To start out, I want to say that I love this movie. It offers plenty to be excited about with only a few things that were distracting along the way.

Right off the bat, the art style is noticeably different from the seven seasons of Fairy Tail that we have all fallen in love with. Lucy and Erza received boob upgrades, evident in their very first appearances in the movie. The opening scene with Natsu had me worried that this was going to lack the intensity necessary to carry a full-length movie. In retrospect, I would have had a more positive reaction if it had opened with Zash Caine. Zash, being an villain that many of us are unfamiliar with, would have given an air of mystery and seriousness. As far as goofy Natsu scenes go, this one felt a awkward, and was nowhere near as awesome as others in the series, like Erza’s picnic scene, Erza versus the post, or nearly anything that comes out of Juvia’s mouth.

In many ways it is a classic Fairy Tail story with failure, fighting, friendship, and rising to the challenge. Like the rest of the series that involves a wide range of characters, (one of Fairy Tail’s strong-suits), other members of the gang were involved throughout the movie. Personally, I can always use more Gajeel in my life, so I was stoked that he made the cut into the available screen time. Juvia’s role in the movie was one of the highlights, and Brina Palencia, Juvia’s voice actress, did a marvelous job and made Juvia’s short scenes stick with me well after the movie ended. I loved everything about her appearances, especially her new term “Graydar.” For those who have not seen the movie, I am sorry to say that neither Loke nor any Thunder Legion member make an appearance. Though it was disappointing, I understand it must be an extremely difficult task to fit enough of the large cast like Fairy Tail into a 1.5 hour screen play and please everyone. But some things could have been easily included that weren’t. ¬†Lucy’s Celestial spirits were almost entirely absent despite Lucy being a major character in the movie. Loke, as one of her spirits as well as one of our favorite guild members, could have been easily included. Also Taurus, everyone’s favorite horny cow, would also have been a spectacular addition.

Despite some missed opportunities to relive all of the nostalgia from the anime, this movie did well to prime us for the final season of Fairy Tail while giving us a complete movie in one shot.

As we often see in film, the struggle between fitting it all in and telling the story was obvious. If the goal was to make me love Fairy Tail more, I didn’t really get that, yet I could have easily sat for another hour just to spend more time with my favorite characters. If the goal was to excite me for what’s to come, this movie was a terrific way to do that. It gives us something to whet our appetites for more of the friendship and determination that Fairy Tail does so well, making us more than ready to invest in the final season that begins next year.

Review by: Bradley Kelly