featuring the following voice talent:
Aya Hirano/Cherami Leigh as Lucy Heartfilia
Tetsuya Kakihara/Todd Haberkorn as Natsu Dragneel
Rie Kugimiya/Tia Ballard as Happy
Sayaka Ohara/Colleen Clinkenbeard as Erza Scarlet
Yūichi Nakamura/Newton Pittman as Gray Fullbuster
Shinichi Kotani/R. Bruce Elliot as Makarov
Akira Ishida as Zeref
Daisuke Kishio/Eric Vale as Loki/Loke
Daisuke Namikawa as Jeral/Mystogan
Eri Kitamura/Jamie Marchi as Kana Alberona
Hiroki Touchi as Pantherlily
Hiroki Yasumoto as Elfman
Kazuhiko Inoue as Gildarts Clive
Mai Nakahara as Juvia Loxar
Mariya Ise as Levi Macgarden
Miyuki Sawashiro/Lydia Mackay as Ultear Milkovich
Ryoko Ono/Monica Rial as Mirajane
Satomi Satou as Wendy
Sayaka Narita as Aries
Wataru Hatano as Gajeel Redfox
Yui Horie as Charle
In Fairy Tail part 20, when a prestigious client requests the assistance of both Natsu and Gray, the boys momentarily set aside their differences and head to Sun Village – a city entombed by malevolent ice magic. Their investigation into the incident comes to a screeching halt when treasure hunters from the Sylph Labyrinth guild show up to stand in their way. As the wizards go toe to toe with the thieving trio, the battle quickly becomes the least of their worries—one by one the wizards are being transformed into adorable, child-sized versions of themselves! How can they hope to restore the village’s eternal flame if they can’t even fit into their armor?!
Meanwhile, dark forces are at work behind the scenes. Another guild is on the move, and they’ve set their sights on total domination of the magical world. Will Fairy Tail be able to rise to meet their challenge? Find out in Fairy Tail Part 20!
The seventh season of “Fairy Tail” continues!
Natsu and Gray receive a job request from Wizard Saint, Warrod Sequen to save the frozen town, Sun Village.
What happens when Minerva joins the dark guild, Succubus Eye and takes on Erza for what transpired at the Grand Magic Games!
What happens when Jackal of the Nine Demon Gates infiltrates the Magic Council meeting and kills them.
All this and more in vol. 20 of “Fairy Tail” (episodes 227-239) available now on Blu-ray + DVD combo pack from FUNimation.
What is “Fairy Tail”?
For those who are not familiar with “Fairy Tail”, let’s just say that it’s one of the most exciting, long running anime magic/adventure series to be released in the U.S. on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment.
In Japan, “Fairy Tail” is a manga series which began in 2006 and was created by mangaka Hiro Mashima (known for his manga series “Rave Master”). Featured in Weekly Shonen Magazine, the manga series is still ongoing, meanwhile an anime adaptation of the manga series was created in 2009 produced by A-Pictures and Satelight. And similar to the manga series, is also ongoing!
With the 20th Blu-ray release of “Fairy Tail”, this latest volume features episodes 227-239.
The anime series is directed by Shinji Ishihara (“Aoi Kokuhaku”, “Tenbatsu Angel Rabbie”, “Tokyo Majin” and is written by Masashi Sogo (“Bleach”, “Yukikaze”, “Hunter x Hunter”). The anime series features character design by Aoi Yamamoto, art direction by Junko Shimizu (“Midori Days, “Blue Dragon”, “Trinity Blood”) and music by Yasuharu Takanashi (“Naruto Shippuden”, “Hell Girl”, “Gantz”, Ikki Tosen”).
A Quick Summary of what has taken place in “Fairy Tail” thus far:
“Fairy Tail” revolves around a 17-year-old celestial wizard named Lucy Heartfilia who dreams of joining a sorcerer guild known as Fairy Tail, a group known and feared for the destruction they cause. One day, she runs into Natsu Dragneel, a guy who is traveling to the land of Fiore along with his partner Happy (a talking blue cat with wings) who is searching for his foster parent, a dragon named Igneel who has disappeared.
While traveling to Fiore, both Lucy and Natsu encounter a sorcerer claiming to be the famous Salamander of Fairy Tail. Natsu is the first to object that the man is a phony but the fans of Salamander are dismayed by Natsu’s comments and beat him up, meanwhile Lucy finds out that this fake Salamander is using his sorcerer abilities to make young women fall for him.
As Lucy tries to show her gratitude to Natsu for breaking the spell that would have otherwise have hypnotized Lucy, the two become friends.
But when the fake Salamander tells Lucy that he would get her into Fairy Tail, she knows he is a fake but any chance of getting to join the guild would make her dream come true, so she decides to visit him.
But it’s all a ruse and the fake Salamander is just trying to find female slaves and because he is so powerful, Lucy does not have the magic necessary to beat him. But coming to Lucy’s rescue is Natsu, who is revealed to be a true member of Fairy Tail and also revealed to be the true “Salamander”. And he easily beats the fake Salamander up.
When Natsu discovers that Lucy’s dream is to become a Fairy Tail member, he asks her to join him and he can help her get into the guild and from that moment on, Lucy becomes Natsu’s partner in various Fairy Tail guild missions and for each mission they beat, the more income they make.
And more money means more keys to gain more powers, which would help Lucy become a powerful celestial wizard!
And together, Natsu and Lucy develop a wonderful friendship as they grow as partners but also a guild members with their other teammates.
“Fairy Tail” Vol. 20 features the following characters:
- Natsu Dragneel – Also known as “Salamander”, Natsu is a kindhearted, always hungry wizard who travels with his partner Happy in search of Igneel, a dragon who raised Natsu but is now missing. Natsu is a dragon slayer and a wizard who can perform “Lost Magic and can have physical properties of a dragon. He specializes in Fire Dragon Slayer Magic which allows him to breath fire and ingest fire as a form of nourishment.
- Lucy Heartfilia – A celestial wizard who can summon contracted spirits (with special abilities) through a set of keys known as Gatekeys. She treats these spirits as friends. Her dream is to join Fairy Tail and through meeting Natsu, now her dream can come true.
- Happy – A blue cat with wings and a best friend to Natsu. He can fly and can carry a person while flying. He is also known to irritate Lucy.
- Gray Fullbuster – A powerful wizard of Fairy Tail and the opposite of Natsu, in that he has control of ice. Gray has the power of Ice Make which can make him create weapons or anything out of ice. He was raised by the wizard Ur. He also has a bad habit of taking of all his clothes without realizing it.
- Erza Scarlet – An S-Class wizard (high-ranked) and is the most powerful member of the Fairy Tail guild. She has magic known as “The Knight” which allows her to summon and equip weapons and armor and also has the ability to resist magic attacks. She is feared by others because of her lack of compassion.
- Mirajane – A 19-year-old S-Class wizard who is the cover girl of Sorcerer’s Weekly magazine and helps Lucy understand what is happening with the members of the Fairy Tail guild. She has the ability to change her appearance to something she previously encountered.
- Cana Alberona – A short-tempered heaving drinking woman. She uses card magic to cast her spells.
- Elfman – Mirajane’s younger brother who is known for his physical strength. He can absorb the power of any monster he defeats.
- Loke – A flirtatious wizard who is often seen in the company of many women.
- Makarov Dreyer – The elder master of Fairy Tail. He is constantly busy because of his guild members becoming too violent.
- Juvia Lockser – Originally a member of the Phantom Lord Guild and now a member of Fairy Tail and is obsessed with Gray.
- Gajeel Redfox – Originally a member of the Phantom Lord Guild, Gajeel is similar to Natsu in the fact that he is a Dragon Slayer raised by the dragon Metalicana. He can transform his body into metal weapons.
- Jellal Fernandes – A former child slave that grew up with Erza Scarlet. Thought to be dead, he is found by Oracion Seis and revived by Wendy Marvell and is being used to find the destructive spell known as Nirvana.
- Wendy Marvell – A female Dragon Slayer who is accompanied by her Exceed partner Carla. A master of Sky Dragon Slayer magic, she can heal injuries. She becomes an ally of Fairy Tail.
“Fairy Tail” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1). It’s important to note that this is a anime TV series, not a film or an OVA and is a weekly anime series. What that means is A-1 Pictures and Satelight, have their hands full, especially if they have other TV series to work on that week. Typically a lot of anime series are quickly done in order to make it by their weekly deadline and sometimes, they are done the day of deadline. So, production values for TV series are typically not that high if they are working on multiple series.
Fortunately A-1 Pictures has become one of the newer studios that have been doing production for quite a number of popular hit series such as “Blue Exorcist” and “Big Windup!” and Satelight does a lot of the in-between animation. So, while they are a smaller, growing company, they are not overburdened as other studios and that means, more time dedicated to the anime series.
“Fairy Tail” features cool production value. A lot of detailed artwork, because of the many adventures, you get so many locations and not the typical regurgitated scenery.
There is a lot of detail featured in the art backgrounds, a lot of characters featured and these characters have great detail and shadowing. Colors are absolutely vibrant, black levels are deep. I found no compression artifacts or any problematic issues with this Blu-ray release. If anything, the Blu-ray really brings out the details and colors of the series and looks fantastic!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Fairy Tail” is presented in English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0. Dialogue and music is clear through the front channels for the lossless stereo soundtrack but because the English is 5.1, there is better use of the surround channels.
In fact, I found myself listening to the English dub track for “Fairy Tail” much more than the Japanese soundtrack because of the 5.1 but also, FUNimation did a magnificent job with the casting of this series. I was very pleased especially with the casting of Lucy, Natsu, Happy, Grey and Erza and for the most part, I think whichever you prefer, you will be pleased with Japanese and English audio tracks.
But for the most part, for a TV series, lossless audio is crystal clear and while not the most immersive soundtrack (which I typically don’t expect TV series to boast incredible immersive lossless soundtracks, unlike a film or OVA series), “Fairy Tail” does sound very good on Blu-ray!
Subtitles are in English.
“Fairy Tail” vol. 20 features the following special features:
- Episode 229 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Tyler Walker (Director/Line Producer/Adapted Script Writer) with Nick Landis (voice of Rala), Scott Price (voice of Hiroshi) and Alejandro (voice of Drake)
- Episode 237 Video Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Tyler Walker (Director/Line Producer/Adapted Script Writer) with Rico Fajardo (voice of Jackal).
- Guild Pride: Fairy Tail – (6:55) A featurette about the guild known as Fairy Tail.
- Textless Opening Song: “Yume-Iro Graffiti”
- Textless Closing Song: “Never Ever” Version 1-6
- U.S. Trailer – FUNimation trailer for “Fairy Tail”
- Trailers – FUNimation Entertainment trailers
“Fairy Tail” vol. 20 Blu-ray also comes with both a Blu-ray and DVD version.
With the seventh season “Fairy Tail” and the third arc known as “Tartaros” has begun (based on the 40th – 49th volume storyline) in which the dark guild of Zeref’s demons are trying to resurrect their master and Zeref’s ultimate creation, E.N.D.!
As the Magic Council discusses Tartaros recent activity and the decrease in dark guilds, Jackal of the Nine Demon Gates infiltrates the meeting and destroys the building the council are meeting at and everyone is killed including Lahar.
News of the Magic Council’s assassination spreads throughout the villages and Doranbolt, who is one of the few survivors from the attack, goes to the dungeon to extract information on Tartaros. And more members of the Nine Demon Gates continue their attacks leading to more deaths.
While this latest volume is probably one of the darkest story plots of “Fairy Tail” prior to the “Tartaros Arc” is a storyline featuring Natsu and Gray on a mission to save the Sun Village. Also, Minerva joins the Succubus Eye dark build and intends to take her revenge against Erza.
So, there is a good number of entertaining storylines in this 20th volume but the main highlight is this exciting, action-packed yet dark volume of “Fairy Tail” as characters are killed and the land being attacked by those of the Nine Demon Gates.
As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is very good for a TV series and features a good solid lossless soundtrack. It’s important to emphasize that this is a TV series and not a film or OVA, thus the production quality of animated TV shows tend to be lower (and created in a short time) than a film/OVA, so there is a bit of softness and shadowing and detail are not utilized a lot for this series.
As for special features, you do get the English voice actors providing commentary for two episodes, a Guild Pride video and the opening and ending theme songs.
Overall, “Fairy Tail” vol. 20 features the war between the wizards and demons begins as the “Tartaros Arc” brings us one of the darkest episodes of the series yet!
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