I know I’m quite slow at watching my seasonals, but when something like Fairy gone comes along, who can blame me?
Fairy gone (sic.) takes place in a world where fairies possess animals and give them mysterious abilities. By removing a possessed animal’s organs and transplanting them into humans, these fairies can be summoned as an alter ego and be used as a weapon. Individuals who used fairies in this way during the war were called Fairy Soldiers, but once the war was over they entered various roles in the government, the mafia and in terrorist organisations.
The series is set nine years after the war and the protagonist, Marlya, is the latest recruit of Dorothea, an organisation which investigates and suppresses fairy-related crimes. The nation is currently in an unstable political situation and criminals with lingering wounds from past conflict are emerging. This is the story of Fairy Soldiers fighting for their justice in a chaotic postwar world.
Admittedly, I was quite hyped for Fairy gone when it was released back in Spring 2019. I do love supernatural stories, I always have done, and the crime element just added to my anticipation. Yet, come the half-way point of the show, I don’t know if I’m watching the same show or not.
Although the show has a promising synopsis, the actual plot of the show (or of the first season, anyway) is quite the opposite. From what I can tell, the storyline is lacking in areas, but I can’t tell what is meant to be important and what isn’t important due to the amount of information bombarded at the viewer. Whilst I often appreciate lore and world development, there’s so much in Fairy gone that it’s hard to maintain an understanding of it. Not to mention that multiple storylines that are explored simultaneously, which makes it twice as hard to understand.
A lot of the information forced onto the viewer is about the many different characters in the show. The narration attempts to explore the different leaders, the different comrades and the different enemies of different characters. I can appreciate that the writer wanted to ensure that absolutely everything was covered, but in the end, this turned out to be pointless character development which simply leads the show to be overwhelming. Instead, I want to know about the characters themselves. Can we not just focus on Free or Marlya, for example? Why do we need to know everything about each character?
It’s this lack of decent character development that makes the show’s events somewhat unimpactful. There are character deaths within the show, yet I’ve not felt a single ounce of emotion for any of them. Why? Because we don’t know the characters well enough, despite the amount of plotline shoved in our faces. I don’t understand the motivations behind people killing each other. The characters involved could, for me, be background characters without a name, not key figures within the show.
I mentioned in my Spring 2019 preview post that I quite liked the art and the vibes it gives. Thankfully, that’s still partly true. It does seem quite experimental at times, but, and this should be a given considering that P.A. Works is the studio behind it, the show certainly doesn’t look bad. That being said, it’s not the prettiest show either. Even after the 12 episodes of the first season, I still can’t tell if the fairies are animated well or not. The CGI does make some of them stick out like a sore thumb, but I certainly can’t imagine them being animated in any other way.
What brings Fairy gone to its absolute bearable point, however, is the music. (K)NoW_NAME’s work on the entire soundtrack is perhaps the best part of the show. The ED, titled Ash-like snow, is somewhat generic, but the OP, KNOCK on the CORE, was, really, the only reason I didn’t drop this show. It’s a track that can easily fire you up, what with its dramatic choir vocals and its rock beat. The OST is used brilliantly within fight scenes and, quite frankly, I’ve not heard a track from Fairy gone that I dislike. It’s what makes me want to watch the series.
Honestly? I don’t hate Fairy gone. Hate is a strong word after all, although it is arguable that I could have hated it. Fortunately for P.A. Works, Funimation supplied us with an English dub. Although I only watched the last four or five episodes of it with the English dub, and even if the dub doesn’t stand out as a dub, it helped tremendously. Despite being one for not minding dialogue-heavy shows, I found it much less confusing and a lot easier to understand with the English dub than I did watch it with subtitles.
That being said, I can’t recommend Fairy gone to everyone. I can’t recommend it to many people. If you’re a casual viewer, you’re especially probably better off finding something different to watch, for even seasoned anime watchers struggled with this one. There are other anime out there, I’m certain, that deal with the same themes of political warfare and power struggles. I would honestly watch one of those instead.
Will I watch the second half of Fairy gone? Probably. Eventually. But I’ll certainly need a lull in content to be wanting to watch the conclusion of a rather ‘eh’ series.