Confession time before I continue. I love to watch shows that take place in other time periods and one of my favorite time periods is 19th century England. I don’t really know why but it leads to watching shows that probably wouldn’t be nearly as interesting if they took place today. For example, I’ve watch A&E’s excellent Pride and Prejudice miniseries at least 5 times now and could be convinced to watch it many more times. I say all this because Earl and Fairy takes place in 19th century England and this will put a positive spin on the show that other people might not have.
Final Series Score: 8/12 B+
Rewatchablity: low – med
Pros: fun cast of characters, well-done character interactions, charming time period and setting that’s somewhat unique in anime and showcased reasonably well here, good work done by voice actors
Cons: the early plot was overly rushed and overall wasn’t taken seriously, animation was only serviceable for the show, not enough was done with Lydia’s ability to see spirits
Awards given to this show by this blog
- Best Non-Human Character for Fall Season 2008
- Best Male Seiyuu for Hikaru Midorikawa as Edgar for Fall Season 2008
Lydia has the ability to see spirits and uses this ability to work as a ‘Fairy Doctor’ – a person that helps people with spirit problems. In an increasing modern England, though, more and more people believe spirits don’t exist and thus Lydia doesn’t have much work.
On a boat trip to London she gets kidnapped but is saved by a mysterious stranger named Edgar. He requires her services to prove his claim of being the rightful heir to the title of Blue Knight Earl. She is reluctant to help Edgar even though he’s handsome, cultured, and suave because there’s a chance he’s a murderer from America and most likely not the rightful heir (the heir should be able to see spirits). And even if she doesn’t want to help, she might not have a choice because she’ll need someone’s protection against the group that tried to kidnap her.
Thoughts and impressions
The first thing that anyone who’s planning on watching this series has to take into account is Earl & Fairy can’t be taken seriously. If you do, you will dislike this show; instead watch it to enjoy the characters and how they interact with each other. At it’s best the plot is full of more holes then Swiss cheese and at it’s worst (episode 4) it’s so compressed and nonsensical that I almost stopped watching the show entirely. I did force myself to continue watching but with a decreased emphasis on the plot and an increased emphasis on the characters and within a couple of episodes I was back to enjoying this show. In the show’s defense, it was obvious that the relative small episode count forced the animators to move things along so they could get to of the later source material.
It is entirely possible to like this show just for the characters and how they interact with each other. The major characters include Lydia: a likeable, independent, head-strong woman who alternates between liking and despising Edgar. Her employer, Edgar, who oozes charm and does appear to sincerely like Lydia but his long history of being an impulsive lady’s man frequently means he does something that makes Lydia angry. Edgar’s butler and bodyguard is serious, reserved, and not human – the green glowing eye gives that away – he also looks good in a dress as we find out in one episode. Lydia has a pet cat that can talk, walk on it’s two back feet, and loves to drink alcohol and eat. She also has a shape changing spirit that decides that he wants to marry her and take her to live with him in fairy world.
Other then the plot, the only thing that really disappointed me was how Lydia’s ability to see spirits wasn’t used much by the series. In this aspect, I can compare this show to Natsume Yuujinchou or Kamichu because the main characters share the same type of ability. In Natsume and Kamichu, we see many spirits inhabiting the world, even if they’re just in the background but this isn’t the case in this show. The only time that Lydia’s ability to see spirits seems to come up is at convenient plot points which is a shame because so much could be done with this ability.
In conclusion, because the plot is handled so poorly, this show gets relegated to the status of “Enjoyable Fluff”. I’d recommend giving Earl and Fairy a watch for people looking for a show with good characters and interesting relationships or for someone wanting something a bit different in either setting and/or time period or someone that’s tired of the standard anime character types and clichés. And just remember, don’t let the really horrible episode 4 stop you watching the rest of the show; the rest of the show is okay.
- 12 episodes
- genre:fantasy, shoujo, romance
- animation studio: Artland
- director: Koichiro Sohtome
- OP: “FEELING” by AciD FLavoR
- ED: “my fairy” by Hikaru Midorikawa
- Seiyuus of note: Hikaru Midorikawa, Nana Mizuki, Tomokazu Sugita, Hiro Yuuki, Takehito Koyasu, Hiroshi Kamiya