The continuation of the series hits new heights,
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This review is from: Fairy Tail - Part 2 [DVD] (DVD)
In my previous review of Fairy Tail part 1, I wrote that this was a series that was an enjoyable, if cliched, shounen adventure. Having watched all of part 2, I am happy to say that the series continues to be very enjoyable, and whilst the cliches are still there under the surface, the action-filled storylines and hilarious character interactions featured in this second installment raise it to a very high standard indeed.
This set begins by concluding the Galuna Island arc, which focuses heavily on Gray - a character that wasn't really explored in the first twelves episodes. In truth, I hadn't really grown to like Gray when part 2 began, and wasn't looking forward to him being showcased. However, his backstory is explained in such a way that he is really brought closer to the viewers hearts, with some of his oddities (notably his habit of stripping down to his undergarments) being explained via flashbacks to his training with his mentor Ur and rival Lyon. The story of the culmination of Ur and Gray's relationship as mentor and pupil is one of the more emotional plot lines that Fairy Tail has portrayed so far, giving some truly touching moments as the tale unwinds.
This focus on Gray doesn't mean the rest of the cast are left in the shadows, as Natsu is his usual hot-headed (pun intended) self, and Lucy gets involved in combat too. Erza enters late into the arc and unsurprisingly quickly makes an impression.
Following the conclusion of the Galuna Island arc, Fairy Tail treats the viewer to some entertaining filler episodes. One episodes explains the meeting of Happy and Natsua, debuting the charming Lisanna (sister to Mirajane) at the same time. Another episode features members of the group unwittingly swapping bodies, with hilarity ensuing and Erza and Happy's swap being particularly funny.
Part 2 closes with the beginning of the Phantom Lord arc, which puts the entirety of Fairy Tail up against its biggest challenge yet. Whilst Lucy is given particular focus in the opening episodes of this arc, the guild as a whole is featured for the first time, with side characters being given plenty of screen time to make an impression. Elfman is one such side character who is given plenty of spotlight to develop, with his heart-rending backstory being explained in final episode of this set.
On the technical side of things, the DVD looks and sounds fine, and if you own a blu-ray player, the picture upscales very well indeed.
All in all, Fairy Tail part 2 is a significant step up on part 1. With the main characters being introduced in the first part, this installment allows the series to take flight. The story-telling in these twelve episodes is marvelous, featuring amusing comedy, blood-pumping action and moments that will tug at your heartstrings. With a pair of addictive songs opening and closing each episode, I find it hard to fault this release.
In short, if you were interested by part 1, this set will really pull you into the series. If you held off buying part one because you were unsure whether Fairy Tail would amount to anything, then I'd heartily recommend buying both sets for what combines to be a very enjoyable first 24 episodes. With part 3 already out and part 4 arriving soon, I can't think of a better to time to take a plunge and get into the Fairy Tail story!