Fairy Tail is a show that’s managed to garner a sizable audience in Japan, and far beyond. Week after week, thousands tune in to watch the exploits of Natsu, Lucy, and the rest of the Fairy Tail guild members. 175 episodes aired to date, and a new series is due to hit this season.
On March 25, FUNimation shipped the ninth DVD/Blu-ray combo set, which contains episodes 97 through 108. We were fortunate enough to receive a review screener for the show a few days ago. And, since we received the full product, I felt that a full tear-down was warranted. (Click images for larger versions)
The set shipped in a cardboard slipcase. The front of the slipcase features a pseudo-painting motif. The center is cut out to reveal a piece of key art of the Strauss sisters, while the edges are styled to look like a frame with a textured matting. The back of the slipcover features a similar design, though the center contains a printed description and features list. The bottom of this section features the release information, such as run times, regions, and languages offered.
Beneath the slipcover, the outer edge of the front artwork is styled like a piece of aged canvas. A textured, darkened appearance accents the edges, while a brown border frames the key art. The back of the case continues the style, though the information presented is identical to that of the back of the slipcover.
The case is clear, which allows for the alternate cover to be viewed when the case is open. The secondary cover features a different piece of key art, which features Mest Grider and Wendy Marvell. The back of the alternate cover features an episode list.
The discs themselves are adorned as follows:
DVDs feature an orange screening, with the Fairy Tail logo highlihted, and the symbol of the Fairy Tail Guild cut out. The bottom of each disc notes which episodes are on the disc.
Blu-Ray discs are solid blue, with the Fairy Tail guild logo and the show’s logo etched into the surface. In addition, disc number and the contained episodes are listed below the show logo.
Note: Since the release has a consistent look & feel across the discs, I will only be covering the first disc of each edition. Further dissections would be redundant.
The menus feature a “message board” themed design. The background contains the same canvas matte design that’s featured on the cover. In the center is a beige cloth-textured square, with four pins on the corners. The right side of the square has the Fairy Tail guild logo watermarked in the background.
The front menu contains the key art of the Strauss sisters set on the right side, while the menu options and show logo occupy the remaining space on the center matting.
The episodes menu features the menu title boldly printed across the top of the menu area. The right side of the board contains an image of Pantherlily, while the episode selections are set on the left.
The Audio and Extras menus feature the menu title placed across the top of the area. The right side features a still from the show, presented as a photograph pasted to the board. Menu options are located on the left side of the area.
Blu-Ray menus are presented as a looping video. Beneath, the menu items are presented, with selections causing the menu to open different “pages” while the video loop runs.
The ninth set for Fairy Tail is a solid product overall. The slipcover was a nice touch, and the presentation of the menus and packaging works well given the context of the show. The selection of extras is slim, though the episode commentaries are still a fun listen overall. The choice of the Strauss sisters as the faces for the release was smart, as their stark white hair and colorful outfits provide a lovely contrast to the boxart. It draws the eye to them, and makes the overall “in-store” presentation really come together.
Video quality is strong on both the DVD and Blu-Ray releases, with clean presentation, and no visible problems. The colors really pop on the right setup, and the show does remain an attractive and kinetic experience when the spells begin flying.