Anime Review: Fairy Tail Part 19

By Drew Hurley 13.11.2017

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Fairy Tail Part 19 (UK Rating: 12)

The previous collection of Fairy Tail slipped once again into the dreaded area of anime fillers. After a highly enjoyable arc it left fans worrying that they would have to live with mediocre stories filled with low quality episodes, but thankfully that wasn't the case. This story arc has actually been surprisingly good, easily on par with most regular episodes; managing to deliver episodes that combined the Shonen action and silly comedy Fairy Tail is known for. Fairy Tail Part 19 ends the filler arc, and comes courtesy of Funimation via All the Anime… and is out now!

The previous volume introduced a story of rebellion as The Celestial Spirits underwent a transformation due to the calamity of the eclipse, turning them into completely unrecognisable characters in design and personality. Leo was no longer the smooth-talking, flirty, sleaze ball and instead became a warrior leader, with a plan to grant his fellow spirits freedom from their servitude to Celestial Mages by undergoing a forbidden ritual.

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There's a catch to the ritual, though; the Celestial Spirits will all receive true freedom… for 12 days. After that, they will all die. Lucy and her guild-mates set out to try and lock away the spirits to save them from this ritual in hopes they will return to normal once it has played out. This, of course, means the story follows the age of Shonen structure of splitting up the heroes to face off against the villains in one-on-one matches. It's age-old and predictable, but Fairy Tail keeps it interesting by changing up the battles from just the usual Shonen fights to some fairly random encounters. Dance offs, quizzes, archery competitions, and all stuffed with comedy. The finale of this filler story is great.

The Eclipse Celestial Spirits arc is actually all wrapped up on the first disc of this collection; the second half consists of standalone stories that are adapted from various little omakes and short stories, along with some completely original stories. Compared to the Eclipse Celestial Spirits stories, these are exactly what fans fear when it comes to filler. Pointless episodes that do nothing to progress the story, deliver no interesting stories and, ultimately, are completely forgettable. Juvia makes a present for Gray, Lucy and Natsu go on a little adventure, Lucy decides to try and learn transformation magic and a handful more of such short stories. There's only a single episode here that really stands out, an episode entitled "Fairy Tail of the Dead MEEEEEEEEEN," which sees the series' slime, Ichiya, attempting to develop the ultimate perfume and instead creates a zombie plague, turning everyone into Ichiya versions of themselves, chasing down civilians and sniffing them while exclaiming, "Maaaaaaaaaaan!" It's dumb but genuinely funny.

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On the features front, this latest release is very lacking. It contains the usual (sub-par) English and (far superior) Japanese dub, along with just two episode commentaries. After so many volumes, including featurettes and more, this is really disappointing - much like the volume itself.

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

The Eclipse Celestial Spirits arc actually delivered some quality episodes, including some absolutely hilarious moments, especially in the final episodes. The good will towards fillers that The Eclipse Celestial Spirits arc managed to build up is completely undone by the boring fillers that follow in Fairy Tail Part 19. Thankfully, Part 20 is next and it will begin the next major story arc, entitled the Sun Village. Hopefully, it will help to get the mages back on track.

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