Blu-ray Review: Fairy Tail – Part 7

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The fairies are back in a brand new adventure that transcends time and space, but what can we expect from this latest instalment? Well lets find out in our Blu-ray Review of Fairy Tail – Part 7.

Synopsis:

When an unstoppable force descends upon Magnolia and Fairy Tail, the entire town is transported to Edolas, a world where magic is in short supply. There, a power-hungry kingdom plans on draining every last drop of magic from the captured guild – unless someone can stop them fast. As Natsu and the few left behind search for their friends, they discover a parallel plane where a tough-as-nails Lucy runs a bizarro version of Fairy Tail, and Erza is a ruthless enemy who hunts down rogue wizards.

Meanwhile, Carla and Happy stumble upon a cat-filled land where their shocking origins are revealed and a terrible betrayal comes to light. Will Natsu’s team be able to save the guild when they can’t even trust each other?

Our View:

As the synopsis suggests this seventh instalment starts a brand new story arc, entitled the Edolas Story Arc, an arc which sees the entire city of Magnolia swallowed up by magic from the king who rules the alternate universe known as Edolas. It’s up to Natsu, Wendy, Happy and Carla to put things right by saving their friends and restoring magnolia to its rightful place, while along the way encountering old friends and learning new secrets.

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The main bulk of episodes (eight to be exact) foretell the Edolas storyline, however before it begins there are four episodes which see the Fairy Tail guild members in all sorts of different activities and events. These episodes each have a standalone story, such as a 24 Hour endurance race or Wendy going on her first big job as a Fairy Tail guild member, but in reality it’s a way for viewers to get accustomed to majority of the guild members before the Edolas version of fairy Tail is shown in later episodes.

While these standalone episodes provide some entertaining values it’s the episodes that follow shortly after which provide the information that most viewers have been waiting for, mainly because it goes into great depths of explaining the origins of Happy and Carla. That’s not the only ‘long overdue’ explanation either, as shortly before Magnolia disappears Mystogan arrives on the scene to reveal his true identity and his real intentions for being here, much to the shock of everyone involved. These two topics are, in my eyes, are the only interesting elements of this set as the remainder is just your typical Fairy Tail banter in an alternate universe.

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This alternate universe completely rewrites the Fairy Tail history, as in this world not only is everyone’s personalities reversed (such as Gray being in love with Juvia) but Fairy Tail is considered a dark guild. More importantly Magic is in extremely short supply and as such no-one is able to use their magical abilities. This is the real reason the king of Edolas stole Magnolia from Earth in the first place, as it had the most magical power, and with this power the king can safely keep control of this kingdom.

What I do find quite amusing is that I never realised that Fairy Tail could be quite dull without the constant balance of magical fights, a constant threat and banter, for example in previous episodes some form of magic is used, but in this set since magical power is scarce no-one is able to use it. Fortunately the introductions of Edolas Fairy Tail members and the appearance of the real lucy, who is able to use magical power, manages to pull back some of its merit, but even then it’s just not as fun as previous sets.

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Unlike previous sets there is no real action or entertainment, sure the introductions of an alternate universe and the origins of the cats (Happy & Carla) provide worthwhile merits but the rest of the episodes mainly see the group (Lucy, Natsu & Wendy) attempting to find a way into the kingdom in order to rescue their friends, there is no over-the-top fist fights or destruction – its just mostly planning and travel. What you could say is that this set is a build-up of things to come, and judging by what we’ve seen so far the final showdown within Edolas should be pretty entertaining.

Extras:

This seventh Blu-ray instalment of Fairy Tail continues the trend set by previous Blu-ray releases, whereby the disc itself is an exact replica of the original American version and as such all of the bonus content remains.

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In terms of actual content we have two English Cast commentaries on the first disc, both of which provide interesting insight into the world of English dubbing within FUNimation studios, while the second disc provides the bulk of the extra content, namely the trailers and text less songs.

Disc 1:

  • Episode 74 English Cast Commentary
  • Episode 79 English Cast Commentary

Disc 2:

  • Textless Opening Song
  • Textless Closing Song
  • US Trailer
  • Trailers

For me the highlight was the Episode 74 English Cast Commentary as it features both Brittney Karbowski (voice of Wendy) and Jad Saxton (voice of Carla) explaining how they secured the roles for those characters as well as sharing their voice acting experience within the industry.

The final selection of additional material is of course the trailers for other anime releases and included on the disc we have american trailers for Serial Experiments Lain, One Piece, Guilty Crown, Aquarion Evol, Eureka Seven and Fairy Tail. As you’d expect some of these titles have been licensed for UK release while others haven’t for instance the One Piece trailer shows elements from over 100 episodes away from the UK release while the Fairy Tail trailer is for the feature-length-movie.

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Since Manga UK are using the American disc masters there is also some additional trailers before the main menu on each disc, with Wolf Children being on Disc 1 and the newly re-mastered Dragon Ball Z Blu-ray trailer on Disc 2. Either way it’s nice for all of these additional features to be remain on the disc, as they could have easily been removed or replaced.

Specs:

Media: BD50 x1, BD25 x1
Region: A & B
Running Time: 3:15:45 (Disc 1), 1:37:58 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English) & Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Aspect Ratio
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

It’s the beginning of a brand new story as this seventh instalment of the Fairy Tail franchise marches straight forward into uncharted territories by introducing a parallel world void of magic and explains the origins of Happy & Carla. Don’t worry though it’s not all despair and misery as there is still plenty of the usual comedic banter flying around, even if its starting to get stale.

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As far as the Blu-ray release is concerned it uses a 1080p high definition picture with a Dolby TrueHD Audio track and it offers a better visual experience than the standard definition alternate. Audio quality wise the English Dub is provided in 5.1 Surround Sound, which is not necessarily needed as there isn’t much explosions or fights taking place, while the Japanese audio track uses 2.0 Stereo but whichever audio you choose its clearly presented through the speakers.

Following in from the trend of previous releases the English audio track is the default start-up audio, so those wishing to watch it in Japanese will have to visit the setup menu each time. Additionally the subtitles are a translation of the Japanese audio, meaning it still differs from the English Dub. There isn’t much difference (like in the previous instalment) but if you watch them both back to back you may notice slight differences, so at least it’s nice to know that FUNimation aren’t producing dubtitles as their subs.

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What you see is what you get with Fairy Tail – Part 7, it starts off with some entertaining stand-a-lone  episodes and then dives straight into the next ‘big story arc’, but while there is plenty of surprises and comical banter in-store there isn’t very much in terms of magical fist fight. For me this is one of the weaker releases so far, but thankfully its just a prelude of things to come. If you are looking for a fun-filled magic brawl then look elsewhere, as you aren’t going to find it, although if you are just looking to continue the Fairy Tail storyline then obviously you’ll need to watch this part, as this is where the foundations of the Edalos storyline is laid out with the next instalment expecting to bring the first fights back to center stage.

Score: review-stars-3

Fairy Tail – Part 7 will be available on Blu-ray and DVD from the 28th April 2014.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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