Hey guys! I know it’s a trope that the anime series Fairy Tail is built entirely on the ‘Friendship is Magic’ aspect, but I wanted to look back and see if it was really that bad. I first started watching this in 2013, and two hiatuses, several OVAs and a continuation later, and Fairy Tail is still going strong, despite the divisivity.
I did actually toy with the idea of making a WTF Moments-style series going through each episode, that I’d have called ‘Fairy Fails’. That may still happen in the future, watch this space!
So we’ll look at the anime series and see how well it holds up. Today we’re combining the Macao, Daybreak and Eisenwald arcs.
It actually shocked me to discover that these three arcs covered ten episodes. Yes. 10. I suppose this is what sets Fairy Tail aside from the other shounen series – the arcs are all relatively bite-size, and even the largest arc is only 53 episodes long! It makes it easier to digest, especially with the low filler percentage all around. Even a lot of the categorised fillers are actually based on omakes, and are thus normally considered canon anyway. The opening theme, Snow Fairy, makes a lot of grown men cry. Not me. While I do feel nostalgia, it’s not enough for me to want to reach for the tissues.
You get straight in with some immediate comic relief, making light of Natsu’s motion-sickness and Happy being, well, Happy. Then there’s Lucy looking for a cheap deal for Plue, a direct nod to Rave Master, another of Hiro Mashima’s works. Actually, there’s a lot of Rave references in Fairy Tail, but noting them down would take too much time. Probably another reason to make “Fairy Fails”?
Lucy’s literally the ultimate Fairy Tail fangirl, and I find it funny looking back, she’s gushing about Fairy Tail when she’s sat right there with Natsu and Happy, who are both in Fairy Tail. She gushed about Salamander, and ended up being freed from Bora’s love spell when she lays eyes on Natsu – foreshadowing, perhaps? It’s a fun introduction to the series, and kinda sets up some of the characterisations that end up developing better as the story progresses. It’s even more fun to see the guild in action during their barfight, and Makarov making his introduction by delivering a heartfelt speech and that soundtrack holy crap that gets me pumped every time.
Honestly with the Macao Arc, I wouldn’t even call it the Macao Arc, considering he’s very much a side-character that is only relevant for one episode. I’d have called it the Introduction Arc or even the Welcome to Fairy Tail Arc, which the latter is a lot more fitting, giving it the whole family feel, especially with the focal character, Lucy, joining the guild. The arc comprises of two episodes, so it doesn’t make sense to have an arc named after a character that’s in one of two episodes, of which he was a perverted Vulcan in most of that episode.
I always forget that they have an introduction sequence in the first several episodes, introducing the concept of mages and guilds. This gets phased out after a while, once we know enough of the story to not need that introduction.
The Daybreak arc is also made of two episodes, that focus around a mission to destroy a book. It’s a pretty simple concept, and the arc itself is pretty simple. Everlue, the dude in the mansion, has weird expectations of beauty, but I mean, it could be a lot worse? At least the concept is simple, and the resolution is emotional. Not to the levels that we’ll see later, but it’s emotional to say the least.
The Eisenwald arc (often known as ‘Lullaby arc’) is made up of the six other episodes here, with one of the episodes based on an omake, as is the case for a lot of classified filler episodes. The focal antagonists are Erigor (I literally watched this arc two hours ago and forgot his name already) and Kageyama, the latter of which is a budget Shikamaru Nara, right down to the hairstyle and shadow abilities. I’m not the only one to have made that connection. It’s not the only instance of this either, but we’ll get to that later on in the series!
It’s strange to look this far back now and think that Natsu and Happy were antagonising Lucy a lot, but my warped sense of shade makes me uneasy. It just seems near-constant with little-to-no consideration.
The end of the arc features an omake called Natsu Eats A Village and that sounds like a shit early Simpsons episode. Honestly, it’s not necessary to watch. We go back to canon with Natsu vs. Erza, where they fight…but then Erza is arrested because of the Eisenwald destruction stuff (the usual ‘Fairy Tail causes wreckages’ spiel) as a formality, and sets up the antagonistic relationship between her and Siegrain, yet another Rave Master reference. It also introduces some other key characters, such as Laxus (who’s a bit of a dick) and the mysterious Mystogan. This is an enjoyable episode though, and it leads so seamlessly into the next arc!
Overall this is a great introductory arc, introducing the initial cast of pivotal characters that we’ll be following for the rest of the series. I am so happy that the anime in general keeps its arcs relatively short, even the longer ones. It’s so that there isn’t as much fluff. We’ll see later that the anime has gone under two separate hiatuses due to catching up with the manga, and I’m not sure if we are getting an adaptation of the 100 Years Quest manga, but I doubt it will happen for a while yet.
However, I think all of these episodes could have been condensed into one arc, rather than be split across three mini-arcs. That’s the big takeaway. I also never realised that Zeref was referenced this early in the series, which is astounding, all things considered, but more on that later!
Instead of fortnightly, these reviews are happening every Friday. This is due to the shorter arcs that Fairy Tail has in general. So next week is the Sub-Zero Emperor Lyon arc (I swear that was called Galuna Island arc but never mind)! At least it’s another short arc!