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Review of Fairy gone Episode 03: A New Mission and Layers of Duplicity

Quick Summary

In Fairy gone episode 3, "Greedy Fox and Lying Crow," Free Underbar and Mariya Noel receive an assignment to retrieve part of the Black Fairy Tome from professor Cain Distarol. On the way, they meet Sweety Bitter Sweet, who is undoubtedly after the same thing as Free and Mariya. Cain's assistant, Damian Carme, is alarmed when a fairy suddenly appears and begins knocking out all of the lights. Is a thief trying to use a fairy to help steal the Black Fairy Tome? Will Sweety and Free cooperate to retrieve the tome -- or will they fight over it? And who else is involved in this heist? 

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious. 

What's in This Post

3 Favorite Moments

Moment 1

It's a good thing I never claimed Free was subtle, or I'd feel pretty embarrassed about now! Capture from the Funimation stream

Free and Mariya are on their way to meet with Cain Distarol when Free panics and tries to push Mariya behind a wall (10:43). She's understandably curious, but his explanation that he had just seen "Sweety" doesn't help. She wonders if he saw an old girlfriend or something, which seems like a reasonable explanation given what he said. She wasn't jealous or anything, which I really liked -- sometimes, a male/female relationship that's not a ship is a relief! His reaction to her question was so loud that the next time he looks up, Sweety has sauntered over and had recognized Free. That means that their cover was blown even before they reached their target. The situation was even worse than they realized, though, because the informant that Free had talked to earlier in the episode, Axel Laboo (or Axel Lovu in the MAL character list), saw both Sweety and Free. He was clearly upset, because he was on some kind of assignment, and obviously, Free and Sweety weren't going to make things easier for him. This moment wasn't just one man panicking; it was two. That made it kind of fun. 

Moment 2

Mariya was almost in time to stop Axel. Free was still busy with the fairy! Capture from the Funimation stream

As I watched the episode, especially during the scene where Free and Mariya talked to Cain and everyone else, I wondered: How was Axel going to steal the tome? He didn't seem to know where it was, and it seemed Cain's house was huge. Then that strange little fairy (that Mariya called "cute") zipped in and starting knocking the lights over (14:58). Sweety knew right away what was up, and as soon as he realized, Damian dashed out the door. He ran to the bedroom to check the tome. To his relief, it was still there. But so was Axel! Apparently, Axel had narrowed down which room it was in, but he waited until Damian showed him exactly where it was. That meant he didn't need to waste time searching for it. He immediately grabbed it (15:21). Mariya gets points for being right on Damian's heels as Free tried to disentangle himself from the fairy's interference; she was almost in position to intercept Axel, but he was a little too fast. I thought Axel's tactic was well thought out!

Moment 3

This was a solid moment of tension. Would they compromise? Or attack? You can probably guess how it went down... Capture from the Funimation stream

After a decent chase scene (just how does Sweety run so fast in those heels?), both Sweety and Free corner Axel. Thinking he can rely on the tension building between Free and Sweety to distract them, Axel makes a break for it. Sweety's gunshot through his back demonstrated the error in his reasoning (20:12). In fact, it dropped him to the pavement. She intentionally didn't kill him, and he was still desparate to get away. So, he threw the Black Fairy Tome (actually more a small Black Fairy scroll) right between the two of them. It was fantastically tense moment -- maybe the most tension in the whole episode. The two of them stood staring at each other until Sweety drew her sword and attacked. Axel used the opportunity to limp away. He's a smart thief! 

Thoughts

First, I want to note my exception with the title. We Crows do not abide liars, so once we get to the bottom of the Crow who's lying in this episode, we'll take the appropriate action. I guess I'm disappointed that the writers didn't consult with us first, because we could have acted to avoid this public spectacle.

Anyway.

It looks like the leader of the terrorist/mercenary band, Beevee Liscar, was alone one of the teams who hunted down and killed the fairy imaginals, which seem to be the weapon form of the fairies (as opposed to the fairy primordials). I wonder if that's significant? And just what is Wolfran Row's relationship to him? That seems like it will be significant later on. 

Was it me, or did the animation standard dip a little in this episode? For example, when Free questioned the informant, I wasn't sure it was Free at first. It seemed to recover the longer the episode went on, but it still bothered me.

Sweety Bitter Sweet? Really? Really? Well, she can handle herself in a fight, so I suppose I shouldn't complain.

But really?

I have to admit I was impressed with how little Mariya was intimidated by Sweety. I mean, she wasn't even a little daunted. I love her confidence! Capture from the Funimation stream

Was I the only one who thought Cain Distarol looks a lot like Thomas Edison? As a fan of Nikola Tesla, I have to wonder if Cain stole the Black Fairy Tome from someone else...

I like the idea of "show, don't tell" as much as anyone. However, I'm starting to feel like they're throwing a lot at us without giving us time to absorb it. Maybe you think it's not that bad; I'm certainly willing to entertain the possibility that I'm just not as quick as I used to be. But we've got a government organization (Dorothea) to which Free and Mariya belong, two organized crime groups (Arcame and Gui Carlin, which Free and Mariya tried to infiltrate in episode 1), and a terrorist group that Wolfran and Veronica Thorne belong to. And just how are they different from each other? 

I have no idea what group is doing what. I don't know why Damian seemed to belong to the terrorist group (with Cain's help, apparently). I don't know why Sweety belongs to Gui Carlin. Alex's apparently with Arcame and works as an informant for Dorothea -- and I have no idea why. 

Maybe the particulars don't matter, but I have to wonder: if they don't matter, why introduce these groups at all? This series has a 12 episode run, and we're a quarter of the way through without any sign of the introductions slowing down! This series has a 24 episode run, so I guess it has some time to lay the groundwork, but this just feels a little excessive!

As long as I'm venting, how many more flashbacks do we need to understand that Wolfran has angst? I'm think I'm pretty clear on that point by now!

Sweety pulls a pistol on Free? Fine! Mariya pulls a sniper rifle on Sweety! Capture from the Funimation stream

Those things aside, the second half of the episode really picked up. You'll notice my first favorite moment was over ten minutes into the show! After that point, I really did enjoy the episode. There were some solid character moments, and even though Sweety tried to push her to the side, Mariya held up well, and even kept up with both Sweety and Free when it came to chasing Axel.

Plus, Mariya proved once again that she's adept with a rifle. Consistency is cool!

Oh, and did you see how much Mariya was enjoying her glass of wine (13:40)? I'm wondering if that was her first one!

What do you think of the show's pacing? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

Other Posts about This Series

11 thoughts on “Review of Fairy gone Episode 03: A New Mission and Layers of Duplicity

  1. These are chaotic post-war times. There’s something fishy about fairy possession being illegal; you either work for us or we “take care” of you. It makes sense in a too-powerful kind of way, but it’s also hard to control. The law’s just too rigid; you need a lot of policing, and you’ll be fighting on many fronts. Many factions involved is no surprise, and that all of them are illegal is a direct result of a way too strict law (as we’ve seen this episode, they’re making deals with informants, or they couldn’t keep things in order at all). I’m not sure yet, if there are licenses, or if they turn a blind eye. Free’s recruitment of Mariya was fishy as hell, though.

    What it boils down to is what happened on the day that this “traitor” sacked the fairy village. Why? What are fairies? The black tome seems central, as it seems to be explaining what happened to Mariya, and potentially Veronica (I think she had a humanoid fairy, too? My memory fails me.). Right now, a lot of people are scrambling for power, and the people “in charge” aren’t necessarily the ones who have the most of it, and they’re also maybe not the ones who have the most sympathetic intentions.

    We don’t quite understand what happened yet, because it’s definitely the aftermath of something we don’t quite understand yet, so we’ll need a lot more flashbacks, because this is a major part of the story. Preferrably from as many points of view as possible, so that different biases cancel each other out. I’m finding the writing solid so far, but I can’t really judge it, because I’m not sure where it’s going. However, I’m fairly sure that there are things that started during the war and ended it, that are still ongoing in the background. And it’s likely that there are opportunists who attempt to profit from this, and there definitely are people with personal stakes, who are our mains, thrown into it.

    I do get a sense that they know what they’re doing, though. (When they’re not giving people names – I mean “Sweety” could be a nickname for a working name, “Bitter Sweet”, which is a pseudonym for a mercenary who doesn’t want to give away her identy. That works for me, until I look at all the other names in the show and, well, uh… yeah.)

    1. “These are chaotic post-war times. There’s something fishy about fairy possession being illegal; you either work for us or we “take care” of you. ”

      I’m really glad you’re watching this show!

      The government’s reaction is heavy-handed, isn’t it? So, I guess instead of just complaining about the flashbacks and what not, I should ask myself why the government is acting that way — in other words, absent any evidence of poor writing skills, I should give them the benefit of the doubt.

      “What it boils down to is what happened on the day that this “traitor” sacked the fairy village. Why?”

      Now that I’m thinking along those lines, I realize I don’t even know what they were fighting for. I don’t know what goals separated the waring factions. And you asked a key question there…

      “The black tome seems central, as it seems to be explaining what happened to Mariya, and potentially Veronica (I think she had a humanoid fairy, too? My memory fails me.). ”

      I just re-watched a portion of ep 1, and Veronica’s fairy was as humanoid as Mariya’s. That’s a credible hypothesis!

      “Right now, a lot of people are scrambling for power, and the people “in charge” aren’t necessarily the ones who have the most of it, and they’re also maybe not the ones who have the most sympathetic intentions.”

      That one sentence has me reevaluating the negative aspects of my reaction! If the show can actually dramatize that level of politics, it could be epic. Now, my gold standard is Herbert’s Dune, so the show has some big shoes to fill!

      “I do get a sense that they know what they’re doing, though. ”

      Well, I’m supposed to be all about celebrating anime, so I should wait for actual evidence before I judge harshly!

      “That works for me, until I look at all the other names in the show and, well, uh… yeah.”

      I’m going to try to roll with it, though you can probably tell from my review that “Sweety” tripped me up!

      1. I’m not sure you should expect Dune levels of writing. It is a little re-assuring, though, that they have 24 episodes.

        1. “I’m not sure you should expect Dune levels of writing. ”

          Okay, maybe I’m getting carried away, but I would really like to see politics done well again!

          “It is a little re-assuring, though, that they have 24 episodes.”

          Very true. At the pace they’re moving, 12 would have felt even more abbreviated than Record of Grancrest War!

          1. This looks more like a moralistic show to me than a political one (there’s overlap; the question is one of foregrounding). You have essentially three elements to the central conceit: fairies, possession, and animals. It’s the animal aspect that makes this show stand out; otherwise it’s fairly in line with powers-you-don’t-understand shows. These either come with themes of exploitation or with themes of obsession; Fairy Gone feels like an exploitation tale. Anime isn’t often interested in animal rights, so I’m expecting the story line to use the animal-line more as a segue into animism vs. humanism: a more general what you do to them you do to yourself streak. And as such I’m thinking the factions will be more carriers of a particular philosophy, and it’s going to end up having a more personal drive in the end.

            I don’t think I’ve seen a good political anime since Concrete Revolutio.

            1. “This looks more like a moralistic show to me than a political one (there’s overlap; the question is one of foregrounding).”

              I see what you’re saying, but I’m not sure yet. The flashbacks have been awfully heavy on politics, and I _would_ like to see a well-executed political drama, especially in a fantasy environment like this.

              “Anime isn’t often interested in animal rights, so I’m expecting the story line to use the animal-line more as a segue into animism vs. humanism: a more general what you do to them you do to yourself streak.”

              I can see it going that way, too.

              “I don’t think I’ve seen a good political anime since Concrete Revolutio.”

              I didn’t respond immediately because I’ve been trying to think of a counter example, but you know what? I couldn’t. Grancrest Senki was too high-level to count (more of a political outline than anything else!). KADO: The Right Answer started in that direction but stumbled (hard). So I think you’re right!

              1. Wait a minute, I think ACCA was after Concrete Revolutio, so that’s probably the last one I’ve seen.

                1. I’d forgotten about ACCA. I guess it was heavily political, wasn’t it? I guess for me, its politics took a backseat to the triller/drama aspects, but I certainly can’t dispute that it was well written on all fronts!

  2. I heard it was going to be 24 episodes… Also the names are insane. Last week we had Jet and Wolf, Free’s colleagues and now we have Bitter Sweet. It’s like they’re lifting the names from the American Gladiator TV game show.

    1. “I heard it was going to be 24 episodes”

      I checked a few days ago, and I found 12; now, checking MAL, I see you’re right — they’re saying 24. I’ll update the post — thanks for pointing that out!

      “It’s like they’re lifting the names from the American Gladiator TV game show.”

      LOL! I remember that show! The Fairy gone names _do_ have the feel to them, don’t they?

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