Ah Fairy tail the X box one of anime. Oh how you try to appeal to all and make a convulted disjointed mess of a story and come across as prententious and arrogant. Basically what Fairy tail has to offer is done better elsewhere and this is coming from someone who read a large portion of the manga and couldn't stand the series any longer despite enjoying it in the early stages. I won't tell you how its a series aimed at 12 year olds or how you cannot like the series because you know what you can like what you want but I will reccomend you to do otherwise. Also unlike other critics I don't think it is aimed at 12 year olds due to the huge amounts of fan service in the series. Despite the low score caused by vast disappointment I will go on to confirm why I believe so and if you can change my mind you are more than welcome to try. We can only make progression through discussion after all and now onto the review.
Now where do I begin lets see... Well to be fair despite the low score I have given it, the series did have an appeal at first as the first few arcs up to the Luxus arc were typical character building arcs in long series which weren't too bad. So what went wrong? After Luxus arc the series clearly had no direction and didn't know what to do with itself we had Oracion seis one of the big bad of the series and they were awful with at least we did get some insight on the other guilds which was a plus. However this is where we begin to see a pattern forming in Fairy tail... The villains are bad! They are not just bad but they are outright terrible and the true big bad of the series is pretty much the king of emos who is yaoi fangirl bait. We then find out that in the arc of the reveal of the big bad that the villains are completely pants on head retarded and have achieved absolutely nothing in the entire series. Who wouldn't want to be a member of Fairy tail when their opponents are powerhouses that are incredibly stupid, it doesn't help that a lot of the baddies happen to be gonks that are designed for you to hate them. If they happen to be pretty you can expect them on joining fairy tail or another light guild as those who are pretty can be used as fan service later on where as gonks die because nobody cares about a gonk.
The story direction is a disjointed mess which for the first few arcs can be forgiven but there is only so much you can forgive. As the only real progression has been in a single arc after the Luxus arc and since then the hype train has gone off the tracks to add some filler that has plenty of fan service so its okay apparently. The fights are not compelling in any way as throughout the story they win for hax reasons, when Lucy finally obtains a really overpowered spirit she doesn't use it to add extra tension for no reason. Natsu has shown no signs of getting stronger and can't seem to win a single fight in nearly the whole series without breaking the suspension of belief in the current setting he is placed in. Once can be forgiven as the author slipped up by making an opponent too hard but this is just silly to have it happen nearly every fight. Not only is it repititive but it creates artificial tension that gives an author a reason to be incredibly lazy.
Another problem is the author is controlled by his fans and if you want proof of this you would have to look in the manga as the anime tries to hide his mistake. During the S rank arc the character Blue note was a last minute added character as his character design was ugly and rushed and evident when an artist of his caliber can do much better. Blue Note only existed so badass Gildartz could have an opponent to defeat to show how mighty he is. Also you know Blue note beat a regiment of something and that was meant to be incredible for some reason you never know because the author doesn't explain to you why that is so incredible as you don't know what they are that Blue Note beat.Want more evidence well here it is. The author was originally planning on having Fairy tail defeated that arc but changed his mind after poor fan reception that clearly hates to see their beloved Fairy tail ever lose. Didn't you find it suspicious that someone as strong as Gajeel barely beat two subordinates with Levy when the main seven were beaten quite easily in some cases by people as strong as Gajeel. Remember the seven are much stronger than the two subordinates because they are as stated subordinates. As you can see it shortly after this arc I quit the series in disappointment with no compelling villains and no direction there was no reason to tolerate this rubbish any longer. Not many would know what I did and I have stated above because they were not as big as fans as I was at the time and they are not familiar to these techniques applied by desperate authors that have no faith in their own story that they bend to the will of others.
As for the bonds of friendship and the comedy within the story well I am afraid fans of Fairy tail it is done better elsewhere. In terms of a light-hearted show with crazy ideas and inconsistent plot you have gintama not only are the back stories of characters more heart wrenching and done better but the comedy in this series is vastly superior. It's main villains also arn't pants on head retarded either. That Yaoh arc in Gintama was especially incredible with the Tsukuyo having a very interesting and sad back story which no character from Fairy tail can compare to. They did at one point admitedly when poor Mira Jane, Elfman and Natsu had to deal with Lisana's death... ONLY SHE NEVER DIED TO BEGIN WITH! So much for character development there not only did we have a character in the series that died for character growth and development and to give a compelling development return but she is a carbon copy of Lucy in terms of personality. Which is why Lucy reminded Natsu so much of her because they have the same personality the only difference between the two is that they have different magic. An Epic fail just to give that douche of a main character Natsu a possible love triangle and to add another fan service character as if Fairy tail didn't have enough already.
Gintama trumps Fairy tail in both comedy and bonds and is far more realistic about it so its easy to relate to it and Gintoki isn't a flamming thug with no personality or development like Natsu. Bleach does comedy better, One piece and even better example in the shounan category as you have characters like Nami that have a terrible past and it goes to show how much better and more realistic the bonds are between the straw hat crew members than the Fairy tail guild. Beezlebub is more funny too and to think even now we don't have a 2nd series of History's strongest disciple Kenichi and we get 175 episodes of rubbish instead makes me a little sad. HSDK beats Fairy tail in every category as well in terms of bonds, fan service and character development with a consistent story tying everything together. It also doesn't have pants on head retarded villains. The underrated Toriko series is better than this junk as well but I doubt you fans would like it much due to it completely lacking in fan service but thankfully yet again it doesn't have pants on head retarded villains.
You may question why I make of point of stating why its important for shows like Fairy tail to have decent villains well you can't endear yourself to their plight and you can't feel like they have achieved anything over the course of the entire series. Natsu doesn't power up, whatever they have learned from the previous arcs does not seem to carry over to the other arcs despite having more backstory to that character and in the end you have to question what you are really watching this series for? If its comedy watch Gintama, Beezlebub or One piece or even a series dedicated to comedy like the incredile Yahari series that is airing right now. If its fighting with tense moments in it then yet again watch something like Toriko or One piece they do this so much better. If its magic then watch To aru that is how magic should be done instead of sparkly bright light that does whatever you want it to because herp derp derp magic doesn't need explaining. If its bonding then watch One piece, Gintama and watch Persona 4 anime or play the Persona games that is how bonds are really made not the pretentious rubbish that Fairy tail comes up with.
No complaints here but I don't really watch anime for their animation quality alone and I would like to think no one else does either.
I actually liked quite a lot fo the opening but the endings not so much and the soundtracks do go with the battles quite well its just a damn shame the battles are always such a chore to watch and not exciting at all.
Oh this is going to be fun considering how dire the cast of Fairy tail is and the back stories are so poorly done in comparison to its rivals and there is pretty much no character development what so ever.
One of the worst male leads I have ever seen in a popular shounan series. This guy is a carbon copy of Luffy and doesn't even try to hide it apart from he is far, far worse than Luffy. Instead of having a straw hat he has pink hair just to appeal to fan girls he has a bare chest showing off his manly six pack but is such a lovable idiot...Only that he isn't at all. Natsu is the bad kind of stupid and unlike Luffy he has no development he has no tragedy he is just straight up out of place with this cast of characters. The only sad thing for poor Natsu is Igneel found him a pain in the arse and left the little brat to rot and I don't blame Igneel I would have done the same. Shame Makarov had to find him and do the world of fairy tail a huge disservice by keeping him alive. He had some form of development until we find out Lisana didn't die so that was flushed down the toilet. A hot headed thug is the best way to describe Natsu, an arrogant weakling that has to rely on all forms of help despite actually believing he is stronger than them because he has friends. He also has a more evil expression on his face than the villains of the series when he is angry and if you dared to even critcise Fairy tail then he would straight up punch your face in. That is not how people in any world should behave and if you use Natsu as a role model in life there is only one path you will take in life and it happens to skip out on go and take you directly to jail. Just to rub salt to his wound out of the main four his magic is by far the most boring and he might as well just bought magical flaming gauntlets instead of the pretentious rubbish that is fire dragon slayer magic.
Now Lucy had a very interesting type of magic and I thought this could be a unique shounan that has a female lead develop across the series into a powerful female that could be a role model in the world of anime and manga. Nope and boy was I wrong Lucy stays as useless fanservice and her fights are always full of comedy if you can call that funny. She is actually pretty powerful especially with her latest spirits but the spotlight is stolen from her by the thuggish Natsu and she was a huge opportunity missed a very big shame indeed. If her back story was as compelling as Erza's and her fights more serious and shown some serious progression she would definitely be a female to admire instead she is a joke.
Again this character was potential wasted and while his fights are far more interesting than Natsu's own this unfortunately isn't much of a compliment when you think about how poor his fight with Ultear was. Interesting magic but not explored enough and we needed to see more development in terms of power as his character should have grown across the series. Yet again reduced to the pitiful level of fanservice as Gray spends more time with his shirt off than on and has ongoing bromance with fellow student so unlucky for Juvia the token yandere of the series.
Again we have a strong female character in the group of four and she played the role of being a mature leader and had one of the best fights in the series in the tower arc against the swordswoman. However as soon as Jellal comes back into the series Erza's strong character goes down the toilet and we see yet again another pathetic fan service female not only that but she has the most cheapskate magic in the entire series. Do you happen to have an incredible magical ability? Well no matter whatever it is, Erza will have a counter to it so who fight's mostly follow the same kind of pattern. The Azuma fight is even worse because just by thinking about Jellal she automatically wins the battle since apparently Azuma because he is EVIL cannot possibly have anyone he cares about at all so he has to lose because he is evil. She also tried to seduce him in battle which not only was not funny, but it broke her character and it was down right insulting as apparently women cannot fight and have to resort to seduction to beat the mighty men.
Token loli girl with annoying cat nothing more to say really.
Cool badass character, has more personality to him than Natsu and the relatioship between him and Levy is quite sweet one of the few characters from the series I actually like.
a flying cat on crack.
Awesome badass older character who is hard to dislike and I loved the moment he put the arrogant Natsu in his place one of the best moments of the entire series shame the arc went down hill after that.
Rest of Fairy Tail
Not much to talk about really some may think Mira Jane is special but nothing I havn't seen before and Cana's back story didn't make any sense at all and was very poorly executed was easily the worst back story of the series.
Pants on head retarded Villains
They achieve nothing, learn nothing and if they arn't pretty they return to nothing otherwise they become mindless fanservice. It isn't healthy for any series to have terrible villains.
Well there you go I wrote far too much so I couldn't cover the characters properly but as a former fan I hope I offered a different perspective that clearly wasn't biased and was well thought out. Sure you can like whatever you want but as an expereinced anime fan I reccomend you spent your free time elsewhere you would be surprised what the world of anime has to offer and most has a lot more to offer than this terrible series. So do yourself a favour and watch and read something else anybody watching this deserves so much better and so does the anime industry. I just feel really sorry for decent characters like Okabe and Gintoki when Natsu is that high up in the like poll its a really sad sight to see on this site.
On a closing note to show I am not the only person to take issue with Fairy Tail that there are other big youtube personalities who love anime/manga here is a video but be warned there are manga spoilers there.
This one is from the Lightning King a guy who has a lot of good things to say about series he loves but will be critical if he feels a series has done something wrong and this is his in detail video of why he dropped the manga but be warned there are spoilers if you have not read chapter 322.