First off, where are the new chapters of Negima, anyway? I haven't seen a chapter since the end of October...missing about two week's worth of chapters, and there was no word of a hiatus or anything. That's one of the mangas I follow diligently every week, so I'm just a little peeved that there hasn't been anything new.
Now, to the main dish...Fairy Tail! When this manga first started, it was refreshing, interesting, funny, and deep all at the same time. I'd laugh, I'd cry, I'd stare incredulously at the chapter...it did everything right. That, and one doesn't often see a well done fantasy anime/manga outside of CLAMP's works.
However, as the chapters of Fairy Tail grew in number, the series started to degenerate into the "Natsu Show"; the "One Man Show". Compare to Goku from Dragonball Z if you don't understand. He's the hero that always takes on the bosses, basically, because nobody else is strong enough.
In the S-Rank arc, there were at least two situations where everyone could have worked together to finish off Hades, and instead, they throw Natsu, who had the least amount of power of all of the ones fighting, at him. That's what did the series in for me, and made me knock it down a bit in the ratings.
Why bother reading the build of a saga? Because there are enemies tha might turn good, or can be sympathized with? I suppose...or the off chance that something cool will happen, like Gray's fight with Ultear. However, we all know how it's going to end:
Natsu faces the Big Bad of the arc, Natsu gets his ass kicked, then Natsu gets a power up and destroys Big Bad...onto the next arc to lather, rinse, and repeat!
Now, this chapter picks up where the last one left, off, sort of explaining what's been going on in the 7 years that the main protagonists were frozen on Tenrou Island. It starts and revolves completely around two new dragon slayers that are just as powerful as every other dragon slayer we've seen. Oh, and they also have some exceed pals with them.
New pals, new enemies, or new rivals? Either way, they're dragon slayers, so they're strong.
I'm not going to stop reading yet...I'm going to watch this and see where it goes. The entire situation with the dragons, the number "7", and the dragon slayers is long overdue for explanation and dealing with. Natsu is the only one of the main protagonists (Natsu, Lucy, Gray, Erza, Wendy) that hasn't had to confront his past. It's long, long overdue.
If this starts to branch off into something else, then I might stop reading and pick it back up again if it ever finally starts to deal with the dragons.
Mangaka these days seem to be trying to compete with Bleach and Naruto, which to me, is a big NO-NO. I stopped reading Bleach way back when Orihime was first captured since all the stalling and insane rises in power was annoying me, and Naruto...yea, that actually started to go bad once Orochimaru was first introduced and around the Chuunin exams, but just got rediculous later on, so I dropped it, too.
Stall tactics? Super power ups? Cliche stuff? Yea...if I wanna see that, I'll go watch or read Dragonball Z. If Mashima-sensei starts to make the same mistake and attempts to compete with Naruto and Bleach by trying to match the stall tactics and patterns...I'm done.
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