Anime Reporter rejoins Fairy Tail for Part 7 (episodes 73 – 84), finding the guild at a rare moment of peace after the chaos of Part 6.
Part 7 sees Wendy and Carla settling in to their new roles at Fairy Tail and eager to do their new guild proud, while most of the members enjoy some downtime and spirited competition with a cherry blossom festival and a particularly spirited take on a cross-country marathon. The first four episodes of the collection may appear to be harmless filler upon first glance but as the series progresses these are revealed to be subtle instances of characterisation and backstory for the following story arc and beyond. We see Wendy undertake a new guild mission and show what she’s capable of in the wilderness as well as a look at some of Fairy Tail’s more obscure members and their abilities. Episode 76, “Gildarts”, in particular gives us a wealth of information about Natsu’s history before the arrival of Lucy and sows the seeds for what will likely be a bloody excellent story arc down the road.
Following this, things take a decidedly sharper turn towards the dramatic as Fairy Tail and all its member soon disappear into another world with little warning, leaving Wendy, Natsu, Carla and Happy to figure out how to save all of their friends.
Finding themselves in Edolas, an alternate reality to their own world, Earthland, the group is forced to blend in or risk immediate failure in this bizarre new reality. They soon manage to stumble across Fairy Tail, though it soon becomes apparent that they truly aren’t in Kansas anymore.
People’s personalities in Edolas are almost directly opposite to their Earthland counterparts, ranging from a domineering and take-charge verion of Lucy to a Gray who obsessively dresses in way too many layers. Making matters infinitely more difficult, Earthland magic won’t work in Edolas, rendering the group powerless in this new land. In Edolas, magic is a rare commodity and using it is a serious crime. This makes the Edolas version of Fairy Tail criminals, forever fleeing from the dreaded Fairy Hunter and the royal soldiers.
The story develops as our beloved Earthland heroes journet together to rescue their guild, now frozen as Lacrima, a crystalline form of their raw magical power, used as fuel for the people of Edolas. Even this proves to be just scratching the surface as Happy’s and Wendy’s origins are revealed and a few more key Fairy Tail members are revealed to have escaped the fate of their comrades.
This story arc remains unfinished by the end of the collection, but proves to be vastly entertaining and well developed as a story. The Edolas counterparts for all of Fairy Tail’s members are plotted and portrayed excellently, proving to be a source of humour as well as showing a lot of insight into the personalities and relationships of our home-team heroes. Much more than the last couple of story arcs, the Edolas saga is one which will come to have an impact on the characters and their paths from here on out. A great tale in its own right as well as an integral part of the Fairy Tail universe and it’s still only getting started!
The animation for this arc is excellent and from the very beginning it seems that magical powers and attacks have gone under a little bit of revision with special effects being put to new use for Natsu and Erza. The animation and use of colour is as sleek as ever and it’s never not a pleasure to watch.
The voice acting is excellent in both Japanese and English, with particular care being given in the Edolas arc to voice different versions of characters with just subtle enough differences to show their differing personalities. Not an easy task to portray the same character in distinctly individual ways but this is managed with apparent ease. The English portrayals of alternate Lucy (voiced by Sword Art Online’s Cherami Leigh) and Gajeel (voiced by Attack on Titan’s David Wald) deserve praise in particular.
Fairy Tail Part 7 is a wonderful trip down the rabbit hole with all the style and laughter we’ve come to expect from Fairy Tail. This collection should be high on everyone’s list!
Fairy Tail Part 7 is available on Region 2 DVD and Bluray from April 28th 2014 from Manga Entertainment.
If you’re still even slightly on the fence, check out the Fairy Tail Part 7 trailer too:
84% – “Anime Done Right!”
Fairy Tail Collection 7 is a phenomenal start to what will no doubt prove to be one of the series’ most ground breaking sagas. Don’t miss one minute!