I know I’ve gone on and on about long running series that just repeat themselves over and over, with similar plot lines (I’m looking at you Detective Conan), or recreating the same characters with different designs or features, or just generally recycling old ideas in hope the fan base won’t notice. Fairy Tail might have just taken it to a new level for me.
Let’s take a look at Fairy Tail Volume 12.
A review copy was provided by FUNimation Entertainment.
This volume encapsulates episodes 132-142, and we finally get to meet the big baddie of this season. Well, not exactly meet, per se, since we already know them pretty intimately. That’s right, Oration Seis is back! Why? Why not! That’s not to say that I think Oracion Seis is boring or poorly written, and at least their combat scenes are fun. The big issue with me is that they were sort of done at the end of their arc — it didn’t feel like there was anything left for them to do, so bringing them back just feels a bit uninspired, especially since some of the members are new.
They may be trying to set up Oration Seis as one of the big-bads of the series in the sense that they’ll be who Fairy Tail has to fight in a thrilling climax at the end…if this show wasn’t a quest-by-quest procedural. Bringing back these particular villains doesn’t seem like it’s adding anything to the overall plot nor does it feel like it’s leading up to anything. This guild saves the world fairly frequently so I can’t imagine what a big climax would be. Maybe they just ran out of ideas?
For me, the plot has gotten a little too complicated with all this additional stuff with the Zentopia Church and their Legion Corps, finding pieces of a clock, two myths, and suddenly this turned into a RPG political drama and I stopped caring. When a hack-and-slash anime such as this gets too many players on the board, it’s really easy to tune out.
This arc seems to enjoy throwing lots of mysteries and twists in and by the end, I was just tired of keeping it all together. I understand that this is a good way to flesh out the world, but to be frank, the world is plenty fleshed out with its pantheon of characters, we don’t need to involve more groups in this crossfire.
In terms of new characters and voices, Lapointe stands out to me the most, not because the acting in either language. There’s something off about him which is what I’ll have to watch for next time around, and both Tetsu Inada and Philip Weber do a good job of capturing that sliminess.
Reborn Oration Seis sounds way more ominous in the Japanese, but the English holds it own as well. Legion Corp on the other hand is a group I prefer to hear in English. This time, I think I’ve settled on preferring the sub to the dub in this particular arc, if only because the voices mesh better together than with the English voice actors.
There is a new opening and ending theme around halfway through the DVD, and I’m honestly starting to wonder why they change them so often. How big of a music budget does this show have? For the opening theme, Tenohira by HERO actually has the energy necessary to pump the audience up to watch the show, with great visuals, like Lucy falling out of the sky and flying ships of awesome.
In terms of the ending theme, the chibis are back for Yell ~Kagayaku Tame no Mono~ by Sata Andagi is really sweet and relaxing, with Lucy dreaming of all her friends and family as she tried to write a book. Overall, I’m more impressed with the new music this time around and how it fits with the arc.
If I had to be honest, while some of the ideas in this arc are interesting and could have worked in other places, I find when it’s all put together, it ends up becoming pretty tedious. Fairy Tail works best when its trying out new ideas, even if those ideas are not the most well thought-out or clever. When it copies from tropes, or even from itself, it starts to drag its feet pacing wise. Not everything has to be this big, epic arc. This show used to know that once. If you’re a die-hard fan, you basically have to watch it, but I can’t give it a pass or fail either way.
– Good opening and ending themes.
– Good sub/dub.
– Bringing back Oracion Seis.
– Overly complicated narrative.