The tradition of the anime movie is to have a film with the basic cast of characters where no major events or spoilers are revealed, because that would turn off the fans and fail to draw new ones in. This often make anime films, to me, blame and honestly worth skipping. Unless you love the characters or the premise, nothing big is ever accomplished in these movies and therefore are inconsequential at best and an utter waste of time at worst. This one, thankfully, breaks that mold.
Let’s take a look at Fairy Tail: Phoenix Priestess.
A review copy was provided by FUNimation Entertainment.
There’s a lot going on in this movie, which supposedly takes place somewhere after episode 123, meaning this whole review is on SPOILER ALERT. I actually haven’t even watched that far yet in terms of the show so there were some aspects I wasn’t completely caught up on. Still, if you don’t mine some minor spoilers, you can watch the movie fine. Team Natsu takes a job to take down a group of bandits which gets them involved with a woman named Eclair, who has a Phoneix stone and needs to get it back to its rightful owner. Why? Because if it is used with a second Phoenix stone, it’ll summon a beast that can grant immortality and bring destruction onto the land…which of course totally happens because its Fairy Tail. The plot itself is action heavy, which works for this genre, and it’s a Lucy heavy story, if that’s what you’re looking for in a film. It doesn’t pander to either long time fans or to new fans but works well for both groups.
The only thing that is typically better in anime movies than their TV show episodes is that the quality of animation is much higher, which is true for this movie. There is a significant difference in style but its not ugly, with more defined lines and muted colors, and it’s a nice change of pace. Definitely watch this one on the Blu Ray, because if nothing else the animation looks stunning in he high definition and it really shows the hard work put into this animated feature.
What hasn’t changed is the humor used. It’s not a light hearted movie overall, which makes the moments of levity so much more important in the narrative. The whole move fits well with the tone of the overall show, meaning that it’s not disjointed or out of touch with the canon of the show, a fault you can often find when films are rushed out or outsourced to different companies.
On the negative side, Prince Cream sounds absolutely awful in the dub. I think its just the nasally, Joffrey-like cruelty in his voice that is just a complete and utter turn off for me. I would recommend watching it in the original Japanese because it flows so much smoother than the English version and comes off more natural. That’s not to say it’s the worst English dub I’ve heard but the characters are either unbearable to listen to or they are just bland and flat like Eclair, not standing out in any way.
If you’ve been following along with my Fairy Tail reviews, this might be a little too early for you to see but it is a movie I recommend getting to watch when you do reach that point in the series. It’s good, not great but it’s touching and funny, with some gorgeous animation to boot. Most importantly, Fairy Tail: Phoenix Priestess actually works off of the original story in the anime rather than trying to be totally separate but a genuine piece of this magical guild’s story.
– Good plot.
– Great animation.
– Overall good movie.
– Poor dub.