“From time to time, as we all know, a sect appears in our midst announcing that the world will very soon come to an end. Generally, by some slight confusion or miscalculation, it is the sect that comes to an end.” – G. K. Chesterton.
Warning: review contains episode spoilers
With this collection we final come to the end of Hiro Mashima’s fantasy story – well, not quite.
The story continues to tell of the fight between the wizards of Fairy Tail and the demons of Tartaros. Having ended with Gray defeating Silver, whom he learns has taken possession of the corpse of his father, the body is finally destroyed and Silver’s spirit freed when Juvia vanquishes Keyes, the demon controlling his body. Due to this, Gray inherits Silver’s Ice Devil Slayer magic.
Eventually the other members of Fairy Tail slowly begin to defeat the demons they have been fighting against, but there is still the problem of trying to do all this before Tartaros can activate Face, the weapon that will remove all magic from the continent. Then another horrific spanner is thrown into the works: as the two guilds fight, someone makes a surprise return: the feared dragon Acnologia, who has seemingly come to find Mard Geer’s copy of E.N.D.. But then, someone else appears. The one that Natsu has been looking for years: his father – the fire dragon Igneel. Igneel fights Acnologia and while doing so, hires Natsu to steal E.N.D. before Mard Geer can use it to revive Zeref’s most feared demon.
This final collection has all of Fairy Tail’s classic hallmarks: big thrilling battles, enthralling characterisation, and the odd bit of comedy – namely when Gajeel attempts to sing a song for Levy on the spot. The conclusion of the fights is exciting, although when it comes to the one major death scene in the collection, it does become rather over-sentimental.
There is one big problem with the ending however, which that it is not really an ending. There is a lot that is left unfinished, especially when at the very end we seem to finally learn what the letters E.N.D. actually stand for. If you look up the manga, you actually discover that the anime ends at around part way through Volume 49, and there are 63 volumes in total. Fortunately, a third series will be aired later this year.
Thus, while it is tempting to make comparisons to other similar anime currently airing like Black Clover (I’ve only been reading the manga, but in my view Fairy Tail feels as if it is better told and has more interesting characters), my instinct is to hold off and wait to see how the third series will unfold. All I can say is that Natsu is going to discover something really, really disturbing.
Concerning the extras in this collection, there are episode commentaries, trailers, interviews with the English voice actors behind Sting, Rogue and Mard Geer, and textless opening and closing. Out of the two tracks, the opening, “Believe in Myself” by Edge of Life feels better than the ending, “Azayaka na Tabiji” by Megumi Mori.