Anime Reviews: Fairy Tail Episode 51 – Love & Lucky

A single man arrives in Magnolia…I think the translation might be a bit off there.

He likes walks on the Beach and crushing the hopes and dreams of his only daughter.

Lucy is still worrying about her rent, while this is an ongoing thread in the manga, it’s much more obvious in the anime. Which may or may not be a good thing, I’ll leave it up to you to decide. Natsu decides their team should go on a job.


While walking home Lucy, who has been feeling like someone has been watching her, is accosted by the stranger. Turns out it’s her father, who has fallen on hard times and lost both his company and estate.


Chronology in this series is really weird, I have a hard time believing that enough time has passed for him to have been able to grow his beard and hair out like that. And if it did, then we sure haven’t gotten an indication of that. Maybe he just decided to get a hobo makeover.


Also:

Connection?

I can’t find any information, but I swear it sounds like the same voice actor.

He tells Lucy that he plans on starting over in a trade guild, and that he needs to borrow some money. Lucy of course doesn’t have any money of her own, and tells him this. He starts getting angry when she refuses to give him the money, thinking that she’s just holding out on him. Lucy tells him to leave, and runs away, in tears that her father really hasn’t changed at all.


There is a scene added that wasn’t in the manga, of Natsu and Happy waiting for her outside her house. Kinda out of character, normally they would have just been waiting inside.


The next day they are about to leave on their job, when Lucy hears rumors about a dark guild attacking a trade guild in the town her father was headed to. Despite herself, she abandons the job and heads out to save her dad.


This was one of those episodes where, while there was nothing stellar about it, it was still a good episode. The animation was slightly different from past episodes. I can’t really put my finger on it, whether it’s just the effect of a lower budget, or if there was a change in the art direction. Either way, I’m noticing some differences, and we’ll see whether these continue or if it was just them saving the animation budget for the next arc.


There’s a trope in shonen manga, where a great majority of the villains are redeemed in one way or another. Whether they become allies, or just become a little bit more sympathetic towards the end. This can annoy some people, but then again those people probably shouldn’t be watching shonen anime in that case. I won’t dock Fairy Tail points for this, because then I’d have to dock points from practically every shonen anime. And since it doesn’t really bug me I see no point to make a big deal of it. Just expect to see it in this episode


A good adaptation is more than just a beat by beat translation of a story from one medium to another. Despite purists clamoring for it, a completely loyal adaptation of a book to movie format would make for a boring movie. What many people don’t realize is that there are considerable differences between narratives of different media.

Converting a manga to an anime has the advantage of mostly being able to avoid many of the adaptation problems. Since the graphic novel medium is basically a story board in the first place it makes for a smooth adaptation into animation.

The major difficulty faced in this process, however, is that it takes a lot more than nineteen pages of manga to fill an episode. To get around this animation studios often combine multiple chapters into one, or they insert extended scenes where the characters do little but stand around. Dragonball Z is especially infamous for this.

Another way to extend the episode out without taking too much material away from other episodes, is by adding in scenes not originally in the manga. Fairy Tail has so far made pretty good use of this. Two particular examples of this are Natsu and Happy and Gray waiting for Lucy outside her apartment, and Lucy trying to sneak into the captive guild, while a guard keeps removing her. These scenes may not have been in the original, but they help to extend the length of the episode, while at the same time bringing something new to the table.


I have to admire Fairy Tail for how they’ve handled extending the episodes to the proper length. Fight scenes have so far flowed well and avoided the stereotypes of shonen action series made famous by Dragonball Z.

Filler comes in many forms, and despite the intense hate it garners from fans, it is still a necessary evil. Fairy Tail has definitely proven itself capable of using filler where necessary, and avoiding the negative sides of this two bladed sword.


That being said, next episode is the start of the next major arc. Depending on the length of season two this next arc may or may not take up the rest of the season. Either way, this is a crucial time for the series, if they intend on making it a long running anime. According to what I’ve been able to garner, the series is popular in Japan, and if that popularity grows there is a chance that the anime will keep going indefinitely.

Again, the problem is that there is no guarantee Mashima will be able to keep far enough ahead with the manga. I know I’ve made this prediction before, and I’ll probably keep making it, but if the series extends past this arc I have a hard time seeing how they could continue without a longer filler arc. Granted, filler is inherently terrible, but I think I could tolerate it for a while if it means I get to see the rest of the manga animated.


While the past few episodes have been the longest run of filler in the show, it was still an incredibly short run. It’s clear that the animation team understand how hated filler is, and are avoiding it like the plague. While I can’t say how they would do with a longer filler arc, the filler episodes that I have seen have been entertaining and comedy based, so I think I can make a leap of faith and trust their writers to pull off something good when that inevitable filler arrives.

And, for the record, the ending theme is still strangely appropriate for whichever mood an episode ends with. I think the music team learned their lesson about mood whiplash.


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.

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