This review may contain spoilers.
“When magic becomes scientific fact we refer to it as medicine or astronomy.” – Anton Lavey
In this eighth part of Fairy Tail we witness the conclusion of the “Edolas” storyline, which in my opinion has been the best arc in this anime so far. The characters, the ideas, and the plot have all worked together extremely well to make a brilliant and, at times, emotional story.
At this point in the story, the “Earth-Land” (Original) versions of Natsu, Lucy and Wendy have all been captured by the evil Edolas version of Erza, known as Erza Knightwalker. Natsu and Wendy are having their Dragon Slayer magic sucked out of them to be used for a magical weapon, while Erza attempts to kill Lucy by dropping her from a great height. However, she is saved by Happy and Charle, the “Exceeds” who have now got used to their powers in a land where magic is a finite source. Meanwhile, the two versions of Gajeel have worked together to destroy the magic “lacrima” in the centre of the capital. But this only results in releasing two people: Earth-Land Gray and Erza Scarlet.
Soon everyone learns of a sinister plan organised by the king of Edolas. He plans to otherthrow the hated Exceeds by ramming a gigantic lacrima, made out of the other Fairy Tail wizards and the residents of Magnolia, into the Exceed homeland, causing a massive magic explosion which will result in a gigantic source of everlasting magic. After Natsu and Wendy are set free, a plan is hatched: Happy is to help Earth-Land Gajeel to destroy the giant lacrima; Wendy and Charle will try to warn the other Exceeds of the plan. Meanwhile Natsu, Gray and Lucy attempt to destroy the machine responsible for controlling the lacrima and the two Erzas duel each other.
The fight sequences are pretty good, especially the one between the two Erzas, and the one involving Gajeel and a fallen Exceed called Pantherlily, primarily because this gives Gajeel the chance to have an Exceed of his own like Natsu and Wendy. But it also helps to develop the characters. In the previous collection it was Happy and Charle whom we learnt more about. In this collection it is Mystogan.
But it is not just the development of the current characters that flourishes. Another aspect is the appearance of a character that we thought would never return. It is this character, whom I shall not name here, which adds a moment of emotion that may bring a tear to your eye.
If you combine this emotional tension, with the great fights, the character development, and comedic doppelganger aspect we witness when this arc begins, I would argue that the combination of all these elements leads to this making the best Fairy Tail story so far.