Anime Reviews: Fairy Tail Episode 50 – Special Request: Watch Out for the Guy You Like!

It all starts with Juvia going to a suspicious looking magic shop in the rain. Her old expression is back, which might have something to do with the rain, while she also seems much paler than normal. Her skin is Succubus possession level white.

Also, for some reason she’s back to her old catchphrase, which makes me wonder if the writers for this episode bothered to watch the show past the Phantom Lord Arc.

While Juvia is buying a potion of undescribed powers, Lucy is back at the guild, complaining about being bored. Mira asks her why she doesn’t go get a job, and Lucy tells her that Natsu doesn’t want to go. When asked why she doesn’t go on her own, or with someone else, Lucy states that she feels responsible to only go with Natsu since they’re a team. This prompts Mira to suggest that she thinks Natsu might be in love with Lucy.

Lucy rejects the idea, but as events unfold in the episode she starts thinking of Mira’s suggestion more and more, and realizes that maybe Mira wasn’t wrong after all. The final straw comes when Natsu asks her to meet him later that evening and she notices he is blushing when he asks her.

The Lucy/Natsu storyline for this episode comes from an omake that Hiro Mashima did. While the Juvia arc is an anime original story. The omake plot stands up fairly well, but at the same time the filler actually manages to hold its weight and did a great job of improving on the comedic feel of the Lucy/Natsu story.

What sold me on the Juvia subplot was when her potion failed to do what she thought it would, namely make Gray look at her passionately. She ends up hitting almost everyone in the guild, leading to hilarity. The explanation for why the potion doesn’t work is pretty hilarious, but it can’t match what is easily one of the best screen shots I’ve taken while watching this show. See if you can spot it when you watch the episode.

Until then, have some of the other funny screenshots.

Context: It won’t help.

In most, if not all, anime filler is a necessary evil for any long running series. Due to the nature of the production, the fact that one episode generally includes material from multiple chapters of the manga, it is unavoidable that the plot of the anime will progress at a faster pace than the manga is released. When this happens the anime runs the risk of overtaking the manga and running out of material. Sometimes the production team will end the story their own way, such as Fullmetal Alchemist. The most common tactic is to write episodes, or even entire story arcs of material not taken from the manga. This is filler.

Filler has had a reputation of being unbearable for fans of the original manga, and fans in general to watch. Part of the problem with this is that it is written by writers whose primary job is to adapt someone else’s story for the medium of anime. When the are suddenly needed to come up with an original story it often comes across as being generic an uninteresting.

Bleach filler is particularly egregious in this case, as it has interrupted the main story more than once, breaking the flow of the narrative and damaging its chances of keeping its viewers interested. Granted this is a weakness of the source material, since Kubo’s pacing makes it so that one episode of the anime covers several chapters of the manga.

The worst part of longer filler arcs, in my own personal opinion, is that there is no chance of character development. Nor are any of the canon characters in danger of dying. Because I already know that nothing will happen to them and they are all going to make it out alive, there is no sense of urgency in the story, nor is there any satisfaction in watching it. The story is there just to waste time in order for the mangaka to get far enough ahead with the manga. As such, it’s almost impossible to appreciate anything the filler story has to offer.

The best filler is the kind that is either only a few episodes, or standalone episodes. If it doesn’t take itself seriously, and focuses on comedy, in the series that allow for it, instead of trying to tell an epic story, then I can appreciate it more. The only way to make me forget that I’m not watching something that matters is to entertain me. The easiest way to do this is by making me laugh.

Fairy Tail filler succeeds in doing this. While I haven’t seen too many examples because of the filler free nature of the show, I’ve seen enough to know that the Fairy Tail staff knows its strengths and is sticking to simply entertaining the viewers while they buy time. I can respect this.

While this isn’t as well written an episode as the arcs with a lot at stake, the production team stick to their strengths and make me laugh. They play around with the shipping a little bit, mainly steming from the source material and the fact that Juvia’s main motivation to do anything, when it isn’t as being part of Fairy Tail, is Gray. The Natsu/Lucy storyline was fun, and the original filler not taken from an omake was top notch and worth the twenty minutes it takes to watch the episode.

There are a few weaknesses that need correction, but if you can make me laugh, you have my approval. As long as the filler doesn’t try to take itself serious then we will have a great relationship. Overall I have to say that if all the filler is at this level of quality then I have great hopes for the continuation of this series.

The next episode is based on a mini arc from the manga. It’s only a small interlude between major arcs, but it isn’t filler. There will be some important points brought up in Lucy’s character arc, and it should be good to see. Since it is a canon episode, there’s no telling if the next arc starts right after this, or if there will be a little more filler to pad out the season a bit. I won’t know till next week, but I have to confess that after this week’s episode I won’t mind a little more filler.

If you liked my review, Watch the Episode Here!

Disclaimer: You will need to purchase a membership at Crunchyroll to watch this series. They do have a two week trial you can sign up for, and at least this is a legal way to watch the show.

“Sorry I’m late. What’d I miss?”

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