When I first started watching anime as a teenager, and I mean watching anime while realizing what it was I was watching as opposed to seeing pokemon appear on television, there were a few shows I remember starting with. One of which was Nyan Koi, which my good friend (back then and to this day) recommended me to watch. When I was just getting into anime. It’s an anime about catgirls. He knew what he was doing. Another one was One Piece, the discussions of its weekly episodes by my classmates being the trigger for me asking what anime even really was. A third one is a little show by the name of Fairy Tail. Written by Hiro Mashima, who is also the author of both Rave Master, which I want to one day read, but haven’t yet, as well as Eden’s Zero which I’ve talked about a multitude of times on this blog. When I got into anime, Fairy Tail had released four episodes. Fairy Tail may not be an amazing manga. Its characters’ power levels may be all over the place and borderline offensive to the audience at times. Its fanservice was appealing to teenage me and grating to adult me. I’m not above fanservice, but it has to be done tastefully, which it’s not in Fairy Tail. Its story may not really go anywhere in the second half. But to this day I still feel a fondness for Fairy Tail. And that is why, today, we’ll take a look at Hiro Mashima’s second big manga and its accompanying anime.
Let’s make one thing very clear. Early Fairy Tail is some of the very best shonen in the business. It’s not edgy like Jujutsu Kaisen or Demon Slayer, nor is it well rounded like One Piece or Naruto. What Fairy Tail shines at is fun. When I review a show I like to put on music from the show, so as I’m writing this as well, the early openings are playing on my second monitor. In the comments I see people talking about how fun Fairy Tail is and I 100% agree with them. Natsu, Erza, Lucy, Gray, Wendy, Happy and everyone else at the Fairy Tail guild is so fun. I want to be in the Fairy Tail mage guild. I don’t want to be a Jujutsu sorcerer per se, I definitely don’t want to be Demon Slayer or have to deal with the bloody fights in Bleach’s society. But I would love to be a part of a guild like Fairy Tail. I think it’s the one story that nails the bond between friends even more than One Piece does. And that’s the highest of praise I can give anything. Fairy Tail is damn fun.
I mentioned earlier on that the story in Fairy Tail isn’t great. It often feels like Mashima had a plan for Fairy Tail, and once he started getting close to the end of his plan, which I assume the Tenroujima arc was, he panicked and started improvising. I could be very wrong on this, but everything up until the time-skip was great and then it just felt like it went downhill fast. The Wizard Tournament is an insult to power scaling and the final two villain groups are just not interesting at all. Eden’s Zero seems to be doing this better so far but I don’t feel like it’s as fun as Fairy Tail was.
So we’ve established that the story isn’t amazing, but the characters are a ton of fun. There’s two things I haven’t really talked about yet, and those are more production qualities than the original story; Animation and Sound.
The animation for Fairy Tail never stood out to me as particularly good. It wasn’t bad either, but I can’t really think of any of the fights looking impressive or good. I’m neutral on both animation and artstyle for this show.
What I’m not neutral about is the sound. Fairy Tail’s openings reflect the show amazingly. From it’s inquisitive first opening “Snow Fairy” by Funkist giving you that wanderlust that the show wants you to feel in its first arc to the celebratory “Fiesta” by +plus sounding in the end of their fight against the Oracion Seis to the hauntingly melancholic “Evidence” by DaisyXDaisy ringing in a new era of Fairy Tail where things slow down once again for our main cast.. You’ll notice I’m mainly talking about the early openings, since that’s the best part of the show. Although I think all of Fairy Tail is fun enough to watch, if I were to recommend it I’d stop at the Tenroujima arc personally, but that’s up to you all fine folk. But even more than the opening themes of the show, can we talk about the OST. Oh my word, the Fairy Tail OST is amazing. And I don’t mean that it’s above average. To this day it’s possibly my favorite OST out of any anime I’ve seen. Maybe second to Kekkai Sensen, but it’s definitely close. A quick google search tells me the music is done by Yasharu Takanashi who has an impressive resume. But why tell you about it when I can link you to the most iconic song in the show right here
Give it a listen and let me know what you think.
In conclusion I think I have the following to say:
Fairy Tail is very much an imperfect story. It’s got issues left and right and it slowly declines in quality as time goes on. It’s also one of the most nostalgic stories out there for me. It’s very near and dear to my heart and the first few arcs are some of the most fun I’ve ever had watching anime. Just stupid grin on your face levels of fun the entire time through. If you were to ask me if it’s a good anime I would say it’s not particularly good. If you asked me if I would recommend it I’d say it comes highly recommended. It embodies what I think shonen should strive to be. When life is tough and you get home tired, nothing beats watching a bunch of friends beat up some bad guys and everything ending up okay. If a show makes you desperately want to be a part of their world, then they’re doing things right. Thanks for reading.