by James Beckett,
How would you rate episode 5 of
Fairy gone ?
It's amazing how much Fairy gone improves when it simplifies things and gives itself time to focus. This week, all we get is a fight and its aftermath. Outside of yet another extraneous Wolfram scene, there's little time wasted on empty world-building; all of the focus stays on our key players Marlya and Ver, with Free playing support to keep the action interesting. Mr. Underbar is still handling Patty when the episode begins, while Marlya and Ver are finishing off Johnathan, whose Fairy magic proves to be quite the nuisance for our leading ladies.
This fight sequence is the longest action beat Fairy gone has delivered so far, and it's easily the best. There's still plenty of clunky direction and shoddy animation to be nitpicked apart in various scenes, but the overall package is much more satisfying than anything we've gotten in the past month. Johnathan is crazy and creepy in a way that just manages to skirt the edge of being fun instead of embarrassingly goofy, and Patty has proven to be a surprisingly formidable foe despite her innocuous persona.
Most importantly, this is the first fight with any real emotional weight to it. The opening flashback scenes may have been choppy and needlessly obtuse, but they get the job done by letting us know the important stuff. Marlya's tragic life as a young orphan is later mirrored by Ver's utter despair at the destruction of Suna. When Ver ran off to take vengeance on the men responsible, it led to her unsuccessful attempt to assassinate the man at the top, Ray Dawn. While Ver's subsequent imprisonment did nothing but stoke the fires of her rage, Maryla's quest to find her friend began, leading us to this point.
It's simple stuff, and the execution of it hasn't been consistent these last few weeks, but it's enough to get on board with Ver saving Marlya and Marlya risking her life to pay back the favor. Later, when Ver attempts to ghost Marlya after making a final slice into Johnathan's gullet, I caught myself actually getting interested in how the two might meet up again. It's not a great hook, but it's something, and Fairy gone needs whatever boost it can get at this point.
The final third of the episode is the kind of Dorothea hangout scene I think Fairy gone has needed from the beginning. We reunite with Serge and Klara, who I hope to see more of, as well more Dorothea agents whose names I'll be sure to remember if they prove to be important to the story later. None of the banter that follows is exceptionally done, but it does an okay job at getting across the familial vibe Fairy gone is going for, at least enough for me to start caring just enough about this world and its characters.
The final shots of the pre and post-credits scenes feature Marlya and Ver gazing up at the same moon. That's typical visual shorthand for establishing character connections in anime, and while I wouldn't mind if Marlya and Ver were allowed a more intimate, possibly romantic connection in the future, I'm just happy that we're getting something between the two that goes beyond sappy flashbacks. I don't want to call this the new high watermark for Fairy gone, because it should be shooting for more than "totally average". But as far as single episodes go, "Black Moon and Lost Child's Song" wasn't half bad.
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