Fairy Tail Dragon Cry is the latest installment of the famous or infamous Fairy Tail manga, which just ended with chapter 545 on July 26th. Now let me be clear here: I am a fan of Fairy Tail and yes, I still greatly enjoyed the movie despite all of the issues that the movie and the series has. Also, one more thing to note is that if you have only followed the anime, then the movie will have some spoilers and confusing moments, as it takes place sometime between the Avatar Arc and the Alverez Empire Arc, which has yet to be animated.
Plot (Spoilers ahead)
The plot of Dragon Cry is fairly similar to most shonen series movies where the characters meet a person, or find some artifact that has great power, and/or get involved in some nefarious situation. Oh, and nothing really changes as a result of the movie since it is a tie-in and not part of the main storyline. That being said, Dragon Cry does add some unique twists to the formula that are a marked improvement over the previous Fairy Tail movie, Phoenix Princess.
The Dragon Cry staff is a magical superweapon that is stolen and team Natsu is tasked with retrieving the staff, which leads to a sequence of rather amusing scenes. As you can imagine, having the strongest (most destructive) team working as secret agents is extremely enjoyable for fans of the show. This will involve some fanservice from the predictable character, but it works in the context of the scene.
The middle half of the movie is predictable, but the fights are great and that’s one of the reasons I enjoy Fairy Tail. This is also where some of the confusion comes in as fans who have not read the manga may not recognize some of the new power-ups.
The conclusion is predictable and uses the typical “for my friends” power, which detractors of Fairy Tail will rage about. But the movie wasn’t made for them, it was made for fans of Fairy Tail, so it’s really a non-issue at this point. Oh, and stay until the credits are over for the final scene. Lastly, if you pay attention, there are a number of homages to other anime series throughout the movie, seen below.
Since this is a movie, the animation is a cut above the rest, and A-1 pictures really did a nice job. I loved the color palette and design of the new location the team has to travel to.
The night scene with the view of the sky reminded me of star gazing in Mongolia, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time and effort spent on the background in this scene. However, I do have one complaint with the animation, specifically the slight change to Lucy’s character design. She was always one of the more “talented” girls in the show, but Dragon Cry takes it a bit too far, approaching Eiken club levels in some scenes.
The Fairy Tail characters are their usual selves and they do not disappoint, even Juvia and her Graydar. The villains check off all the usual boxes, and I do not want to reveal much more as I am trying to limit spoilers. I will say that the main villain needed some more development in order to make the big reveal look like less of an asspull. It still works, but some changes would have made it more effective. Another nice touch is that we get to actually see how much of an evil bastard the villains are, making their defeat all the more satisfying.
Say what you will about Fairy Tail’s plot and characters, but the music rocks and the new movie does not disappoint. The soundtrack uses all of the fan favorites, hitting the usual notes at the perfect time while adding some new tunes. I absolutely loved the ending theme and will be purchasing it the minute it becomes available.
I’ll be the first to say that I am a fan of dubbed anime because I am not a fan of reading subtitles. I like being able to look away from the screen for a moment as I’m watching a show as some anime is just perfect for doing paperwork since it doesn’t require all of my attention. I will, however, call out a bad dub when I hear one. All told, I thought that the dub for Fairy Tail was pretty good and I have no real issues with it.
Overall, I would give the movie a 7.5 out of 10, adding half a point for big fans of Fairy Tail and removing a point if you don’t like Fairy Tail. But I wouldn’t recommend this movie to a non-fan or use it as a way to get people interested in the show.
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