Sometimes when you see a trailer to a movie you are able to see everything that is going to be told in the actual movie itself. Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry is one of those films and proud of it. Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry is everything you would expect from a Shonen anime movie: Big explosions, little character building moments, and a shocking revelation or new power level/form for the main protagonist. While this is a good and straight forward story telling technique, it does end up feeling like something it really shouldn’t be.
Title: Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry
Production Company: A-1 Pictures
Distributed by: Pony Canyon / Madman Entertainment / FUNimation Entertainment
Directed by: Tatsuma Minamikawa
Starring: Tetsuya Kakihara, Aya Hirano, Rie Kugimiya, Yuichi Nakamura, Sayaka Ōhara, Satomi Satō, Yui Horie, Makoto Furukawa, Aoi Yūki, Jiro Saito, Chiaki Takahashi, Ryōta Takeuchi & Taku Yashiro
Based on: Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima
Release dates: May 6, 2016 (Japan) / May 18, 2017 (Australia) / June 6, 2017 (United States)
Running time: 95 minutes
Rating: Unknown (Japan) / PG (Australia) / PG (United States)
The Dragon Cry is a magic artefact with enough power to destroy the world. Enshrined within a temple in the Kingdom of Fiore, the Dragon Cry is stolen by Zash, a traitor of Fiore, and delivered to Animus, the ruler of the Kingdom of Stella. The task of recapturing the Dragon Cry falls to Natsu and the Wizards of the Fairy Tail Guild. During their mission to track down Zash, they infiltrate the Kingdom of Stella, and it is here they meet Animus’ magician, Sonya… What does Animus plan to do with the Dragon Cry? Sonya wants to save her country, but what secret is she hiding? Within the interlacing ulterior motives, Fairy Tail fights against the danger that is the menacing world! And in the middle of this heroic battle, Natsu’s instinct awakens…
Voiced By: Tetsuya Kakihara
Natsu is the main protagonist of the Fairy Tail series. One of the Dragon Slayer kids that are emboldened with the power of dragons through a symbiosis of themselves and the dragon themselves. Natsu was linked to the fire dragon master Igneel, giving him the ability to produce and eat fire. Through a revelation following Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry, Natsu seems to have gained his ability to work well with the soul of Igneel through the method of his rebirth by his brother, the immortal cursed wizard Zeref. Natsu rushes into thing with a wild abandon that often puts him at odds with both friend and foe.
Voiced By: Aya Hirano
Lucy is a celestial mage, using keys to open/summon spirits of the zodiac. She is a kind hearted girl who has on-off feelings for Natsu. During the events of Dragon Cry, Lucy is captured by Zash in order to be a sacrifice for his Dark Magic. She is often used as a distraction during missions for her guild Fairy Tail due to her having some very ample assets. Lucy is often the moral core of the group, trying to keep Natsu out of trouble both with friend and foe.
Voiced By: Rie Kugimiya
Happy is an Exceed, a race of angelic cat like creatures created in order to kill the Dragon Slayer children before they become a problem for Earth. However Happy ends up befriending Natsu and is his main companion. During the events of Dragon Cry Happy is just there. He’s often used for comedy purposes and turns red after eating one of the random fruits in the Kingdom of Stella, only to return to normal after belching a fireball.
Voiced By: Yuichi Nakamura
An Ice Maker Mage in the Fairy Tail guild. He is pretty much the exact same as Natsu in personality in the way that they are both hot heads that rush into fights without thinking. Also being an Ice Mage, he is often at heads with Natsu. During Dragon Cry he serves as back up in fights as one of the more powerful members of the group. He is often stalked by the Water Mage Juvia, who is attracted to him due to the nature of his ice magic. While Juvia’s strong advances put Gray off, he does team up with her in times of trouble creating a powerful combo that is hard to defeat.
Voiced By: Sayaka Ohara
Erza is a Requip mage, using her magic to switch through different styles of armor which grabs Erza special abilities and status boosts. She is very serious and straight forward. She grew up as a “big sister” to Gray and Natsu, often torturing them into submission with her personal strength, leaving the two with a fear of her anger. Usually fitting into the role of mission leader, Erza keeps everyone in line and on task. During Dragon Cry she is the front line heavy hitter in fights, leading to a small one on one feud with Swan during the film.
Voiced By: Satomi Satō
Wendy is another one of the Dragon Slayer children who commands the element of wind and often travels with her Exceed, Carla. While she is young, she is a very experienced mage in her own right, able to enchant anyone or anything with a magical stat or ability. She does get treated as the little sister by all members of Fairy Tail due to her young age and appearance. However she can hold her own in battle with the other Dragon Slayers. During Dragon Cry she is the main opponent for Gapri and not much else.
Voiced By: Yui Horie
Carla is Wendy’s Exceed and friend. While she is a lot like Happy in terms of looks, she is a lot smarter and serious than he is. Carla is also a very powerful mage too, having the ability to transform herself into a human form to assist Wendy in battles along with the usual Exceed powers like flight. She, as usual, is the backup for Wendy in her battle with Gapri during the climax of Dragon Cry.
Voiced By: Makoto Furukawa
Animus is the ruler of the Kingdom of Stella and is the mastermind behind the theft of Dragon Cry from Fiore. He is very protective of Sonya and commands Zash with an iron grip. It is later revealed that he is not only a split personality in Sonya’s mind, but is also a Dragon who entered a dying Sonya’s body in order to save it’s own life after the rest of the dragons were slaughtered by Acnologia. He used the Zash and Sonya to gain Dragon Cry in order to free himself from Sonya and become whole again.
Voiced By: Aoi Yūki
Sonya is a mage with the power of sensing souls and their location. She is used by King Animus to locate Dragon Cry for himself. It is revealed that she was Acnologia’s human sister and was fatally injured during the dragon genocide. One of the escaping dragons bonded himself to Sonya’s body in order to survive and used it’s magic to rewrite Sonya’s memories in order to create King Animus as a persona that grew up as Sonya’s childhood friend.
Voiced By: Jiro Saito
Zash is a dark mage, using blood magic to create puppets to do his bidding. He also has the ability to mind control people, causing a berserker rage and often placing friends against friends. He uses this ability, along with his vast personal strength to get what he wants, including the Dragon Cry. He planned to use the Dragon Cry to destroy the Kingdom of Fiore in a plot of revenge. However he underestimates the power of Dragon Cry and is destroyed. He spends a lot of the film facing off against Natsu and lusting after Lucy after seeing her dance in his favorite bar.
Voiced By: Chiaki Takahashi
Swan is one of the “Three Wishes”, the elite hit group of the Kingdom of Stella. She refers to herself as the Beautiful Leg/Kick Martial Artist, using her long and powerful legs to create cutting beams and other magical abilities. Her fighting power is enhanced by a couple of Stellaium (A rare stone found only in the Kingdom of Stella) kickpads on each leg. She mostly faces off against Erza in an almost equal battle before being defeated by Erza using the Grand Chariot spell.
Voiced By: Ryōta Takeuchi
Doll is the second member of the “Three Wishes” elite group. He has a large muscular body that he often flexes and shows off during battle. He has a couple of cursed dolls called François & Catherine that he commands to shoot fire and annoy his opponents. He is very protective of the dolls, referring to them as his daughters. He is the main attacker of the group, facing off against almost everyone before being defeated by Gray using Gray’s Demon Slayer magic.
Voiced By: Taku Yashiro
Gapri is the third and final member of the “Three Wishes” group. He sits atop a morphable surfboard type object, using his extreme speed to confuse and take down opponents. He often is the distraction maker of the group, leaving the members of Fairy Tail off guard and creating openings for Doll and Swan. He eventually faces off against Wendy and Carla where they defeat him by simply being smart and using his own speed against him.
For all that Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry is, it just does what most people would think it does. It’s a big flashy fight fest that feels like it was ripped directly out of the Fairy Tail anime series. Everything looks grand and flash, with all the big spells looking epic. Luckily while there’s a lot of references for the hardcore Fairy Tail fanbase to enjoy, the story is extremely straight forward so that those people who have never seen Fairy Tail before can follow along. I will usually go to most of these films I’m provided passes for by Madman Entertainment with my friend Chani, who is usually the “common person” standpoint for these reviews. While I did have to explain some things about Fairy Tail and the characters to her afterwards, she was able to follow on enough on her own to not only enjoy Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry, but gain an interest in Fairy Tail as a whole, wanting to follow up with the anime series in the near future.
The thing that is one of Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry‘s greatest strength is also it’s greatest weakness: The fact that is looks and feels like something that was ripped right out of an arc of the Fairy Tail anime series. Usually when it comes to doing special movies like this, the animation quality is improved, things are more detailed and everything is it’s own self contained story. Walking away from Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry I felt like I had watched an extended filler arc of the anime. The animation didn’t improve at all, with a lot of the anime shortcuts being used in action scenes and other parts that made the whole experience just feel like something we should have seen on TV, not paid cinema money on. Plus having things connect to the Alvarez Empire arc of the anime through a post-credits scene just pushed the whole filler arc feel into overdrive.
One other thing that I never thought I would say about anything anime based is that there was too much ass and titties in this movie. From skimpy outfits on Erza and Lucy, to just the way the figures of the ladies were animated, it eventually got too be too much in such a short time. Don’t get me wrong, I love fan-service in anime, but there’s a difference between a tasteful amount and bordering on hentai, Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry goes to the point of almost being hentai in some parts and that’s not something a general audience would enjoy.
Overall I’m of two minds about Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry. On one hand I walked away feeling like I just watched a short filler arc of the anime series which really offered nothing of substance in the grand scheme of the overall story. On the other hand my friend walked away with an interest in learning more about the Fairy Tail series and the Lucy character in particular. So that’s a good thing. However at the end of the day I can’t recommend seeing this unless you’re a REALLY hardcore Fairy Tail fan and must see it right now, otherwise it’s worth waiting till Madman Entertainment releases Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry on Bluray.
© Hiro Mashima, KODANSHA/FAIRY TAIL DC Movie Committee. All Rights Reserved. Provided Under Sub-License from Madman Entertainment for Review Purposes.
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A Cinematic Filler Arc
Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry is a straight forward Shonen movie: It's full of fights and predictable plot points that only hardcore fans would find interesting. While there is enough here to also entice a few new fans, it's not really enough for people who know what comes next. If anything, Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry is a good afternoon time waste and that's it. It overall adds nothing to the bigger picture and would be quickly forgotten.