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Fairy Tail Vol. 5 (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Review)

August 4, 2013 by  



fairytail-v5

The Fairy Tail guild must team up with three other guilds to take on a  new threat, the Dark Guild known as Oracion Seis!  If you love adventurous action anime such as “One Piece” and “Toriko”, you will love the humor, action and characters of “Fairy Tail”.  Recommended!

Image courtesy of © 2013 FUNimation Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Fairy Tail Vol. 5

ANIME RELEASE DATE: 2009

DURATION: (Episodes 49-60) 300 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1), DolbyTrue HD 5.1, Japanese DolbyTrue HD 2.0, English subtitles

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

Release Date: July 23, 2013

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

 Hot-headed fire wizard Natsu and his team of high-powered pals are back! Harnessing the forces of dragon fire, ice, weaponry, and the zodiac, four young wizards from the infamous magical guild Fairy Tail team up. In season two the friends unite with other guilds to take on one of the darkest guilds in the wizarding world!

“Fairy Tail” is back!  And beginning with episode 49 (the first episode of the second season in Japan), changes are in store for Lucy who finds out that her father has lost all his fortune.  But also, the Fairy Tail guild has a new threat, the dark guild of Oracion Seis and must team up with three other guilds.  Meanwhile, is Lucy starting to have emotions towards Natsu Dragneel?

Find out in volume 5 of “Fairy Tail”!

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 fifth Blu-ray release of “Fairy Tail”, this latest volume features episodes 49-60.

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!

For volume 5 (which is the beginning of season 2 in Japan), the Fairy Tail guild along with three other guilds, face a threat known as Oracion Seis, a dark, powerful guild.  But with four guilds working together, can they trust each other?

Here is a brief spoiler-free synopsis of what happens in vol. 5 of “Fairy Tail”:

  • EPISODE 49 – A reporter from “The Weekly Sorcerer” comes to interview the Fairy Tail guild.
  • EPISODE 50 – What happens when Lucy thinks that Natsu has feelings for her?
  • EPISODE 51 – Lucy finds out that her father has lost his fortune and Heartfilia Railways has been seized…but by who?
  • EPISODE 52 – The Fairy Tail guild consisting of Natsu, Erza, Gray and Lucy must team up with Blue Pegasus, Lamia Scale and Cait Shelter in taking on the Dark Guild Oracion Seis.  But who is this young girl they meet named Wendy?
  • EPISODE 53 – It is revealed that Oracion Seis intends to unseal Nirvana and now the four guilds must work together to stop them.
  • EPISODE 54 – Erza is poisoned and is dying, can she be rescued?  Jellal is resurrected.
  • EPISODE 55 – Why does Wendy believe in Jellal, meanwhile Gray taks on Oracion Seis’ wizard Racer as Natsu and Carla try to rescue Wendy and Happy.
  • EPISODE 56 – Lyon and Sherry arrive to assist Gray take on Racer.
  • EPISODE 57 – Hibiki reveals why Oracion is trying to unseal Nirvana.
  • EPISODE 58 – Lucy, Hibiki, Wendy and Happy try to find Natsu, meanwhile Lucy obtains another spell.
  • EPISODE 59 – Wendy reveals her past with Jellal.
  • EPISODE 60 – Brain takes control of Nirvana and activates its second stage.

“Fairy Tail” Vol. 5 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. He is also gifted with other powers not yet revealed in the first volume of “Fairy Tail”.
  • 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. She becomes great friends of Lucy but also her rival (thinking that Lucy is interested in 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.

VIDEO:

“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.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Fairy Tail Vol. 5” features the following special features:

  • Episode 49 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Tyler Walker (Director/Line Producer/Adapted Script Writer) with Todd Haberkorn (voice of Happy), Cherami Leigh (voice of Lucy) and Kyle Phillips (ADR Engineer).
  • Episode 58 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Tyler Walker (ADR Director/Line Producer/Adapted Script Writer) with Aaron Dismuke (voice of Hibiki), Lindsay Siedel (voice of Angel), Cherami Leigh (voice of Lucy).
  • Textless Opening Songs: “Egao no Mahou”
  • Textless Closing Songs: “HOLY SHINE”
  • U.S. Trailer – FUNimation trailer for “Fairy Tail”
  • Trailers – FUNimation Entertainment trailers

EXTRAS:

“Fairy Tail” vol. 5 Blu-ray also comes with the DVD version.

It’s been awhile since we last reviewed “Fairy Tail”.  After the last volume 4 which was released back March 2012, I was surprised there were no Blu-ray release for over a year.

Fortunately, the series is back and just first few episodes of the beginning of the second season alone begins this epic battle between Fairy Tail and three other guilds taking on this new enemy Oracion Seis.

While the first few episodes tries to focus on Lucy, from her wanting to be a well-known member of Fairy Tail, to trying to figure out her emotions and if she is attracted to Natsu but also having to find out that her father had lost the entire Heartfilia fortune.

But once these three Lucy driven storylines are done, immediately the story shifts to the new threat as the dark guild known as Oracion Seis are trying to unseal the Nirvana Arc which poses a significant threat to all guilds.  So, now Fairy Tail must team up with the guilds: Blue Pegasus, Lamia Scale and Cait Shelter.

While we have seen intense rivalries on Fairy Tail before, this is the most amount of characters from various guilds that I have seen in a story arc.  But even with four guilds teaming up, is it even enough to take on the powerful Dark Guild, Oracion Seis?

In some ways, it does get a little confusing with the introduction of all these new characters but as further episodes continue and teams are broken down to mini-teams during their battle with members of Oracion Seis, Meanwhile, as these battles take place, an old nemesis, Jellal Fernandes is revived, a new character named Wendy Marvell and her cat companion Carla show up and Erza is poisoned and near death after being bitten by a poisonous snake.

So, with volume 5, there is a good amount of action featured as various guild members take on a member of Oracion Seis and while others seek the Dragon Slayer Wendy Marvell for her healing ability in hopes she can help Erza, but unbeknown to them, she had revived Fairy Tail enemy Jellal.

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 and the opening and ending theme song.

Overall, the fifth volume of “Fairy Tail” was intense, exciting and action-packed!

If you are looking for a long-running adventure/action-packed anime series on Blu-ray, definitely give “Fairy Tail” a try. Recommended!






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