If there are two different instrumental takes on the same theme, it's not on the level of immediate disqualification (though my patience for this may eventually grow thin). Even if there's ten different takes on the same theme, ala the FF 10 Songs of Prayer, I think that's kind of cool. But what I can't abide is an instrumental version of a vocal song. Every time you hear the instruments play, you're tormented by the cognitive dissonance of the vocals playing in your head but not being there in the song. You keep thinking, "this is what should be happening, but it's not. Why isn't the singer singing yet? What is going on?"
No matter how good the song would have been if there weren't a vocal version to compare it to, the lack of the vocalist makes it worse than useless, it's actively painful. As such, songs like Love Grows, Crossing those Hills, My Mind, Yuna's Theme, Garnet's Theme, etc, all had to go. Suteki Da Ne, Eyes on Me and Melodies of Life are all that's necessary, thank you very much. Stop producing bunshins (fissioned off inferior copies of the original).
I'm still hearing multiple versions of the same tune, like the chocobo songs, but at least this way I'm never listening to a strictly inferior version of the same tune.
This reduces my song list down to 3665, still in the pattern of --
6 star: 700 FF: 415, Tales: 98, Other: 187
5 star: 700 FF: 374, Tales: 203, Other: 123
4 star: 700 FF: 196, Tales: 469, Other: 35
3 star: 700 FF: 338, Tales: 254, Other: 108
2 star: 700 FF: 192, Tales: 444, Other: 64
1 star: 165 FF: 0, Tales: 165, Other: 0
A lot of good manga came out today, headlined by the latest chapter of Fairy Tail. I liked the Zeref/Mavis interactions, like always, but I feel Hiro Mashima missed an opportunity at seriousness/realism by reviving yet another character he pretended was dead in saving Makarov. How many times is he going to body fake us with deaths that never actually materialize? There's only so many chapters left, so you have to imagine there can't be many more of these stupid stunts.
The Mavis stuff more than makes up for the stupidity of no one dying in Fairy Tail, which I'm used to by now. Fairy Tail is the #1 manga because it has scenes like the one with Mavis. But it isn't the theoretically highest possible pinnacle of art. If a series ever came along with Fairy Tail's strengths but none of its weaknesses, that would be a big improvement. Maybe Mashima himself can do better next time, since he intends to quickly start a new series once Fairy Tail is finished.