Top

Fairy Tail Vol. 9 (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)

April 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

fairytail-9

“Fairy Tail” vol. 9 features a brand new third season with high-intensity, action-packed episodes. It’s the Fairy Tail Guild vs. the Grimoire Heart Guild, who will become victorious? If you are looking for a long-running adventure/action-packed anime series on Blu-ray, definitely give “Fairy Tail” a try.
Recommended!

Image courtesy of © 2014 FUNimation. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Fairy Tail Vol. 9

ANIME RELEASE DATE: 2011-2012

DURATION: (Episodes 97-108) 300 Minutes

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

COMPANY: FUNimation

Release Date: March 25, 2014

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

The most powerful wizards in Fairy Tail travel to a remote island rich in magic – and history. There, they compete against one another to see who among them deserves to be given the title of “S-Class.” But where these wizards go, chaos is sure to follow. Their trials are interrupted when the most powerful of the dark guilds – Grimoire Heart – shows up in search of a legendary wielder of black magic. Once they find him, they’ll use his skills to bring death to every corner of the world.

As magic forces converge on the island, one of Fairy Tail’s former masters makes an unexpected appearance. If the guild is going to stop Grimoire Heart’s devious plans, they’ll first have to face their own past.

The third season of “Fairy Tail” begins as Natsu and the Fairy Tail guild prepare for their S-Class examination on Sirius Island but while preparing for their test, the dark guild known as Grimoire Heart leads an assault against Fairy Tail.

Will Natsu and the others survive this latest battle?

Find out in Vol. 9 of “Fairy Tail” (episodes 97-108) 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 sixth Blu-ray release of “Fairy Tail”, this latest volume features episodes 61-72.

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!

As the group has bonded as guild members and friends, in vol. 9, there is a little tension as the S-Class Annual Exam is coming up and many want to become S-Class wizards.

Those who will be tested are Natsu, Gray, Juvia, Elfman, Cana, Freed, Levy and a person named Mest.  As they will need partners, Natsu partners with Happy, Gray with oke, Juvia with Lisanna, Elfman with Evergreen, Freed with Bickslow, Levy with Gajeel and Mest with Windy.

As for Cana, she tells Lucy that if she is unable to pass the S-Class Annual Exam, she will leave Fairy Tail, as it is her fifth time taking the test.

Meanwhile, as the group prepare for their challenges for their S-Class Annual Exam, taking on each other, Natsu confronts a mysterious, sad individual in black.

And the Fairy Tail Guild are attacked by a dark guild known as Grimoire Heart.

Who is Grimoire Heart and why have they led an assault on the Fairy Tail guild?

“Fairy Tail” Vol. 9 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. 9″ features the following special features:

  • Episode 97 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Tyler Walker (Director/Line Producer/Adapted Script Writer) with Todd Haberkorn (voice of Natsu Dragneel) and Tia Ballard (voice of Happy).
  • Episode 99 Video Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Tyler Walker (Director/Line Producer/Adapted Script Writer) with Tia Ballard (voice of Happy), Monica Rial (voice of Mary Jane and Lead Writer) and Todd Haberkorn (voice of Natsu Dragneel).
  • Episode 107 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Tyler Walker (Director/Line Producer/Adapted Script Writer) with Michael Johnson (voice of Caprico) and Justin Locklear (voice of Rustyrose).
  • Textless Opening Songs: “The Rock City Boy”, “Towa no Kizuna feat. Another Infinity”
  • Textless Closing Songs: “Don’t think.  Feel!!!” and “Kono Te Nobashite”.
  • U.S. Trailer – FUNimation trailer for “Fairy Tail”
  • Trailers – FUNimation Entertainment trailers

EXTRAS:

“Fairy Tail” vol. 9 Blu-ray also comes with the DVD version plus a slipcover.

A new third season of “Fairy Tail” and it has become one of the most thrilling and brutal battle that the Fairy Tail guild has fought thus far!

As a few of the Fairy Tail guild members plan for their S-Class Annual Exam, they are under attack by a dark guild known as Grimoire Heart and must take on the Seven Kin of Purgatory which includes Ultear Milkovich, Zancrow, Caprico, Rustyrose, Kain Hikaru, Meredy and Azuma.  A group who are in search of the infamous Dark Mage, Zeref.

Suffice to say, volume nine has turned out to be another action-packed volume as we get to see various Fairy Tail members being pushed to the limit in their battle with Grimoire Heart and did major characters survive or do they die in this latest arc?  You’ll have to watch because there are some fascinating twists, from who the leader of Grimoire Heart really is and his relation to Makarov, to battles that may be battles to the death.

But who is the mysterious sad and sullen man clad in black?

All this and more in vol. 9 of “Fairy Tail”.

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 video commentary and the opening and ending theme songs.

Overall, “Fairy Tail” vol. 9  features a brand new third season with high-intensity, action-packed episodes. It’s the Fairy Tail Guild vs. the Grimoire Heart Guild, who will become victorious?

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

Recommended!

Fairy Tail Vol. 6 (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Review)

August 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

fairytail-v5

“Fairy Tail” vol. 6 continues the high-intensity, action-packed episodes.  In fact, I have to say that these episodes featuring the Fairy Tail guild taking on Oracion Seis to be one of my favorite arcs so far in the anime series.  Recommended!

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

TITLE: Fairy Tail Vol. 6

ANIME RELEASE DATE: 2009

DURATION: (Episodes 61-72) 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: August 20, 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

Nirvana continues its march to destroy Wendy’s guild along with a dark secret. Team Natsu and the coalition – as well as an unexpected ally – go full-force against the top sorcerers of Oracion Seis to expel the ancient city’s evil curse before it becomes unstoppable!

Then, when Natsu goes on a mission to see a woman about a dragon, his trip becomes a trap that could force him to turn Magnolia into ash and rubble! Can his friends snuff the Salamander’s involuntary rampage without torching their friend?

The battle between the Fairy Tail guild and other guilds versus the dark guild of Oracion Seis.  And the race is on to stop Nirvana before it decimates the Cait Shelter Guild.

But first, they must take on Midnight and Zero in an action-packed sixth volume 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 sixth Blu-ray release of “Fairy Tail”, this latest volume features episodes 61-72.

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!

In 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?

With volume 6, the battle between the guilds vs. Oracion Seis continues as Natsu and others must stop Nirvana from destroying the Cait Sith Guild.  Meanwhile, standing in their way are Midnight and Zero, but will Jellal aid the Fairy Tail guild or will he be there enemy?

Meanwhile, why is Natsu and Gray fighting each other and who is this mysterious character known as Daphne?

Here is a brief spoiler-free synopsis of what happens in vol. 6 of “Fairy Tail”:

  • EPISODE 61 – Natsu vs. Cobra, Hot Eye vs. Midnight.
  • EPISODE 62 – Natsu and friends must top Nirvana’s attack on Cait Shelter.
  • EPISODE 63 – The truth is revealed of the mysterious person (who worked for Brain) about why they want the Cait Shelter Guild destroyed.
  • EPISODE 64 – Erza vs. Midnight, Natsu, Gray, Lucy and Happy vs. Klodoa.
  • EPISODE 65 – Zero prepares to fire a blast on Cait Shelter.
  • EPISODE 66 – Natsu prepares for his fight against Zero.
  • EPISODE 67 – The fight between Natsu vs. Zero continues!
  • EPISODE 68 – A new member joins Fairy Tail.
  • EPISODE 69 – Natsu and Wendy set off in a new adventure to find Daphne.
  • EPISODE 70 – Natsu vs. Gray.
  • EPISODE 71 – Can Natsu prevent Daphne from destroying a city.
  • EPISODE 72 – Why would Gray help Daphne capture Natsu?

“Fairy Tail” Vol. 6 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. 6″ features the following special features:

  • Episode 64 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Tyler Walker (Director/Line Producer/Adapted Script Writer) with Philip Webber (voice of Zero), Micah Solusod (voice of Midnight)
  • Episode 70 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Tyler Walker (ADR Director/Line Producer/Adapted Script Writer) with Gwendolyn Lau (voice of Daphne) and Todd Haberkorn (voice of Natsu).
  • Textless Opening Songs: “Fiesta”
  • Textless Closing Songs: “-Be As One-”
  • U.S. Trailer – FUNimation trailer for “Fairy Tail”
  • Trailers – FUNimation Entertainment trailers

EXTRAS:

“Fairy Tail” vol. 6 Blu-ray also comes with the DVD version.

It’s another action-packed volume of “Fairy Tail” as the guilds battle with Oracion Seis continues as Nirvana sets to decimate the Cait Sith Guild, meanwhile Erza prepares for her battle against Zero and Wendy searches for Jellal in hopes that he may have information to help stop Nirvana.

As Natsu and the others try to stop Nirvana, Brain’s alternate personality known as Zero wants nothing but to cause destruction but one person can stop him, but can Natsu do it?

The second half of episodes featured in volume 6 features a new storyline and adventure featuring Natsu and Lucy searching for a mysterious woman named Daphne, but standing in Natsu’s way is Fairy Tail member Gray Fullbuster.  Why is Gray going against them?

Suffice to say, volume six has turned out to be another action-packed volume as we get to see various Fairy Tail members being pushed to the limit in their battle with Oracion Seis but also seeing the friendship between Natsu and Gray being tested.  But also new additions to the Fairy Tail guild!

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, “Fairy Tail” vol. 6 continues the high-intensity, action-packed episodes.  In fact, I have to say that these episodes featuring the Fairy Tail guild taking on Oracion Seis to be one of my favorite arcs so far in the anime series.

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

Recommended!

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

August 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

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!

Fairy Tail Vol. 4 (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Review)

March 2, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The most intense, action-packed volume of “Fairy Tail” yet, volume 4 of this awesome series is highly recommended!

Image courtesy of © 2012 FUNimation Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Fairy Tail Vol. 4

ANIME RELEASE DATE: 2009

DURATION: (Episodes 37-48) 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: March 20, 2012

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

 

Forced to face her demons at the Tower of Heaven, Erza is in real danger of becoming a live sacrifice in Jellal’s demented plan – which spells disaster for Fairy Tail’s strongest team! As the Council prepares to wipe out the island with the Etherion beam, Erza’s allies endure a heart-wrenching battle to get her back!

Big surprises await the comrades as they return for Magnolia’s annual Harvest Festival. But the celebrations are cut short when Master Makarov’s grandson hotwires a contest to determine who’s the fiercest wizard in a supercharged scheme to take over the guild!

The past of Erza Scarlet revealed and what happens when several members of Fairy Tail try to assemble a coup in order for Makarov’s grandson, Laxus Dreyar to become the new leader of the Fairy Tail guild?

Plenty of action and kick ass battles await you in the latest volume 4 of  the popular anime series “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 fourth Blu-ray release of “Fairy Tail”, this latest volume features episodes 37-48.

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!

In “Fairy Tail Vol. 4″, the storyline of Erza’s past continues as the revolt against Jellal continues.  Siegrain plans to resurrect Zeref in order to gain the Magic Council’s support in firing Etherion.  But can Erza stop him?  Meanwhile, Juvia has been possessed by Vidaldus and is being controlled against her will to fight against Lucy.  Meanwhile, did the Fairy Tail guild lose a major member through tragic circumstances?

For the final storyline arc for season one of “Fairy Tail”, as the group is celebrating Magnolia’s annual harvest festival, the festival is interrupted by Laxus and his bodyguards of the Raijin Tribe.  This pits members of Fairy Tail who support Laxus becoming the new leader of Fairy Tail versus those who are still loyal to their longtime leader Makarov (the grandfather of Laxus).

In the end, who shall be victorious?

“Fairy Tail” Vol. 4 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.

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. 4″ features the following special features:

DISC 1:

  • Episode 39 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Tyler Walker (Director/Line Producer/Adapted Script Writer) with Rob McCollum (voice of Seagrain, Jalal and Mystigen).

DISC 2:

  • Episode 45 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Tyler Walker (ADR Director/Line Producer/Adapted Script Writer) with John Burgmeier (head writer/voice actor) and Monica Rial (lead writer/voice actress).
  • Textless Opening Songs: “R.P.G. ~Rockin’ Playing Game”
  • Textless Closing Songs: “Kimi Ga Iru Kara”
  • Trailers – FUNimation Entertainment trailers

EXTRAS:

“Fairy Tail” vol. 4 Blu-ray also comes with the DVD version.

The most intense and action-packed volume of “Fairy Tail” yet!

For those who have invested their time in watching this anime series, the series has been building its character development around Lucy, Grey and now Erza.  But Erza’s past is still a mystery and with this latest volume, we learn about her past and what kind of woman and person she was before she became a member of Fairy Tail.

Suffice to say, there are some major surprises in store for viewers because there were situations where, you just don’t know who will live and who will survive.

The latest volume also features the addition of former Phantom Lord members Juvia Lockser and Gajeel Redfox, who are now becoming part of the core group that the series is focusing on.  Juvia as the girl who never had friends, discovering new friends who believe in her in Fairy Tail and the same can be said about the hardened Dragon Slayer Gajeel Redfox.  Who like Gray is somewhat a friend/rival to Natsu, and the same can be said about Juvia and Lucy.  So, their differences tend to be a bit hilarious at times, but with the addition of these two members, Fairy Tail no doubt has added two powerhouse characters to the guild.

And they are definitely going to need it as the final storyline arc for the first season concludes with a coup attempt by Fairy Tail guild members loyal to Laxus Dreyar, the arrogant grandson of current leader Makarov.    And like his grandfather, for a 23-year-old guy, he’s very powerful and together with the other members of Fairy Tail loyal to him, will Natsu, Erza, Gray and friends be able to defeat them and prevent the coup attempt?

And despite the guild’s members going at each other, this battle is intense!  There is no taking it easy just because they were friends now rivals.

“Fairy Tail” is an anime series that manages to have a lot of fun through the adventures of Natsu and Lucy and it has similarities to the action/adventure anime series “One Piece” and “The Slayers”.

For one, the adventure and action is big part of this series as the characters take on various rival wizard guilds, the problem is that they tend to get into so much trouble that they end up creating a lot of damage. And the object of these adventures are working guild jobs as the characters have bills to pay and each time they destroy something, it comes out of their paycheck.

With this fourth volume, you really get to see how these characters have grown since the first episode but also how dedicate they are to each other and think of each other as family members.  In fact, this is probably one of the more dramatic episodes featured in a volume as one of the major members of Fairy Tail may or may not have died?  You’ll have to watch and see for yourself.

With that being said, this series has over 100 episodes and is still ongoing in Japan. Next to “Dragon Ball Z” and “Yu Yu Hakusho” (which are older anime series), “Fairy Tail” is the most recent, longer anime series from Japan to be released on Blu-ray by FUNimation Entertainment. So, if you want a series to watch for the long haul, “Fairy Tail” is a series worth considering.

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 fourth volume of “Fairy Tail” was intense, exciting and this series just continues to get  better and better.  If you are looking for a series on Blu-ray for watching in the long-run, definitely give “Fairy Tail” a try.  Highly recommended!

Fairy Tail Vol. 3 (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Review)

January 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

More action! More devastation! More characters!  Wow!  The third volume of “Fairy Tail” was very exciting and from these episodes alone, it was definitely a major step up in the quality of the writing and also the amount of action featured.  So, for any fan who wants to stay with this long anime TV series for the long haul, all I can say is that things have just gotten even better and I can’t wait to see what happens next in the fourth volume of “Fairy Tail”.  Definitely recommended!

Image courtesy of © 2011 FUNimation Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Fairy Tail Vol. 3

ANIME RELEASE DATE: 2009

DURATION: (Episodes 25-36) 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: January 31, 2012

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

The guild-on-guild mayhem continues as Fairy Tail struggles to fend off Phantom Lord – whose Element 4 must be defeated in order to disable a massive magic cannon aimed at guild headquarters! With a never-surrender attitude, Natsu and his friends push their powers to the limit to protect Lucy and save Magnolia from total annihilation!

Then, Erza’s tortured past returns to haunt her when estranged friends ambush a well-deserved vacation. Her team tracks them down to a looming tower where a possessed wizard close to Erza’s heart puts them in a sinister game of life or death!

A hilarious, action adventure magical anime series based on the popular Weekly Shonen Magazine manga series!

“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!

And here we are with the third Blu-ray release of “Fairy Tail” featuring episodes 25-36 courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment.

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!

Meanwhile, as both Natsu, Lucy and Gray have gotten better (and more destructive) at handling missions, they begin to team up with the elite warrior Erza, who had to go after the three because they took on an S-Class Ranked Mission without approval from the Fairy Tail Guild.  Meanwhile, the Guild was unexpectedly attacked by their long time rival, the Phantom Lord Guild led by Jose.

In “Fairy Tail Vol. 3″,  Jose and the Phantom Lord continues their attack on Fairy Tail, but will the members be strong enough to defend their area and respond to their attacks.  And why are they attacking and who is responsible?  The episodes of volume 3 also explore the history of characters of Loke and Erza.

“Fairy Tail” Vol. 3 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.

The third volume of “Fairy Tail” comes with 12 episodes on two Blu-rays (and also includes two DVD’s):

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 25 – Gray vs. Juvia, who can control the element of water, but also a woman who finds herself falling in love with Gray.
  • EPISODE 26 – Lucy is kidnappd by Gajeel, Erza vs. Aria.
  • EPISODE 27 – Natsu vs. Gajeel
  • EPISODE 28 – Gray vs. Lion Round 2.
  • EPISODE 29 – Erza vs. Jose, Makarov comes to the rescue.
  • EPISODE 30 – The Magic Council is not pleased with the aftermat of the fight between Fairy Tail and Phantom Lord and Makarov may receive jailtime.
  • EPISODE 31 – Lucy suspects something is wrong with Loke and investigates his past.
  • EPISODE 32 – Loke reveals his past to Lucy and Lucy decides to fight for him and return him back to the Spirit World.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 33 – Lucy and friends receive passports to the Fiore Kingdom resorts for some R&R.
  • EPISODE 34 – Erza’s past is revealed.
  • EPISODE 35 – What is the connection between Erza and Jellal and why did Erza become a wizard?
  • EPISODE 36 - Lucy and Juvia take on Jellal’s mercenary Vidaldus Taka, while Natsu takes on the mercenary Fukuro.

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. 3″ features the following special features:

DISC 1:

  • Episode 26 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Tyler Walker (Director/Line Producer/Adapted Script Writer) with Andrew Tipps (Mix Engineer) discussing various techniques of mixing “Fairy Tail” and the audio plug-ins used.  A very insightful commentary!

DISC 2:

  • Episode 32 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Tyler Walker (ADR Director/Line Producer/Adapted Script Writer) with Cherami Leigh (voice of Lucy) and Eric Vale (voice of Loke).
  • Textless Opening Songs: “ft.” and “R.P.G. ~Rockin’ Playing Game”
  • Textless Closing Songs: “I’m Sorry” and “Kimi Ga Iru Kara”
  • Trailers – FUNimation Entertainment trailers

EXTRAS:

“Fairy Tail” Blu-ray releases also come with the DVD version of that volume.

Fun, action-packed adventures featuring the most destructive wizard guild in the planet!  The third volume of “Fairy Tail” features possibly my favorite episodes yet!

For one, there is intense action in this volume a members of the Fairy Tail Guild take on the Phantom Lord and we see a major transformation in the power of Natsu but also we are introduced to a new character named Juvia who may/may not become a love interest to Gray.  But that story arc alone was quite impressive as we get to see everyone in the guild in battle.

Volume three also explores the history of Loke and what he actually is but also exploring the history of Erza which has been quite private and mysterious and her storyline actually leads to another major battle.  So, needless to say, while “Fairy Tail” has its many humorous moments, the episodes really take the action up a notch as it is continuous and makes everything quite exciting!

“Fairy Tail” is an anime series that manages to have a lot of fun through the adventures of Natsu and Lucy and it has similarities to the action/adventure anime series “One Piece” and “The Slayers”.

For one, the adventure and action is big part of this series as the characters take on various rival wizard guilds, the problem is that they tend to get into so much trouble that they end up creating a lot of damage. And the object of these adventures are working guild jobs as the characters have bills to pay and each time they destroy something, it comes out of their paycheck.

With this third volume, you really get to see how these characters have grown since the first episode.  Natsu and Gray are growing in their powers but also Lucy also has some major revelations featured in this latest volume as well, but also to see her involved in the battles, especially during the Loke storying.

With that being said, this series has over 100 episodes and is still ongoing in Japan. Next to “Dragon Ball Z” and “Yu Yu Hakusho” (which are older anime series), “Fairy Tail” is the most recent, longer anime series from Japan to be released on Blu-ray by FUNimation Entertainment. So, if you want a series to watch for the long haul, “Fairy Tail” is a series worth considering.

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 one episode, while the other was pretty awesome as it really went in-depth on the mixing for the series and the various plug-ins and effects.  Rarely do audio commentaries from FUNimation Entertainment go into the more technical side of their production, especially towards sound.  So, I thought it was very awesome to hear this commentary on “Fairy Tail”.

Overall, the third volume of “Fairy Tail” was very exciting and from these episodes alone, it was definitely a major step up in the quality of the writing and also the amount of action featured.  So, for any fan who wants to stay with this long anime TV series for the long haul, all I can say is that things have just gotten even better and I can’t wait to see what happens next in the fourth volume of “Fairy Tail”.

Definitely recommended!

Fairy Tail Vol. 2 (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Review)

January 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Fun, action-packed adventures featuring the most destructive wizard guild in the planet! If you are looking for an enjoyable anime series that is not too dark or violent and has its fair share of humorous moments, definitely give “Fairy Tail” Vol. 2 a chance!

Image courtesy of © 2011 FUNimation Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Fairy Tail Vol. 2

ANIME RELEASE DATE: 2009

DURATION: (Episodes 13-24) 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: November 22, 2011

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

Across the Fiore kingdom, wizards join guilds and make their pay by filling magical needs – but one guild has a reputation as the roughest, rowdiest, most dangerous of all: Fairy Tail!

In the midst of a mission to break the curse over Galuna Island, Natsu and the gang face a band of deranged mages trying to resurrect the monstrous demon Deliora. Gray’s determined to put the freeze on the sinister plan in a frigid battle with a rival from his past – even if it takes his own life!

Back in Magnolia, the city becomes a warzone after sorcerers known as Element 4 destroy Fairy Tail headquarters and kidnap their beloved rookie, Lucy. A bone-crunching, skin-charring fight between fire and iron erupts when Natsu squares off against another Dragon Slayer wizard!

A hilarious, action adventure magical anime series based on the popular Weekly Shonen Magazine manga series!

“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!

And here we are with the second Blu-ray release of “Fairy Tail”.

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”).

“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!

In “Fairy Tail Vol. 2″, Natsu, Lucy and Gray take on an S-Class Ranked Mission without approval from the Fairy Tail guild and while the three are busy trying to take on a rival familiar to Gray, Erza goes to find them and taking them home for punishment.

Meanwhile, the Fairy Tail Guild is attacked by their rival, the Phantom Lord who plants to destroy Fairy Tail and also wipe out Magnolia.  Will the Fairy Tail guild survive the onslaught?

“Fairy Tail” Vol. 2 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.

The second volume of “Fairy Tail” comes with 12 episodes on two Blu-rays (and also includes two DVD’s):

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 13 – Gray vs. Lyon, meanwhile Lyon’s men destroy the village, while Natsu tries to protect everyone.
  • EPISODE 14 – Lucy vs. Sherry and Erza arrives to Galuna Island and wants to bring Natsu, Lucy and Gray back to the guild for punishment for taking on an S-Class job without permission.
  • EPISODE 15 – Gray reveals his past of how he was found by Ur and Lyon (and why he keeps taking off his clothes)
  • EPISODE 16 – Gray vs. Lion Round 2.
  • EPISODE 17 – Natsu and Gray try to stop Deliora
  • EPISODE 18 – Natsu and Erza try to figure out how to life the curse on the village.
  • EPISODE 19 – Natsu find a new job on the baord and chants the words written on it which switches him and other members of Fairy Tail’s own bodies with each other. 
  • EPISODE 20 – Mirajane tells Lucy a story of how Natsu found Happy.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 21 – The Fairy Tail guildhall is under attack by the rival guild, Phantom Lord.
  • EPISODE 22 – Makarov vs. Phantom Lord leader Jose.
  • EPISODE 23 – Phantom Tail appears in Magnolia and intends to destroy Fairy Tail with a magic cannon and a member sacrifices themself to protect everyone from the attack.
  • EPISODE 24 - The Phantom Lord’s attack continues as they try to wipe out Magnolia.

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. 2″ features the following special features:

DISC 1:

  • Episode 15 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Tyler Walker (Director/Line Producer) with Newton Pittman (voice of Gray).

DISC 2:

  • Episode 19 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Tyler Walker (ADR Director/Line Producer/Writer) with Tia Ballard (voice of Happy), Monica Rial (Lead Writer/voice of actress for Mirajane), Colleen Clinkenbeard (voice of Erza).
  • Textless Opening Songs: “S.O.W. Sense of Wonder” by Idoling!!
  • Textless Closing Songs: “Tsuioku Merry-Go Round”
  • Trailers – FUNimation Entertainment trailers

Fun, action-packed adventures featuring the most destructive wizard guild in the planet!

The second volume of “Fairy Tail” features stories that explore the past of Fairy Tail guild member Gray but also features one of the most intense storylines in the series thus far as the guild are under attack by their rival guild, Phantom Lord.

If anything, fans of the first volume can expect the same amount of action but also several hilarious episodes including one in which the Fairy Tail guild members switch bodies with each other.

“Fairy Tail” is an anime series that manages to have a lot of fun through the adventures of Natsu and Lucy and it has similarities to the action/adventure anime series “One Piece” and “The Slayers”.

For one, the adventure and action is big part of this series as the characters take on various rival wizard guilds, the problem is that they tend to get into so much trouble that they end up creating a lot of damage. And the object of these adventures are working guild jobs as the characters have bills to pay and each time they destroy something, it comes out of their paycheck.

And with this second volume, Natsu and Lucy are tired of taking on low-paying jobs and thus they (along with Gray) take on an S-Class mission without guild approval and now Erza is sent to go after them and retrieve them for punishment.  But will this group have what it takes to complete an S-Class Ranked Mission and with the Fairy Tail guild being attacked by their rivals, can they survive the attacks?

With that being said, this series has over 100 episodes and is still ongoing in Japan. Next to “Dragon Ball Z” and “Yu Yu Hakusho” (which are older anime series), “Fairy Tail” is the most recent, longer anime series from Japan to be released on Blu-ray by FUNimation Entertainment. So, if you want a series to watch for the long haul, “Fairy Tail” is a series worth considering.

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 speaking about the English voice actors, I felt that FUNimation Entertainment has done a magnificent job with the cast for this series! I’m usually listening to the Japanese soundtrack but this is one of the few series where I found myself watching with the English dubs because the voice acting was well-done.

Overall, the second volume of “Fairy Tail” definitely takes a step forward in character development but also battles which definitely have more impact on its characters and the overall guild. Love the artwork, the character designs and the balance between humor and action/adventure.

While the series definitely has some similarities to “One Piece” and “Slayers” in some sense, “Fairy Tail” is its own style of series with interesting adventures, plenty of action and also humor.  If you are looking for an anime series (especially one that is also watched by many children in Japan) that is not too dark or violent, definitely give “Fairy Tail” a chance!

Fairy Tail Vol. 1 (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

November 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Fun, action-packed adventures featuring the most destructive wizard guild in the planet!  If you are wanting a newer, longer running anime TV series on Blu-ray, “Fairy Tail” is definitely recommended!

Image courtesy of © 2011 FUNimation Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Fairy Tail Vol. 1

ANIME RELEASE DATE: 2009

DURATION: 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: November 22, 2011

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

After a virus claims millions, most live in the safety of a closed-off world, relegating themselves to an on-line existence. But when a young girl decides to brave life outside the virtual world, she finds a group of friends – and a killer. Someone is hunting and violently murdering children. Who? Why? And is she the next target?

A hilarious, action adventure magical anime series based on the popular Weekly Shonen Magazine manga series!

“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!

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”).

“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!

“Fairy Tale” Vol. 1 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.

The first volume of “Fairy Tale” comes with 12 episodes on two Blu-rays (and also includes two DVD’s):

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 1 – An episode of how Luci met Natsu and Happy.
  • EPISODE 2 – Natsu brings Lucy to the Fairy Tail guildhall where she joins the guild and must go on her first job.
  • EPISODE 3 – Lucy must help Natsu and Happy steal a book from Everlue mansion.
  • EPISODE 4 – Lucy along with Natsu and Happy must fight against Duke Everlue in order to get the book.
  • EPISODE 5 – Erza enlists Natsu and Gray to assist her in an important mission.
  • EPISODE 6 – Erigor tries to kill the guild masters, can Natsu and Lucy stop him in time?
  • EPISODE 7 – Natsu vs. Eisenwald.
  • EPISODE 8 – Natsu vs. Erigor, but now Kageyama goes to try and kill the guild masters.  Can Natsu and Lucy stop him in time?

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 9 – Why has a village transformed the people into giant monsters?
  • EPISODE 10 – Because Natsu helped Erza with her request, he requests a battle with Erza to prove his strength.
  • EPISODE 11 – Natsu, Lucy and Happy go to the Galuna Island, place that may be cursed.
  • EPISODE 12 – Natsu, Lucy and Happy discover that wizards on Galuna Island are up to no good.

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. 1″ features the following special features:

DISC 1:

  • Episode 1 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Tyler Walker (Director/Line Producer) with Todd Haberkorn (voice of Natsu), Tia Ballard (voice of Happy) and Cherami Leigh (as Lucy).

DISC 2:

  • Episode 9 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Tyler Walker (Director/Line Producer) with Todd Haberkorn (voice of Natsu), Tia Ballard (voice of Happy), Colleen Clinkenbeard (voice of Erza) and Cherami Leigh (as Lucy).
  • Textless Opening Songs: “Snow Fairy”, “S.O.W. Sense of Wonder”
  • Textless Closing Songs: “Kanpeki Gu~none”, “Tsuioku Merry-Go Round”
  • Trailers – FUNimation Entertainment trailers

Fun, action-packed adventures featuring the most destructive wizard guild in the planet!

“Fairy Tail” is an anime series that manages to have a lot of fun through the adventures of Natsu and Lucy and it has similarities to the action/adventure anime series “One Piece” and “The Slayers”.

For one, the adventure and action is big part of this series as the characters take on various rival wizard guilds, the problem is that they tend to get into so much trouble that they end up creating a lot of damage.  And the object of these adventures are working guild jobs as the characters have bills to pay and each time they destroy something, it comes out of their paycheck.

And so far with this first volume, you have rather interesting characters.  For one, Lucy is the upbeat teenager who is just happy to be part of the Fairy Tail guild and wants to acquire more gatekeys to add to her list of spirits she can contact for battle or for the most troublesome situations, Natsu brings in the power but also knowing that he is a young guy who is searching for a mysterious dragon that helped raise him.  Throw in Gray, a friend and also Fairy Tail rival of Natsu who can’t keep his clothes on and then you have the great Erza with her bad attitude and awesome power.  And of course, what anime would not be complete without a cute floating character, in this case, a talking blue with wings named Happy!

So far, volume 1 features introductory episodes in which we get to know more about the characters, their special abilities but by episodes 7-8, Natsu wants to amp things up by taking on bigger jobs that pay more money but is Natsu and Lucy ready to take on these high-risk jobs?

You can expect things to be much more challenging for these characters in the next volume.  With that being said, this series has over 100 episodes and is still ongoing.  Next to “Dragon Ball Z” and “Yu Yu Hakusho” (which are older anime series), “Fairy Tale” is the most recent, longer anime series from Japan to be released on Blu-ray by FUNimation Entertainment.  So, if you want a series to watch for the long haul, “Fairy Tail” is a series worth considering.

As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is very good for a TV series and features a good solid lossless soundtrack.  As for special features, you do get the English voice actors providing commentary for two episodes.  And speaking about the English voice actors, I felt that FUNimation Entertainment has done a magnificent job with the cast for this series!  I’m usually listening to the Japanese soundtrack but this is one of the few series where I found myself watching with the English dubs because the voice acting was well-done.

Overall, the first Blu-ray release for “Fairy Tail” definitely shows a lot of promise.  Love the artwork, the character designs and the balance between humor and action/adventure.  While I don’t like to praise anime series too early on, I look forward to watching the next volume of “Fairy Tail”!  Again, if you are willing to commit yourself to a long running series, “Fairy Tale” is definitely for you!

Bottom