From the brilliance of Hiro Mashima, who made Groove Adventure Rave [known in the states as Rave Master, which does sound cooler][Review to be done in the next couple of weeks, I'm only halfway through it], we have Fairy Tail [No, thats not a mispelling]- the story about a guild of mage users.
Title: Fairy Tail
Mangaka: Hiro Mashima
Length: As of my posting, 98 chapters in 11 volumes.
Summary: Welcome to a world, populated by mages. A person, even if he can practice magic, is only recognized as a mage if he joins a mage guild, all of which are governed by the Mages Council.
One of the strongest of these guilds is Fairy Tail - a guild that is known to cause mass destruction during their assignments. They have several powerful mages, of which our protagonist, Dragonil Natsu, is one.
Natsu is a mage who uses the dragon slayer magic. He was taught by a dragon, who raised him from when he was young. His magic is that of fire - by consuming it, he can regain strength and heal wounds. He can make it appear in any part of his body, using a mixture of hand to hand combat and magic to fight, which gave him the nickname Salamander. However, the dragon that taught him, disappeared one day, on the seventh day of the seventh month in the year XX77, without a trace.
There are more dragon slayers, of which we've only seen one so far. They all can do the same as Natsu, but each is with a different element. Their dragons all disappeared also.
Natsu takes on assignments with his team, who is consisted of Heartphillia Lucy, a stellar spirit magic user, Fullbuster Gray, an ice user who is also a nimpho-maniac, Scarlet Erza, an Ex-Quipping fighter, and Happy, a talking and flying blue cat.
Hints at a general plot have started to appear, but as for now the arcs are mostly dependant of each other.
Analysis: Its a fun manga to read. The fights are good, even if at first they are all really short. The magic is the most interesting part of the entire deal however - the mangaka comes up with new ways for them to be used alot of times. Its really interesting.
Its also a funny manga. Theres a wide range of characters, and the scenes where they're inside the guild [Which is basically a gigantic bar with a bulletin board], are always a blast to read.
I only have two complaints so far - the first is that each of the plots has to do with the background of one character. Always. Without fail. There have only been 34 exception, each of them spanning a very short amount of chapters. While it is good to explore the characters past, considering that there are only 98 chapters out, I feel like more should be done with the full plot of the manga by now, instead of just the character's pasts. Granted, in some arcs, it plays a minor role [such as the one explaining Lucy's past], but it still annoying. However, the awesomeo fights in those arcs more than make up for it.
The second is the magic. Although I said that I like the magic the best out of anything, I feel like its too loosely defined. Throughout the entire thing they talk about magic power and such, but we're not taught what it is. The closest explination for any of the magics has been about the stellar spirits, but theres still alot of holes there.
Dragonil Natsu: Nicknamed the salamander, he fights with fire. He can create it from any part of the body, and can eat it to replenish himself. He's a very fun loving person, who will do almost anything to get a laugh. He's also a very carefree person, with a quick temper. His dragon was Igneel, from whom he inherited the nickname Salamander from. He's constantly on the lookout for clues as to where Igneel disappeared to. His fatal weakness is a very strong case of motion sickness - if he's on a moving vehicle, he gets very sick and can't do anything.
Heartphillia Lucy: Natsu's first teammate. She's a person who joined Fairy Tail at the beginning of the manga series - and as such, she's the only one sane in the entire guild. Over time she gets used to it. She uses Stellar Spirits, whom once you find the keys for, you create a contract with. Afterwards, you can summon them using the key.
Quick Note about her Stellar Spirits - they all have distinctive personalities, which can make them hard to control sometimes. However, one of them makes a cameo appearance from Groove Adventure Rave. A cookie to whoever figures it out.
Fullbuster Gray: Natsu's rival, at the start. Whenever they meet, they always have an argument, and can only be shut up by two people - Lucy, and Erza [who had to beat them up in order to do so]. He's a nympho-maniac, who doesn't realize when he's undressing. Its a result of his training to learn how to use ice alchemy. He joins the team later on after being forced by Erza, and now does it full time.
Scarlet Erza: One of the strongest in Fairy Tail, she is an Ex-Quipper - a form of magic that can equip and dequip armor and weapons very quickly. She always wears armor, can switches quite often to suit the needs - whether its flame resistant armor when battleing Natsu, or a fancy dress when going to the casino [Didn't know that that was classified as armor ... But oh well]. She's one of the only mages that fights fully physically, hardly ustilizing magic in her attacks. She's a very tempermental girl, and has a rather large temper. As a result she is respected, at first through fear, then through power.
Happy: Natsu's ever-present companion, he's a talking blue cat. That can grow wings.
Need I say more?
Makarov: He's the master of Fairy Tail, and one of the 10 Great Holy Mages. He uses his magic to expand parts of his body to fight - whether making his arm super long to stop someone from moving, or growing to the size of a giant for general all purpose smashing.
There are more characters, but I needn't name them now.
Its a good manga to read, and releases are frequent. The reason I gave it an 8 is because, like I said, I would like to see more of a general plot, instead of just exploring character backgrounds.
Review taken from animeruwelz, check my profile out for more info