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A Look @ Fairy Tail Volume 33 & 34

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Fights everywhere you turn

Before we take a look at the latest volumes of Fairy Tail, let’s take a look at where we’re at in the story. The members of Fairy Tail are in the midst of the Grand Magic Games. Held to determine which guild is the strongest, Fairy Tail has been at the bottom of the rankings for the last several years due to all of the strongest members being shifted through time in prior volumes. In order to restore their reputation, the time-displaced members gather together and challenge the world, though things are quite a bit different from when they last were around.

After barely squeaking by the first portion of the competition, the members of Fairy Tail have not been performing well in the one-on-one fights. Lucy and Mystogan both lost their matches, leaving both Fairy Tail teams dead last. They’re going to have to make some points quick or they risk falling too far behind to catch up. However, if there’s one thing you can bet on, it’s that Fairy Tail will find some way to come out on top.

Hit the jump to find out how!

Fairy Tail Volume 33 & 34
Creator: Hiro Mashima
Translated by: William Flanagan
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
MSRP: $10.99 Physical / $7.99 Digital
Released: 12/3/2013 (Vol. 33) & 1/7/2014 (Vol. 34)


At this point in this large, multi-part arc, Fairy Tail is desperately behind in the Grand Magical Games. In order to stand a chance at reclaiming their place as the strongest guild, they’ll need some points and fast. That means more one-on-one fights. Now, typically this is where my eyes would start rolling. In most shonen franchises, the tournament setup is used when the creator is either stalling for time or is out of ideas. It’s a good excuse to have your characters stick around in one place and have flashy fights. This time around, the tournament conceit actually makes sense in the story and doesn’t feel out-of-place. After all of the heavy hitters disappearing for seven years, it would make sense that Fairy Tail’s reputation would take a hit and they would do anything to bring the guild back to its former glory.

Thus taking us to the slate of fights across these two volumes. We’ve got a good combination of gag-based battles and serious, story-altering tussles. The Elfman/Bacchus fight manages to combine both to great effect. For one, it legitimizes Elfman, who I feel has gotten short shrift thought the entire story. Two, it forces Quatro Cerberus to change their name to Quatro Puppy. Childish, yes, but psychologically devastating. For other good, serious battles, the Kagura/Yukino and Laxus/Alexi fights need to be mentioned. The Kagura/Yukino fight adds fuel to the Saber Tooth/Fairy Tail conflict when Yukino gets the boot for losing and the Laxus/Alexi fight is just impressive, as Laxus takes on the entirety of Raven Tail and comes out on top.

Speaking of Saber Tooth/Fairy Tail conflict, the biggest highlight for me across both of these volumes is Natsu’s solo-attack on a guild. It’s a mark of the fire wizard’s physical fortitude that he stood toe-to-toe with the Saber Tooth headmaster and his belief in camaraderie. One of Fairy Tail’s strengths is the bonds of friendship and family that the members of Natsu’s guild form with each other and that chapter encapsulates it. The final pages of volume 34 take things a step further, when Minerva beats Lucy within an inch of her life. With things getting more personal, it’ll be interesting to see how those conflicts become more heated as the Games get further along.

My only gripe with these volumes has to be the mysterious references to Eclipse. Knowing what happens later, the way things are depicted is a bit misleading and leads to some confusion later on. Fairy Tail is at its weakest whenever Mashima relies on big doomsday devices and the later arc swerve is the result of either sloppy storytelling or poor planning. Like a lot of things in fiction, problems could have been prevented if things were presented in a succinct fashion. Oh well. Everything else in these volumes should please long-time readers.

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Fairy Tail reviewed by Pedro Cortes

 

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Pedro Cortes
Pedro CortesAssociate Editor   gamer profile

Pedro Cortes has been known to swoon at the sight of a robot. This is understandable, as robots are pretty awesome. more + disclosures


 


 


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