Fairy Tail vol. 21 (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)
January 7, 2017 by Dennis Amith
“Fairy Tail” vol. 21 is an action-packed storyline continuing the battle between Fairy Tail and the demons of Tartaros. If you have been following the series for this long, you’ll no doubt enjoy the action involving many of the members of the Fairy Tail guild.
Image courtesy of © 2016 FUNimation. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Fairy Tail Vol. 21
ANIME RELEASE DATE: 2015
DURATION: (Episodes 240-252) 325 Minutes
BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1), English DolbyTrue HD 5.1, Japanese DolbyTrue HD 2.0, English subtitles
Release Date: September 6, 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
On the demon’s playground, anything can happen. With the devastating Face weapon active, the battle against Tartaros seems desperate. The wizards of Fairy Tail must face down the Nine Demon Gates of Tartaros to stop the mass magic purge, or they will all become powerless. As the clock ticks down, what sacrifices will be made to protect the magic across the land? Will it even be enough? Natsu and his friends will have to use everything they’ve got if they want to prevent E.N.D.’s revival. But when each member is up against a different foe, things aren’t looking good for our heroes. In this battle against demons, anything goes; including their ability to resurrect?! And as if demons weren’t enough, familiar foes join the battle with demonic powers that make them stronger than before. When the battle turns in Tartaros’ favor, can Lucy summon the strength to call on the most powerful celestial spirit the Celestial Spirit King?!
The seventh season of “Fairy Tail” continues!
The demons of Tartaros who think they have destroyed Fairy Tail are now going after Happy, Carla and Lily.
Meanwhile, Natsu and Lisanna have escaped their cell and Erza confronts Kyoka.
Also, Wendy finds a newfound power, while Franmalth plans to absorb Natsu, Lucy and Happy’s souls.
Lucy must also make a tough decision in regards to one of her golden Zodiac keys. And Gray takes on Silver.
All this and more in vol. 21 of “Fairy Tail” (episodes 240-252) 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 21st volume Blu-ray release of “Fairy Tail”, this latest volume features episodes 240-252.
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. 21 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. 21 features the following special features:
- Episode 243 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Tyler Walker (Director/Line Producer/Adapted Script Writer) with Aaron Dismuke (writer) and Jeremy Schwartz (voice of Franmalth).
- Episode 248 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Tyler Walker (Director/Line Producer/Adapted Script Writer) with Cherami Leigh (voice of Lucy) and Jessica Cavanaugh (voice of Aquarius).
- Katsucon with Cherami Leigh – (7:38) Cherami Leigh talks to “Fairy Tail” cosplayers at Katsucon.
- Textless Opening Song: “Never-End Tale”
- Textless Closing Song: “Forever Here”
- U.S. Trailer – FUNimation trailer for “Fairy Tail”
- Trailers – FUNimation Entertainment trailers
“Fairy Tail” vol. 21 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 that features the demons of Tartaros planning to destroy Fairy Tail. And with a few of the primary characters escaping, it places each character in danger and fighting their most difficult battle yet.
In fact, major characters are having to make difficult decisions or else face death. And also trying to prevent the powerful Franmalth from absorbing their souls.
If anything, there are major battles between Fairy Tail and the demons, including resurrected souls.
While this volume is action-packed, the concurrent storyline with “Naruto” and the resurrected souls/reanimated corpses didn’t seem all too original and the fact that there are so many characters involved, it’s another situation similar to “Naruto” that one really needs to watch “Fairy Tail” earlier on to know who the characters are, the bond they have with each other and so forth. There are too relationships at stake with this season alone that fans of the series will appreciate, but it’s not an arc that will be easy for one to jump in, if they never watched earlier seasons.
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, voice actress Cherami Leigh at Katsucon and the opening and ending theme songs.
Overall, “Fairy Tail” vol. 21 is an action-packed storyline continuing the battle between Fairy Tail and the demons of Tartaros. If you have been following the series for this long, you’ll no doubt enjoy the action involving many of the members of the Fairy Tail guild.
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