He gets a fairy, she gets a fairy, everyone gets a fairy!
Overview (Spoilers Below):
Marlya has been searching for her childhood friend Veronica for years. She finally finds her at an auction that she’s supposed to be guarding along with ex-fairy soldier Free. They chase after Veronica, who has a fairy of her own, but she escapes. In the process, Marlya seemingly bonds with a fairy herself, without the need for organ surgery! That’s always a plus!
In the second episode, Free and Marlya team up with friends to put a stop to an illegal fairy weapons deal, masterminded by none other than Wolfram, Free’s buddy from the war. He’s one tough cookie and manages to escape and leave no witnesses behind. Free laughs as he looks forward to facing off with him again later on.
As one of the shows I’ve been looking forward to watching this season, I went into Fairy gone with high hopes. When I watched the premiere episode subbed upon its release, I was disappointed. It had weird pacing issues and a whole lot of exposition that slowed down the plot and confused me. After watching the first two episodes of the show dubbed, I’m pleased to say my feelings about the series have become a lot more positive again.
It’s still true that the show suffers from an overabundance of background information about wars, kingdoms, alliances, and Fairy surgery. With all the foreign names and places, it can definitely be overwhelming. The first episode, Ash-Covered Girl, is particularly guilty of this. It seems to work mostly as a stage-setting episode, in order to introduce Free, Marlya, and Veronica, and get Free and Marlya working together. At this point though, I can’t help but wonder if the show could’ve just eliminated this episode entirely or condensed the necessary parts so it fit into one episode with Wolf Collar and Swan Feathers. Like what if Marlya was already a part of the illegal fairy tracking team as we begin the show, and we find out about her past with Ver later on?
Luckily, if you’re able to sit through the overuse of exposition and the clunky pacing of the first episode, things improve a whole lot in episode two. Wolf Collar and Swan Feathers see Free and Marlya teaming up with Serge and Klara to stop an illegal artificial fairy deal from going down. It’s more interesting, with better fight scenes, and does a good job establishing the camaraderie that will keep the fairy fighters together down the road. There’s still a lot of strange plot stuff that makes me frown, like talking about ‘fairy primoidiols’ and ‘artificial fairy soldiers’, but the goings-on as a whole are interesting enough to help me ignore the silly-sounding stuff.
One of the better parts of the show are the visuals. Created by PA Works, Fairy gone is a fairly good-looking show (except for the weird CG fairies). The characters look slick and cool; the backgrounds look real and lived-in. There was definitely some weird animation going on in the premiere though, like the Marlya/Free running thing and the motionless crowd as they were supposed to be escaping. Aside from the strange directorial choices in the premiere, I’d say this series might end up being one of the more visually-cohesive and attractive shows this season.
The English dub is very good, especially when it comes to the two leads. Ian Sinclair makes a fantastic Free, giving him a deeper, authoritative voice that fits his past history of being an experienced soldier. Jill Harris plays Marlya well, allowing her to sound younger than Free but just as determined and capable at times. David Matranga and Emily Neves make less of an impression with Wolfran and Veronica, but luckily they don’t have nearly so many lines. From what I can tell, the dub is doing a fine job at localizing the weirder concepts like the war of unification and the fairy primoidiols.
After two episodes, Fairy gone has sunk and then risen from being ‘pretty bad’ to ‘kind of okay’. The first episode was very ‘meh’, and I still have concerns when it comes to the pacing and direction feeling off at times (like during the soldier’s sacrifice scene at the beginning of episode two, when I should’ve been feeling Free’s pain, but instead was laughing at how overly-dramatic his reaction was). There’s a lot of potentially cool stuff, though, and I’m liking how the characters in the government group are playing off each other. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to catch a fairy of my own…