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Anime / Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry

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That power... is it hope or destruction?
"Grave of the dragons. Long ago, this was the final resting place for the defeated dragons. It is here that the power that can destroy the world sleeps; Dragon Cry. If this power is used, the light of the dragons will descend upon the Earth..."
Narrator, Trailer 2

Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry is the second anime movie of the Hiro Mashima series Fairy Tail directed by Tatsuma Minamikawa, written by Shoji Yonemura and produced by A-1 Pictures. It was released on May 6, 2017.

Natsu Dragneel (Tetsuya Kakihara) and his friends and travel to the island kingdom of Stella to find dark secrets, fight new enemies and save the world from destruction by reclaiming the mysterious artifact, Dragon Cry. Amidst all this chaos, something mysterious will awaken inside Natsu, and whether it is good or bad is yet to be determined...

The film also stars Aya Hirano as Lucy Heartfilia, Rie Kugimiya as Happy, Yuichi Nakamura as Gray Fullbuster, Sayaka Ohara as Erza Scarlet, Satomi Sato as Wendy Marvell, Yui Horie as Carla, Makoto Furukawa as Animus, Aoi Yūki as Sonya, Jiro Saito as Zash Caine, Chiaki Takahashi as Swan, Ryota Takeuchi as Doll and Taku Yashiro as Gapri.

Previews: Trailer 1, Trailer 2. As with previous Fairy Tail entries, Funimation does the English version. Both the dub and sub were released for a limited theatrical run in the U.S in August 2017 (the sub going first and the dub later in the week) before being released to Blu-ray on November 17th, 2017.

The film is chronologically followed by the Alvarez Empire arc.

Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry contains examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: The tie-in novel Wish on a Star reveals that Sonya lost her memory after sneaking through the Eclipse Gate and landing in Stella. Then, Animus decided to use her to start a revolution and ultimately seize power in the kingdom.
  • Armed Legs: Swan uses Stellanium-enhanced leg braces to fight Erza.
  • Badass in Distress: Natsu at the beginning of the movie. He is held captured in a cube prison by a flying bird, bound in chains, and his only food source is a lit torch. After the prison gets smashed into another building, Natsu manages to eat the flame while falling, break his chains, and give the bird a beating.
  • Battle Strip: Gray and Juvia both strip before fighting Doll (although Juvia just takes off her overcoat, showing a sleeveless top).
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Erza ultimately beats Swan in a kicking match after writing some ruins on the ground while initially getting batted around by her. The impact activates Grand Chariot and knocks Swan out.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: At the end of the film, Zash uses the Dragon Cry to carry out his revenge plot against Fiore, but pays the price when he gets disintegrated by its immense power seconds later.
  • Belly Dancer: Lucy dances in sexy attire at a bar that Zash frequents as part of the team's infiltration plan. Zash is impressed, especially when Gemini (as Lucy) seduces him even more.
  • Big Bad: King Animus is the active driving antagonist of the film, with Zash.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Fairy Tail saves Stella and Zash is permanently destroyed. However, Animus has a Heel Realization about his treatment of Sonya while dying of his injuries, Fairy Tail and Sonya have to go their separate ways, and Zeref declares war on Natsu.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Natsu coughs up some blood when he gets stabbed by Animus's dragon spikes.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Zash uses brainwashing magic to control people and get them to do what he wants. Over the course of the film, he forces Riana and her men to slaughter each other; a group of innocent civilians to fight Natsu and Lucy; Natsu himself to attack his own allies; and Animus, who is a dragon, to rampage mindlessly while he takes control.
  • Breath Weapon:
    • After eating a fruit that makes him turn red, Happy uses a fire breath attack on Zash's dog Red Knife, barbecuing him.
    • Animus has his own Breath Weapon, par the course for a dragon.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: In the series, Igneel and the other dragons used the Dragon Soul technique to enter the Dragon Slayers' bodies, thus explaining their long disappearance. At the end of the film, Animus is a dragon who used the same technique on Sonya, but got trapped in it due to the latter being a normal human. He thus needs the power of the Dragon Cry to free himself from her body.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Happy eats some fruit in the middle of the film which ends up turning him red for most of the climax. When Zash sends his attack dog on Happy, it manifests into a fiery breath and ends up saving him.
    • Erza defeats Swan by using a scarlet variation of Grand Chariot, one of Jellal's signature attacks.
  • Clone Army: The Quartum Army, autonomous soldiers created from dragon lacrima, effectively making them Fourth Generation Dragon Slayers.
  • Continuity Snarl: A big one occurs in The Stinger, where Zeref appears in his emperor's clothes from the Alvarez Empire arc, accompanied by two of his Praetorian Guard, Brandish and Invel. While the film takes place before the war with Alvarez, it fails to add up to canonical events in numerous ways, such as Zeref having already met up with Acnologia.
  • Cool Shades: When Lucy puts on her Star Dress Capricorn form, the last item she puts on is her own pair of black shades to match her spirit's. This helps in stopping Zash's brainwashing magic.
  • Death by Secret Identity: At the conclusion of his battle with Natsu, Animus deduces that the latter is E.N.D., the "destroyer of all".
  • Death from Above: Erza defeats Sonya with her own version of Grand Chariot, the same spell Jellal claimed was comparable to a meteor in strength.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Erza vs. Swan.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In the series proper, being a "Dragon Slayer" seemed to be more of an Informed Ability, as neither Natsu nor the other heroic present day Dragon Slayers were actually capable of being able to kill a dragon through their own power. This movie marks the first time Natsu defeats a dragon, Animus, all on his own, with Animus dying from the wounds Natsu inflicted upon him.
  • Doomed by Canon: Anyone who has read the Alvarez Empire arc of Fairy Tail beforehand will know that Zash is killed by the Dragon Cry and Animus dies after fighting Natsu at the end of the film.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Since this movie takes place before the Alvarez Empire arc, it spoils a few things if one hasn't read the manga, such as Carla's human transformationnote  and Lucy's Star Dresses. The Stinger is also chock full of them, including Acnologia's human form, Brandish and Invel of the Spriggan 12, and Zeref's imperial robes.
    • An inverted example occurs with Gray's Demon Slayer attack, "Longsword of the Ice Demon Zero", which makes its first appearance in animated form after it was omitted from the adaptation of the Tartaros arc.note 
  • Ending Theme: "What You Are" by Polka Dots, which plays over the end credits.
  • Evil Plan: Zash intends to use the Dragon Cry to carry out his revenge plot against Fiore.
  • Evil Versus Evil: At the end of the film, Zash turns on Animus and uses the Dragon Cry to hypnotize him, but is ultimately disintegrated in the process.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Zash is turned to dust by the Dragon Cry when its power proves to be too much for him.
  • Fanservice Pack: Even by this series' standards, the ladies' chests are noticeably larger and jigglier than usual.
  • Foreshadowing: During scenes where Animus is berating Zash, one look at his shadow shows that it's shaped differently from his body, and how he frequently approaches Sonya from behind without her noticing, which he Hand Waves by saying it's because he's a wizard, supported by his telekinetic powers. These are indicators that he's actually Sharing a Body with Sonya and possessing her when she isn't aware.
  • Group Hug: Natsu pulls Lucy and Happy into one at the end of the movie.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Sonya is initially a reluctant but willing accomplice in Animus's plan to forcefully steal the Dragon Cry from Zash, believing its power can save her kingdom from a disaster. After thinking back to Natsu's words and discovering that the staff is evil, however, she decides to resist him.
  • Heroic BSoD: Lucy and Happy's ashen and heartbroken stare as Natsu gets Impaled with Extreme Prejudice says it all.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Natsu and Wendy pose as ninjas when Happy and Carla bring them Gray's ice ring copy to open Zash's vault.
  • Hope Spot: Sonya (while fighting off Animus inside of her) tells Natsu to take the Dragon Cry before Zash arrives. Unfortunately, just as Natsu grabs hold of the staff, Zash takes it from both of them.
  • How We Got Here: We start with Natsu being locked up in a prison block carried by a giant bird, which he breaks free from and attacks. Cue title card. We then go back a few days to show exactly how he and his fellow guild members got into that predicament.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: In the Final Battle, Animus brutally runs Natsu through with his spikes.
  • In Medias Res: Apart from a flashback scene of Natsu's childhood with Igneel, following his abandonment and first meeting with Makarov, the movie opens with Natsu chained up in a prison cell carried by a giant bird. The movie then flashes back a few days to show How We Got Here.
  • Interquel: The film is set between the Fairy Tail revival and Alvarez Empire arcs.
  • Karmic Death: At the end of the film, Zash gets vaporized by the very staff he sought to destroy Fiore with.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Since the anime only covered the very beginning of the Fairy Tail Revival arc at the time, and this is set after that arc, it spoils facts such as Fairy Tail's successful reunion and Gray's status as The Mole in Avatar.
  • Locked in the Dungeon: While Lucy is held prisoner by Zash, she sees Riana and several other girls that Zash had captured to keep as blood sacrifices.
  • MacGuffin: The Dragon Cry itself, which is empowered by the rage and sorrow of all the dragons slain by Acnologia during the Dragon King Festival. It contains the power equivalent to ten to dozens of Etherion blasts. Animus and Zash both want it, the former to use it to free himself from Sonya's body and strengthen himself for his plans to take back the world for dragons, while Zash wants it to wreck havoc and Take Over the World for his own desires. At the climax of the film, Zash uses it to power up the Quartum Army and unleash Kill Sat magic blasts across the entire kingdom (though he's killed by the magic backlash), while Animus successfully frees himself from Sonya and powers up on its energy for his battle with Natsu.
  • Meaningful Echo: While Natsu is shaken by his partial transformation into a dragon, which may actually be connected to E.N.D., he and Lucy exchange the same dialogue they had when Natsu thinks that Lucy needs to check her eyesight when she insists Plue is a dog.
    Natsu: Tell me...what do I look like?
    Lucy: Like the Natsu I've always known.
  • Morality Pet: It is implied that on some level Animus DID come to care for Sonya (When she stands in front of him to stop him killing Natsu he first tells her to get out of his way and only pushes her aside when Natsu regains consciousness and goes One-Winged Angel.)
  • Mundane Utility: As part of a gag early in the movie, Gray uses his Ice Make magic to patch a broken wagon wheel.
  • Mythology Gag: The scene where Natsu, Lucy, and Happy discuss Plue's species is a reference to a Running Gag in Rave Master, Hiro Mashima's previous manga, with each character's answer—Lucy insists he's a dog, Natsu thinks he's a bug, and Happy imagines him as a fish—all being assumptions made about him in Rave.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Gray is this after defeating Doll. Juvia faints at the sight of seeing him naked.
  • No Body Left Behind:
    • Zash is incinerated into dust by the Dragon Cry, since he lacks the power to use it.
    • This is the ultimate fate of Animus: while he was already dying from his injuries due to fighting Natsu, he fades away after Sonya destroys the Dragon Cry.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Lucy screams this at Wendy when the latter walks in on the former and Natsu with their faces heavily close together and the young Dragon Slayer assumes the two of them were having "a moment."
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Zash when the Dragon Cry is going to disintegrate him into nothing.
    • Lucy and Happy when Animas runs Natsu through with his spikes.
  • Parental Substitute: Sonya tells Lucy and Natsu that, although he was cold-hearted, Animus was like family to her, just like Fairy Tail members treat each other as family.
  • Please Wake Up: Lucy tells Natsu to wake up after Animus seriously wounds him.
  • Psychic Strangle: Animus does this to Zash twice, first when Zash tells him he will use Sonya to locate the Dragon Cry, and second when he finds out Zash used the Dragon Cry against Animus's will, endangering Sonya.
  • Psychometry: When Natsu first grabs hold of the Dragon Cry, he feels anger, pain and sorrow of the dragons Acnologia killed that give the staff its power. His face is in tears after this. Sonya later experiences the same thing when she takes the staff, which leads to her turning on Animus.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Three Stars, consisting of Doll, Gapri and Swan.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sonya tells Animus that his soul used to be kind, but now it has been tainted by darkness and she doesn't want to see anymore people get hurt. Unfortunately for Sonya, Animus bats her aside after seeing that Natsu survived his injury.
  • Say My Name: Happy can only cry Natsu's name in tears when Animus seriously injures the latter.
  • Sensor Character:
    • Sonya's magic can detect lifeforms. This proved to be useful in helping the Fairy Tail wizards escape Zash's guards.
    • More comically, Juvia claims to have a "Gray-dar" in her head, which allows her to track Gray down.
  • Split Personality: There are hints that suggest Animus is this for Sonya. However, it becomes a subverted example when he's revealed to be a dragon's soul Sharing a Body with her, and uses this to possess her.
  • The Stinger: In the post-credits stinger, Acnologia in his human form breaks the ribbon that was once the Dragon Cry. We see how Animus lived inside Sonya to keep her alive and protect her for over 400 years and how Acnologia started his intent to kill all dragons, demonstrating it to the dragons in the Graveyard. Then, watching Acnologia on the mountain are Brandish, Invel, and Zeref, who says the final battle is about to begin.
  • Super-Speed: Gapri rides on a floating ball which makes him move as fast as the eye can see.
  • Swiss-Army Tears: Happy and Lucy experience a Heroic BSoD and burst into tears over Natsu after he's seriously injured by Animus. Fortunately, one of Lucy's tears wakes him up so that he can continue his fight with Animus.
  • Taking the Bullet: Scorpio gets shot by Zash to protect Lucy. Later, Juvia protects a little girl from one of Doll's attacks.
  • They Died Because of You: Animus tells Natsu that the Dragon Slayers caused the dragons to fall into decline, especially since it brought about Acnologia's rise to power. Said Dragon Slayer magic wouldn't have been conceived if it wasn't for dragons like him preying on humans and the humans seeking a way to defend themselves.
  • Title Drop: The subtitle takes its name from the MacGuffin that Natsu's group are trying to take back from the Kingdom of Stella. Later done when Sonya says "I've never seen a dragon cry" to Animus before he fades.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • The very first promotional image shows Natsu's quasi-transformation into a dragon, which doesn't happen until the very climax of the movie. One of the official posters even highlights this form, while it also shows up in quite a few trailers.
    • Downplayed in regards to the dragon in the final poster and other promos. While the presence of a dragon is something of a twist in the movie's third act, it still hides the fact that it is the true form of King Animus, the supposedly human Big Bad.
  • Transformation Sequence: Carla and Lucy have this. Carla changes into a human, and Lucy changes into her Star Dress Capricorn form. It's also notable that the Capricorn form is the only one she never used in the manga proper, so this is essentially a roundabout way of completing the set.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Sonya and Animus were childhood friends in the past. According to Sonya, Animus used to have a kind heart, but over time, Animus's soul was tainted by darkness and he wanted the Dragon Cry for himself. Except that Animus was just using her as a pawn in her plans.
  • Worldbuilding: Dragon Cry goes into a bit more detail with the technique Igneel and the other missing dragons used to seal themselves in the Dragon Slayers' bodies. As it turns out, there are other dragons like Animus who know such a spell, but it cannot be used carelessly on humans unless their bodies are compatible (i.e., a Dragon Slayer), or else they would be unable to escape.

"Lucy... what do I look like to you?"