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Janny-Cats' Fairy Tail Manga Review

Fairy Tail

Fairy Tail manga Review

Natsu Dragneel is a Dragon Slayer whose element is Fire. Together with his partner, Happy, he explores the land of Fiore in search of Natsu's foster parent, Igneel (a dragon), who taught him to use a form of Lost Magic known as Fire Dragon Slayer Magic. While traveling, Natsu comes across Lucy Heartfilia, a 17 year old celestial mage who runs away from her wealthy upbringing to join the rambunctious guild known as Fairy Tail.

Lucy joins Fairy Tail where she meets Erza Scarlet, a female wizard who has the power to "re-quip" where she can summon different weapons and change armor at will. Erza is also widely known as the most powerful female member of the guild. Lucy also meets Gray Fullbuster, an 18 year old wizard who specializes in the magic known as Ice Make, which allows him to re-create any solid object and use them as a weapon. Gray has a fierce rivalry with Natsu due to their opposing personalities and magical elements. Later on, the group will then add Wendy Marvell - also a Dragon Slayer who specializes in Sky Magic where she can manipulate the air to her own advantage such as breathing powerful gusts of wind and heal a person's injuries and sickness. Wendy is usually accompanied by her partner Charle an exceed just like Happy.

Credit: Aiira

Story & Playability

The stories in Fairy Tail largely take place around the same areas (The Guild situated in fantasy-land Fiore and its members) which provides the mangaka with endless story opportunities. The beginning of the manga introduces young sorceress Lucy who aspires to join the Fairy Tail Guild and passes up no chance to do so. While on her journey she meets Natsu, a boy that claims to already be in the Guild and that is on a quest of his own. The two decide to join forces after a series of events and Lucy soon becomes a real Guild member.

Though a shonnen manga, Fairy Tail often feels like a story meant for a video game: all the members often set out on quests to either find treasure or increase their rank in the Guild which makes a nice change from the other predictable shonen Japanese comics.

Lucy soon joins forces with other members such as Gray or Erza and prepare to travel the world in search of adventures. The manga focuses on a certain character during each arc (for example, the second one reveals a bit of Gray's past), so it's easy to feel anticipation at the end of an arc. This is a really great technique to keep the readers interested.

Even if you're not interested in a certain part of the story, it's very easy to skip a few pages and still understand what is going on. So the chance of getting bored is kept at a minimum.

-Main Characters-
Fairy Tail contains a vast number of unique characters, anything from summoned creatures to strange natives. Each of the more important characters have a dominant feature which makes them easy to distinguish and get attached to.

Lucy - the main female character of the manga, a sorceress that uses Stellar Spirit magic (she summons spirits from another world to help her in battles). Often cheerful, Lucy loves to spend time with her companions, whether it's setting on an adventure or helping them solve a quest. She tries her best to cheer her up friends and keep peace within the Guild.

Natsu - he is the main male character that uses fire as a prime weapon against his enemies. Often carefree and clumsy, Natsu is happy to just prove his strength without thinking too much beforehand. He often argues with Gray (probably since his power is opposite of his) or any other member in the Guild. Natsu also feels sick whenever he is riding any mode of transportation.

Gray - he is often seen teaming up with Lucy and Natsu in order to help them finish a quest. Gray is an ice mage and his abilities seem to be of a higher rank than those of his friends. His exhibitionist nature is often played to comedic effect since it just builds more tension between him and any other character.

Erza - An S-class mage that uses specialized amour and weapons against her opponents. Very serious by nature,Erza likes to keep order within the Guild and doesn't accept nonsense from the members. At first she seems cold and distant, but gradually warms up towards the characters. Gray and Natsu seem to have had a ambiguous encounter with her in the past.

Rating: 8

Graphics

I had a really hard time getting used to the art since it feels so different to other more common styles. Visually, the manga resembles One Piece: the environments have a large amount of detail, the characters are simply drawn, but none of these features are shaded too much, so everything seems sketched. But as soon as you get used to the style these issues won't really matter.

What I love about this manga is the clever use of angles. Seeing as one of the characters is a flying cat, providing these kind of angles is easy and adds a little flavor to the chapters. The water is one feature that is drawn really well in Fairy Tail, and this is one of the times when the mangaka uses a lot of shading. The result is amazing and, when drawn on two pages, the body of water looks very realistic.

When put in dangerous situations, the characters are brilliantly drawn with ridiculous looks of surprise and horror that are almost always hilarious. The character's normal features are already very simplistic, so changing between these looks seem somewhat natural yet dynamic.

Rating: 7

Sound

The dialogue is well translated throughout the manga and feels natural for each character. Happy's "aye" certainly doesn't seem like it was translated from Japanese, but adds to the character's comedic side and helps the dialogue feel natural. The sound effects are also replaced by their respective English terms, so getting confused while reading a battle is not an issue.

There aren't many Japanese puns included in the dialogue, so reading is very easy. Since the manga relies on the images to tell the story most of the dialogue is kept short unless there is an important flashback needed explaining. Everything is to the point, fast-paced and enjoyable to read.

Rating: 9

Fun

-Enjoyability-
I had to pick up this manga about three times before I truly got hooked, so the start may be a little bumpy if you don't have the patience. But after the first chapter the manga and becomes really easy to read since you start to understand the story that's beyond told. I sometimes found the battles a little boring, but skipping them doesn't usually affect the story unless there is dialogue involved.

-Humor-
Most of the humor is provided by Natsu's reckless behavior or Gray's exhibitionist nature that, though used a lot, never seem to get old. Other characters also join in, and once somebody causes havoc everybody feels the need to abandon their civilized side and have fun, much to the desperation of the Guild Master.

Lucy's summoned Key creatures are also a source of humor. One of them constantly teases Lucy about the fact that she's single while others get out of control and cause mischief. And once something is destroyed Lucy is often blamed for it, even if she had no real fault.


Overall, Fairy Tail is a fun and pleasant manga that you can easily read and enjoy. The vast amount of characters guarantees diversity and getting attached to these crazy people is incredibly easy. It's just a shame that no anime has ever been made after it since the manga has a lot of potential.

Rating: 8

Final Verdict

8.00 (good)

Reviewed by Janny-Cats, Apr 10, 2009

Comments

  1. AngelOfChaos01 Apr 10, 2009

    Nice review, I agree completely, it really looks like One Piece by the way its drawn. And the moment it comes out as an anime, I'll be right there in the front of the line for my copy :nya:

  2. davidh01 Apr 10, 2009

    Another good review from you. Succinct and well-balanced observations and you've managed to get my attention for this title. Not sure whether it's entirely up my alley, but would be worthwhile checking it out on the basis of your comments. Well done... again.

  3. chumbariwap123 Apr 23, 2009

    woah! nice review, i agree to this

  4. arifffahdlanbinamin Apr 24, 2009

    really nice review....so agree

  5. Kearin May 14, 2009

    Nice review, sounds interesting! :]

  6. beryl0402 Jul 25, 2009

    oh i read the first chapter. thanks for the review :D

  7. Ilona Aug 04, 2009

    Interesting review. You noticed some things I haven't, I will try next time I pick A Fairy Tale book to see the use of angles.

    I like FT because it's quite light and doesn't go on lengthy figths. It is funny though the thing that really hooks me was the reapperance of Plue from Rave Groove Master... ok so now the author finally says that Plue is a dog though it is hard to believe he is, even Natsu doesn't believe it. I was a big fan of Plue, even if he is really anti-kawaii, with his ridiculous shaking, his small eyes, his dangerous nose (?).

    And there is an anime to come... not the thing that overjoys me.

  8. SchRita Aug 23, 2009

    Thanks for the review!

  9. ShadowNeo Aug 24, 2009

    interesting. thanks for the review

  10. Andy1308 Sep 25, 2009

    fairy tale is not the kind of manga that i'll usually noticed just by looking in a pile of books,but fairly enjoyable!

  11. SchRita Oct 28, 2009

    Thanks for the review!

  12. hitsu-chan Jul 20, 2011

    oooh, nice! :3

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