English Dub Review: Fairy Tail “Dragon or Demon”

Erza bests her Mother while Natsu bests himself.

Overview (Spoilers Below):

The giant meteor is descending on Earth and Erza is severely wounded. But she still has the use of her right arm, which I guess is really strong? She utilizes the last ounce of her power to send herself rocketing into space, crushing the oncoming projectile with her fists. After returning to Earth, she is completely worn out. Yet Irene chooses to spare her life, killing herself instead of her daughter.

Meanwhile, Natsu recovers from his malady after choosing neither the dragon nor the demon side – he embraces his humanity and the Universe One spell is lifted.

Our Take:

The fight between Irene and Erza is finally over. I’m not saying it didn’t have its moments, but it feels like that conflict dragged on entirely too long. By the end of it, I was just glad one of them finally keeled over. Their last bit of battling took up half of this episode, and while it didn’t pack a lot of hand to hand combat or anything, it did have its fair share of big moments. Irene’s reactions to Erza’s destroying the meteor were hilarious to me. She does the standard gaping mouth gasp, but it’s ten times funnier because she’s in her dragon form. It kept cutting from Erza in space back to this gasping dragon, and I was cracking up. The unexpected shocker that Irene revealed to Erza and Wendy took me by surprise as well. It almost seemed too surprising.

You know how they say a good twist is one you can predict because the show has laid sufficient groundwork for it? I’m not sure I buy that Irene actually cares about Erza. She’s tried to obliterate her for the past three episodes, and now she’s suddenly willing to kill herself rather than end her daughter’s life? Also, that whole thing with Wendy enchanting Erza’s sword to cut through dragon scales was so dumb. Irene just watched dumbfounded as Erza plummeted toward her. And then once she killed the dragon form, Irene’s human form returned and we were right back where we started!

Regarding Natsu’s half of this week’s episode, it was… fine? After all of Erza’s fighting, Natsu’s inner conversations with his dragon daddy felt pretty tame by comparison. His choice between his demon seed and his dragon seed was honestly pretty doofy. We’ve seen this kind of thing before, and of course the hero always declares that they are NEITHER! Like, Natsu went through all this pain and illness, and all he had to do was think for a second and declare that he’s human? Meh.

The dub was a little bland, but I have to compliment Colleen Clinkenbeard on her yelling skills. She had a lot of loud yells to perform, and she pulled it off nicely! “Please! Stop smiling!” I can’t decide if Irene’s plea to her baby is too goofy or just goofy enough to work. “I’m the most powerful woman in the empire, but still… I can’t go through with it.”  I think it’s sweet that Irene ended up not offing her daughter, but did it feel earned? Not really. “No, I mean are you okay emotionally?” Wendy didn’t contribute a whole lot to the battle, but at least she brings some emotional maturity to the table. “I was petting you the whole time!” Aw, Happy was definitely my favorite part of this episode!

This episode of Fairy Tail was pretty boring, but at least the battle between Irene and Erza is over now. The ending of their conflict wasn’t something I saw coming, and I’m still a little dubious about why she chose that particular moment to end her life. The Natsu stuff was run of the mill hero’s journey inner turmoil, and I’m glad that’s over, too. This arc wasn’t the best introduction to Fairy Tail for me, so I guess you could say I’m excited to end this tale and start the next one.

Caleb

graphic designer, writer, and animation addict. when i'm not writing words about my favorite shows, you can usually find me skulking about on Twitter. if you want, leave a comment or send me a tweet; i'd love to chat!

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