Messy beginning but potentially intriguing premise.
Well, having read many first impressions and early episode reviews of Fairy Gone I’d definitely revised my expectations downwards and that kind of paid off. While I can see why the first episode at least hasn’t exactly wowed viewers, I actually found it worked well enough. Sure, I doubt we needed to start the episode with a history lesson of places we don’t know or care about and I am almost positive we could have gained most that information more organically later, and I know the designs of the fairies are pretty much beyond ugly, but otherwise this did its job of kind of making me interested it intends to go.
One thing that does concern me is the absolute lack of chemistry between Marlya and Free. The two of them have many scenes together and exchanges in this first episode and while it kind of seems like they are trying to set up some kind of banter between the two, mostly the dialogue is coming off as stilted and the two are absolutely making no connection. I really hope they don’t intend for this to ever develop into any kind of romance because that would be as realistic and entertaining as watching a broom stick fall in love with a mop.
There’s also a lot of information dumping going on in this episode outside of the history lesson. Free explains a lot of stuff to Marlya in a storage room that kind of seems like she should already know it given where she is and it is difficult for me to figure out how much of that information is relevant or that I need to care about.
Then there are the fairies that Veronica, Free and Marlya all use in this first episode. The connection and relationship between the human and the fairy is ill-defined. Veronica’s seems to have physical form and deflects bullets and things away from but also seems to turn into smoke and attack those she’s cut with her dagger, but the connection between the two is not really clear. Also, the fairy seems to disappear and then is called back but whether it can do this indefinitely or not is also pretty vague.
Still, considering I went into this with substantially lowered expectations after reading some reviews, I was pleased to find the first episode at least was watchable and given the genre and subject matter, I’m going to give it a little bit to find its feet because I’d like to see what it might do.
This anime has already established a really weird pattern of putting seemingly irrelevant flashbacks at the beginning of the episode. I don’t know if Fairy Gone was trying to establish character backstory or what but the disconnected scenes we got at the start of this episode didn’t elicit any emotion other than some kind of desire for them to get to a point. We don’t care enough about the characters to care about random deaths in their background, particularly when none of the characters or events seem connected to what follows in this episode.
That said, once the episode proper began with Free making his report on the events of last week and then Free and Marlya joining up with two other members of Free’s team to spy on a possible arms deal, the rest of the episode proceeded relatively logically and entertainingly enough. Considering how much the characters seem to like explaining things it would be nice if we actually knew the limitations of the fairies but that seems like we’re just asking for too much and so we see Marlya unable to summon her fairy again after it was injured but that seems kind of random. How much do you have to injure the fairy to prevent its summoning given Veronica’s was injured last week but managed to still be summoned?
It also seems overly convenient that this week’s antagonist is summon from Free’s past given Veronica, last week, was from Marlya’s past. Given the whole unification war and that they are all travelling about, could they possibly just deal with someone not intricately tied into their past? Would these stories not have more impact if they came later after establishing the main characters a bit more so we were actually more caring about their backgrounds?
There’s also some questionable design choices going on here with the transports just looking outright ludicrous as they scurry about and tip over seemingly far too easily.
But, despite the complaints, I am kind of curious and Free and Marlya seem a little more in sync this week. Wolf also seems like he might be an interesting antagonist if they actually bother to develop him. There’s plenty of potential plot fodder bubbling along here with different factions and levels of command and so I think I’ll kind of stay hopeful that maybe this one actually does eventually do something with all that potential. Those hopes might be dashed later, but for now I’ll keep watching.
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