Anime Review: Fairy Tail Part 12 (Lights, Camera, Action!)

By Drew Hurley 25.02.2017

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Fairy Tail Part 12 (UK Rating: 12)

The previous instalment - Fairy Tail Part 11 - was a real mixed bag. It managed to wrap up one of the best arcs in the series thus far. Along with putting some major new plot threads into motion and setting up a whole new world for the story, it also began a dreaded period of fillers that continued on for far too long. Sadly, this latest instalment continues those fillers, although, thankfully, they aren't as bad as the stupid flatulent villains or episodes all about dancing. Fillers don't always have to be bad, after all, so can this current arc feel like a story that belongs and deserves to be told, or is this another part worth skipping? Fairy Tail Part 12 comes out on 27th February, courtesy of Funimation via Anime Limited here in the UK.

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This collection resumes the Key to the Starry Sky arc, which began in the tail end of the previous release. The story introduced a distant relative of Lucy who was delivering a memento to Lucy from her dearly departed father. Unbeknownst to Lucy, this memento is part of a world-ending artefact known as the "Infinity Clock," and there is a team of elite magicians working for the Zentopia Church, known as the "Legion Platoon," who will stop at nothing to gather up all of the parts of the Clock. Of course, this means the group and the Fairy Tail guild are set to battling over each piece, with both sides sending teams to each part for some typical shonen showdowns between the teams. It's hard to see why Fairy Tail would fight so vehemently against the Legion Platoon for them, though, just for a momento of Lucy's father, considering they are told time and again that the Infinity Clock will bring nothing but death and destruction. Even a creepy little girl appears in Lucy's mind to tell her to stop! Sure enough, the fate of the world is soon on the cards as a familiar group of villains step out of the shadows and suddenly the battle for the Infinity Clock becomes a three-way battle.

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Fillers rarely ever live up to the quality of the original. After all, they are usually written and created by the anime team instead of by the original creator and so often end up feeling like derivative pieces of fan fiction. That being said, this arc isn't that bad. It actually fits in well with the canon arc from the manga, with parts of this story actually being mentioned later on in the canon and even the manga. The story itself is decent enough, with some of the signature series' comedy and some great battles with characters that feel like they could have been from the original story. It's not without its problems, however. The dreaded Butt Jiggle Gang return and somehow manage to take out one of the strongest mages in the world with point-blank trumping… *sigh* …along with a new group known as the "Jiggle Juggs Gang," a group of rotund gentlemen again in skin tight rubber who bounce their considerable man boobs around for no reason then vanish...

This is a dual audio release and, as with most shonen series, the audience will be split over whether they can abide the English cast or not. There are some veteran voice actors here with decent performances but also plenty of stilted or cringe-worthy moments. The art and animation quality are noticeably sub-par to the regular series in many of these episodes, too, something that is a common trait of filler arcs. The release comes with the expected usual bonus features, like trailers for other shows, text-less opening/closing songs, and a few episode commentary tracks with long time director/writer/occasional voice actor, Tyler Walker, along with his wife and a handful of the extended cast from this arc. There is also a video commentary for the first time.

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6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Fillers they may be, but the Key to the Starry Sky arc of Fairy Tail Part 12 is actually quite enjoyable and includes moments that help explain some later parts of the Fairy Tail story. This is definitely worth watching for fans to get the full story. The Key to the Starry Sky arc is still yet to conclude, yet with eight episodes left, it will be wrapped up in the next collection, which will also return to the canon story. Roll on Fairy Tail Part 13!

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