So I just watched this FT Movie: The Phoenix Priestess (I don’t know why I didn’t know that there was a FT Movie) and while I was trying to calm myself down after crying because this fckin’ movie’s ending, I saw this in the credits. AND HOLY SHIT THAT SOME GOOD SHIT RIGHT THERE!! THAT’S SOME ADORABLE SHIT RIGHT THERE!!
Look at how Natsu looks at Lucy when he sees that she’s finally smiling after losing her new friend right in front of her (and by losing, I mean dying). Look at how he looks at her. And I love it. I don’t care what others say, I love Nalu!!! (I also love the other couples like GaLe, and JeRza, and GrUvia but I’m more of a Nalu)
Dragon Cry had the wonderful parallel of Natsu asking Lucy what he looks like to her with Lucy answering that he looks like the Natsu she knows and loves. I realized there was a wonderful nalu parallel in the first Fairy Tail movie as well.
(Another translation of this is “We’re here for you”) Natsu comforted Lucy in the beginning of the Phoenix Priestess movie when she was feeling guilty when they got no reward from their job.
He uses the same phrase during the end of the movie to comfort Lucy once again when she was mourning over Eclair’s death.
Also, they ended up in each other’s arms at the end of both movies. ;)
You not only drew the key visual and designed original characters for Fairy Tail Dragon Cry, but also worked on a storyboard close to 200 pages in length. What made you so involved in the production of the movie?
All I did was to start drawing after the request came (laugh). The request to make a movie came in just when the manga was entering its final part, and I had many ideas floating around in my head. Nothing would begin if no one does anything, and I wanted to give my best since I was asked to be involved in it.
When did talk about writing an original storyboard start?
There was interest expressed in making another movie right after the first movie (Fairy Tail the Movie: Phoenix Priestess) was released. I was also interested, and since I had amassed many ideas that I was not able to use in the manga, I tried to come up with a story leading to a new climax. I was hoping that the release of the movie could coincide with the climax of the manga, even though I did not specifically aim for it
When the PV of the movie was released, there was also a comment posted of you saying “I want to make a movie that is focused on entertainment.” Which parts of the movie contribute to that?
I came up with the story of Phoenix Priestess while thinking “I want to make all the fans cry”. However, Dragon Cry turned out to be a simple story with its highlight being the intense battles and flashy action scenes. I thought that it would be nice to make a movie that the audience can enjoy without having to think too much while watching. I also drew the key visual, and I wanted the scene where half of Natsu’s body is dragonized to be the focus.
You also commented that there are surprises in the movie.
A certain character’s past, which has not been touched on in the manga, is revealed in the movie. Please watch attentively “to the end”! In addition, there are various references made in the movie, even though many of them have unfortunately been cut… You can see what has been cut by comparing the movie with the original storyboard. The storyboard is merely a draft, and it’s embarrassing to show it to everyone.
I’ve seen both the original storyboard and the film, and I feel that the original characters Swan, Doll and Gapri are even more charming in the movie as compared to the original draft.
I made additional suggestions after submitting the original storyboard, and also received suggestions from the anime staff. There were many parts of the movie which were touched up after we integrated our ideas. Of the 3 characters mentioned, Swan became an especially good character after that. I have yet to watch the completed film, but I think that it’s an enjoyable movie.
We can also see new settings that have yet to appear in the manga.
Most of these, including the “surprise” that I’ve mentioned earlier, are things that wouldn’t be included in the manga and drawn only for the movie. In that sense, the movie complements the manga and I hope everyone will enjoy it.
You have also worked on the storyboard for the original animation DVDs (OAD) that were bundled with the manga volumes. Were there aspects of that experience that you made
use of when you worked on the original storyboard for this movie?
The original storyboard is also a draft proposal, drawn with the expectation that the anime staff would adjust its contents accordingly. I drew it with the same feeling as I would draw the manga. However, doing the anime storyboard was difficult, and I had a tough time! I drew it while timing the seconds with a stopwatch in one hand, and also repeatedly grappled with trying to understand terms that I had just learned while working on it.
You handled the writing of the original storyboard in a similar manner as the manga.
When it comes to the weekly serialization of the manga, there have been times when I was absolutely stuck and and just decided that “I’ll just drag things on till the next chapter for now, and wager on myself (when I work on the chapter for) next week!” (laugh). That wouldn’t work when it comes to the draft of the anime, and I made sure that I handled the story composition and development properly, recalling the days when I was still a rookie.
Please tell us about yourself as well. What are the kinds of things that interest or appeal to you when you come into contact with a piece of work?
I think a good piece of work is one that surprises the audience, and I tend to like those that contain an unexpected twist right at the end. I keep in mind the joy of trying to surprise my readers when I am drawing as well. When I’m developing my story, I don’t foreshadow one event after another, but instead often adopt a pattern where I’ll add in some foreshadowing at parts that I can potentially expand on, and revise it when I expand on the event subsequently. I’ve become good at this since I’ve been doing it for a long time, but there have also been times when sharp readers
have pointed out something that had been retconned. I want to work
towards being able to draw my manga in such a way that nothing appears to be retconned even if I had revised something retrospectively. RAVE was my debut manga, and I drew it with all the developments firmly set in place. However, serialization of Fairy Tail began with me casually deciding that the story is more or less about wizards going on jobs. It was fun coming up with stories about the various situations they encounter, and I think this style is one that suits me.
Two chapters of Fairy Tail will be concurrently released on 26 April in the combined issue 21.22 of Weekly Shonen Magazine. You are known as someone who works quickly; What is the secret behind that?
I’m not fast at all! It just appears to be that way! I’m happy that people think that way, but my pace of work cannot be considered fast if you were to leap in and see the manga circle from the inside. I have to accelerate my schedule little by little many months before so that I can stock up, and only release 2 chapters at one go when I have a surplus of one full chapter of content. I don’t draw 2 chapters worth of content all of a sudden (laugh).
You also post illustrations of Fairy Tail on Twitter even though you’re busy.
I started it as a form of fan service, and also partly as a hobby because it was a fun. I’m also glad that I get to personally experience the support of many foreign fans through the replies I receive. I’ve heard about having foreign fans from the editorial department, but I thought that they were just paying me lip service (laugh). I worked on the manga with an awareness of the foreign market after that. For example, I try to ensure that the shape of the speech bubbles are more circular rather
than elliptical so that it would be easier to fit the English-translated lines. I also take into consideration the difficulties of translation, and stopped including puns that play on the Japanese language.
Fairy Tail has been serialized for 10 years, and next year marks 20 years of your professional debut as a manga artist. Please tell us your feelings about your journey.
This 10 years passed in the blink of an eye. It feels like only so little time has passed, yet at the same time, it has already been 10 years. I was a high school student when I started seriously aiming to be a manga artist, and looking back, I think I was really lucky. I was also aided by the trend of the times. There were hardly any fantasy manga in Weekly Shonen Magazine at the time of my debut, and filling that niche has allowed me to come this far.
Lastly, please leave a message for the fans.
If you enjoyed watching Dragon Cry, that is because of the effort put in by the anime staff. Please convey your comments to them. The Fairy Tail
manga is also heading towards its climax. I would be glad if you
continue reading till the end!
I gotta be honest Phoenix Priestess wasn’t all that good. It felt heavy handed in its message and it had a lot of holes. However there is one thing I really liked and it was seeing how Erza purchases her Requips – submitted by @thegreatrhapsode
Interview with the director of Fairy Tail the Movie: Phoenix Priestess
An excerpt of the interview with the director of the Fairy Tail movie, taken from the movie pamphlet. The movie was produced by A-1 pictures, the same studio that is doing the second season of the anime. The movie was directed by Fujimori Masaya and the screenplay written by Sogo Masashi. Even though the director of the current season is different (Ishihira Shinji), Sogo Masashi still remains in charge of writing for the series, which might be why we’re getting a lot of Nalu in the new season.
– Director, what are the scenes you are particularly into in this work?
To begin with, planning of the movie version was inspired by the picture of Natsu and Lucy drawn by Mashima-sensei. Therefore, I compiled the storyboard so that that picture would appear at the final scene. I consistently depicted scenes of “Natsu worrying about Lucy” and “Natsu watching over Lucy” from the beginning of the story to lead to the scene of “Natsu consoling crying Lucy”.
At the end of the story, Natsu makes a difficult choice to go against Lucy’s wish for her sake. Even though Natsu knows that he would also end up carrying a heavy burden because of this, he makes that choice so as to protect Lucy. I think Natsu’s feelings for Lucy might go a little beyond camaraderie and friendship.
Natsu’s feelings for Lucy have yet to be clearly depicted in the original work, but I had Mashima-sensei’s consent to develop it a little in the movie. I tried to express Natsu’s feelings for Lucy, which go a little beyond friendship, through his gaze and movement.
– Mashima-sensei said that he was mindful of “Lucy’s growth” in the movie. I think that Natsu, who supports Lucy, also grew as a person.
So do I. When Lucy grows as a person, Natsu will also grow along with her. I’ll be happy if the audience pays attention to Natsu’s feelings towards Lucy. Even in the opening scenes where Natsu is fooling around, he is paying attention to Lucy and is the first to rush to her when something happens.
So I saw Dragon Cry a little while ago and just thought I’d do a few quickfire notes about what I saw. Spoilers Ahead!
First the Theater:
The showing was in a small room, which I expected but there were surprisingly more people in there than I thought there was going to be.
No trailers, but curiously enough there was a Dragon Cry trailer about the showing before the movie started.
Took forever for them to turn the lights off once the movie started. I think it was about 5-10 minutes in before the theater finally went dark.
There were some girls in the upper row who kept reacting to “ship” moments (especially the Juvia stuff). That got annoying pretty quick.
Now onto the movie proper:
When the animation was on point it was pretty good, though that wasn’t much. A-1 Pictures really phoned it in on a lot of the scenes (Looking at you awkward Lucy boobs)
The story itself was pretty basic as far as FT goes. This could have easily been a mini-arc or something when the anime came back.
Zash was your typical mustache twirling villain without an ounce of charm to his name. Animus wasn’t much better, though the twist with him and Sonya was kind of interesting? I’m still not sure.
Oh I watched the dub for this so shout out to Erica Mendez and Michael Sinterniklaas for being better than this movie deserved honestly. Also, they wasted a Christina Vee on this movie (She voiced Swan). Shame on you, Funimation.
As for Brandish and Invel, they sounded alright. I don;t know who voice Invel, but I’m sure Brandish was either Amber Connors or Rachel Glass. We’ll find out when the new series is dubbed.
Speaking of the Three Stars they were even less impressive than the goons from Phoenix Priestess. Swan was just there to show off how well the staff could draw legs (not very mind you), Doll was a MUCH less impressive version of Orga, and Gapri just looked like Sho without the earring. Wholly unimpressive.
The fights weren’t that good either. Wendy’s was fine, but Gray could have ended muscle-man in two seconds if he just used Devil Slayer off the bat rather than waiting until Juvia “sacrificed” herself for fake drama, and Erza probably could have beat Kick Girl ten times over if she used Armadura (which she did earlier in the film!) or used Sea Empress when she was swimming around in the lake, but I guess we had to have that Jellal reference.
A lot of the ship moments were pretty lukewarm all things considered. Natsu/Lucy was what it was, but Gray/Juvia still had Gray fearing for his life when Juvia showed up (She also abandoned Gajeel’s group when they were confronted by soldiers to go look for Gray so good job being a team player, Juvia). Gajeel, Levy, and Lily were literally there to extend the movie a few minutes, their scenes served no purpose other than to find an excuse for Juvia to find Gray. If you took them out and just had Juvia going by herself on a boat to Stella you would have lost nothing. Though I will give the movie one thing, because of it I have begun construction of a new ship.
Everyone, say hello to SS JuLe (Juvia/Levy), pronounced “Ju-Lay” or “Jewel”. This is going to be a fun one.
Speaking of useless, let’s talk about the White Tiger soldiers for a moment. Zash spoke one line of dialogue about how they were “Fiore’s elite guard” (even though I’m pretty sure it was said before that it was the Garou Knights, but whatever) so I guess we were supposed to care when Zash curbstomped (or rather made them curbstomp each other) them in about 2 seconds flat. Well you failed Dragon Cry, just like the White Tigers failed their one job.
Poor, Riana. I actually liked your design somewhat. Don’t worry I will restore - or at the very least give you some - dignity in my AU fic.
Things also kinda happened out of nowhere. First Natsu breaks out of prison and runs into some ruins where everyone else (minus Lucy) just happens to be (how did they escape their prisons?), and then later on Lucy and Capricorn are fighting Zash (in her complete waste of a Capricorn Star Dress) only for him to just show up later where Natsu and Sonya are and take the Dragon Cry. Then Lucy bursts in, now wearing Virgo’s Star Dress. What the hell happened?! How did he get past Lucy?! Did he knock her out really quick? Talk his way out? Use a smoke bomb? What?! It was like the movie was trying to hurry up and end.
Natsu’s “Dragonized” form was completely useless due to the fact that the series never brings it up in any capacity. So we can nix that piece of character “development”.
How come Crocus was the only city shown when the Dragon Cry was lighting up the sky? Was it too much to ask for some cameos from the other Fiore guilds? They didn’t have to speak. I just wanted to see Kagura dammit!
When Sonya says that she wanted to experience a love that Natsu and Lucy shared I almost howled with laughter.
Also how are the Three Stars and Sonya not labeled criminals in Stella for helping Zash? I guess since Sonya is technically the king she can do what she wants.
The whole flashback with Acnologia was something that probably would have been better served being in the actual film instead of wasting a post-credits scene on it. They could have used that to show all the Spriggans at a round table or something discussing the beginning of the war. That would have been halfway decent. Also J. Michael Tatum is Acnologia, now fangirls are going to love him even more…
All in all I give the movie a 2.5/5. I wasn’t as bad as a few people said, but it definitely as good either. It was just kinda there. Something to be watched and forgotten about the next day.
Maybe it would have clicked with me a bit more if I hadn’t finished the series before seeing it, but I doubt it.
I rank it lower than Phoenix Priestess, because at least I felt something when that movie was over. I was actually pretty bummed when Eclair died because it showed that even though Fairy Tail won, they still lost in the end (and there was the whole deal with Makarov’s questionable decision and Erza’s guilt), but with this movie it was just kinda bland and all around uninteresting. The best thing it offered to me was an idea of what Stella looks like.