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Fairy Tail: Part 1 Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Stereo, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: AB (No Region C)
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Run Time: 300 Mins.
  • Discs: 4 (2 x Blu-ray + 2 x DVD)
  • Studio: Funimation Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: November 22, 2011
  • List Price: $54.98

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BestBuy.com:
Fairy Tail: Part 1 (4 Disc) (W/Dvd) - Box
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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:3.5/5]

Fairy Tail is a multi-part fantasy anime based on a serial manga published in Weekly Shōnen Magazine. It follows the exploits of a group of young and powerful wizards in a fictional land known as Fiore where magic is a part of people’s daily lives and many magical guilds have formed, allowing wizards to band together in order to seek out work for payment. The titular guild of the series, Fairy Tail, is host to some of the most powerful wizards in this world, and in this world we find our main heroine Lucy, a celestial wizard with power to open up the gateways to other dimensions and call forth powerful astrological beings contracted to do her bidding. When Lucy is abducted by a magician claiming to be the powerful Salamander of the Fairy Tail guild only to be sold into slavery, she is subsequently rescued by Natsu, a powerful wizard with the power of fire and dragon’s strength who enlists her into Fairy Tail. Together with Erza, the league’s most powerful woman, a wizard whose  power is a body of armor and the ability to summon bladed weapons at will, and Gray, an ice wizard who somehow always manages to end up half undressed, these powerful wizards will battle the dark guilds (illegal guilds practicing dark magic) trying to bring down Fiore).

I found Fairy Tail to be quaint and rather enjoyable, like a quirky version of Harry Potter combined with Dragon Ball Z. There’s lots of comic relied to be had, including the character Happy, who is Natsu’s pet, a blue cat with magical powers who can talk and sprout wings and fly. The antagonistic relationship between Natsu and Gray, the battle between fire and ice, is also somewhat interesting. Having never seen this entire series, however, I can’t fully endorse this strictly on this first release, but Part 1 has shown me plenty to like.

Video Quality

[Rating:3/5]

Fairy Tail‘s 1.78:1 1080p/24 AVC/MPEG-4 image is an upscale from standard definition that is very obviously upscaled from standard definition. By that I mean that it suffers from plenty instances of motion artifacts and aliasing around the line art and detail does not extend very far into the backgrounds. Colors do not look as bright and vibrant as they would in a true HD encodement either.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Both Japanese and English options are offered in lossless Dolby TrueHD, with the former being in 2.0 Stereo and the latter in 5.1. For purists who want to listen to the original language track with English subtitles engaged, this one is a good one with clean dialogue and wide stereo imaging. The English dub opens the soundstage a bit, but is far less aggressive than I assumed it would be, settling for a more atmospheric sound design that is more true to the original Japanese language track. It also offers good , clean dialogue, a good spread of sounds, and good dynamics.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

If you’re looking for extraordinary supplements on this release, look somewhere else. Outside of two audio commentaries for two selected episodes there’s nothing besides some additional Funimation trailers and the usual clean opening and closing animations.

The supplements:

Disc 1:

  • Episode 01 Commentary

Disc 2:

  • Episode 09 Commentary
  • Textless Opening Song “Snow Fairy”
  • Textless Opening Song “S.O.W. Sense of Wonder”
  • Textless Closing Song “Kanpeki Gu~None”
  • Textless Closing Song “Tsuioku Merry-Go-Round”
  • Trailers

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Good action, likable characters, and lots of humor make Fairy Tail a series well worth watching. This Blu-ray release, however, is somewhat disappointing in its lack of extras and middling video transfer. There are no OVAs included here, but who knows if they aren’t forthcoming down the line?

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B005HVWW8U[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Fairy Tail: Part 1 (4 Disc) (W/Dvd) - Box
Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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