The pre-screening of Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry took place on 27 April 2017 at Toho Cinemas Shinjuku, Tokyo. For those unfamiliar with the title, Fairy Tail is a manga which has been running since 2006 in Monthly Shonen Magazine with more than 60 million manga volumes sold worldwide. Along with the manga, the 277-episode anime adaptation is popular even overseas.
Before the screening of the new movie, they showed the previous film, Fairy Tail the Movie: Phoenix Priestess, as well as the three most popular anime episodes according to the fans. It was the perfect preparation for the new movie!
The talk event started, with the otaku idol and big Fairy Tail-fan Akane Takayanagi from SKE48 coming on stage. She showed her deep love for Fairy Tail and had a heartfelt otaku-talk with the fans. When asked who her favorite character was, she answered, ‘Gajeel!. I like the clumsiness in contrast to his tsundere character a lot. When he was introduced to the series, he was an enemy of the main characters, but I liked that we could see how he was touched by the love of friendship and came to appreciate his friends. Recently, I’ve also come to like Levy and her love story. And to be honest, I also like Juvia. I like her delusions and endless love, so I enjoy watching her.’
The next question was about her favorite line, to which she answered with an imitation of Lucy, ’It’s not a crime! Caring about your friends is not a crime!’ It’s from the time when Lucy appeals to the Celestial Spirit King that Loke’s actions were to help his friends and thus couldn’t be considered a crime. How Lucy looked in that moment and how the Celestial Spirits were around her and how the Celestial Spirit King starts to chuckle and forgives Loke,… It’s just the best!!’
Takayanagi said that she had the opportunity to talk with Hiro Mashima. She was asked about her first impression of him, ‘He looks really manly like Elfman, but if you talk to him, he is really sensitive. To be honest, after I met him I wrote him a fan letter and sent him a picture of Happy. Then he mentioned me on Twitter and wrote: “Look forward to the next chapter.” I wondered if he would make me Gajeel’s girlfriend. [laugh] But then it was the episode were the members of Fairy Tail spend a night at the beach and the name of the beach house was simply “Akane Inn.” I was so surprised! And there are more things like that, so look for them!’
After that, she was asked for an otaku-like story connected to the AKB48 groups, ‘SKE48 has a group called “Nijigen Doukoukai” (2D Appreciation Society), and the members once held a handshake event in Ghibli themed cosplays. I thought I wanted to do such a handshake event with Fairy Tail as the theme, but they got angry at me for loving Fairy Tail too much, so I couldn’t do it. If we ever did it, I think I would cosplay Juvia,’ she said at the end, looking enviously at the cosplayers at the venue.
She ended the event by saying, ‘I was really nervous to talk in front of all the Fairy Tail fans about Fairy Tail, but I would love to talk with fellow fans about their favorite characters and quotes if there is the chance to. Please come to one of our handshake events! [laugh] They are quite frequent.’ Shameless advertising is just fine when it comes from Akane Takayanagi! She is so cute.