Anime Review: Fairy Tail Part 18 (Lights, Camera, Action!)

By Drew Hurley 11.10.2017

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Fairy Tail Part 18 (UK Rating: 12)

Well, the Grand Magic Games have now concluded and, of course, that means more fillers before the next major arc. Fairy Tail has always been very hit and miss with its fillers, the standalone episodes often being absolutely awful, while the actual filler arcs holding some redeeming qualities and also interweaving story aspects of the canon that serve to complement upcoming arcs or acting as epilogues to the previous arc. How will this latest bundle of filler turn out? Cubed3 finds out.

This collection consists of episodes 200 to 212 and, within those episodes, there are only two of canon storytelling, those being 200 Droplets of Time and 201 A Gift. Droplets of Time serves as an epilogue to the Grand Magic Games, with the cast dealing with the hangovers from the party and heading back home, while a certain elderly lady visits some key characters to say farewell. Following this, A Gift has the team triumphantly returning home and includes some foreboding world-building as Zeref and Mavis speak with each other for the first time in seven years. After these two episodes - which are both quite enjoyable - a series of standalone episodes really hammers home just why fillers are so disliked.

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There's a story where Lucy, Natsu, and Happy head out to deal with a giant "Mole" that is terrorising a town. This ends up being a giant horny mudskipper that is a variation of the cautionary tale of flushing pet crocodiles into the sewers. Lucy has to show off her cleavage to lure it away… Then there's an entire episode dedicated to watching Frosch wander lost through town, and an episode dedicated to playing pool, which also gives a back-story to guild member Bisca. All of these are obviously filler and it shows - not just in the quality of the stories themselves but also in the quality of the art and animation, too.

After these episodes comes what first feels like another standalone but actually serves as a precursor to an entire filler arc. Each Celestial Spirit is summoned to be thanked in turn with little tasks, such as giving Ares a tan or giving the masochistic maid of Virgo an enjoyable spanking. What makes absolutely no sense, though, is that the next episode starts the Eclipse Celestial Spirit arc, where it's revealed that the Eclipse door being opened massively affected the Celestial Spirits, turning them into evil alternative versions of themselves. If that's the case, though, then how come the spirits were all fine during the previous episodes? Well, regardless, the story itself seems quite interesting; the Eclipse has caused these massive changes to the spirits and they now plan to enact a ritual to give them "true freedom," a freedom that will last 12 days before they all die. This arc pits these new rebellious spirits against the Fairy Tail mages and their friends. There are some funny and weird battles here that make for dumb but funny filler episodes. Grey faces off against Cancer in a dance battle; Cana faces off against Scorpio in a Yu-Gi-Oh style card game, and more. Then there are, of course, plenty of shonen battles too including the Celestial Mages using their lesser silver keys, which are somehow not affected. There's even a battle between an emo, guyliner-wearing White Swan spirit and a giant flying Great White Shark wearing lipstick.

On the bonus feature front, the perpetual clean opening and closings, along with trailers are in attendance, along with English commentary tracks on episode 200 and 205, plus there is a short featurette like those seen in the previous collections - a six-minute video talking about the guild Quatro Cerberus.

Rated 6 out of 10


Fillers aren't always bad; sometimes they can live up to the quality of the original series and this arc certainly seems like it may do exactly that. Fairy Tail Part 18 fully embraces the insanity and stupidity of the premise and delivers lots of silly but enjoyable little stories in the showdowns instead of relying on just yet another shonen arc where the good guys split up to face off against their counterparts. The next collection, Part 19, will consist of episodes 213 - 226 and, as such, will consist of nothing but fillers, continuing and concluding this Eclipse Celestial Spirit Arc before returning to canon.

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