Beginning in August of 2006, Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima is one of the most popular manga series currently running in Japan. Ranking in at no. 16 in overall sales this year, It boasts over 50 volumes and counting. The series has an anime which is ongoing, and various spin-offs manga (such as Fairy Tail Zero and Fairy Girls).
The world of Earth Land, this story world, begins on July 2nd, X784. This story takes place in a world mixed with Industrial and Medieval themes. There are trains, early versions of vehicles, clocks, and plumbing, while the bigger buildings are Castles. Cars also seem to be able to use magic as fuel, making them useful for mages. Mages are central to the story, as everyone introduced is a mage.
Magic is how Lucy Heartfilia, Natsu Dragneel, Happy, and the rest of Fairy Tail live and work. Magicians also specialize in certain types of magic. Magic has 3 classifications of it: Caster Magic, Holder Magic, Ancient Magic, and Lost Magic. Caster Magic is magic which is expelled from one’s body. Holder Magic is magic that needs outside sources of energy to be cast. Ancient Magic is magic which is known to be from Ancient Eras. Lost Magic has been forgotten by most, yet still is known to a handful of people. Within these classifications there are many more types of magic. These, however, are the most frequent: elemental magic, transformation magic, spirit summoning magic, and dragon slaying magic.
Magic, however, is not the only cornerstone of this story and world. Guilds are the main source of employment, and most magicians are apart of one. The Magic Council oversees guilds, punishing any guild and magician which they deem did ill. There are 3 categories of Guilds in the world of Earth Land. The three categories are Legal guilds (Those which the Magic Council deems legitimate) Dark guilds (Those the Magic Council deem illegitimate and dangerous, demanding their disbandment) and Independent guilds (those the Magic Council do not recognize, but allow the workings of). A guild falls into one out of three categories. There are Magic guilds, Merchant guilds, Mercenary guilds, Treasure hunter guilds, bandit guilds, and workmen guilds. As there are a variety of them, guilds make up a portion of employment and are a primary source of income for many.
Fairy Tail is, as stated before, the guild which the characters belong to. The guild is a Magic guild, as they fulfill requests posted on their board by anyone, and band together with other Magic guilds to defend against Dark guilds and wars. Everyone in the guild values strength and friendship, and while they do get into brawls amongst each other. They genuinely care about their fellow guild members, and go to great ends in order to help each other if necessary. They value each other’s lives, and are willing to do anything to save their guild members if they’re in danger. As stated early in the series, everyone in the guild has a past they keep secret, and everyone knows all of them have a secret as well. It may seem that these secrets could play a part in the story overall.
This series, I think, is heavily influenced by echoes of the characters pasts. Fairy Tail is full of interesting characters, and while it has its laughs, it does serious situations correctly. The art is good at the start, but just by looking ahead, it seems to have improved vastly over the years. As this review was written based off the beginning of the series, it is not a full review.