The story takes place in a world where fairies possess and dwell in animals, giving them mysterious abilities. By removing the organs of a possessed animal and transplanting them into humans, fairies can be summoned as an alter ego and be used as a weapon. Such individuals who used fairies as war tools were called "Fairy Soldiers." Once the war was over and they completed their roles, the soldiers lost their purpose. Some began working for the government, some joined the mafia, and some even became terrorists, as each chose their own way to live.
Nine years have passed since the war. The protagonist Mariya is a new recruit of "Dorothea," an organization which investigates and suppresses fairy-related crimes. Amidst the unstable political situation, criminals with lingering wounds from the war and past conflicts emerge and engage in terrorism as an act of revenge. This is the story of Fairy Soldiers, fighting for their own justice in a chaotic postwar world.
When I heard about Fairy Gone, I was kinda excited. Original 24-eps fantasy anime is a rare guest in the modern era of isekai and CGDCT series, and P.A.Works is a well-known studio who is always don't afraid of experiments with different genres and ideas. I have imagined the dark fantasy world of swords and magic, brutal action, post-war life of abandoned soldiers, and Persona... I mean, Stand... nope, Fairy! It sounds really great. Seriously, you have JoJo director, original idea and potential to become a headliner of this season, what can go wrong? Spoiler: literally
everything. Mediocrity wins again.
The first episodes of this anime are the perfect example of how NOT to make a fantasy story. It looks like bad fanfiction written by 14-years old guy who read a few chapters of Eragon, watched Goblin Slayer and decided to make his own fantasy without knowing of anything that makes fantasy worlds believable and realistic. Here we have: random namedropping of random cities, random objects and random abilities, dialogue exposition and, of course, flashbacks, because who don't love flashbacks? We put flashbacks in your flashbacks, and you can watch flashbacks while you watch flashbacks because it's a really great idea for world development! Each episode consists of: flashback — pointless dialogue about some things — pointless dialogue with exposition — flashback — horrible drawn fight — another flashback. Add bad pacing and directing, cut, mix and repeat for every of 24 episodes.
Maybe in the creator's head, this show looks logical and well-written, but for me, it's really hard to understand even what the hell is going on. World in this show looks flat and generic, and creators tried so hard to develop it that completely forgot about characters, who are extremely bland too. Girl and guy with brown hair vs girl and guy with blond hair; some of them were childhood friends, but now they are enemies because reasons, and fights with each other for some reason, here we have another flashback about them or something... but who actually cares?
But really, who cares about story and characters, if we have fairies and bloody battles with them? Perfect weapon who can give us epic action scenes, right? Wrong. All fairies and their battles are made in CGI animation (because everybody loves CGI, of course), and if action scenes without fairies look nice, fairy battles look like ugly models from PS1 game fight with each other. Boring and painful to watch. Smart, tactical battles? Forget about it, too. This show has gorgeous drawn backgrounds and nice animation, but CGI elements ruin all the experience. My favorite moment in this animation was spider truck from episode 2, it looks so fucking stupid that I couldn't stop laughing.
Fairy Gone is trash in its purest form. Everything in this show is an example "how not to make an original anime" without literally any of enjoyable moments, except some pretty good backgrounds. I wanted to drop it at ep 1 but decided to give it some chances, don't know why. Maybe I really hoped that this show will become better, maybe I like to watch some trash anime or maybe I just don't know what to do with my life, who knows. Of course, I'll continue watching because I'm really interested how deep can this anime fall. P.A.Works, really, stop. Kuromukuro, Sirius The Jaeger and now Fairy Gone — why are you hating us so much? Stop doing trash fantasy, trash mechas and other trash, and come back to cute girls genre, please.
Forget the plot. Disregard the characters. And abstain from having a central theme. Just find a way to have the f—king fairies fight each other!
Normally, machismo-laden, mindless fights are a surefire way to draw in a large audience. Especially nowadays in the age of instant gratification and infinitesimal attention-spans. But you can only treat the viewer like a brainless imbecile for so long, before they rebel and give you the collective middle finger.
“Fairy Gone’s” plot is reminiscent of a ball of yarn. It’s a jumbled mess of string (plot ‘threads’) going in every which direction. Yet instead of
clarifying the various loose ends, it continually adds more string to muddle the waters even further. To mitigate this failing, P.A. Works — the studio behind “Fairy Gone” — attempts to suffocate the viewer with unbridled, senseless action. The combatants for these battles (i.e. the fairies) are 3D abominations. It’s a crude, pale aesthetic that lacks artistic detail to bring the work alive.
Marlya and Veronica, the two central characters in “Fairy Gone,” have flatlined on account of improper characterization; thus, inhibiting the viewer’s willingness to become emotionally invested in their cryptic past. A past that seems to be the impetus for events to come. The other characters are rudimentary with no one displaying a personality beyond some hackneyed quirks. They are, if nothing else, the personification of classic tropes
Lastly, the enjoyment is meager. The battle choreography is sloppy and the pacing is rushed. The OST is undistinguished and it is unclear as to how P.A. Works will homogenize this rubbish, or whether it will opt to double down on force feeding the viewer with unavailing action ad nauseam. If you are looking for a show with a post-war narrative backdrop, special powers galore, and better character developments — then watch “Full Metal Alchemist” instead of this diarrhea.
Fairy gone is a rather odd show to be honest. But probably that is the reason I am liking it so much.
Nowadays 90% of the animes are going with very straightforward storytelling since the average anime fan seems to be allergic to brainwork. Instead of the usual approach of spoonfeeding any and every relevant information so even the greenest vegetable won't get lost, Fairy gone starts off with an "In medias res" opening, without explaining much of anything. Then slowly, episode by episode builds up the world. I would say they are doing it excellently, if you pay attention, it is not too hard to
piece things together. Still, with every "mystery" solved a new one appears, which the show will get to in due time. This means most of the time you won't know the full picture, there will be a lot of unanswered questions, but be patient, eventually everything will be answered.
The story is quite complex, it is something like a political-action-drama. I would say it is for a rather mature audience. The show is set in a post-war era, which is rather unique, most animes about the war, where the hero serves justice and defeats the evil. Fairy gone digs a lot deeper than that. It is not all just black and white, everyone has a good reason for their actions. There are a lot of people names and locations thrown around, but eventually, you will learn the more important characters' name, and the name of the locations isn't that important, I don't remember a single one, and I have no problem understanding what's going on. They are just there for lore, if you are really intersted you can look up a map and place the events, but you are totally fine if you don't do anything with them.
The story is moving quite slowly, although still there's quite much going on, also there are numerous cool fight scenes. From the beginning it is not quite clear where the story will develop. I would say it is a big plus for me since I am already sick and tired of nowadays all the anime are doing the same things over and over again, so they are very easy to predict. Finally, this is a story I don't know yet.
The show uses a mix of 2D and CGI. The 2D art is generally quite good, there are scenes that are really pretty and rarely there are scenes that doesn't look so great, but that happens in every show. Characters are having a western kind of desing, it reminds me of some old classics.
They are using CGI for the stands/personas called fairies. However, they are definitely not just plainly copying the idea from those shows. Unlike the stands/personas, with the fairies they went for a realistic approach, therefore anime fans immediately labelled them ugly. But they are supposed to be ugly, they are terrifying monsters being able to rip people apart, do you want to look them like my little pony? With this realistic outlook, the CGI blends in with the 2D animation quite well, but still looks kind of otherworldly, as these fairies definitely don't belong to the human world. The rules are very different too: unlike the other 2 shows it is not only the stands/personas are fighting. Here the fairy user usually fights the other 2v2, user vs user and user vs fairy too.
At first glance the characters might look bland, but by time with flashbacks and their present actions we will get to know them better, what are their motivations, goals. The "villains" have their reasons for doing what they are doing, in their shoes maybe you would do the same.
The music is great. There is almost always some undelying music fitting or setting the mood for the scene with a wide variety of styles. Also, the ending song is definitely the best of the spring season.
This anime is definitely not for everyone. If you are interested in an anime with a grand theme, a complex story with a lot of underlying threads and in the meanwhile some pretty cool action, don't listen to the masses, be sure to check this out. It is natural to not understand a lot of things at the very beginning, you will get your clues in later episodes so eventually you will be able to piece the puzzle together.
Overall I am giving it an 8/10 now, but if the story wraps up nicely, we'll get some more good character developement, cool action and in the end everything falls into place, I can see myself rating it even a 10/10.
If you are checking reviews on this ongoing to decide, if you should check this anime - I'd advice you to wait until it gets better, if it ever does. Right now I got the impression, that authors didn't really decide, what exactly they want to do with their original project. So, lets go point by point.
World/story - a mess. You have something that looks like WW1, only to see a sword fight minutes after. Add to this mix golem soldiers with sword+cannon+shield combo - and you get some kind of incoherent mess. To make it even worse - add some human-fairy hybrid, that is
effectively a stand user from Jojo - and you have the picture. The way this anime introduces us to new characters does not make understanding easier - dozens of names, places, organizations are thrown at viewer without any development. Maybe they are adressed later in the show, but at current point it just confuses viewer.
Art - sometimes it is ok, sometimes it is horrible. While in focus characters look nice, but as soon as they are shown walking somewhere - their faces loose all detalization. All fairies (aka stands) are done in horrible CGI that looks completely out of place.
Sound - pretty good, not outstanding, but fine.
Characters - currently very shallow, the only ones who got at least some backstory - are two protagonists, and even then their back story does contradicts with their present.
Enjoyment - somewhat present, I guess? Nothing special yet, but it may change, to better or worse.
Overall - this is fine, if you have nothing to watch this season, but if you are shot on time - skip this one.
Note: this review was written after 6 episodes out of 24, so it will change when it becomes obsolete.