Erza Scarlet News

Erza Scarlet is a anime/manga character in the Fairy Tail franchise
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I really don’t understand Fairy Tail these days. I mean, I understand the kind of manga I am dealing with, but even removing it from more serious categories of manga doesn’t rationalize chapters like this, which seem so wasteful. If Hiro is pushing towards a specific end, I am yet to understand it, that is beyond continuing to ruin what was a really great story.

THE CHAPTER:

Face rises across the land. Minerva and Erza’s battle comes to an end as a surprising ally enters the battle field.

MY THOUGHTS:

Here is the thing; Fairy Tail is a story largely revolved around the idea of Nakama as some sort of empowering element; and that explains why so many of these arcs turn out the way they usually do.

But the Tartaros Arc is turning into a disturbing facsimile of the Daimatou Enbu arc; what turned the Daimatou Enbu saga into something less than impressive was the waste, the way Hiro created interested plots and threw them down the toilet, a stark example being Sting and his sudden decision to give up on an easy win.

At one point I thought that to be the worst thing to ever happen in the entire Fairy Tail, that is until these events in chapter 388, that basically saw Minerva receive the same very typical very cheesy Fairy Tail redemption usually assigned to less interesting villain.

SERIOUSLY? This was what we had been anticipating reading all this time? This is the epic Minerva/Erza showdown Hiro has been teasing since the last arc? Hiro gave us a glimpse of what could be earlier in the year, made threats of something new to come the next time Erza and Minerva clashed, possibly hidden demonic powers that might bring Erza and her Nakagami armor to her knees, possibly bringing about a surprise twist in the final outcome.

THIS IS THE DEMON MINERVA WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR? REALLY? I am…stunned at how these arcs and plots are starting to feel recycled; and I feared this would happen during the Daimatou Enbu, a justified fear after almost every villain in the tournament turned into a Natsu wannabe following the Fairy Tail mantra.

Except Hiro did the unexpected and presented MInerva as a truly immovable villain, one who wouldn’t be shaken by Fairy Tail friendship magic, and who couldn’t stop till she had laid waste to Erza and her crew.

…I just don’t get it. I understand what Fairy Tail is, and this rant isn’t about the series’ repetitive use of Nakama power related solutions such as this. My irritation is aimed towards Hiro’s continuous teasing, basically dangling one potential story only to deliver another less satisfying version.

This came out of nowhere. At no point was it ever hinted that MInerva would be undergoing this very sudden very unwarranted shift in loyalties.

I am so enraged by the events of this chapter that I am forgetting to mention Sting and Rogue, who ended chapter 388 with a bang. That is one surprise that was appreciated, because I am finding myself suddenly very uninterested in reading anything about any member of the Fairy Tail Guild. Except for maybe Gray. And Lucy and Wendy.

RATING: 3/10, one needs to ask. Does Fairy Tail have any actual villains to speak of? One might mention Zero but he was more insane than evil, and Hades made a recent shift from dark to light. Zeref has already proven that he posses some modicum of goodness in him, a light Natsu will no doubt bring out.

That doesn’t leave anyone that I can think of.

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I don’t know what Hiro is up to, giving us one of the dullest chapter in ages last week, then following it up with its complete opposite. This chapter was epic, exactly what it set out to be, a prologue to the Tartaros arc; though every time i begin to celebrate that Fairy tail is on its way back to greatness (if it ever was great) i am reminded of how good Hiro is at set up chapters, only to fail epically when it comes to actually delivering.

THE PLOT:>

The chapter kicks off with a look at the past, the magic council discussing Fairy tail’s return, their impact on the tournament and the possibility of cancelling the Grand magic games. The subject turns to Tartaros, with news of many guilds in the Balam alliance, affiliated to Tartaros, being annihilated over night. A few counselors seem to find the news suspicious, the way it coincides with fairy tail’s return.

Other counselors defend fairy tail, one suggesting that Tartaros might actually be responsible for destroying its own partners, in some strange bid to gain power while cutting away the weaklings. The Chairman, Gran doma, suggests action similar to the alliance between guilds that brought Oracion Seis, another member of the Balam Alliance down.

This time it would be the counselors combining their magic to bring Tartaros down. It is then that news reaches them of an intruder; explosions, initiated by a demon named Jackal, tear through the building, and when the smoke clears, only Daron Bolt and Org Roshi are alive. Daron bolt tries to help Org Roshi, who orders him to run as he falls foul of Jackal’s exploding magic.

Back at fairy tail, the guild celebrates its win and informs Makarov of all they had learnt from the village of the sun moments before the news reaches them.

Elsewhere Daron bolt arrives at the snake slayer’s (forgot his name) cell, informs him of the death of the counselor, and demands he tells him all he knows about Tartaros. The slayer will not budge, not even when bolt puts a knife to his neck. He wants bolt to secure his and the rest of Oracon Seis’ release before he can provide any information.

He does however provide him with an important bit of information; that none of the nine demon gates are even human, not even silver, but rather they are all demons from the book of Zeref (just like Deliora) and E.N.D is their lord, the strongest demon Zeref ever made. We catch a glimpse of seven of the gates assembling for a meeting.

MY REVIEW:>

I haven’t read a fairy tail chapter as good as this in a very long while. Actually the last time a fairy tail chapter got me this excited was when Gray died during the Daimatou embu, and even that chapter was mostly dull except for the end. This chapter does an epic job of setting up this next Tartaros arc, and clearly Hiro aims to raise the stakes of the battle this time.

I do not think we have ever seen villains as strong as this in fairy tail before, besides Zeref himself and Achnologia of course. The fact is Deliora was so strong that a mage as powerful as Ur had to sacrifice herself to contain it. If any of these guys are anywhere near as powerful as that, then Fairy tail is going to need a lot of Nakama power ups to even make a dent in this particular force.

It is interesting that this time the bad guys had the foresight to attack first; and the fact that one demon could lay to waste the entire council says quite a lot, either that the council was indeed that weak or that jackal is that strong. Seeing Daron bolt take a knife to the slayer’s neck quickly heightened the dark tone of the chapter. Clearly he was willing to kill to avenge his friends.

That brings up the question of the snake slayer. The last time we saw him, he was out of prison, fighting along side fairy tail to stop the dragon rampage. Then rather than escape, he handed himself back to the authorities and was returned to his jail cell. He clearly hinted to have heard something with his abilities in the time he was free and that led him to return to prison.

It is plausible that he knew of the Tartaros plot and, rather than gaining freedom all by himself, he thought to leverage his information for the release of his friends in the future. But that is another thing that doesn’t make sense. Oracion seis have never been the best of friends, despite being in the same guild. I do not see the snake slayer putting his life on the line to save them from their incarceration. So he clearly has something else in mind.

I am surprised by the deaths in this chapter; sure not exactly important characters, but none the less, people do not die in Fairy tail and that has always been one of its greatest weaknesses, its failure to go the extra mile and actually show the consequences of facing a powerful threat. Knowing that characters will not die in any situation usually innervates the sense of danger.

This time round Hiro might be moving to change that. This arc just might be what the Grand magic games arc was supposed to be but failed terribly, the best arc in fairy tail history.

It was interesting seeing silver in color; he didn’t look anything like Gildartz. More interesting though is the revelation that he isn’t human. That puts a spin on the devil slayer concept. Now we know why a devil slayer would hang around demons in the first place, and it makes you wonder if a devil slayer even exist. The way i see it silver is probably just a devil who is a slayer rather than a being that uses devil slayer magic per say.

It is like calling Igneel, a dragon, a dragon slayer because he can use dragon magic; it wouldn’t the biggest surprise if it turned out that Silver is actually a dragon slayer.

RATING:> 5/5, like i said this is the best chapter i have read in a very long long long while. And i know, Hiro is awesome at set ups but almost always fails to deliver in the end; but i will hold onto hope that that will not be the case this time.

HIGHLIGHT: jackal, that last page.

Edited by Takashichea - 10/19/2013

Removed all scanlation names

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I was seriously surprised by how much i enjoyed this chapter. Not that i was amazed, more like i had absolutely no interest in the chapter even as i was reading it, and hence found myself rather surprised at the fairly dynamic and unpredictable nature of the events that occurred.

THE PLOT:>

Gray Vs. Doriate commences. Doriate puts Gray on the defensive with his powerful attacks. Before Gray can regain his footing and counter, Doriate unleashes his magic once more, retrogressing everyone on the battle field to their child like state, including, Erza and Minerva.

As a kid Gray's attacks have absolutely no effect on Doriate and it is only with the help of Charlie and Happy, both too young to fly more than a foot or two off the ground, that Gray manages to stay ahead of the demon.

Nearly going down after just one hit, Gray notes that while his Ice is unable to hurt him, earlier on Doriate was hurt upon crashing into the frozen bushes, causing Gray to conclude that Doriate is vulnerable to the ice freezing the village.

Initially stomped on how to make use of ice he is unable to melt, Gray figures out a way to channel its magic into one hand, through his body and out the other hand, putting Doriate down with one hit.

Defeated, Doriate speaks of as Gray having been the one that had opened the gates to hell.

Before he can elucidate further though, a massive black bird descends and eats him.

MY REVIEW:>

I wasn't too enthusiastic to read this fairy tail chapter. The first few pages did little to change that with what was pretty shady art-which continues through out the chapter by the way.

None the less i was pleasantly surprised by the Gray fight. Of course Gray spent most of it on the defensive, but i loved the organic flow of events, watching Gray face an opponent he couldn't beat, try his best and logically fail, but choosing to try a different approach each time. It feels like every time Natsu comes up against an opponent he cannot beat, he keeps doing the same thing no matter how ineffective it is or how much of a beating he takes until his attacks take affect, basically taking advantage of the opponent's fatigue, if you think about it.

That annoys me about a lot of shonen heroes. Gray was using his head in this chapter and that much impressed me. He knew when to flee when threatened and when to attack. There was a clear path followed from facing the obstacle, analyzing the situation, locating a weakness and making use of that weakness.

And i was especially happy that Gray didn't use a Nakama type ability to somehow overcome the limitations of his small body. There were no sudden and unexpected power ups or never before seen techniques that gray pulled out of his magic bag. This was plain old strategic thinking.

That ending made the chapter for me though. We can safely say that this underworld business is going to take a much darker tone than i anticipated. I actually figured that the term underworld was just metaphorical, but Doriate seemed to be quite serious when he spoke of the gates of hell.

This arc seems to be taking a turn for the better, and i am happy we are done with the chibi gimmick. Finally we can continue the true Erza Vs. Minerva battle.

Next week's chapter is called the eternal flame. It seems we are finally going to put an end to this one mystery about what exactly the eternal flame is.

I am far from excited about next week's chapter, but i will admit to being a bit intrigued. Clearly the ice is linked to the underworld somehow. Doriate assumed Gray was linked to the underworld because he could use ice magic.

My prediction is we are going to learn more about iced shell, the powerful suicide type ice technique Ur used to put Deliora down. Clearly the ice encompassing the village is similar to iced shell's form. Admittedly i am curious to learn where this arc is heading, especially since it looks like we might get another Gray centric storyline.

RATING:> 2/5, basically okay chapter, the art was horrible actually. I couldn't follow the Gray Doriate fight. I hope there is an improvement next week.

HIGHLIGHT: The appearance of the giant bird.

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Another fairly bland fairy tail chapter this week. True it is hard to really fault the chapter when you consider that Hiro only has 22 pages to tell his story each week. I probably wouldn’t enjoy it so much if it seemed like the manga was rushing ahead way too quickly, giving no time to the process of building a base for the upcoming story. None the less i wish Hiro would strive to make these chapters a little more interesting than they are.
This week we continued along the Gray, Doriate battle. Gray proved to be an irritating little punk by constantly tricking the demon using his meager ice magic. Eventually though he comes to realize how little of a effect his magic is having on the demon, beyond merely infuriating him.
Erza is at the mercy of Minerva. She givers Erza a chance to beg for her life. Erza makes a nakama power speech that infuriates Minerva who moves to strike her down. Suddenly Erza’s body returns to its normal age and she escapes Minerva’s blade.
The two prepare to face off, with Minerva admitting to herself to having figured out a counter for Erza’s Nakagami armor.
We see both Natsu and Gray return to their original bodies, with Gray surmising that Doroite’s anger has allowed his retrogression magic to seize operation. However Doroite seems to undergo a demonic change in front of Gray’s eyes, taking on what looks like a reddish color while growing in size and ferocious power.
Gray finds himself facing an opponent that looks like he just walked out of the book of Zeref.


MY REVIEW:>
Admittedly there were actually some good things in this chapter. I was surprised to enjoy the Gray Doroite battle; somewhat enjoy would be more accurate. It was fun to see Gray use his molding magic to trick and outwit rather than over power Doroite, especially the way he kept creating false floors. It seems like we will have a real battle on our hands next week, with Gray finally returned to full power and Doroite having achieved a new level of strength.
It seems like this is going to be a very Zeref centric chapter. We have been getting a lot of references to Hades and the underworld as of late. While i cannot admit that i actually enjoyed this chapter, i am intrigued by the forthcoming chapters, at least based on what has been inferred so far.
I highly doubt we will be seeing Zeref, but something tells me we are going to see something big and new occur somewhere along the progression of this arc.
I am ecstatic that the whole retrogression thing has ended. Finally we can get back to Erza Vs. Minerva part 2. I am pretty excited to see what Minerva has up her sleeve with regards to Erza’s Nakagami armor. Truth be told i am not even sure what the armor can do but i remember how powerful it was.
Now that i think about it this was more set up than anything. And while it failed to excite me, it certainly did a good job of getting me hyped for next week.
If Minerva had fallen for Erza’s friendship speech, i would have stopped reading the chapter right there and then. I am really really really hoping we do not get a Minerva flash back in this arc. I for one am not interested in figuring out why she is so evil. Some times i just want my villains to be plain old evil, with no hidden and tragic pasts that, once resolved, will see them change their ways.
Seriously, Minerva becoming a good guy ( as she almost did in this chapter, there was a slight hesitation on her face), i will lose a large portion of my faith in this manga.
RATING:>2/5
HIGHLIGHT: Gray
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I do not understand why Hiro is choosing to approach this arc in a rather slow manner. As usual this chapter revolved around another member of fairy tail under going an age regression, which makes you wonder why he doesn’t have them all under go this effect all at once to save us from these sorts of chapters were little to nothing happened.

This time it is Gray’s turn, who run afoul of the sharp toothed dark mage. Gray has a moment to posture and threaten before shrinking back into his younger self. Suddenly the dark mage’s threats take on a more dangerous manner as he bounds up towards Gray, intent on carrying out his threat of consuming him.

He pauses upon coming up to Gray, now a child and cowering against the mage; the mage seems temporarily mollified, explaining that when some mages are shrunk back to their younger forms, those traumatic events that dogged their earlier life resurface with a vengeance, reducing them to whimpering children. For Gray it is the memories of his parents deaths, the attack by Deliora and everything that followed regarding Ul.

The dark mage overcomes any mercy he seems to have been contemplating, grabs Gray by the neck and prepares to take a bite out of him, making the comment that the boy had wondered into and was standing in the very boundary between Hades and the human world.

Gray breaks the grip with a less than powerful ice attack, seemingly overcoming his fears and preparing to take on the dark mage.

Elsewhere Erza is taking a beating from MInerva. She expresses regret at having to take her revenge with Erza so weakened, but decides that Erza’s death would suffice either way.

Wendy and Lucy learn why Flare came off as so evil, revolving around her being the only human in the village and how raven tail manipulated her.

MY REVIEW:>

I am starting to wonder if there will be any major villains left when fairy tail eventually ends. AS i was reading Flare’s confession and excuses for being evil, i started to realize how many of fairy tail’s villains receive redemption after some time. I wouldn’t be surprised if we learnt Hades survived Zeref’s attack and somehow turned over a new leaf.

All this comes back to my earlier suspicions that Minerva is going to make u-turn at the end and do something heroic, thus redeeming her character.

Seriously though, why is Hiro Mashima handling these age regression cases one at a time. We have wasted a couple of chapters now watching these characters revert to their younger selves one at a time.

I do not expect much from Gray’s fight. He is a kid after all, and even Natsu had to flee the dark mage in their first fight. I wonder what will happen if Wendy comes under the attack of the same magic. She is already much younger than the rest of the team. Speaking of which, i am starting to wonder how this magic works. The dark mage didn’t even look like he had to do anything special before Gray transformed.

Maybe it comes down to how close you get to him, which makes him that much more dangerous, if his magic operates automatically. I was slightly intrigued by the dark mage’s words about Hades. And i will admit to being curious as to whose voice Natsu is hearing. If he thinks it sounds familiar, i am going to take a guess and say he is heading for the eternal flame, and it is Igneel’s voice he is hearing from within. If not Igneel, then it is Hades, the fairy tail master.

During his conversation with Minerva, the dark mage mentioned the underworld. It would be interesting if he was talking about an actual underworld; though with the way things are going, i am pretty sure he was referring to their guild, which might prove to be a little underwhelming story wise.

RATING:> 2/5, come on fairy tail, pick up the pace. I am getting bored here.Next week’s chapter might prove to be interesting considering that Flare was leading Lucy and Wendy to the eternal flame. But considering that Lucy and Wendy are not my favorite of characters, i do not know how enjoyable that will be.

Highlights: None.

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Aaaaaaah, Hiro went ahead to do exactly what i was praying he would do his best to avoid.Suddenly this arc looks like it is going to take a more comedic cutesy turn.

THE PLOT:>

Last week the hunters bested fairy tail. This week find out that, following Natsu’s disbelief that mere humans without magic could defeat magical opponents, the hunters are not as average as assumed and are actually champions of the hunter guilds’ version of the Daimatou Enbu, making them fairy tail’s equal at least as far as accolades are concerned. Gray still manages to steal the moon drip which they go on to pass around among themselves as they avoid the hunters until it gets to Happy’s turn.

The exceed drops the bottle, causing panic. But as predicted it only melts a small portion of the ice on the ground and from beneath Natsu hears a voice using his enhanced senses which he says is familiar. He runs off to find it as everyone else follows, eventually colliding with the mage that was with Minerva on her first appearance in this arc. Before Natsu can react, the mage reverts him to his younger self, making him less of a threat.

Elsewhere Erza grapples with her tiny size and searches for a solution.

MY REVIEW:>

First the good bits: i am starting to like Sylph Labyrinth. They are proving to be very capable mages. I actually didn’t realize it last time that the hunters were human. I assumed they were somehow manipulating magic through their gadgets. The fact that they managed to hold fairy tail off so easily without magic makes them that much more impressive. I liked the bit about the hunters’ tournament, proving that they are just as capable as fairy tail, who are magic champions.

It took everyone way too long to figure out the fact that the moon drip was too little to prove useful. But i liked the comedic elements it injected into the scenes, especially when happy dropped the bottle and he asked Natsu to spank him. Erza’s scenes were funny enough, especially when she was imagining how different her life would be if she couldn’t revert to her normal age.

What i didn’t like was the age reversing bit. I am starting to fear that this is going to turn into a chibi arc. And i am not saying that it automatically means Hiro will mess up. Just that i have never seen a chibi related arc or saga execute well on screen. I will commend Hiro though. I still can’t predict where this story is going and that is good. If there is one place fairy tail goes wrong, it is when it becomes too predictable to be enjoyable.

I am starting to think that the enemy mage shrank Natsu and Erza because he heard from Minerva just how dangerous fairy tail was. That makes him seem weak though.

RATING:>3/5; overall a decent chapter, even though i didn’t like where it seemed to be going.

Highlight: Happy’s dropping of the bottle, the reactions of everyone.

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I am really starting to regain my faith in Fairy tail. Obviously that makes me naive because anyone that has read fairy tail extensively knows that Hiro never does anything new. None the less i am choosing to have hope in this new arc.

I enjoyed this chapter. Story wise, we didn't get anyway, but not every chapter of a manga series is able to create a natural pacing in story while constantly making new revelations. For now i am comfortable.

THE PLOT:>

Thinking about it, little happened. The chapter starts off with fairy tail pursuing sylph labyrinth for the moon drip. The dialogue here i mostly comedic. The hunters complain that they went through quite a lot to acquire the moon drip and it wouldn't serve their interests to give it up so easily.

They eventually stop fleeing and engage fairy tail, proving to be a formidable force. Fairy tail quickly realizes that they will have to take the fight seriously after the trio deflects there attacks.

Elsewhere Erza does a bit of investigation, discovering that the giants had been heading into the mountains when they were frozen, clearly armed and ready to fight against something.

At the mountain top, she discovers something and before she can react, she finds herself transformed a younger version of herself.

MY REVIEW:>

As i mentioned above, this was a fun chapter, compounding upon the quality of the last six chapters. The art was great and again i am not sure if it's me who has never paidmuch attention to fairy tail art or Hiro has really kicked his skills into another gear.

The story stalled in this chapter to focus on the action and that didn't bother me because as far as action chapters go, this was pretty good. I liked the uniqueness of the different mages, the giant fist like gadget and its potency against Natsu's flames, the sword with the stretching abilities, perfectly complimenting the sword skills and agility the mage wielding it displayed against Gray's ice attacks, and the sniper attacks that debilitated Lucy's arrow based summon.

I was afraid these guys would prove to be no different from the Garou knights, all talk and no bite. But i was pleasantly surprised when they put up a good fight. And, as mentioned above, the art in these action scenes was superb. One of the reasons i enjoy reading fairy tail is how fluidly displayed the action scenes are.

I do not know what to think about the Erza twist.

If all the characters end up reverting to their child like selves, i will not be happy. Those sort of clichés do not impress me. Clearly this is linked to the eternal flame which i assume Erza found located behind ice. whatever the case, i hope Hiro has a good story in store for me.

So far i have nothing to complain about.

MY RATING: 4/5, this was a decent chapter, short and concise. I cannot complain.

HIGHLIGHT: The fight between fairy tail and the hunters. Lucy looks like she is in for a beating once more. I am curious as to how they are going to deal with the sniper.

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Here is the thing, i haven’t been having the greatest fan of fairy tail in the past few weeks. While the chapters haven’t been exactly bad, there have been several disappointments that have left me craving for an epic fairy tail chapter to rejuvenate the excitement i held for the manga one or two months ago. I am none the less a fairy tail fan and will indeed continue to watch fairy tail until it ends, or at least i think i will. Who knows what Hiro will do in the times to come to completely alienate me from the series.

That aside, this post isn’t me trying to ask myself why i am still reading fairy tail (at least i don’t think so), like i am trying to convince myself that fairy tail is a good manga. As far as i am concerned, fairy tail might have its failings, but it is indeed a good manga. And i have come across a number of opinions on the internet disparaging fairy tail, so many in fact that i suddenly realized that whenever i stood up to defend the series, my arguments were always more along the lines of ‘fairy tail is better than you are giving it credit’

Basically i am always ready to defend fairy tail, but what i have never taken into account is why i defend fairy tail. So i say that fairy tail is a better manga than most people say, Why? Why do i read fairy tail? Why do i consider this manga to be a more impressive piece of work than many otaku believe?

Originally i wanted to approach this from the side of ‘why fairy tail doesn’t suck’ where i would basically locate those complaints that most critics aimed at fairy tail and counter them. That proved to be difficult, so this is going to be basically me explaining why i read fairy tail, which in turn will attack the question of why fairy tail doesn’t suck. So for all of you that have spent an age hating on fairy tail and simply do not understand why us fans bother, this is why we or at least i as a fairy tail fan read the manga despite all its faults.

---1-The Cast- I have always been a big fan of series with large cast and that is what fairy tail provides, a massive cast of characters and mages of all shapes and sizes (literally) with a diverse selection of personalities, abilities and backgrounds. Granted Hiro doesn’t make the best use of them. During any given arc, the action is usually restricted to a select few characters, specifically Erza’s group, but that doesn’t mean the rest of them are ignored.

Hiro does his best to give us as clear a glimpse into the lives of this multitude of mages as possible within his limited space. I like how Hiro, at least a hundred or so chapters ago, would start off each chapter by giving us a brief biography of each of the characters, specifically there full names, their backgrounds and specific form of magic, many of whom you would have never noticed before. It was a fun little way of letting use know who was who and without having to go into lengthy arcs, explanations and dialogue to make to make this information known to us.. Hiro is worth complimenting for the task of creating so many mages from one guild, putting that much time into giving them unique and distinct personalities and assigning to each of them a unique type of magic.

And while they never play a major role in the arcs, Hiro makes sure never to keep them too far. During the tournament they were always in the stands, cheering on the fairy tail team as they did their guild proud. Hiro always takes the time to switch the scenes around, using the likes of levy and bisca to shift the plot away from the central scene, to tell the story through a variety of other angles, making sure that a fairy tail chapter is never really restricted to one place, to one set of voices narrating the entire plot, but instead allowing other voices to jump in and contribute to the progress of an arc.

Basically despite the fact that they aren’t the most active group of people, they keep each chapter fresh and dynamic. You never know from which perspective you will follow the given plot. It also creates that whole ‘nakama’ atmosphere fairy tail speaks so often about.

---2-The Humor- strange individuals like to compare one piece and fairy tail. And while i usually disagree with them, what is clear is the fact that both series are funny. Sure i might not have beenparticularly happy with last week’s first chapter, but i am willing to admit that it was funny. Most manga have this problem where if nothing is happening, in other words when a chapter is fairly random and has nothing whatsoever to do with the primary plot, it will get boring. As fans we are interested in reading happening chapters, when something new occurs and the plot progresses. When that doesn’t happen, when a manga series decides to grace us with a chapter of nothing but downtime, we lose interest or at least get bored. Not so with fairy tail. Fairy tail, despite what is happening, always manages to inject some humor into the plot and that sort of thing will make the events of a chapter feel much less of a waste of time.

Even when you have to read a chapter revolving around the characters having a party or preparing to have a party, at the very least you will laugh. And when you consider the fact that all manga eventually reach a low point, when they are not at their best, it is comforting to consider that at the very least, each fairy tail chapter will get a chuckle out of me. In fact that was my biggest complaint with the dragon war; Hiro was simply injecting too much humor and while he is usually able to compliment his jokes with the events of a serious scene, this time he was simply ruining the mood.

I like to laugh and fairy tail gives me that. Hiro might not be the best at determining how and when to use humor but you cannot deny that he knows how to make us laugh.

---3- The Art- I will not go so far as to say that fairy tail is amazing art wise; there is however no getting around the fact that the manga is consistently drawn. The first time i came across fairy tail, i remember thinking that i hadn’t yet come across a manga that wasn’t only well drawn but so easy to read. Fairy tail is unbelievably easy to follow. Every image within every panel is drawn to flow seamlessly with every other image in the next panel, allowing for a more fluid picture to evolve.

The first time i read fairy tail, i remember being amazed at how easy the battles were to follow. Every panel has as much detail as you need it to have to give you an acceptable idea of where exactly you are. i remember reading chapter 338 last week, during the feast, and thinking that if this was bleach, we would get really close shots of Ichigo or whichever primary character was in play while everything and everyone else would fade behind a black or white background. Hiro had no problem adding those little details in, including shots of the partying crowd in the back as the primary characters interacted. I like that in a manga, a mangaka that doesn’t skimp on the details and provides us with as clear a picture of a scene as possible.

And when he really puts his back into it, Hiro will do some really amazing shots, usually large wide spread images. The fact is, it might not be the best or one of the best art works i have seen in manga, but fairy tail’s art and thus Hiro’s art is none the less brilliant.

---4- The world- I like the fact that the fairy tail world is so solidly developed. It is an intricately designed fairy tale of a world, with a (fairly) consistent set of rules, with a clearly distinct magical system with a fairly solid mythology. It is the sort of self contained and self sustaining world that many a manga never achieve. I like the fact that if i closed my eyes and thought of fairy tail, a specific image would jump to mind. Sure we might not have seen so much of the country or the world for that matter and i might have no idea what anything outside of Fiore looks like, but if you told me toimagine it, to draw a picture, describe what that external world would look like , i would be able to do so.

And that is because, despite his flaws, Hiro has done an impeccable job of creating a world wholly distinct from any other, that is a concept of its own, filled with magic and which can only seem to grow. I love the feeling of magic generated by the concept of fairy tail. Fairy tail is basically a fairy tale and it gets that idea across clearly. This world is rich in unique concepts and ideas, though the pitfall is that Hiro simply isn’t using it to its fullest. I have said it before; if Oda or Kishimoto were doing fairy tail, with its preexisting ideas and concepts, they would create a world class manga story.

As it turns out though, it feels like Hiro isn’t fully utilizing it, especially when you consider the fact that any idea or element that is introduced in any arc is immediately forgotten, never to be revisited again after that arc’s end. We are talking about a ton of characters that Hiro could better utilize to make his overall story that much richer, but he chooses to drop everything in the, choosing to move on to a whole new set of concepts and elements. Hell, even Natsu’s power ups don’t survive beyond an arc.

---5- The magic- there is not denying that fairy tail has a unique magic system. The magic itself isn’t really that intricate or quantifiable, and it wouldn’t really qualify as a system. It is more wonder than anything, sort of like how a magician on stage makes a flock of birds disappear. You do not really know how it was done, what sorts of ki or force he was summoning and how he was utilizing it to achieve…all that mumble jumble alot of better made magic systems tend to explain. It is more of ‘here is what i am going to do, here is a little idea of how i might have done it, but mostly, be amazed’.

In a way it is less accurate to say that i am impressed with the magical system and more likely that i am impressed with the different forms of magic utilized in fairy tail. Once more i am amazed by Hiro’s creative capabilities, to create so many different forms of magic, each of which somehow manages to be unique, not only in terms of comparison with other fairy tail magic, but in comparison with other magic and powers displayed in other series. Sure, we know that Natsu is a fire mage and he can shoot, manipulate, generate fire and all that. But Hiro takes it a little further in allowing Natsu the ability to eat fire for nourishment as well as the other unique ways he will do his thing in battle.

It is great fun to watch a new villain make his entrance, anticipating just what sort of power he will display and how Hiro will engineer his capabilities to stand out a little differently from anything that was yet to be seen in fairy tail. Basically i like the diversity of magic because it makes the fights that much better to watch. Watching Gildartz and blue note stinger fight was that much more fun to read because of the fact that blue note manipulated gravity while Gildartz utilized crush magic. The idea of how these two would clash wasn’t clear to me and watching the battle was more like solving a mystery that simply watching a brawl. How two magic forms will clash and work against each other is part of why fairy tail fights are fun to read.

---6- The wackiness- In this regard i admit that i do see the comparison between one piece and fairy tail. Fairy tail is a wacky show about wacky characters doing wacky things. I am amazed at some of the most silly of concepts and characters Hiro will develop in his many arcs. I am reminded of sugar boy, a character in Edolas who was dressed as a knight, in pink armor, not only endowed with the ability to makes things soft, but also enabled to fly, except that he couldn’t fly more than three or four inches off the ground. That meant that each time he is in flight, a portion of him usually his chest was scraping the floor, making his armor as much protection for him against the earth as it was against enemy attacks.

It is such antics, such panels that i find to be absolutely silly and quirky, and one of the elements that keep me interested in fairy tail. This is a crazy series in more ways than one, which, i guess, makes the jokes that funnier.

---7-The Simplicity- as much as i will rant on once in a while about how fairy tail simply fails to hit the deeper notes of its stories, i cannot really complain because that is what fairy tail is about. It was meant to be fun and cheery and as such very simplistic. There are no complex ideals to ponder, not disturbing philosophies to ruminate, no intricate plot twists and story lines that will leave youscratching your head as you try to figure out what is coming next.

Fairy tail at its core is exactly what it looks like, a fun little show about good Vs. Evil. Good guys go out, good guys find bad guys, bad guys do bad things and good guys beat the peanuts out of the bad guys. It is that simple and most times, you will have fun watching these events happen. Someone has said that to watch fairy tail and enjoy it, you need to stop thinking, to stop trying to work out how events will turn out because chances are you will predict a majority of the story; what you need to do is sit back and enjoy a kick ass show about a group of mages fighting bad guys.

It is no death note, but it will entertain you if you let it. At the end of the day this is a fairy tale, and as such when it is all said and done, every turn will close with a happy ending; but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy watching those happy endings happen. Basically fairy tail is fun if you give it the chance it needs. If you attack it like any other serious manga series, it will not work for you. Sure Hiro has proven himself capable of weaving some impressive mysteries. But none the less if you sit back and let fairy tail do what it does best, be fun and simple, you will enjoy it.

That is hard advice as i too get frustrated with some plots because i will eventually over think them, but that doesn’t mean i still don’t enjoy fairy tail.

---My last and final point- It’s awesome- there is not denying the fact that fairy tail is awesome, at least to me it is. There is a reason why, before the thousand year blood war arc, i ranked fairy tail higher than bleach. And that is because at its best, fairy tail can be that good. The story is unique, having guilds with mages of different styles taking on jobs, not for the fun of it, not foradventure per say but to make money and make ends meet.

The characters at their best make for interesting reading. I am still shocked that Hiro managed to pull that much drama out of Cana. She is one of those consistently drunk characters you never give much thought to.The plot is properly paced and Hiro never forgets to throw in a twist or two along the way. You might be able to predict how an arc will end, but the journey to that end will constantly surprise you. It has great magic and the fights are epic. And the art, as mentioned above, is brilliant. There is no denying the fact that Hiro knows how to draw a fight and to illustrate the effects of the different magical styles. And of course the manga is so easy to follow and read.

You could say that Fairy tail’s biggest problem is how it ends its arcs. So many of its finales are the same and you can tell that a happily ever after ending is coming. It’s like Hiro puts all his effort into making the journey a brilliant one, actually breaking one or two shonen rules and really catching you off guard, only to let the ball drop at the end. It should be the other way round. Hiro doesn’t give most of the more interesting characters time to shine or even get involved in the plot. And i wish every fight wasn’t solved with a power up or nakama power. Plus there have been some plot holes, some explanations of events that have not made sense. I still refuse to believe the whole eclipse gate business. None of what was said made sense logically.The focus on Natsu in every arc and the fact that each arc must end with his involvement is irritating.

But here is the thing, even with all those problems, you can enjoy fairy tail, which is why it is awesome. Sure it has it faults, glaring faults in fact, but that doesn’t detract from its entertaining value.

So here is what i have to say in conclusion, if you are not already, READ FAIRY TAIL.

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