Fairy Tail Collection 9 (Blu-ray) Review

Season Three of Fairy Tail Starts Here!

Fairy Tail Collection 9 Blu-ray
Fairy Tail Collection 9 Blu-ray. © Hiro Mashima • KODANSHA/Fairy Tail Guild • TV TOKYO. Licensed by Kodansha through FUNimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

What They Say

To defeat a former master, Fairy Tail must face their past.

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.

Contains episodes 97-108.

The Episodes

Collection 9 of Fairy on Blu-ray (also available on DVD) features the first 11 episodes of Fairy Tail Season Three which sees the start of new story arc and is thus a great jumping on point for Fairy Tail first timers and a sort of refresh for long-time fans.

Unlike the previous arc which had more of a straightforward storytelling style, the episodes here employ the liberal use of flashbacks to reveal key plot points and the past of several major characters and even a few supporting characters that finally get their moment to shine. This is a great idea used well as the main story this time around is all about exploring the history of the Fairy Tail Guild and even touches on the origins of magic itself in this fantastical world.

While the previous volume suffered from a fair bit of rushed animation –which resulted in the lack of any actual animation in several scenes– the series is in top form here with very little to complain about and several animation sequences that actually impressed.

Blu-ray and Special Features

The Blu-ray edition of Fairy Tail Collection 9 features a 1080p high definition image that ,while being an upscale of a standard definition master instead of a direct transfer, still looks great with vibrant colors and no noise or aliasing.

As is usual, this release comes with the original 2.0 Japanese and 5.1 English audio tracks and both sound great though the English one comes across as more impressive due to the number of audio channels used.

There are the typical trailers for other anime series and the usual creditless opening and closing themes but, as with the previous release, the best special features are the audio commentaries performed by several of the English voice actors and their director.

In a first for the Fairy Tail Blu-rays and DVDs, Collection 9 sees the premiere of a rather cool video commentary that places the related episode in a small window and shows a well-produced video recording of the commentary. This is a great idea as it gives the audience a chance to see the faces behind the voices and provides more insight into the cast and crew dynamics. Hopefully more video commentaries will be made for future releases though ideally with a little more conversation planning. There were some noticeable repetitions of dialogue between this commentary and the audio one in this collection. It’s great to hear about where Fairy Tail is popular around the world and which characters the actors want to see together but when the dialogue expressing this is word-for-word identical to a previous conversation it’s hard not to feel cheated.

There was also a rather awkward (or hilarious?) ending to the video where the director –who had started his closing speech– was interrupted by Natsu’s voice actor, Todd Haberkorn who yells a quick goodbye to the camera which results in one fierce death stare. Probably not the ending they had planned for the video commentary but was memorable nonetheless.

Who Should Watch?

Fairy Tail is a very quirky, fun series however some of its imagery and themes (i.e. sexual innuendos, ridiculous breast sizes on female characters and death) may make it inappropriate for young children. People who have never seen Japanese animation before may find it a bit too strange however male and female anime fans in their late teens onwards are sure to get a kick out of it.

Overall

Season Three of Fairy Tail is off to an exciting start with a mix of old and new characters thrown into an arc that promised to explore the world and the people within it.

Fairy Tail fans will love this release and there’s never been a better place to jump in for viewers curious to see what this popular anime series is all about.

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Disclosure: A review copy was provided by Madman. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy. The DVD featured in this review is the Region 4 DVD release by Madman. Alternate releases are available in other regions.