DVD Review: Fairy Tail – Part 14

FUNimation UK, via Anime Limited, continues to drip-feed Fairy Tail releases into the UK Anime sector and today we explore what the latest offering, known as Fairy Tail – Part 14, has to offer in our latest review.

Synopsis:

The Grand Magic Games is a yearly competition that pits guild against guild in a weeklong battle for the honor of being called the most powerful wizards in the Fiore Kingdom. Fairy Tail may have come in last place for the past seven tournaments, but now that all their strongest members are back in action – and leveled-up – they’re determined to take the number one spot and rebuild their reputation!

Winning the games won’t be easy, though, as Natsu and his selected teammates are forced to navigate enchanted labyrinths, battle wizard saints, and go head-to-head with a host of familiar faces. But with more than one guild targeting Fairy Tail before the competition even begins, the guildmates will be lucky if they even make it out of the opening ceremonies alive.

Our View:

After a relatively long hiatus Fairy Tail made its triumphant return to the UK with Fairy Tail – Part 10 and since then we have had to settle with DVD-only releases (which is a shame considering that the episodes contained within are HD Native); but regardless of the format each episode still manages to bring a smile to our face with its constant balance of comedy, suspense and drama.

The same can also be said with this fourteenth instalment into the (seemingly never ending) series which begins afresh with the arrival of a new story arc and a whole new set of characters. In the previous instalment the Fairy Tail guild manage to stop the Infinity Clock from being used and the lead players within the guild decided to enter the Grand Magic Games in an attempt to boost their popularity amongst other guilds across the world.

However with a seven year gap between them and the current generation of mages the team who were frozen on Tenrou Island decide to go training to boost their powers… but alas for Natsu, Lucy, Gray, Juvia, Wendy, Urza, Carla and Happy that was not exactly the case and instead spent three (Earth Land) months in the spirit world having a party with Lucy’s magical spirits.

Alas; here is where the events of Fairy Tail – Part 14 begin. Three months after their non-existent training session the Fairy Tail guild find themselves entering in to the Grand Magic Games and its questionable rule sets; including one that sees a curfew put in place for those who are entering the tournament but alas not everything is as it seems. For starters just before the games can begin Wendy and Carla are attacked by a mysterious force (who later turns out to be a dark guild known as Raventail); thus knocking her out of the competition for the unforeseeable future. Meanwhile upon entering the tournament itself everyone, especially the guild known as Raven Tail, are out to stop Fairy Tail from progressing forward in the tournament – much to the frustration of Natsu, Lucy and Gray.

From a storyline perspective the events within Fairy Tail – Part 14 do not feature much of a progressive story; as each episode is another round within the Grand Magic Games, with some episodes offering much more ‘questionable’ content than you might expect. Of course fear not; a story is unfolding. For starters Raven Tail, a dark guild, have been accepted into the games and cause dismay for those around them (especially Fairy Tail) and more importantly the organisers of the event even have their own ‘secret’ agenda in motion; an agenda which has caught the attention of Jalla and his merry followers.

Does this mean that the even escapades of Fairy Tail – Part 14 are uneventful? Far from it; its actually comically entertaining from start to finish and offers a refreshing change of pace from past episodes; but just don’t expect a linear story in this selection of episodes – its more about sitting back and enjoying the ride – which is a good thing as it is a good one. Especially for Fairy Tail fans who have been watching the series from the start as pretty much everyone makes some sort of appearance – including original Fairy Tail guild master; Mavis.

Extras:

As with most FUNimation authored releases the selection of supplementary content is exceptional and in the case of Fairy Tail – Part 14 the selection of bonus features on offer is quite impressive; as fans will find two English Dub Cast Commentaries, an interview with Cherami leigh (the voice actor for Lucy Heartfelia), textless songs and a selection of trailers for other FUNimation releases. As per usual all of this bonus content is located on the second DVD disc with the exception of one of the audio commentaries as the episode is located on the first DVD disc.

Generally speaking there is a lot of bonus content to go through; but in terms of ‘value’ then it will all depend on your opinion of the English Dub and the voices behind them.

For example despite enjoying the English Dub of Fairy Tail the English Cast Commentaries I found to be quite boring with the various voice actors (albeit voices for characters who have small parts in the series) providing general banter rather than insights into the series and its dubbing process. On the other hand the interview/discussion with Cherami Leigh regarding her role as Lucy Heartfelia I found to be interesting and entertaining; so it’s all down to perspective and content.

Naturally rounding out the selection of bonus materials is the textless opening and closing songs featured within this part of the series (i.e. the Grand Magic Games Arc) as well as a selection of trailers for other FUNimation released shows. As this is a US authored disc all of the trailers are tailored to the US FUNimation schedule (for example Toriko and Dragon Ball Z); but some of the trailers are for series that are available in the UK – such as HAL, One Piece and Ghost in the Shell: Arise.

Whether it be the English-centric bonus features or the standard supplementary content the bonus features found within Fairy Tail – Part 14 give this release added value; especially for fans of the English Dub.

Specs:

Media: DVD 9 x2
Region: 2
Running Time: 2:51:08 (Disc 1), 1:37:52 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 448kbps (English) & Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 720 x 480 (480p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 30 fps

Overall:

Featuring only eleven episodes this fourteenth instalment into the Fairy Tail franchise may not offer a large selection of episodic content, especially when compared to the usual standard of thirteen episodes per release; but what it does offer is the usual entertaining banter and adrenaline fuelled Shonen action you’d come to expect from the Fairy Tail franchise. And that’s before you even get to the second DVD disc and its bonus features.

The events within this fourteenth part of Fairy Tail see the guild enter the Grand Magic Games in attempt to boost their overall popularity that has since become non-exist since the key members were frozen in time. However what was expected to be a simple magic tournament soon turns in to a fight for survival when the Raven Tail guild targets Fairy Tail for an unknown reason; with this fiasco starting when they put Wendy and Carla in the Infirmary. Although the grudge against Raven Tail, who later turns out to be a Dark Guild, is a focal point of this set the key momentum is done through the individual matches; each of which offering something different and much more engaging for the viewer. For instance one match is a giant puzzle, another is a race around the city (much to the dismay of Natsu) and another turns out to be a modelling contest turned brawler – it’s unexpectedly funny and refreshing at the same time.

Once again Fairy Tail doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is one of the reasons why I enjoy watching the franchise; it provides the emotional drama and intensity as other Shonen series (such as Dragon Ball Z, One Piece & Naruto) but still finds time to put in a few laughs – and questionable content –  for good measure. A new story arc, a new adventure; but same old Fairy Tail with a wide range of characters is what this set offers. Fairy Tail – Part 14 is the refreshing restart it needed before its big overhaul due later on and if you found previous parts to be stale then this one will surely bighten up your day; that is unless you are a fan of wendy and Carla who is mostly absent from this set due to being in the infirmary.

DVD release wise then FUNimation UK are opting (as you’d expect) to use disc masters produced by their US division and as such everything that came with the American release (including NTSC format discs) is here within the UK release; which is of course a major positive for those wanting to collecting the best quality product without worrying about the blu-ray releases. Overall Fairy Tail – Part 14 provided more than I expected; which is a good thing as it shows that Fairy Tail can still drag in the attention it deserves and this set needs your attention; especially if you are a fan of the English Dub.

Score: review-stars-5

Fairy Tail – Part 14 is now available on DVD within the UK.

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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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