Anime Review: Fairy Tail Part 14 (Lights, Camera, Action!)

By Drew Hurley 29.05.2017

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Fairy Tail Part 14 (UK Rating: 12)

Tournaments are the bread and butter of Shonen series and Fairy Tail itself has already had a few such arcs, one rather recently, in fact! This, though, is a little different. This is more than just a series of one-on-one fights; this is more like a grand gladiatorial event. The Grand Magic Games uses special events like races and tests of ability both magical and physical. Natsu and team have some big competition in these games with old friends and old foes both coming out of the woodwork to compete, not to mention a dark force lurking in the shadows. This latest collection contains episodes 154 to 164, courtesy of Funimation via Anime Limited and is out now. For those keen to check out earlier releases, Cubed3 has also reviewed Part 12 and Part 13.

Before the time-skip, Fairy Tail was the strongest guild in all of Fiore, but now it has become the weakest. A laughing stock that has placed last in each of the previous games, and worse still even though its heavy hitters have now returned from sanctuary outside of time, they have been gone for so long that the world has moved on and they are no longer the powerhouses they once were. They had a chance for a last minute training camp, but that was lost, too… wasted on a party in the Celestial realm, where a single night counted as three months in the real world. Now the games are about to begin and the guild will be entering as severe underdogs.

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The first part of the games is an elimination competition to limit the amount of teams from over 130 down to a measly eight and, during this initial event, some of the other major groups are shown off. Each team is made up of five members of a guild and amongst these teams there are some new threats, along with lots of familiar faces from previous arcs. Blue Pegasus has entered a team consisting of their three bishie host boys, Ichiya and a mystery competitor in a Bunny Suit, Lyon is heading up a Lamia Scale group… and then a shocking return for Markov here, too, as his son's Dark Guild Raven Tail appears! Now a legitimate magic guild… There are plenty of newcomers, too, along with the new number one guild, Sabertooth, a guild that includes two Dragon Slayers. The strongest and most surprising group to appear, though, is made up of the redeemed Jellal, Ultear, and Meredy. The trio has formed its own guild and is investigating the games as in previous years they have sensed a dark magic like Zeref's emanating from them.

This introduction to a new arc is a fantastic encapsulation of Fairy Tail as a whole - filled with shonen battles, slapstick humour and, of course, plenty of fan-service. There's always been a ton of fan-service in Fairy Tail and this collection is no exception, with one of the episodes seeing the former pin-up models of Mirajane and Jenny pair off in the games; their match immediately turns into a pose-off. This, in turn, results in most of the female cast getting involved - members from all of the guilds posing in bikinis and sexy outfits.

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The extras on the disc are the same as previous instalments: both an English and Japanese dub, commentary with some of the English dub cast for two episodes, trailers, and clean opening and closing. As an extra bonus, and as with most of the Fairy Tail collections, this part includes a behind the scenes feature. This time it focuses on Lucy and the actress that portrays her, Cherami Leigh. A 15-minute piece shows Cherami watching the Japanese dub, and then recording her parts along with "Funimating" in progress, cutting the footage so that it fits better with the English dub. It's better than most of the features of previous collections but still with too much of a scripted reality vibe.

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10
A really enjoyable start to this new arc, Fairy Tail Part 14 introduces some promising new characters, with some returning fan favourite villains from ages past. After the time-skip, fans have been waiting for a great arc to live up to what came before and it looks like it's finally here! The first two days of the tournament are over by the final episode of this collection and only five days remain. The upcoming episodes promise to be filled with more battles and competitions to enjoy, not to mention an ominous prediction of disaster that lurks over the conclusion of the games.

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