In recent years, I've become incredibly bored with the Shounen genre. Maybe it's all the movie and television studying I've done, meaning Shounen becomes very predictable, or maybe it's how long they go on for *cough*OnePiece*endcough*
As you can tell by the score, Fairy Tail is different. Unlike animes such as One Piece, Naruto and Bleach, the story arcs in Fairy Tail don't last forever, in fact, in all 175 episodes, there's only 14 arcs (the 15th is still going, even in the manga), as such, story arcs do not feel like they are dragging out, which makes Fairy Tail much more accessible and, overall, a lot more fun to watch.
The story starts off with Lucy HEARTFILIA, a young girl who dreams of entering the guild named 'Fairy Tail'. Along the way, she meets a young man named Natsu DRAGNEEL, who is the infamous "Salamander" of Fairy Tail and his flying talking...cat, Happy. It turns out that Natsu is looking for his dad, who just so happens to be a dragon! After Natsu saves Lucy from a fake "Salamander", he takes her to Fairy Tail, so she can be a member.
After a couple of episodes, a strong and powerful Fairy Tail member, Erza SCARLET insists that her, Natsu and (Natsu's eternal rival/friend) Gray FULLBUSTER team up to stop a very powerful foe. Lucy also tags along, after another member asks her to keep an eye on Natsu and Gray. Thus, the real adventure begins.
Like I previously mentioned, the story arcs in Fairy Tail aren't that long (the longest is 27 episodes, the next being 26, while there are two arcs that are 20 episodes) with some being incredibly short, for Shounen at least, being as little as 3 episodes long. It does mean that fights do not drag out for ages and ages, if a fight is started in an episode, it will most likely be finished in that episode.
The reason for that seems to be, that Fairy Tail focuses more on it's comedy than it does with it's story. Sure, there's an overarching story, but it seems to take a back seat. The characters are not focused on what will happen in the future, instead they act in the moment. While I find that a great thing (as I can relate to it) I sometimes wonder why they aren't just going after the main antagonists, but instead facing the little guys.
And that brings a point...Fairy Tail isn't all that good and I find, personally, it's all down to the characters. Namely, the main characters. Let me explain;
One of the earliest arcs is called 'Galuna Island Arc' which is, in it's core, Gray's arc. It focuses on his backstory, he gets the most screentime and the antagonist is related to him. This is something to keep in mind, as every story arc can be associated with a character. One of the next arcs is callled 'Tower of Heaven Arc'. While the arc in itself is pretty good (bringing two amazing blue-haired characters into the forefront) it is the end which annoys me.
As I mention with Galuna being Gray's, Tower of Heaven is Erza's arc. The villain is someone from her past, we learn about her backstory and she get the most screentime. Everything is the same as Gray's, expect one thing...at the end, it is Natsu that defeats the villain, even though it's not his arc.
This is when I started getting annoyed at Natsu, as this happens in every arc afterwards. Natsu showing up, defeating the villain and saving the day, even though he has no place there. Likewise, I feel Erza simply got boring after her arc and lost all her appeal.
Unfortunately, it's after this arc that Natsu and Erza become more annoying. Natsu always defeats the villain of the arc and Erza never gets beaten in a fight. In fact, the only time Natsu loses is agaisnt his own guildmate, who is probably the strongest character in the anime. Nevertheless, Gray remains as cool (pun?) as ever, Lucy is...there...and Happy continues to provide comic relief. I would go into detail about when and why these characters annoy me, but I feel I'm spoiling a lot already. But, while the main characters start to dissapoint over time, it's the side characters that really make Fairy Tail.
The beautiful poster girl for the guild; Mirajane STRAUSS, her 'manly' brother; Elfman STRAUSS, the gunslinging duo; Alzack CONNELL & Bisca MULAN, the (suprisingly) sober drinker; Cana ALBERONA, the cute bookworm; Levy MCGARDEN and her friends/followers/lovesick-puppies Jet & Droy, the spiky powerhouse; Laxus DREYAR, who even comes with his own personal bodyguards; Freed JUSTINE, Bixlow & Evergreen, the eternal flirt; Loki...the list goes on and on...and these aren't even a percent of how many awesome people are in this anime.
The side characters really make this anime into the spectacle it is. Mirajane is my favourite character in all of anime. She's incredibly beautiful, fun spirited and always a delight...just don't make her mad. Similarly, you have Levy who, when you look up the word cute in the dictionary, you will see a picture of her. On the other hand, you have my second favourite character, Laxus, who just defines badass...and he knows it! Plus, Laxus' arc is one of my favourite arcs in all of anime!
Overall, Fairy Tail is an anime which I recommend people at least trying out. Shounen isn't for everyone, but everyone likes to laugh...even if you are a meloncholy shadow wizard...while I may have exaggerated how much the main characters annoy me, I personally watch Fairy Tail for the humour and the huge roster of amazing characters.
Oh, and you thought this review was long? I didn't even begin to explain all the brilliant things of Fairy Tail!
"Do fairies really have tails? Do they even exist... Like them, this place as an eternal mystery... A never ending adventure!"