Fairy Tail has an interesting place in our anime-watching history. It was an anime we watched in Tokyo without subtitles on the television in our hotel room. We were entertained enough to check it out when we returned home, and actually kept up with it for the first 48-50 episodes. Since then it’s been officially on hold. It’s nothing we’d ever blog weekly, but it’s by no means horrible.
We’ve always liked its optimistic outlook, bold, colorful characters vaguely Celtic soundtrack. The production values are pretty awful though, as many characters are poorly or inconsistently rendered. Like many long-form animes, it also takes a while for anything to actually happen, so we were lucky to pick this random episode in which everything is wrapped up in a nice little package.
We got a little of everything: a climactic battle in which Natsu punches the bad guy in the face a decisive 496th time; other Fairy Tail members contribute a powerful attack of their own, after a stern scolding, the villain’s life is spared and he’s sent on his way (Fairy Tail aren’t executioners), and the guild heals, rests up, and celebrates a job well done. If only it took 5-10 episodes to get to these points, rather than 50.
Funny thing: if you get to watching long-running series, you begin to watch them out of habit, rather than because of their actual merits. Bleach for instance, had a really good start, and the first couple arcs would actually make a 3 on my Rating scale; individual episodes could warrant a 3.5. But I feel like I watched it for too long. The series developed a tendency to whip up incredibly dull filler arcs that lasted dozens of episodes and went absolutely nowhere.
They couldn’t have permanent effects on either the characters or the story, because the manga material was the only material that could do that. I always wondered what poor soul(s) had to actually write filler material, and why they made it so paralyzingly dull. After 228 episodes, I had to say goodbye to Bleach. There was simply not enough going on, and I felt like it would take another 50-100 episodes to actually get to the conclusion I wanted. That’s just too much.
Now Fairy Tail has come to a major arc conclusion, and after 48 episodes, I still want more. I don’t know why, but it has a lot to do with watching so much of it. Sometimes battles drag out, but on the whole this series has done a good job moving forward, both with characters and with the plot. It’s battles also always strive to be relatively creative. After so many episodes, many enemies have become friends, many wrongs have been righted, and the series remains steadfastly upbeat.
I thought the series was over after 48 episodes, but alas, it was only this last arc. That’s okay, I think I’ll continue sticking with it for now. I can’t really help it; I’m invested in a good five to ten characters (out of the dozens), and would like to see what will come their way next. It’s too early to tell if Fairy Tail will run out of steam, but it’s been good to me so far, so I’m not giving up on it. It’s not a pointless habit yet. Rating: 3
Rundown: The series follows the adventures of celestial wizard Lucy Heartfilia after she joins the Fairy Tail magical guild and teams up with three other accomplished wizards to complete contracts and embark on quests.
Of all the shows I’ve been watching this summer, none could fall neatly into the adventure/fantasy realm. That changed when I caught my first glimpse of Fairy Tail on TV Tokyo (albeit without subs.) While there’s nothing that original here, I’ve found the first handful of episodes to be entertaining enough. It can’t hurt that Hirano Aya voices Lucy, part of a colorful core cast. It’s also long; having first aired last October, it’s still going on currently. That could mean it has the time to really flesh out its characters and build an interesting story that fully utilizes them. Whether it actually does that or not remains to be seen. Rating: 3