Fairy Tail #2 Print
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R2 DVD Reviews
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 00:00
The boys and girls of Fairy Tail are back for more adventures, which is alright by me. After finishing off their adventures on Galuna Island, the guild find themselves under attack by rivals Phantom Lord - who have a particular interest in Lucy...

So. When we left the gang, they were on Galuna Island, dealing with Gray's former friend Lyon and his attempt to revive big bad demon Deliora. Having taken the job without permission, there was always the chance that payback was eventually going to reach them - payback that soon arrives in the form of Erza, who's really not happy with them, but who's willing to at least let them finish what they've started before taking them back to Makarov to suffer.

That suffering gets put on the backburner for a while when, after returning to the guild house, they find that it's been somewhat trashed by rival guild Phantom Lord, who have a long history of enmity with the 'fairies' of Fairy Tail. Now, they've been hired by Lucy's father - head, it turns out, of a very rich family - to bring his runaway daughter back to fulfill her family responsibilities. There are two problems with this: Fairy Tail have no problem picking a fight with Phantom Lord if they want one; and with Lucy being a member of the guild, if she doesn't want to leave, the other members aren't inclined to just hand her over. With Phantom Lord being heavily into the darker side of the magical arts, though, it's not exactly a fair fight.

Up-front admission: I'm surprised by just how much I enjoy Fairy Tail. It's a shounen fighting show at heart, and as a general rule I do not get on with them - but there are several aspects of Fairy Tail, all present on this disc, that keep me coming back. First up are some great characters - Lucy's top of my list at the moment, but Natsu, Erza, and hell even Happy in his annoying mascot way all work as characters and are interesting to watch. That list looks likely to grow, too - the Phantom Lord arc in particular does a little bit of backstory digging into the pasts of Mirajane and Elfman that does a good job of fleshing them out and making more of them than just being AN Other Guildmembers. We might run into a problem of eventually having too many characters to play with, but so far, so good.

Second, the series never forgets its sense of humour. When Naruto or Bleach get deep into fighting arcs, they get deadly serious - a real shame, as both shows can be quite funny when they set their minds to it. Fairy Tail keeps the humour going, with the characters continuing to poke fun at their enemies and each other, making mistakes and facefaults, and you're never too far from a smile or a snicker, even when the battle stakes are high, and the cumulative value of those little bits of enjoyment when it comes to judging the worth of a series can't be underestimated.

Finally, there's the soundtrack, which I find to be absolutely wonderful. Some of the tunes are instantly recognisable (Land of Hope and Glory gets an outing this volume), others are original to the show, but they're all catchy, scene-appropriate pieces that quite often had me tapping along. Again, the music makes me smile, and that can only be a good thing.

Those are general comments, but even in terms of story this volume fares well. The Galuna Island story has some neat twists and turns in it, while all the background stories in the Phantom Lord arc combine with some nicely-crazy villains and a battle that gets rapidly out-of-hand to create the sort of confrontation that you'd normally expect as a series closer. Away from the two main arcs, there are two 'filler' episodes in between - a magic-gone-awry tale of bodyswapping, and the story of how Happy joined the gang - that are also decently entertaining.

Wrap it up into a 12-episode package, and there's a lot here to like, and a lot of fun to be had from watching it - and it feels decidedly strange for me to be saying that about this sort of series. Entertaining from start to finish, it's been a genuine surprise for me, and is now one of the rare shows where I'm actively looking forward to the next volume. Go get.

Rating - ****

Episode summaries are taken from Wikipedia, and are available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

13 - Natsu vs Yuka the Wave User
Gray is badly injured during his fight with Lyon and is brought back to the village by Natsu. Lyon's henchmen destroy the village with a flume of acidic jelly, but Natsu protects everyone from Lyon's henchmen Yuka and Toby. Meanwhile, Lucy fights with Lyon's henchman Sherry, who has the power to control Lucy's celestial spirits...

14 - Just Do Whatever!!
After Lucy defeats Sherry, Erza arrives on Galuna Island to apprehend the heroes and return them to the guild for punishment for taking the S-Class job without permission, showing no interest in the situation the islanders are in. Once Gray states his intention to defeat Lyon no matter what, however, Erza relents and sets them free to look for Natsu, who tries to defeat Lyon and prevent Deliora's resurrection by himself. Along the way, Gray reveals that Ur is still alive...

15 - Eternal Magic
Gray reveals how he was found by Ur and Lyon ten years ago after his hometown was destroyed by Deliora. Seeking revenge against the demon, Gray became Ur's student to learn magic in order to defeat it. When Deliora reappeared, however, Ur sealed Deliora using Iced Shell, a spell that transformed her body into ice to freeze Deliora. Although Ur remains alive in this form, she had Gray tell Lyon that she had died in the hopes that he wouldn't spend his life trying to return her to normal, sparking Lyon's grudge against Gray...

16 - The Final Showdown on Galuna Island
Gray confronts Lyon and tries to use Iced Shell against him, but is stopped by Natsu and realizes that doing so would be meaningless as Lyon could be restored by his henchmen. Gray tells Lyon the truth about Ur, but Lyon admits that he had known this all along and still intends to melt Ur's former body. Enraged, Gray defeats Lyon, but fails to stop the Moon Drip from resurrecting Deliora. Meanwhile, Natsu fights with Lyon's henchman Zalty, who has the power to control the time of objects around them...

17 - Burst
Natsu and Gray attempt to stop Deliora, only to learn that Ur had drained its strength over the ten years that it was frozen, causing Deliora to die shortly after it is resurrected. Even with Deliora's death, however, everyone realizes that they have yet to lift the island's curse. They return to the village to find that it has been repaired by Zalty. The villagers reason that they must lift the curse by destroying the moon itself...

18 - Reach the Sky Above
Natsu and Erza lift the curse by aiming their attacks at the moon, destroying a magical membrane cast over the island by the Moon Drip, which turns out to be the direct cause of the curse. Furthermore, it is revealed that the curse hadn't turned the islanders into demons; rather, they had been demons all along, and the curse affected their memories of it. Freed from their obsession with Deliora, Lyon and his henchmen resolve to change their ways, while Erza brings the others back to the guild to be punished...

19 - Changeling
Natsu finds a strange-looking request on the job board and chants the words written on it, causing him and several other members of Fairy Tail to switch bodies with each other. Levy and her partners try to break the spell, but only manage to save some of the guild members while even more members swap bodies as well...

20 - Natsu and the Dragon Egg
Mirajane tells Lucy the story of how Natsu found Happy as an egg when he was younger and helped care for it together with Mirajane and Elfman's younger sister Lisanna, a former member of Fairy Tail. When Natsu first found the egg - a rather large one, at that - he had no idea what kind of creature was inside it, but with Lisanna's help he set about trying to get it to hatch. Which turned out to be easier said than done...

21 - The Phantom Lord
The Fairy Tail guildhall is attacked by Phantom Lord, a rival guild. At first, Makarov ignores the attack in order to maintain the law of neutrality among guilds, but later declares war on Phantom Lord when Levy and her group are attacked and hospitalized by Gajeel, Phantom Lord's resident Dragon Slayer. As Makarov leads an attack against Phantom Lord, Lucy is kidnapped by Juvia and Sol, two of Phantom Lord's most powerful members, Element 4...

22 - Lucy Heartfilia
Makarov confronts Jose, the leader of Phantom Lord, but is drained of his magical power by Aria (one of the Element 4), forcing Fairy Tail to retreat. Learning that Lucy has been kidnapped by Phantom Lord, Natsu makes his way to their tower headquarters to rescue her. There Lucy learns that the one who ordered her kidnapping was her own father, with Phantom Lord's attacks meant to fulfill his request of bringing her back to the Heartfilia family estate after she ran away from home. Desperate to escape, Lucy leaps from her tower window and is saved by Natsu...

23 - 15 Minutes
Phantom Lord appears in Magnolia to destroy Fairy Tail with its magic cannon, Jupiter, but Erza sacrifices herself to defend everyone from the attack. Given fifteen minutes until the cannon is fired again and left without their strongest fighters, Lucy is taken away to safety while Natsu tries to destroy Jupiter, leaving everyone else to defend the guildhall...

24 - To Keep From Seeing Those Tears
Natsu successfully destroys Jupiter while fighting with Totomaru of Element 4. In response, the Phantom Lord guildhall is transformed into a giant robot and begins casting the forbidden magic Abyss Break to wipe out all of Magnolia at once. Mirajane offers herself to Phantom Lord while disguised as Lucy, but Jose sees through her disguise and captures her. Elfman, having infiltrated Phantom Tail with Gray, is confronted by Sol, who forces him to relive his guilt of killing his sister Lisanna. Upon seeing Mirajane as a hostage, however, Elfman performs Beast Soul, the spell that caused Lisanna's death, against Sol.

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