Anime Reviews: Fairy Tail Episode 76 – Gildarts

Gildarts, the guild’s strongest member, has returned from a hundred year quest, named so because no one has completed it in the past hundred years.  After reporting back to Makarov that he failed the quest he tells Natsu to come visit him, he brought something back for him.

The episode then shifts into filler, as Natsu gets a flashback to when he and Lisanna were kids, right after Happy was hatched.  This goes on for way too long, and I think I’ve found my first bit of filler for this series I legitimately don’t like.  It doesn’t help that what little we do know about Lisanna is pretty dull, but since the animators don’t know any more than we do, all they’re left with is repeating the only character trait that she’s actually shown before.  In this case it’s that she won’t stop going on about marrying Natsu.  I guess some people would think it’s cute, but personally I’d rather be watching something more interesting.  Perhaps a character that isn’t one dimensional out of necessity?

Oh hey, look, Gildarts, I guess there was  purpose to this flashback.  Unfortunately the flashback continues on, and we see that the overdrawn sequence with Natsu and Lisanna wasn’t the purpose of this flashback, but instead it was meant to establish that Gildarts was kind of like a father figure to Natsu.  Not sure why we needed all that other stuff, but I guess this is an example of the animators padding for time.

Back in the present Natsu makes his way to Gildarts’ place, who teases him about Lisanna, not knowing that she died two years ago.  When Natsu is about to leave Gildarts tells him that the reason he failed his mission was because he was attacked by a dragon.  A black dragon, not the red Igneel Natsu is looking for.  This dragon took his left leg and arm, and several of his organs in nothing but a moment.

I like this because knowing that Gildarts is strong compared to all the other mages at least, and he was taken out so easily.  It really builds up the mystique of the dragons, and shows exactly how powerful they are.  Natsu runs off annoyed, when Gildarts convinces him not to go looking for the dragon.

This episode would have been good, if they hadn’t forced that flashback in.  It doesn’t help that most of it was inconsequential, and was nothing but that typical “anime trying to be cute” crap I can’t stand.  Lisanna as a character hasn’t been developed much, and as I said, she only has one personality trait that the animators can use.  It really wouldn’t matter what the trait is, I would still be annoyed no matter what she was constantly repeating.

“You’re totally in denial dude.”
“I am not a shipper!”
“Sure, whatever.”

It’s also a bit worrisome because I’m seeing an example of the animators emphasizing something that wasn’t really there in the manga.  This happens a lot of times in anime, where the animators think something is important and give it a lot of attention, but then later on in the manga it turns out not to be nearly as important as they made it look.  Or vice versa, they think something isn’t important and put focus less on it, which leads to confusion later on and character traits coming out of nowhere.  My favorite example of this is the minor changes made to Orihime’s character in Bleach which led to people wondering why she suddenly developed romantic feelings towards the protagonist.  This can lead to a lot of problems and continuity errors.  Which can sometimes kill a series.  Case in point, I no longer watch Bleach

I guess the animators just really like childhood love, which isn’t my cup of tea, but to each their own.  I guess.

On the plus side, this episode did feature at least one or two brand new tracks in the soundtrack.  If for no other reason, I will always love Fairy Tail for its epic score, so it’s nice to see that the animators know how to mollify me after forcing me to sit through boring filler.

Overall this episode introduces some fun stuff, but bores me excessively with something I really don’t care about.  I’m following the characters now, not back when they were children, and don’t appreciate when the story is interrupted for something I could not possibly care less about.  Because I already care so little about it that I can’t lower my caring levels.  At least some hints are dropped that something big is going down, so this next arc should be sufficiently epic to my tastes. 

If you liked my review, Watch the Episode Here!

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