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Well, it's here. The final episode of the Fairy Tail anime. And even though a new 'project' has been announced to be in works, lead by Hiro Mashima himself, we can only guess what exactly it will be, because the current staff, including the director, have said their thanks on the official website. Will they come back for this new project? Who knows, but for now, we still have 3 OVAs and a movie to look forward to.
So the episode. In my opinion, it was the perfect way to go out. Really, I can only wonder if this was planned from the get go, I already liked this part in the manga, the way they referenced the first anime episode, but the anime made it like 100 times more relevant, even expanding on things. Not only Lucy accepts Natsu's offer the same way she did at the start of the series - after Natsu's amusing show at Mercurius, the anime also lets Lucy invite Natsu and Happy for a meal, the same thing happening in the first episode.
There, Happy tells Lucy a little filler story about how Natsu got high off mushrooms and roasted some random mages for stealing Happy's fish in a scene that probably had better animation than most of the series. :'D Afterwards, once Lucy lets Natsu and Happy into her house in Crocus - once again, followed by some nostalgic scenes with Happy destroying Lucy's room or Natsu making mess outta things.
Lucy is also told about how Natsu and Happy happened upon Gildarts - here we have a very short adaption of the Lone Journey II chapter, while it's too bad that we will probably not see the first chapter, it was nice seeing this part. And they even kept the no-talking part! Aaaand, once again, as Natsu fights Gildarts, we see one of the best animations ever... Both Natsu's attack and then subsequent Gildarts' magic, as he destroys the whole mountain to save Natsu from the weird-ass animal. So yep, even though they skipped some parts, I'm still happy to see the rest in color. ^_^
Later, during the night, Natsu and Happy ponder about the disbandment of the guild, but their depression doesn't last for too long, as they both get the idea to draw on Lucy's face while she's sleeping. In a pretty sweet scene, however, Natsu and Happy discover that Lucy has been keeping track of other members, intending to get them back together one day, which gives them an idea...
... about which Lucy finds out in the morning, as she notices the soldiers trying to get into her house, and here we are back to the beginning: the group heads out for a new adventure, in order to revive Fairy Tail.
So what can I say! It was an awesome episode, a great way to put the end (for now) to the anime. We've got some nice filler, a Gildarts chapter adapted and some of the most beautiful art and animation to date. Some more stuff:
Finally, the episode also includes some really nice pictures from the previous arcs, shown while a remixed version of the first Fairy Tail theme plays.
In case you couldn't tell, Tower of Heaven arc is still the best arc in the series for me. That aside, let me just say a few words about the anime and then I'll leave you guys alone. What do I think about it? Well, first of all, I should probably make it apparent that if I comment on the anime, I criticize (lol) the way it adapted the manga, not what we already talked about plenty in terms of manga, at the chapter reviews. Oh, and I'm also talking about the second series animated by Bridge, for now. So do I think the anime did a good job?
Yup, I do.
Okay, I'm sure everyone remembers the huge hype when the anime's return was finally announced, the huuuuge hype when they started releasing fantastic character design and don't let me start on how everyone loved the first episode, with the return being adapted beautifully, with the anime showing blood for the first time as Sting blasts through Jiemma. Personally, I also liked those -from the alternate future- scenes, but unfortunately, they ended up being shown so many times, throughout the arc, that they kinda lost their shiny-ness.
Then the second episode gave us the coldest shower ever, so cold that we were basically taking on raining icicles. That was the most unfinished episode I've ever seen outta all the anime I've watched, till this point. The art was so bad that I can't even begin to describe how terrible it was to watch it. So yep, our expectations went quite down at that time. That was two years ago. Since then, we've seen a lot. We've had great episodes, we've had average episodes, we've had terrible episodes. We've seen awesome adaption, great anime-only stuff, terrible filler. Sounds like your usual long running-shonen, right?
So to keep this short (lol, yeah), I'm just gonna say this:
- The rest of GMG was so-so, with some nice parts, but since it was probably my least favorite arc, I don't care too much. Highlights: Ultear, Future Lucy, Erza vs. Kagura vs. Minerva.
- We've gotten a lot of omakes adapted, with my favorite one being 413 Days for how beautifully it looked.
- *ignores Eclipse Spirits arc* No, really, that arc had a great beginning, terrible middle parts and somewhat better finish. At least the spirits' designs were great. Highlights: That one episode with really good animation when they are fighting Ophiwhatever and the globe.
- Sun Village arc was awesome, for what it was. It was a mostly chill arc, a way to introduce Tartaros that the anime adapted really well. The very popular argument against it is the fact that this is where the colors became, as they say, 'dull'. I have a suggestion though! Go order any of the recent volumes and try to compare the colors. Which anime do you think will look more similar to the manga colors, the super oversaturated FT 2009 or the I-look-like-the-manga FT 2014? I'll leave that to your imagination. Higlights: Natsu fighting Cyclops Bird, that shizz had the best animation FT has seen by that part.
- Tartaros arc had, in my opinion, a splendid adaption. This is where A1 Pictures and Bridge really shone, imo. They took Tartaros arc, an arc with its ups and downs, made the ups awesome (I'm just gonna ignore Acnologia's arrival which I hated in the anime) and at the same time, improved on the downs. Silver vs. Gray was great. Minerva's backstory was soooo much better. Same for Mira's. The flashbacks are what this anime was super good at. More highlights: Celestial Spirit King.
- Fairy Tail Zero was absolutely splendid. I won't talk too much since I've already gone through that in my recent reviews, but it was really a magnificent adaption.
So... *grabs popcorn* FT 2009 > FT 2014. No seriously, anyone who tries to tell me that next time the anime comes back, it should go back to 'old designs', I'll just link them this and walk away. The new anime made everything look better and more manga-like, the fact that they lacked budget in certain episodes doesn't change that because the same happened with the old anime, especially during the Tenrou and GMG arcs.
And so, I'm going to awkwardly end the review here, not like anyone will read all of it, so yay. See you guys next time~