Anime: Fairy Tail (Volume 19)
Released By: FUNimation
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Retail Price: $54.98
The rather long-running anime series Fairy Tail continues with the 19th edition on DVD and Blu-ray, including an assortment of episodes covering 213-226 in the most recent edition. The series (originally based on a manga) follows a teenager by the name of Natsu Dragneel, who also happens to be a member of the quite popular wizards’ guild known as Fairy Tail. Though the series covers an elaborate selection of adventures and storylines, the common overarching goal consists of locating the dragon Igneel. Natsu surrounds himself with a group of companions and random individuals, kicking off the story that currently has no immediate conclusion in sight. Of course, it doesn’t signify that a lot can’t occur to alter the course of the series, so you can bet that this most recent installment has some havoc to release.
The 19th edition of Fairy Tail tosses viewers right back into a brewing battle against the Eclipsed Celestial Spirits. A grueling mission begins to individually seal each and every spirit away that proves to be challenging for Natsu and his allies. Just when they attempt to tie up on storyline as best as possible -- a revelation behind a much larger foe makes itself aware and yet another battle of epic proportions becomes inevitable. This brings seriousness to the plot with the hopes that Natsu and the guild can successfully ensure the safety of the spirits while the threat only continues to grow. In traditional Fairy Tail fashion, there is still enough time to include the less serious plot elements that make it a lighthearted series such as exchange students, harmless looking beasts that come from the sky and even the occasional odd babysitting job to return to the expected mood of the anime.
A battle between Natsu and Eclipse Leo takes place during the selected episodes of Collection 19, with the character being fairly fresh to the series. Natsu and Leo clash early on, but the discrepancies between the pair are intended on being a smaller plot in the grand scheme of things. It’s a nice example of the occasional spark that the series has to enlist fans, making the payout feel beneficial on most accounts. Eclipse Ophiuchus (or better known as the snake charmer.) is yet another spirit who stand out amongst the general group of Eclipse Celestial Spirits. She seeks out power -- but not for herself, simply to aid the Celestial King, even if it’s at the expense of the other eclipse spirits. By making the manipulated entities becomes foes whilst adding an acceptable conclusion made the story feel complete and another example of an intense span of episodes. The villains of the series are usually given more dimension to create sympathy which can be effective, but sometimes takes the potential intensity away from the circumstances.
As many know, there are plenty of lead or crucial characters in Fairy Tail and with so many episodes, giving everyone an opportunity to find their own stride. One character who I found was given a good amount of growth was Natsu. With Natsu being the central protagonist, it’s probable that he would be the focal point of character development and exploration so the series took a chance to capitalize on that spotlight. Natsu’s bravery and decisions to place himself in the center of trouble was very much present in this collection, but the way he ends up dealing with problems adds more compassion and kindness to his persona. While I noticed that the qualities used to redeems rivals or villains created a lighter atmosphere, it did prove that the humanity and moral values are something used to reach out to a younger skewing audience of anime fans.
The arcs depicted in these episodes provided a handful of new characters to add a different flair to the long running series through the Eclipsed Celestial Spirits and undead enemies on the rise. Despite a limited presence, I found the characters to be slightly more interesting (artistically speaking) opposed to what we've witnessed for more than 200 episodes. The battles used bright or flashy sequences to create altercations that didn’t appear to be too repetitious -- which was something worth noting for fans of the Fairy Tail universe. The release went forward and included episodes commentaries as well as a DVD and Blu-ray packaged version - perfect for Fairy Tail lovers who don’t want to miss their favorite adventurous series. If you are enjoying the recent arcs of Fairy Tail, check out the 19th collection available now by FUNimation!
Overall Score: 7/10
Aedan’s Final Thoughts:
- Natsu seems to continue his place as a likable protagonist.
- The plot lines discussing the spirits felt like a small arc with episodic villains (nice choice).
- Sometimes Fairy Tail can lose itself in too many characters and missed opportunities for the bigger picture.