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DVD Review

DVD cover

Fairy Tail
The Movie
Phoenix Priestess


Starring (voice): Aya Hirano, Tetsuya Kakihara, Akira Ishida, Daisuke Kishio and Daisuke Namikawa
Distributor: Manga Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Release Date: 28 July 2014

When her village is attacked, Éclair is spirited away by the dying chief. Before he dies he requests that Éclair take the magic phoenix stone to Kalard. In Negura the Fairy Guild run into Éclair and offers to protect her on her dangerous quest...

Fairy Tale: The Movie - Phoenix Princess (2012 - 1 hr, 22 min, 28 sec) is a shonen film based on the manga and anime created by Hiro Mashima. The film was directed by Masaya Fujimori. It was nominated, in 2013, by the Catalonian International Film Festival.

As with a lot of Japanese mainstream anime, a film was only a matter of time. This one does presume that you have a passing knowledge of the characters and world; otherwise the film can seem like a set of confusing sequences. Given that the film got a theatrical release in Japan it is not surprising that the quality of the animation is superior to that in the television show.

The film opens with the Fairy Tales guild, Lucy, Happy, Natsu, Erza, Wendy, and Gray causing their usual chaos by trying to capture the thief Geese. Things do not go well for the team and they return to the guild expecting criticism and a new mission. However, things have moved on apace and Lucy has already met the amnesiac Éclair, which ties in with the mage's concerns regarding dangerous magic being released in the north. The only clues to Éclair’s past are her aversion to magic and the stone which she wears around her neck.

The guild determines to unravel the mystery and so head north to the town of Veronica. Unknown to the guild Veronica is controlled by Duke Cream, who is in possession of the other half of Éclair’s stone. He plans to reunite the stones and summon the Phoenix, in the hopes that the creature will grant him eternal life, but the only way to do this is to sacrifice Éclair.

The disc comes with two audio tracks, the original Japanese or English dub 5.1, with English subtitles. There are a number of extras on the disc, including the textless opening and closing sequences, the original trailer (1 min, 38 sec, Japanese 2.0) and the US Trailer (1 min, 33 sec). The most substantial extra is Fairy Tale The Movie Prologue: The First Morning (11 min, 39 sec. Japanese 2.0). Produced to the same high quality of the film, the OVA tells the tale of how Éclair first encountered Momom, her strange yellow birdlike companion.

In construction, pace and storytelling it is a level above most Shonen spin off movies, pleasing enough for the casual viewer and a good purchase for fans of the show.


Charles Packer

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