Fairy Tail the Movie: Phoenix Priestess
|Fairy Tail the Movie: Phoenix Priestess|
Japanese theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Masaya Fujimori|
|Screenplay by||Masashi Sogo|
|Based on||Fairy Tail
by Hiro Mashima
|Music by||Yasuharu Takanashi|
|Edited by||Akinori Mishima|
Fairy Tail the Movie: Phoenix Priestess (Japanese: 劇場版 フェアリーテイル 鳳凰の巫女 Hepburn: Gekijōban Fearī Teiru: Hōō no Miko) is a 2012 Japanese animated fantasy action film based on the shōnen manga and anime series Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima. It was directed by Masaya Fujimori, and its screenplay was written by anime staff writer Masashi Sogo, while Mashima was involved as the film's story planner and character designer. Tetsuya Kakihara, Aya Hirano, Rie Kugimiya, Yuichi Nakamura, Sayaka Ōhara, Satomi Satō, and Yui Horie reprise their character roles from the anime series. The film also features Aya Endō as the titular priestess Éclair, and Mika Kanai as her birdlike companion Momon. The film was released in Japan on August 18, 2012, and on Blu-ray and DVD in North America on December 10, 2013.
Taking place before the events of the Sun Village arc, Éclair (エクレア Ekurea), a priestess from Fire Village, escapes its destruction at the hands of an invading army with one of her village's two mystical Phoenix Stone halves, but is rendered unconscious. Lucy Heartfilia finds Éclair and her birdlike companion Momon (モモン) collapsed on the streets of Magnolia while returning home from a mission. Lucy brings the two to Fairy Tail's guildhall to recover and introduces them to her friends Natsu Dragneel, Happy, Gray Fullbuster, Erza Scarlet, Wendy Marvell, and Carla. Hearing a premonition from Carla, Éclair heads to the monster-filled Boundary Forest. Despite resenting wizards and magic, she reluctantly accepts Lucy and her friends' offer to accompany her.
Suffering from post-traumatic amnesia, Éclair remembers that she must bring her Phoenix Stone half to a wizard named Kalard (カラード Karādo) living in Boundary Forest. Along the way, the group evade assault from Chase (チェイス Cheisu), a wizard from the Carbuncle guild hired by Duke Cream (クリーム Kurīmu), the vain ruler of the neighboring country of Veronica, to capture Éclair. The group eventually reach the remains of Kalard's house and realize he is dead. Through a holographic message, Kalard reveals himself to be Éclair's father and tells her of a spell he created to dispel the stone's cursed magic. After Lucy sympathizes with her over her own father Jude's death, Éclair requests Fairy Tail to fulfill her father's last wish.
After the group returns to Magnolia, the Fairy Tail guildhall is destroyed by Carbuncle's leader Dist (ディスト Disuto) and his subordinates – Chase, Cannon (キャノン Kyanon), and Coordinator (コーディネーター Kōdinētā) – who kidnap Éclair. Fairy Tail's master Makarov Dreyar and guildmates Gajeel Redfox and Panther Lily arrive with news that Cream plans to combine Éclair's stone with the other half in his possession to summon a phoenix that will grant him immortality. Lucy's team goes to Veronica along with Gajeel, Lily, and Juvia Lockser to rescue Éclair, defeating Dist's henchmen there.
Combining the two stones, Cream attempts to burn Éclair as a sacrifice; Éclair recognizes a phoenix-shaped idol from her village in the town square, and she fully comprehends her past. Momon frees Éclair and is immolated. As Cream summons the phoenix, Dist throws him aside to attain immortality for himself. The "phoenix" appears in the form of a giant, non-avian monster and begins destroying everything around itself as Dist climbs on its back to obtain its immortality-granting blood. Natsu follows Dist and knocks him off the phoenix, but the monster continues to rampage and begins absorbing the wizards' magic for a final, cataclysmic attack.
With her memories now restored, Éclair reveals to Lucy that she is immortal, having drank the phoenix's blood to survive the destruction of her village 400 years ago, which is now Veronica. Makarov and the rest of Fairy Tail arrive with an arrow created by Kalard and taken from the Magic Council to destroy the Phoenix Stone. However, Makarov explains that doing so would kill Éclair along with the phoenix. To Lucy's dismay, Éclair accepts her fate as Natsu and Erza use the arrow to destroy the stone inside the phoenix's eye. Éclair's body disappears with the phoenix, and her spirit reunites with Momon's as they ascend to the sky. In the aftermath, the people of Veronica rebuild their home, Carbuncle's members are captured, the Fairy Tail wizards repair their guildhall, and Lucy smiles as she spots a young Éclair's spirit among the townsfolk.
|Natsu Dragneel||Tetsuya Kakihara||Todd Haberkorn|
|Lucy Heartfilia||Aya Hirano||Cherami Leigh|
|Happy||Rie Kugimiya||Tia Ballard|
|Gray Fullbuster||Yuichi Nakamura||Newton Pittman|
|Erza Scarlet||Sayaka Ōhara||Colleen Clinkenbeard|
|Wendy Marvell||Satomi Satō||Brittney Karbowski|
|Carla||Yui Horie||Jad Saxton|
|Gajeel Redfox||Wataru Hatano||David Wald|
|Panther Lily||Hiroki Tōchi||Rick Keeling|
|Juvia Lockser||Mai Nakahara||Brina Palencia|
|Éclair||Aya Endō||Jessica Calvello|
|Momon||Mika Kanai||Tiffany Grant|
|Duke Cream||Kōki Miyata||Scott Zenreich|
|Dist||Showtaro Morikubo||Taliesin Jaffe|
|Cannon||Kōji Ishii||Kyle Hebert|
|Coordinator||Hitomi Nabatame||Shelley Calene-Black|
|Chase||Kōji Yusa||Jason Liebrecht|
|Mayor of Dasuma||Hidehiko Masuda||Ian Ferguson|
|Geese||Keisuke Okada||David Matranga|
The film's soundtrack was composed and arranged by Yasuharu Takanashi. It released on August 18, 2012 on Pony Canyon. The film's opening theme is "200 miles" by Jang Keun-suk. The ending theme is "Zutto Kitto" (ずっと きっと, lit. "Surely Forever"), an image song performed by Aya Hirano as Lucy Heartfilia, composed by Nobuo Uematsu, and written by Gorō Matsui.
The film received a limited release in 73 Japanese theaters on August 18, 2012. Advance tickets were bundled with the 30-page manga Prologue: The Sunrise (はじまりの朝 Hajimari no Asa, lit. "The First Morning") drawn by Hiro Mashima to promote the film. It opened in 9th place at the Japanese box office, and received the highest per-screen average of any film shown that weekend. It held a top ten position until its second week. The film's DVD was bundled with a special edition release of Volume 36 of the manga on February 13, 2013, and included an animated adaptation of The Sunrise as a bonus extra. In Southeast Asia, the film was aired on Animax Asia on March 23, 2013 as The Phoenix Priestess. Funimation Entertainment licensed the film for a North American release in both English subtitled and dubbed versions, with The Sunrise (retitled The First Morning) exclusively in Japanese with English subtitles. The movie dub was screened at Nan Desu Kan on September 13, 2013, and was released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 10, 2013.
Fairy Tail the Movie: Phoenix Priestess received positive reviews from critics and viewers, receiving an average of "4 out of 5 stars" from fans on Japan Yahoo! Movies. Travis Bruno of Capsule Computers gave the film a score of 8.5 out of 10, praising the development of the characters Lucy and Éclair, and favoring the film's faster paced action sequences over the anime series' use of CGI magic circles. However, he criticized the animation for having "nosedives in mid-distance shots". Bruno was also critical towards the timing of the film's North American release with that of the anime, feeling that the movie's placement after the time skip in Fairy Tail's storyline would confuse viewers who only followed the English release of the anime up until then.
Kyle Mills of DVD Talk described the movie as "a great one off story that is well developed and fantastically executed", distinguishing it from "typical" shōnen films with "little real development". He also praised the English dub cast, singling out Jessica Calvello and Todd Haberkorn as giving "standout" performances as Éclair and Natsu, respectively. Mills felt that the character designs looked "off" compared to the anime series, but added that it "shouldn't detract, since the film still looks better than your standard episode from the series". On the DVD's bonus features, Mills noted the lack of an English dub for The First Morning short, calling it "an odd choice". Raymond Herrera of Examiner.com called the film "more of the same", but opined that he found little else wrong with it.
Carl Kimlinger of Anime News Network called the film "a compact, 85-minute action confection with all the heart and humor one associates with Hiro Mashima's manga and none of the bloat and apathy one associates with its TV adaptation". However, he considered the English dub to be "stoically, unenthusiastically professional", criticizing Cherami Leigh and Calvello's performances, but calling Haberkorn's "toned-down" Natsu "a relief".
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- Bruno, Travis (December 1, 2013). "Fairy Tail the Movie: Phoenix Priestess Review". Capsule Computers. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
- Mills, Kyle (December 2, 2013). "Fairy Tail – Movie: Phoenix Priestess (Blu-ray)". DVD Talk. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
- Herrera, Raymond (December 11, 2013). "Anime review: 'Fairy Tail the Movie: Phoenix Priestess'". Examiner.com.
In truth there isn’t much that I could find wrong with the movie, all I could say to criticize it is that it is more of the same, but is that actually a bad thing?
- Kimlinger, Carl (June 4, 2014). "Fairy Tail the Movie: Phoenix Priestess BD+DVD – Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 4, 2014.