The Fall 2018 Anime Preview Guide
Fairy Tail: Final Season
How would you rate episode 278 of
Fairy Tail (TV 3/2018) ?
What is this?
How was the first episode?
This is not an easy place to restart Fairy Tail. That feels a little odd to say, because technically speaking, it should be the perfect place; the guild was disbanded a year ago and now Lucy and Natsu (and Happy) have reunited and set off to gather their former guildmates, so that's a nice, firm quest to open on. But the emotional component to the story is more complex than the anime can handle just yet, at least without making this a depressing episode, so there's a slight awkwardness to the proceedings that drags things down a bit. Perhaps this is me as a manga reader talking, but Lucy's intense feelings of loneliness really inform how she's been training over the past year, and her case board speaks to that same sadness she felt. While she is definitely a bit subdued right now, and it's important to see that she and Natsu are close enough to just pick up where they left off, it still feels like something's missing as they begin their journey.
We know from the pre-theme opening that they're going to be successful, of course, so perhaps I'm overthinking things. After all, this could have been much more flashback than it is; the episode essentially just jumps right in to Lucy and Natsu setting out to find Wendy in the town of Margaret, where she's joined Lamia Scale with Carla. (Happy's reaction to human Carla is great.) Here they run into something that they never actually considered: Wendy seems perfectly content right where she is, as a member of Lamia Scale, and she tells them that she's not interested in joining them in the quest to rebuild Fairy Tail. For Natsu, who has been working to get stronger FOR Fairy Tail, and Lucy, who has spent a year mourning its dissolution and tracking down her former guildies in hopes of reconnecting with them, that's unthinkable, to say nothing of a major blow.
Of course, Wendy does seem like she's not telling the whole truth. It's easy to forget that the dissolution of the guild took her safe place and family away as well, because she and Shellia are so close, whereas for Lucy it was the last family she had left. That's something Shellia is well aware of, and she's determined not to lose to Natsu and Lucy, at least where guilds are concerned, which makes for a perfect set up when Orochi Fin attacks Margaret – now Natsu and Lucy can really show off their new skills. And thinking about it, as opening episodes go, particularly for the very dark arc we're about to enter, that's pretty good and it only leaves room for things to get better as we delve more into where everyone is and why.
SimulDub Update: It's funny how we become attached to certain voices for specific characters. Oftentimes that's due to which dub we heard first, but in the case of Fairy Tail, even though I saw a lot subbed before ever hearing the English dub, I'm much more attached to Todd Haberkorn and Cherami Leigh as Natsu and Lucy. They make the characters sound younger, which really works for the characters at this point, with Natsu's sort of perpetual state of adolescence and Lucy's tentative hope for the future. Of perhaps more note, because everything else is about the same with the strong dub cast with mostly returning characters, the song Wendy and Shellia sing in the episode is dubbed. It unfortunately grates on the ears pretty hard, but hopefully that'll be tweaked when they have more time for the DVD release.
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