Thursday, March 5, 2015

Top 10 "Fairy Tail" (anime, Series 1) Moments


Well with "Series 1" technically over and the latest part of the anime released in English, I figured there's no better time than to talk about some of my personal favorite moments from the series. There have been a lot and it was tough to make some of the decisions. I've known what my three favorite moments were in order, but everything was tough to decide regarding location. I flip-flopped several many times.

As per usual, this is only my opinion. There may be many moments others think are iconic that I don't necessarily care for or don't like as much. There are also so many that didn't make the list, but, I can't talk about everything. Besides, last year I covered the first three seasons of the show and the movie, and tomorrow I'm reviewing Season 4. I think I've got everything covered!

You'll also note that as the list progresses, there are fewer moments from the later seasons. Not that I find them particularly bad, I just couldn't pick a single instance from there to use. Season 4 is my favorite season so far, but only three moments from the season make the list.

Also as per usual, we'll kick things off with the Honorable Mentions, which are also in no particular order. Let's go!

Honorable Mentions:

-Wendy vs. Shelia (Season 4): I wasn't prepared for how amazing this fight was going to be! It was advertised as the "cutest" fight that turned out to be one heck of a brawl. The big shocker was seeing God-Slayer magic once again, but there were other great moments in it, too. Edolas Grandeena becoming a motherly figure for Wendy during the fight and Mest finally letting go of his grievance over Tenrou Island were also great moments. It was also awesome to see Wendy finally let go of her restraints and show off amazing Dragon Slayer magic.

-Battle of Four Dragon Slayers (Season 4): Probably one of the more infamous fights of the series so far, this fight was hyped to the max. Natsu and Gajeel versus Sting and Rogue. It definitely lived up to the hype, too, as we got to see both sides go back and forth powering up and continually pushing their limits. Though Natsu did seem a bit overpowering at the end, with him being able to overcome two Dragon Forces with almost little effort, it was still a spectacle to see how much unlocking his Second Origin had paid off.

-Fairy Tail Returns (Season 3): I didn't read the manga while watching the series and I've tried (mostly failed) to avoid spoilers for what's to come. I knew that the guild would eventually return so it wasn't a big surprise, but man was it satisfying to see them all come back after seeing Makao and everyone else get tossed around by a bunch of losers. It was just gratifying to see them come back.

-Natsu vs. Gajeel (Season 1): The fight itself is nothing particularly spectacular, except that it's our first fight between Dragon Slayers, but there are tons of little moments that really show who Natsu is as a character as well as his drive to succeed. Plus, watching the guild hall tumble to the ground it just gut-wrenching to watch, as are the memories Natsu has of joining the guild. It all compounds into one heck of a final battle between the eventual rivals.

Now for the real list! Remember, spoilers ahoy!

10. Fairy Glitter (Season 3): While the moment is indeed anti-climactic, this is just an awesome moment for me as it kind of completes Cana's character throughout the arc. We've seen her struggle through the decision of wanting to leave the guild, and got to see her resolve as she pushes through the trial. For her to not only be able to unlock the spell but come back to try and save her friends, something it seemed she was going to do anyway, was great to see. Plus, this extremely powerful spell is in the hands of a woman who may not deserve it most, but knows just how to use it and just when to use it. It shows that you don't have to be the strongest or the most righteous, you just have to have a good heart and be a good person and you can obtain great strength. Plus, Cana's kinda my favorite character, so seeing this pay off for her was really something special.

9. Happy Wins the 24-Hour Endurance Road Race (Season 2): Kind of a silly moment but it's still just funny to watch. It's just gratifying to see Happy trudging along throughout the entire race, and actually helping out the others who are in front of her. This is the typical "tortoise and the hare" type of story, but is also done right, as it shows that keeping to yourself and just minding your own business will pay off rather than attacking others. You can probably guess that Happy is going to win sheerly based off the fact that we constantly cut over to him, or just see him continue the race, but it's still a nice ending, one that no character would have seen coming.

8. Lightning Flame Dragon (Season 3): Alright, back to the action! It's been mentioned several times that Natsu has eaten Laxus's lightning and had a horrendous reaction. But now, when the guild needs it most, Natsu eats the lightning, and the result is incredible! A mixture of a Lightning Dragon Slayer and a Fire Dragon Slayer that results in not only an amazing background song but also a sweet moment. We've already seen Dragon Force, but this is something new entirely. It's a brand new, inconceivable concept. Though the fight is rather short lived, due to Hades's overwhelming strength from the generator, Natsu puts up a much better fight than before and it's really clear how much power he has with this boost.

7. Natsu Storming Saber Tooth Inn (Season 4): Up until this point, we haven't truly seen what Natsu is capable of. We haven't seen the leaps and bounds he has jumped through in terms of power, but it's only display in a very impassioned moment. I won't lie, I nearly jumped out of my seat watching it, it was so cool. Just watching Natsu destroy the place, level one of Saber Tooth's strongest, and punch their master square in the face was so cool. It was payback, and it was furthering the hype for the Dragon Slayer battle. Plus, the Saber Tooth master had just been painted as some big, unstoppable dude. For Natsu to be able to push him around like that was incredible. Like always, it was that flame of emotion and passion that he brought that really elevated the scene for me. There was also a great tension lingering over everything, a tension of, "What just will Saber Tooth respond?" You want to see everything go down right then and there. It's a microcosm of how the guilds truly feel about each other, and it was a surprise move creatively.

6. Lisanna's Return (Season 2): Part of me always sees this as a Season 3 moment, I don't really know why. I guess because it's in the grey area of the show in which they just got back from Edolas and are just about to start the S-Class Trials. I don't know. Regardless, this was a hugely satisfying moment. Sure, you could argue that Lisanna could have stayed dead, but come on. Dealing with Elfman and Mirajane's back and forth about her death was getting a bit heavy-handed, and this was just a very powerful scene. Seeing Lisanna in Edolas was one thing, and it was hinted at that she knew who Natsu and Happy were. But now, Lisanna was back! It was like Fairy Tail was complete again, that the gap she'd left was now filled. Mirajane and Elfman weren't characters I was really invested in at the time, but this was just such a great moment for their characters and for their family that it had to be one the list. Plus, all those adorable flashbacks of baby Natsu and Lisanna hanging out needed some emotional ending, and we got it here!

5. Natsu Saves Erza (Season 1): I wanted to have something from the Tower of Heavens arc, because I liked it a lot, but I wasn't sure what. The Jellal reveal? Erza's dark past? Instead, I decided to go with the culmination of all that, when Erza nearly accepts her death but is quite literally pulled away from it and brought back into life by Natsu. It was an eye-opening moment for Erza's character to realize what a great life she had now and was a great way for her to end this trip into her past. It can be seen as her being carried into her new life by her new friends, being pulled away from the dark life Jellal would have put her through. Granted this is something that would, and will, continue to haunt her as Jellal keeps reappearing, but it's otherwise a pretty relieving moment. I almost did buy into the fact that Erza was dead. How dark would that have been?

4. Dragon Force (Season 2): So apparently the first time Natsu went into Dragon Force was back against Jellal, but, I don't know. I don't think it's the same thing. This is the first true showing of what it means to be a Dragon Slayer, this is the first true showing of what kind of powering Natsu has stored inside. Everything was riding on Natsu, as well as the group as a whole, who had very little magic power in him. Dragon Force was great to see, as it was pretty much a transformation for Natsu as well as a growing of his character. Plus, Igneel! We got more stuff with Igneel, which was incredible. Seeing him remind Natsu that he is pretty much the human form of a dragon and Natsu using the power of a dragon was incredible. I would be remiss to forget the fact that this was also the first time we heard my favorite Fairy Tail tune, aptly titled "Dragon Force Theme" that really applied to the feeling of it all. It's an extremely fast-paced version of the main Fairy Tail theme, which goes perfect with the moment. Since the theme is that of triumph, what better song to play than a rockin' version of that while Natsu is at full power?

3. Gray vs. Lyon (Season 1): This is where the show had me hooked. Up until this point we had a silly villain who wanted a flute of death, Yeti-monkeys, and strange monsters who transformed under the moonlight. But this little fight? Where we learned about Ur and her history with the two boys, as well as the mark she made on the two of them. Lyon came off as a fantastic villain for Gray and it really highlighted Gray's character, elevating him to be my favorite of the Strongest Team. When he was getting ready to use the Iced Shell I was on the edge of my seat. It was a tense moment. I didn't want Gray to die, what the heck! The fight wasn't necessarily like watching two brothers fight, it was like two partners trying to knock sense into each other while revealing tragic histories as well as how similar the two are. Getting to see someone use Maker Magic against him was great to see, as it was the first time we'd seen two types of the same magic (something we, obviously, would see again). It's just a moment that has stuck with me throughout the show, despite being in the early-going, and was the catalyst for my lasting enjoyment.

2. Dragon Slayers vs. Lord Faust/ Dorma Anim (Season 2): "Who better to fight a dragon, than those were trained to defeat them? They're the only ones who stand a chance. The Dragon Slayers!" Oh yeah. While technically not a dragon, this is still a killer moment. Our three main Dragon Slayers gearing up to fight the strongest creature in all Edolas for one final showdown. This. Is. Awesome! Even Wendy has turned serious and is attacking the thing, our first glimpse into the fighting power she harbors and will eventually use against Shelia and other foes. The thing this battle is missing is some Dragon Force, but it's excused because of the cooperation and teamwork on display here from Natsu, Gajeel, and Wendy. Using their combined might, they are able to actually defeat a dragon meant to be impervious to their attacks. Sure, we'd see them all fight against Acnologia, but that was more of a "quick hold hands" moment than a "time to buckle down and fight" moment. Because this has the vibe of the final battle, and because of what's at stake--plus the awesome "Sanin no Dragon Slayer" score in the background of the fight--this is probably the coolest fight in Fairy Tail so far.

1. Saving Extalia from the Lacrima (Season 2): Just mere minutes away from #2 comes probably the definitive Fairy Tail moment for me. When all of our strongest heroes come together and have to save all of their friends and all of Extalia. Everything about this moment is perfect. From the dramatic tension of deciding to fight or just give in to the music to the characters to the animation. Part of the reason why the Edolas arc is my favorite is because it shows what it means to never give up no matter the odds. Our group has had to take down an entire kingdom with very little magic power and have had to overcome insurmountable odds to get here. They are pushing back against what is meant to be and are resisting one last time to save a world they don't know but are willingly to fight for anyway. It truly is the culmination of everything, from Happy's empowering speech about the Fairy Tail guild to Gray and Erza escaping with Gajeel's help. When I think of this anime, normally I correlate it directly to this moment. It has everything you want in it, and could be the definitive Fairy Tail moment.

So there you have it, that's my list! Been a long time coming. Hopefully when the show returns we'll have many more moments to add to!

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @seanovan13 to stay up to date on when I post. Thanks for reading!

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