Anime Reviews: Fairy Tail Episode 102 – Soul of Iron

The Story
Gajeel and Levy are barely able to hold against the Grimoire Heart wizards. When they reveal that their main forces are still on the way, Gajeel faces off against them alone, leaving Levy to go warn the others of the impending attack. Seriously injured, Gajeel remembers the moment when Makarov invited him to join Fairy Tail. Strengthened by his conviction as a Fairy Tail wizard, Gajeel defeats his enemies.

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Erza and Juvia find Levy, who takes them to Gajeel. It is there that they learn about Zeref’s presence on the island. Erza cancels the exam and raises the alarm. Meanwhile, Pantherlily and Charle confront Mest, who they have determined is not who he says he is.

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The Review
I think if you look over the Fairy Tail reviews I’ve written while I’ve been giving grades at the end of my reviews, you’ll find a direct correlation between the highly scored episodes and which soundtrack they used. I can’t help it, I’m a sucker for music, and Fairy Tail uses some of the best, and most distinctive music in anime.

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Actually being able to see the moment where Gajeel joined the guild, Makarov’s reasoning for allowing him to join, coupled with music that fit the mood the scene was going for, made this a great episode. And of course, any episode with the end of a fight is always a lot of fun. Even if the final blow is a bit silly, or relatively ineffectual (seriously, he had a giant sword the size of the island, and his enemy was still in one piece?), as long as that music is there, I’m a happy camper.

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As usual, the episode switched between several different viewpoints, which allows the story to keep moving without stagnating in a single viewpoint. Though, the majority of the episode focused on Gajeel’s fight. Having a large cast works well for an anime, especially when the anime is based on a manga. A lot of characters mean a lot of viewpoints to switch between. Which means the anime can keep from catching up to the manga as much as possible, without being excessively slow paced. I’m looking at you Toei animation. I love One Piece and I love Toriko, but the pacing of both shows is atrocious.

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As far as Gajeel and Levy’s relationship goes, this episode was about as blatant about it as you could possibly get. When she makes the iron to heal him, she puts a little heart instead of a circle in the middle of the “O”. It really doesn’t get more obvious than that, and really, it’s kind of cute.

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While Fairy Tail may come across as not really having an overarching goal, what with the lack of a specific, often repeated goal the hero has (I know he has one, but he rarely actually brings it up), the individual stories may seem as much more separate than usual. But, as this episode shows, it’s the character moments that tie the stories together. The events are less important than the ongoing conflict and story the characters are living through. When Erza finds out that Zeref has been alive for four hundred years, she of course thinks back to how that is impossible, since Jellal was driven insane by Zeref. But of course, we already know this not to be true. But, as of yet Erza has yet to learn this.

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Overall, this was a great episode of Fairy Tail mostly because of Gajeel’s flashback, and his final victory. Granted his opponents were boring, but it’s been a while since I last saw a climactic battle from Fairy Tail so my opinion may be a bit skewed. But, either way, this is a great episode for Gajeel fans.

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The Grade

5/5

Buy The DVDs!
Fairy Tail: Part 1 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Fairy Tail: Part 2 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Fairy Tail: Part 3 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Fairy Tail: Part 4 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

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