In the mystical realm of Earth Land, magic exists at the core of everyday life for its inhabitants, from transportation to utilities and everything in between. However, even with all its benefits, magic can also be used for great evil; therefore, to prevent dark forces from upsetting the natural order of things, there exists a system of magical guilds in the Kingdom of Fiore. Under the command of their respective guild masters, these guilds are made up of witches and wizards who take on various job requests to earn fame and fortune. One particular guild stands high above the rest in both strength and spirit, and its name is Fairy Tail.
In his quest to find his dragon foster father—Igneel—Natsu Dragneel, a fiery and reckless mage, and his partner Happy run into a young celestial mage by the name of Lucy Heartfilia, who reveals that it's her dream to become a full-fledged wizard and join the Fairy Tail guild. After rescuing her from an abduction attempt, Natsu offers her a home in Fairy Tail. Now a member of the guild, Lucy teams up with Natsu and befriends fellow wizards Gray Fullbuster and Erza "Titania" Scarlet. Together, this motley crew set out on their many adventures, gaining many faithful allies and deadly foes along the way.
In 2009, Fairy Tail won the 33rd Kodansha Manga Award in shounen manga category, the Japan Expo Awards for the same category, and the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation's Industry Award for best comedy manga.
It has received multiple adaptations; including a 175-episode TV series, a 102-episode sequel, and two animated films. It has also received several manga spin-offs by various authors, a side story novel series, and a magazine to its name, Monthly Fairy Tail, where some of the spin-offs were published.
The series was initially published in English by Del Rey Comics, releasing volume 1 on March 25, 2008 up until volume 12 on September 28, 2010. Kodansha Comics USA picked up the license and released volume 13 on May 10, 2011, a large size 5-in-1 omnibus edition subtitled as Master's Edition have also been published since November 10, 2015. It has also been published in Spanish by Norma Editorial since October 30, 2008; in Italian by Star Comics since January 3, 2008; in Brazil by JBC since October 2010; in Polish by Studio JG since April 2016; and in Argentina by Editorial Ivrea since January 2017.
Oh Fairy Tail, You could have been good, you had so, so much potential in you, but here you are, going out with barely a yelp.
Where did it go wrong Hiro? You had an immensly popular manga at your disposal to really give all your readers a satisfying manga to reread over and over again. You had the chance to make Fairy Tail something really, really great . But you wasted the opportunity. You have thrown it away by being stubborn to the end.
Of course, I'm not saying this out of no reason. There are a lot of good reasons as to why many readers,
including me, were sooooo disappointed at how the manga turned out. However, there is one main reason that has been the biggest downfall to Fairy Tail, and that is the formula.
You see, Fairy Tail only ever has the same formula for every single one of its arcs. Meet Enemy, Fight, Get beaten up, .... activate Friendship power and win. That's it. That is the one and ONLY formula Hiro relies on to create each and every arcs. It's so ridiculous to the point that, in the later arcs, everyone could predict the outcome of the fight so easily. "Fairy Tail will win, Fairy Tail will not lose a single member because Natsu and co. will activate their bullshit asspull to overcome the enemy every single fight." This asspull was somehow most present in the damn FINAL ARC. Meet strong enemies, Fight but get pushed back a bit, then a random speech about family, friends, guild... then win. It's unbelievable how the "hyped" fights were all ended this way. This, this right here is what truly killed Fairy Tail.
There are other reasons as well. The characters were too linear and undeveloped throughout the entire story. Although some of them did seem to get development, particularly Gray, it got nullified towards the end of the story as they just became the same, dumb characters they once were. Almost all of them did have potential to become better to even great characters, but nearly all remained too same, and too much of an annoyance throughout the end.
The plot holes are also very much evident. I can't count the number of times a Fairy Tail guild member had an intense fight and just walked the injury off afterwards like nothing. Characters like Erza, Natsu, Gray... they should be out, they should have been unable to move so easily after the "intense" fights. But of course they are able to run around just minutes/chapters after.
Convenient plot devices like some bullshit returns and lame deux ex machinas did not help cover plot holes either. Oh, and did I mention that there are basically no deaths in the story? This should really have gone with the formula part I wrote, but the fact that almost every characters just come back alive or not die after "fatal" blows is infuriating. Hiro, you could have created some quite powerful moments through some deaths, all the while developing characters, but you chose to bring them back just a couple chapters later... sigh...
Another brief thing I want to bring up is the fanservice. Now, I don't mind a bit of fanservice at all, but Fairy Tail has fanservices all over the place, even in places they do not belong at all. Normal, everyday life will have some kind of fanservice and of course, the supposedly "toughest fight of their lives" will have some kind of fanservice. It really gets ridiculous and just makes light of any kind of situation, even though when the tone is supposed to be darker. *cough, Grand Magic Games, cough*
All right, so is there anything good? Anything?
First, there is the art which is very attractive to many people, including me. The character designs are pretty good, the background is nice and detailed, and overall, although a bit similar to One Piece, the art maintains a clean yet detailed complement to the series. Just unfortunate that the nice character designs didn't equal good characters in the end.
There was one particular arc that actually stood out in the midst of mediocre and bad arcs. And that was the 2nd to last (or 3rd to last if you count the Avatar arc) of the series. Without spoiling it too much, the Tartarus arc is without a doubt the best arc of the series. Contrary to just about every other arc, Tartarus actually has some emotion in it. Not only that, it brings some really surprising revelations the fans were asking for years, along with newer powerups for some characters. It still follows much of the same formula as the rest of the series, but there's no doubt that this was the arc I've enjoyed the most.
Chapterwise, The earlier chapters did give some entertainment and couple chapters midway through the story were pretty fun. Also, the last chapter turned out to be fairy good, at least better than the ending in bleach and Naruto.
That's it really. I was going to give this a higher score had the Final arc been as good as the Tartarus arc, but it was an epic failure, one of the worst in the series. I don't really recommend this series to anyone anymore, especially after the travesty that was the Final Arc. So please, if you want to save some time by not reading through something that will infuriate and disappoint you, please step away.
Actually, just go onto youtube and find the music scores for Fairy Tail. The music score is undeniably great, and most of them are worth listening to at least once. Which makes it even more shame as it was wasted on this.
Good job Hiro Mashima. Good job on throwing away a potentially great manga.
Fairy Tail is the titanic of manga, it starts out on a great voyage and ends up sinking. That’s how I would describe it.
Honestly the amount of potential this manga had when it started was enormous, but at somewhere along the lines it just became a drag to continue reading it. As you were waiting for each release the thing that went through your mind was “can’t this manga end soon?”.
The story of this manga is honestly good, it’s an interesting concept about mages travelling the world to complete quests for a reward and the more quests the guild members complete
the more prestigious the guilds becomes, etc. but everything starts going south with the characters.
The source of the characters power are basically their nakama (companions), if they’re at the brink of defeat but suddenly one of their nakama shouts their name it gives them the ultimate boost to take down the enemy. Although this could be said about most shounen manga.
After a few hundred chapters in you also starts to notice that there’s suddenly a large amount of fanservice. Some hot springs scenes where they accidentally grab some boobs and spank some buttocks along with some naked (but not actually naked, their nipples and genitalia is hidden with hair, objects, and whatnot) scenes during a battle to the death. It almost felt like the author was pushed to implement this because they were losing readers.
I said “battle to the death” previously but there’s no actual deaths… Not during any battles anyway. One of the things that pissed me of was that this one (important) good guy used a spell that would kill himself but save his nakama so he wholeheartedly does it, and honestly if that would have been it that would have been good, but no, a few chapters later he miraculously comes back to life. The author basically wants a happy ever after ending.
All of this is basically the core ingredients for a shounen manga though, so no huge surprise. But while it does have its bad points I would say that it also has some good points, more specifically its humor. While the fighting scenes may be cringe from time-to-time, Fairy Tail has a great sense of humor which makes it stand out from other shounen manga.
Although the biggest reason you may want or may not want to read this manga is the ending. It leaves some plot holes but honestly it’s just purely unsatisfying to read 545 chapters of a manga and then you get such a plain happy ever after ending. But I will not lie, I do not regret reading this manga, it has some great moments and its brought me many laughs; not worth a re-read though.
Intriguing plot. Unique and original world. Well developed characters. Amazingly epic and suspensful battles.
Fairy Tail is none of these. When I was first introduced to this manga, it sounded like it knew where it was going. It seemed to have a plot, interesting secrets and mysteries. So far the biggest mystery to me is how Natsu isn't the Guildmaster of Fairy Tail as well as the strongest of the Ten Wizard Saints. As I sat reading chapter after chapter, I watched how characters 10 times stronger than Natsu were defeated by apparently overpowered foes, only for Natsu to stand up, eat some random flame,
and beat said foe because, hey, I'm the main character.
Additionally, the same happens to the at first like-able Erza. I wanted to like her, her magic was interesting and she seemed like a fun character. But her nakama power-boosts are just too overwhelming and all the Deus Ex Machina thrown around her are just too much, extremely apparent in later chapters.
Worst of all, I know that Mashima is actually capable of making good battles and interesting characters. This story actually DOES HAVE some good characters who have more realistic battle outcomes. Yet, for some reason, he decides to leave them aside and laugh at how weak they are in comparison to his godly main characters.
To finalize my hate for the main characters, we should analyze Lucy, the MC that exists for the soul purpose of fanservice. Constant, never ending fanservice. I remember a chapter in which Natsu and Grey see Lucy naked (again) and don't react, saying the novelty is over because they've seen her naked plenty of times. I was thinking around the same lines. It's just plain annoying seeing in how many ways Mashima can remove Lucy's clothes.
What else can I say about this manga? Well, the fact that no good guys ever die is always annoying, even though that just seems to be the norm for shounen anyway, with very few exceptions. Also, that the plot never seems to advance anywhere (which brings me to wonder if it even had one to start with or if I was just being trolled into believing it did as I read on) is just plain annoying.
And as I have said quite a few times, I hate how the battles don't hold any type of suspense. We all know that Natsu is gonna win, and all the good guys will survive, something that completely pulls out of the story and makes me think I'm wasting my time when I'm reading battles.
....if anyone read this entire rant, I commend thee, thank you for reading. You can agree with me or not, it's just my opinion, I'm just pointing out that I believe this series to be completely overrated, not to say it's just plain awful, and I would just not bother.
If you really want to read an epic shounen, read Naruto, One Piece or Bleach. And don't ever compare Fairy Tail to them. They aren't the greatest series, but they are the top three Shounen, and with reason, and Fairy Tail only wishes it was half as good as any of them.
A replica of One Piece? Seems like it
Worth reading? Yes
Fairy Tail undertakes another fantasy setting. I have always been skeptic of fantasy anime's as most of them is always obscure, and prone to be uninteresting as the story progresses. But that mistake isnt repeated here in Fairy Tail as Hiro Mashima performs excellent on making his own fantasy world out of thin air.
In this manga, all sorts of mages roam about the world. Some of them even bond together and form a guild that takes requests from people in exchange for money, there are even such guilds that are "dark", who are not among the
law-abiding. Fairy Tail is among the hundred of guilds out there. But unlike the general they, to quote their master" do what you think is right". Yes, they do what they believe they should be doing, all for the sake of just finishing a job. Whether its wrecking a house to turning a whole town into a scrapyard, it doesnt matter for them, as long as they get the job done.
Fairy Tail tells the story of Dragonil Natsu, a Fire Mage who was raised by an ancient fire-breathing dragon. and his newfound friend Lucy, a Spirit Mage who's pretty much new on the world of guilds. Together they and the rest of the members of the Fairy Tail guild goes through all sorts of adventures.
At first glance, it may sound lame because of how it follows the monster-of-the-week formula. And yes it does. But dont let that stop you from reading this. Sure it is pretty much follows a shounen formula. But to my surprise, the plot twists were variable. I am constantly impressed on how detailed the arcs were. They start out as something terribly cliche then suddenly turn out to something unexpected. Furthermore, each character is connected to each other and each of their past is no exception either. I love how every character is significant to further progress the story.
The art during action scenes is very impressive. It is comprehensive. You can understand what is happening to the characters and around them. At some climactic parts, I even got around to get my Ipod to listen to some One Piece Soundtrack while I was reading. Surprisingly, the music pays off. It gave a better atmosphere and it invigorated me. Another plus is it doesnt fill the panels with unnecessary captions. But it never forgets to show the reaction of each character in the scene. And most of those reactions are just plain humorous. And each character design is likable, as every male boasts their six-packs and every female shows their cleavage.
Fairy Tail will not fail to deliver its action packed, slapstick comedy to its readers.
If that sounds good to you then dont you even dare to miss out on Fairy Tail.
Natsu and Lucy, the main protagonists of Fairy Tail, have yet to bring good news to shippers of the pair. Given Natsu's man-child personality and Lucy's no-boyfriend-since-birth status, will the two ever end up with each other?