Production Studio: A-1 Pictures
Was this provided by the publisher? Yes
More Info: Anime News Network
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The show’s second season is jam-packed, with an emphasis on packed, with the content that fans love. Characters are fleshed out, storylines are given real weight (and a few really cool twists), and the filler episodes are hilarious. To top it off, the fight scenes are among the best in the series.
A few weeks after the battle of Fairy Tail and the banishment of Loxus, everything seems to be returning to normal. The peace is short-lived when rumors begin to spread of the Oracion Seis. Six of the most powerful dark wizards in the land coming together with one goal in mind to unleash the most powerful magical weapon the world has ever seen. In order to combat this threat the magic council has allowed the most powerful guilds in the land to assemble in hopes to stop this threat.
Fairy Tail’s second season is brimming with solid story arcs which, for the most part, feel like an integral part of the core plot. The sole exception can be found in the Dragon Robot arc, also known as the Daphne Arc, which easily could have been tossed out. The arc serves little real purpose, aside from showering Natsu with praise. Characters don’t grow, the main plot doesn’t progress, and everybody feels like they wasted their time.
That being said, the other two arcs are near perfect. The Oracion Seis arc allows new characters to bust out cool abilities as they duke it out with old favorites. Characters like Lucy finally get a fight scene that borders awesome territory while also establishing her as a solid fighter. As expected, Natsu does his usual shtick. This time around though, he doesn’t rely on just brute force to take down his opponents but opts to use his wits to beat numerous foes. My one major complaint about this segment is the plot twist, as it really serves no real purpose than to add another body for Natsu to fight. On the flip side the reveal does allow Natsu to use his full power even if it is brought on by deus ex machina.
In the third arc, as known as the Edolas arc, the gang is teleported to another world, where they find doubles of themselves. As one would expect, while these dopplegangers look like the heroes we know and love, they’re essentially the complete opposite in every way. The gang learns that magic is a limited resource in this strange world, with the king bogarting most of it for himself. As the crew attempts to get home, they discover other, greater secrets along the way.
The Edolas arc is as close to perfect as Fairy Tail has been up to this point. The longer length allows for fantastic character development and proper build-up for the more heart-wrenching moments. The battles skillfully blend comedy with action, while still carrying weight. Every action matters, and no fight is wasted. Exposition plays out quickly, with real impact as there are actual consequences for the gang’s actions. The setting was also a fantastic twist on the formula, as it allows a very different story to be told while the crew learns how magic is valued in other realms.
A-1 Pictures again did a decent job on the show’s slower segments, which primarily focused on the “B” Team. The real highlights, though, came from the high-stakes major battles. It’s a real pump-up moment when Erza, Gray, Natsu, and Gajeel take center stage. These segments were top-notch, even though some of the fights were cut teasingly short
Little has changed in Fairy Tail’s major cast. Natsu is still Natsu, Lucy is still Lucy, and so on. The real growth came from characters like Gajeel, Wendy, Jaleel, Happy, and Carla. It was great to see these characters getting real attention, particularly as Gajeel was written off as “Natsu 2: Electric Boogaloo” in the early episodes. Jaleel, on the other hand, quickly becomes a fascinating character as an amnesiac who is grappling with the gravity of his sheer power. Happy proves to be the season’s dark horse, though, as he’s given numerous fantastic moments that elevate the character beyond simple comic relief.
Wendy and Carla are the newest characters to join the group. Wendy, a dragon slayer like Natsu and Gajeel, uses the power of the wind dragon. Unlike her counterparts, Wendy is also a skilled sorceress who can support her comrades in battle. Her arsenal of spells ranges from healing magics to to attack buffs. Carla, on the other hand is a flying cat like, Happy. She is a bit more “high class” than Natsu’s pal and is incredibly protective of Wendy. The two are quickly given a chance to prove their mettle. Wendy and Carla offer a nice change to the group dynamic, and their antics help make this season more enjoyable.
Fairy Tail’s second season is the perfect follow up to the opening act. The story arcs were great, with a deft hand at the helm and a fantastic sense of pacing that many shows of its ilk seem to lack. The Edolas arc may not have broken new ground with the doppelgänger story we’ve seen a million times before, but it provides a welcome change of pace. Similarly, while main cast doesn’t grow dramatically, the series makes up for it by adding depth to newcomers and secondary cast members. It’s all one can ask, a season that picks up right where the last one left off, and improves upon it. I can’t help but get fired up when I think about what awaits next season.