Note: We were provided a theatrical screener by Funimation in exchange for our honest review.
Natsu and the gang are at it again in the 2nd film of the franchise Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry. After an exceedingly powerful artifact capable of destroying the world is stolen by a malevolent wizard, Natsu and the rest of the Fairy Tail crew are tasked with venturing to the island nation of Stella to retrieve it.
For starters, as someone who’s not terribly familiar with the larger series, I appreciated the fact that Dragon Cry didn’t have too many references to previous or outside events. It serves well enough as a stand-alone adventure, though the post credits screen is sure to help piece together the film with the series as a whole.
That being said, good lord the pacing is fast. With a runtime of 85 minutes, at times it feels like you barely have time to appreciate whatever plot-point was just established before it’s off to the next thing. Within ~10-15 minutes early on in the film, the gang essentially: gets the background on the artifact, gets their objective/target, stages an undercover operation, breaks into a tower holding the treasure, has an extended battle on the way out and then makes their escape. Phew! It’s not so much that the film assumes you know the characters already, since the archetypes are pretty familiar and, again, it’s not too difficult to pick up as being someone not familiar with the show. Instead, it’s more of a lack of consistency when it comes to the pacing, which can be disorienting at times.
That being said, as an anime film it does have some pretty awesome animation and action scenes. Whether Natsu’s delivering a powerful flame-punch or Erza is shifting into another mystical suit of armor, the clashes between the Fairy Tail members and the evil forces lurking within Stella are all very fun to watch – not to mention appreciating the spectacular aesthetics.
The screener I watched featured the English dub, which I enjoyed quite a bit as it turns out. Not having the same familiarity with their Japanese voices no doubt made it easier for me to adjust to the English performances, including Todd Haberkorn as Natsu, and Cherami Leigh as Lucy. Natsu’s fierce determination to protect his friends, while also continually struggling to understand just what exactly he is, is conveyed aptly – almost to a fault at some points. I imagined Natsu’s “I live to protect my friends!” is similar to Luffy’s “I’m going to be the Pirate King!” or Naruto’s “I’m going to be the Hokage!” – a slogan/anthem that is synonymous with his actions.
Overall, Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry is a thrilling romp through a world of wizards, dragons, magic staves and enchanted…dolls? Though the pacing can be a bit feverish at times, the slick animation and high-octane battle scenes are sure to entertain both longtime fans and newcomers to the series.
Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry is coming to theaters TOMORROW! You can find tickets and more information on FunimationFilms.