Japanator Review: Fairy Tail Vol. 1 and 2 (manga)


There's no denying that Fairy Tail is straight-up shonen manga. At first glance, you might think it looks like Eiichiro Oda's high-seas epic One Piece. You wouldn't be the first. But if you're paying attention, you'll notice that this is the work of Hiro Mashima, creator of equally popular Rave Master. Why go any farther? If it looks like and reads like the best shonen manga, it's not going to take much more to sell me! But, I'll continue for your sake.

In Fairy Tale you won't find rubbery-armed pirates or sword-wielding saviors, though the cone-nosed creature named Plue (from Rave Master) does make a return. This story focuses on a young sorceress named Lucy. This busty blond would do anything to join the famous Fairy Tail Guild, despite their reputation for rowdiness and recklessness. Lucy wants work alongside the best wizards and sorceresses, and maybe make some good money on the side.

Hit the jump to read more on Fairy Tail Vol. 1 and 2. 

Fairy Tail, Volumes 1 and 2
Manga by Hiro Mashima

Published by Del Ray, March 25, 2008

On a magic shopping expidition, Lucy runs into a spiky-haired, eternally motion sick wizard named Natsu, and his flying cat companion, Happy. The two end up saving Lucy from a slave driver who claimed to be part of Fairy Tail to lure girls into his trap. Eventually, Lucy finds out that Natsu is a member of Fairy Tail, and he invites Lucy into the fold.

What's great is that Fairy Tail makes no apologies about being a shonen manga, but doesn't take itself too seriously.  A world full of wizardry and magic could get pretty heavy quickly, but this story keeps things light, punchy, and really funny. Natsu gets close to tossing his cookies on any type of transport -- even on Lucy's back. And if a talking, flying cat wasn't weird enough, Happy's background gags will have you giggling chapter after chapter. Everyone at Fairy Tail is equally wacko: Natsu's rival Gray loves to strip for no reason, sorceress Cana Alberona is a hopeless drunk who drinks by the barrel, and wizard Loke is a ladies man that just can't stop seducing.

It's not all silliness, though. Fairy Tail has plenty of action packed in the first two volumes. Early on, Lucy finds out that Natsu isn't just any member of Fairy Tail -- he's one of the best and most powerful. He was raised by a dragon, and this gives him incredible fighting abilities that he puts to good use... after he gets over his motion sickness, of course. Lucy is no slouch herself, though. She is a summoner, and each of the creatures she summons are pretty powerful in their own right. I don't want to spoil any of the story, but I will say that the two manage to pull out the big guns when things start going south. So far, each of the confrontations have been a thrill.

On top of being fun and action-packed, Fairy Tail is visually pleasing. I'm most impressed with the sense of movement and depth in the action scenes. Mashima does a great job of giving you the sense of wind blowing, waves crashing, and enemies flying through the air. Outside of battles, all the characters' faces are hilariously expressive. Lucy probably has the biggest range, and I never grew tired of her eye-popped surprise face over the first two volumes. The rest of the time, Lucy manages to be cute and super leggy. The rest of the characters' designs don't stray far from standard shonen manga types, but there's still plenty of personality there. Some originality does poke its head out when it comes to enemy designs; the look of volume 2's fat, horny duke and his "beautiful" maids had me snickering until the end.
As it stands now, I really like Fairy Tail. It had a blast reading it, and because of that, I really appreciate Del Ray's decision to make this a two volume release.
I think they knew that the combined power of two volumes would hook us. At the tail end of volume 2, readers are left hanging, right before a massive showdown between an evil guild and "the most powerful team Fairy Tail has ever seen." I can't wait!

I breezed through this fun, crazy, action-packed manga, and found myself wanting more at the end. I wholeheartedly recommend Fairy Tail to shonen fans, but beyond that, I'm certain that just about any fan of manga would find enjoyment within its pages.

Score: 9.5 
Verdict: Fairy Tail is packed with fun. Don't miss it.

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reviewed by Dale North


Dale North
Dale NorthAssociate Editor   gamer profile

I am Destructoid's Editor-In-Chief. I love corgis. I make music. more + disclosures



Filed under... #del rey #manga #reviews



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