I should start by apologizing to all hardcore fans and lovers of “Fairy Tail”, for I am going to be extremely critic in this review (maybe a bit too much).
In “Fairy Tail” we find ourselves in a completely new universe, where magic and fantasy set the rules. Here, in this universe, there live dragons, flying cats and talking monkeys, as many other mystical creatures. We see powerful mages who can control elements such as fire or ice; others who can control their shadow and some who can even “swim” on the ground. There are also another group of mages who call themselves celestial wizards, and whose power resides in summoning mythical creatures with the help of some special keys, called Gate Keys.
It is in the middle of this fantastic world that we meet Lucy, a cute seventeen year old blond girl (and a celestial wizard), whose ultimate dream is to join “Fairy Tail”, one of the most powerful and well known guilds in the whole Fairy Tail Universe.
The story begins when she meets Natsu, a young boy with spiked hair that like her, wins his live as a mage. Natsu is accompanied by a small winged cat and his lifetime companion, Happy. Lucy gets to know that this young mage Natsu is in fact a member of the Fairy Tail and a very powerful fire mage known as “Salamander”. For her great happiness she is invited by him to join them. At the guild she meets a lot of other mages as well as many strange characters. She learns about Natsu’s search for Igneel (a powerful fire dragon), as well as many aspects of Natsu’s past. After this, the story evolves into a series of little adventures and dozens of magic battles.
The plot itself is very poor, there is almost no development and we just have to read adventure after adventure for about 100 chapters, with no progress at all. The fights aren’t also very impressing. But what really misses in “Fairy Tail” besides the poor plot, are the characters.
Natsu is just another Luffy; but a more arrogant and cocky one (which can sometimes be extremely annoying). Lucy plays the role of the girl, who follows the protagonist on shounen series, “hot-blooded” (screaming and weeping all the time), innocent, cute but stupid. Erza is the typical “tsundere” character, harsh on the outside but kind on the inside.
I could keep on like this and describe all the characters, just to show how typical and predicable they are but I would like move to another topic.
Just to show another example of total cliché, we just have to look at the rivalry between Gray and Natsu. We have already thousands of such rivalries in other comics, like the one form Naruto and Sasuke or Soul and Black Star.
But then again, we’re talking about a shounen manga…
This is the main problem of shounen comics; they all apply a similar structure and make use of many identical elements. But they almost every time, manage to arouse the reader’s interest by presenting an interesting plot, a nice animation, great fighting scenes or even grasp the reader’s laugh with a funny sequence. Fairy Tail may contain for most people, all this elements, but it lacks in something where all other successful series of the type succeeded. I’m talking about a very important aspect, the originality!!!
The artist simply picked up all that is cliché, and put it together to form “Fairy Tail”, forgetting to craft something original, which I, as a reader, expected to see from the beginning.
Hiro Mashima did a great job coming up with such a marvelous world of fantasy, but he failed on its presentation.