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.
I do not know what sort of drugs Hiro was high on when he drew these chapters, but chapters 341-343 had some seriously amazing art. I know Hiro has from time to time shown his ability to go the extra mile with fairy tail with one of those special images he will sneak in at the beginning or the end of the chapter. But these chapters were so consistently well drawn. I am not sure if saying that i was blown away has more to do with my low expectations and less to do with Hiro’s own skills.
A new arc has began and i for one am excited, the sort of excitement i haven’t held for fairy tail in a good two or three months. And i am glad to finally return to that point in my life as a fairy tail fan where i can finally crave for and even hold some excitement about the upcoming fairy tail chapters.
I have said it before, Hiro knows how to set events up, to create exciting situations that leave you dreaming about what will come next. The question is whether or not he can deliver. I for one will choose to believe that he can. I can safely say that these three chapters showcased fairy tail at its best. It’s funny, I wrote a fairy tail based blog post on Wednesday but i decided not to publish it on Thursday like i planned because i wanted to first read these three chapters and see if my conclusion in that post would be justified. I am glad it was.
The first chapter begins with quite a lot of fan service and in color, with Lucy and the other girls enjoying a warm bath in their new guild head quarters. It is revealed that ever since they returned as champions, they have benefited greatly from their popularity, with many a job streaming in for the taking with great rewards in play, making it an unnecessary effort to engage in the old battles over wh gets to take which job. We learn that a number of fairy tail mages have been hard at work for days, leaping from one job to another, including Natsu and Gray who somehow managed to put their differences aside long enough to team up. Same thing for Wendy and Erza.
Flare from Raven tail makes an appearance, looking liker her old crazy self. She is offered the opportunity to join fairy tail but declines. Elsewhere we see the fruits of some of the mages’ labor in a page or two.
Later we learn that one of the four gods of Ishgal, the strongest wizard saints, had requested a team of Natsu, Gray, Lucy and Erza to undertake a great task. Admitting to the mages being a better fit for the mission than he, even with his powers and the fact that he chose them specifically, the wizard, Walron Seeken speaks of an old village that worships an eternal flame which has for no fathomable reason been frozen in place with all its inhabitants.
Walron tasks the mages with solving the mystery of the frost and saving the village from its fate. But they are not alone on this quest. Four mages from Sylph labyrinth, a treasure hunting guild are in search of the eternal flame. This particular village is inhabited by giants and for a while now, there presence had prevented the group from obtaining their treasure. Fairy tail’s mission to free the giants is at loggerheads with their own mission, putting the two teams on opposing ends.
However while the parties squabble, a new party arrives at the scene, unseen, Succubus Eye, supposedly a dark guild of which Minerva is a part. She learns of fairy tail’s approach, though her attire and her words with regards to the underground make her intentions suspect.
As i inferred above, i am quite excited by the advent of this new arc and as always Hiro is doing a great job of setting the stage for what might turn out to be a brilliant saga. I liked what Hiro did here, sort of throwing back to the old days of fairy tail, with the sort of humor we hadn’t seen in a while, Gray and Natsu’s quarrels, Lucy and her run ins with people suddenly breaking into her apartment, even the mention of tasks and quests, making mention of and showing us glimpses of fairy tail mages out and about, tackling different jobs for money, it was a reminder of what fairy tail was about, outsideo f epic battles with dragons and all that.
It is the thrill of adventure that Hiro creates with the beginning of a new arc. While i am apathetic to fan service, i liked seeing some color in the manga, and i was surprised by how good it looked. The flare incident was surprising, that she could have been hanging around fairy tail all this time and no one knew. I was impressed by her decision to turn fairy tail’s offer down. I am now curious as to how her story will play a role in the future.
I was surprised by how humorous the comedy actually was. I had as of late lost interest in Fairy tail’s particular brand of comedy, but these chapters reminded me of why i used to find the material funny. The arc is off to a great start. We have a village of giants that have been mysteriously frozen and a guild of treasure hunters out to capture the so called eternal flame, which has been referred to as a deity, which means there are more twists and turns to come.
Gray mentioned a link to Deliora and how he was frozen. I am impressed by the fact that Hiro actually made use of some of these old elements of the story he introduced a while back. But one of the biggest revelations of them all was Minerva’s appearance. I mentioned before that i wasn’t too happy that she was all innocent and rehabilitated during the ball at the king’s palace. No way she could have changed so drastically so quickly after all the evil she displayed during the fights.
It seems though that she didn’t quite change her spots; i am actually curious as to who is the current saber tooth master. Last time i checked she was in charge. Either way her appearance in the last chapter was not only shocking but welcome. Unfortunately i have a feeling we will later learn that she really has changed and is probably undercover for the magic council. That is the kind of twist fairy tail is known for, and it would be a particularly unwelcome one.
We learnt here as well that Seeken, the Ishgal fellow was originally a member of fairy tail, having started the guild with Hades, Marvis and another fellow. We can now safely say that the Marvis we see is not in her true form. She was a girl 105 years ago. No way she remained like that, unless she died that young. And why would she be chosen as master over Hades when he was so much older. Clearly there is more to fairy tail’s history than meets the eye, and it seems like Hiro is intent on unraveling the mysteries behind the guild.
Which i love. The fairy tail mythology is growing and there are more stories to tell, hopefully they are all worth reading.
RATING:>4/5; these three chapters were interesting, and not to mention the art here which was brilliant. I hope we do not get another three chapters next week. I am starting to get used to this which means returning to one chapter a week will suck.
HIGHLIGHT: Minerva’s appearance, Seeken’s revelation.
On a side note, if you have not heard, THE FAIRY TAIL ANIME IS RETURNING. It has been officially confirmed by Hiro that the fairy tail anime will return on some undisclosed date. Now i have to say that besides that being good news, it says something about Bleach. Fairy tail has been gone three or four months and its already making a come back. Bleach has been gone for ages, since last year in fact and there has not been a whiff of its return. Fairy tail took a break because it was ridiculously close to the manga, just halfway an arc that hadn’t even ended.
If fairy tail returned this week it would still be really close to the manga because that same arc just ended. So fairy tail isn’t even a whole arc away like Naruto and one piece are (i am glad Naruto is finally getting back on track, hopefully one piece does the same, that business of dragging out events, doing like five pages of a manga chapter in an anime episode is just as bad as Naruto and its fillers), just half an arc away and yet it has returned. Bleach is miles ahead of where the anime stopped, no where near a risk of catching up, and yet it has yet to return. Bleach fans still holding onto hope, it’s time to quite. Bleach is gone.
Welcome to Anime Vice's Advanced Guide to Fairy Tail. This is a tribute to the wiki editors, the fans, and the success of Fairy Tail and l! In this guide, we will explore what is a guild, the types of magic, and the characters. Be prepare for a nice action packed and dramatic, tragic stories of Fairy Tail's characters!
We'll be covering up to Phantom Arc. After the Lullaby arc, the Galuna Island arc takes place before the Phantom Arc. For the Galuna Island Arc, it covers volumes 4-6 and in the anime, episodes 11-18. In the manga, the Phantom arc covers volumes 7-9 whereas, in the anime, it is episodes 21-30.
After Natsu and Happy befriended Lucy and take her to their guild for the first time, her first impressions of Fairy Tail is a bit wild. Even though her guild members are rough and rowdy, the atmosphere is warm and friendly.
To show that they have the skills, Happy steals an S - class mission flyer, and Natsu takes Lucy and Happy with him as they head off to Galuna Island. Over there, they learn about the curse of the moon that causes the locals to become demons. When Gray appears, he and his group meet his old friend, Lyon, who wants to revive Deliora and defeat him to prove that he has surpassed their teacher, Ur. Will Gray and his friends stop Lyon's plans?
After foiling Lyon's plan and solve the mystery of Galuna Island, Natsu and his group find their guild home impaled by iron pillars. As Fairy Tail guild discover that their group, Shadow Gear, has been pierced and hanged on the tree, Makarov declares an all out war with Phantom Guild. Unbeknownst to Fairy Tail guild, Jose Porla, the head of Phantom Guild has different objectives. Find out to see if Fairy Tail can defeat Phantom Guild.
|Voiced by: Shinichi Kotani R. Bruce Elliot|
Makarov is the guild master of Fairy Tail and Laxus Dreyar's grandfather. He is like a father to his guild as he gives them advice and protects his guild from enemies.
|Voiced by: Ryoko Ono Monica Rial|
Mirajane is the poster mage of Fairy Tail due to her beauty and cheerful personality. She poses for the Weekly Sorcerer magazine. She helps her guild by providing advice on jobs, and she mans the bar.
|Voiced by: Yuki Kaji Jerry Jewell (adult)|
Lyon Bastia is an ice mage from Lamia Scale and a student of Ur, Gray's teacher. He blames Gray for ruining his dream to surpass his teacher. Unlike Gray, Lyon's ice attacks are in the form of living creatures.
|Voiced by: Yuka Iguchi Trina Nishimura|
Sherry is Lyon's follower from Lamia Scale, and she puts love as her highest priority. Her magic allows her to controls inanimate objects. Plus, she has a huge pet rat named Angelica.
|Voiced by: Wataru Hatano David Wald|
Gajeel is an Iron Dragon Slayer of Phantom Guild who enjoys fighting. He attacks Shadow Gear and pins them to the trees. He is a vicious beast who gorges on iron to refill his magic. Like Natsu, Gajeel possesses a keen sense of smell and super strength.
|Voiced by: Mai Nakahara Brina Palencia|
Juvia is one of Phantom's Guild, Element Four. As a water mage, Juvia can change her body to water and form various attacks. She usually talks in third person and carries a teru teru bōzu.
In the world of Fairy Tail, there are concepts that you must know by now.
Fairy Tail's two arcs show the tenacity and the perseverance of these young mages who will not stop fighting to save their friends and their guild. To abandon their friend is taboo. There are a lot of action and major battles in the Phantom Guild such as a huge showdown between Element Four and Fairy Tail's finest mages. Also, you get to see some of Fairy Tail's mages' past history such as Happy's origin, Gray's past, and much more.
Welcome everyone to the Weekly Fairy Tail report! It's another busy week in Anime Vice for everyone. Lots of anime series are ending this week such as Fate Zero. Luckily, Fairy Tail is still running.
As Lucy and the gang listen to Dan's life story, Pantherlily and Samuel duke it out in the skies. Meanwhile, Gajeel and his gang fight some Griffon Kato statues after obtaining a clock piece; Elfman and his sisters find their clock piece, but Mary Hughes is there to stop them. With Dan and Coco unable to do the job, Byro appears. Will the Fairy Tail gang stop Legion before they obtained the clock pieces?
Overall, the episode is good but not satisfying enough to look forward each week. I'm stoked for Byro and Mary Hughes fights next week because Mirajane has another new form of Satan Soul. They better not disappoint the fans. In the episode preview, I'm puzzled why Erza's gang are in tight black spandex. I'm hoping we don't see the Big Butt Gang again.
These were from Random Curiosity.
I uploaded these shots. I loved these scenes.
Here's Shadow Gear and Gajeel's shots. I know it's a bad pun.
Thank you everyone for reading this weekly report and supporting the franchise. Please give some recognition to the wiki editors who are working hard on this wiki project and other projects. If you guys and gals love an anime series or manga series, feel free to drop a comment, do some reviews, blog, or do some wiki pages.
For wiki progress: Daniel Newton experimented with the navigator bar for the Fairy Tail episodes. See episode 1 for example. Wales and Obsidian609 are working on other projects. The Avatar the Last Airbender is a new wiki project that started this week with FoxxFireArt, Wales, and I as the editors. Daniel and I finished Ep. 137's page while I added origin sections to Dan Straight and Samuel's pages.
Team W.I.K.I. Nation and Fairy Tail
Pokemon Black and White Looks Delicious in Motion
First video of a Pokemon battle in Black and White.
Comment & Win: One Piece Vol. 52, 53
Time for a giveaway folks! Now, act civil, we don't want anyone to get hurt in the mad rush to win.
Beginner's Guide to FLCL
Gainax's madcap, surrealist anime, broken down for new viewers.
Steve gets intimately close to Dragon Ball Z, for science!
Top 3 Awful Anime Dubs
Grit your teeth and get your ear plugs ready cause this week we're taking on the three most amazingly bad dubs of all time!
HAYATE THE COMBAT BUTLER #2 -- Special Review
Wow... even the Narrator is taking pot-shots at him.
BLEACH Ch. 610 Review
Ichibe's fate is just about as brutal and obvious as Samuel Jackson's in DEEP BLUE SEA.
Anime Caption Contest -- 12/26/14
Last Caption Contest of the Year, New Year's Day Theme!