Home > Check-in Station > Check-in Station: Fairy Tail eps1-29 (a tale of drunkards and fairy butts)

Check-in Station: Fairy Tail eps1-29 (a tale of drunkards and fairy butts)

One Piece, Naruto and Bleach, who needs another shounen anime? Right? Especially from the guy who made Rave Master, one of the more underwhelming and disappointing series I’ve watched.  We just don’t need more guys staring at each other, chicks being useless and bad humor and filler arcs being used to stretch out the story.  Right? Well I say “nay’! After the Phantom Lord arc of this show I think Fairy Tail has its place in the shounen anime world.   So while so far it hasn’t reached the heights of any of the Big 3, it has shown itself to be a fun and quality series.  That’s right, I said the series was quality.   A combination of decent action, consistent humor and an awesome soundtrack meld into a series that I can easily recommend to any anime fan with an open mind.

Your first impressions of Fairy Tail may be that it is very generic.   Are you looking for a moronic protagonist with amazing hidden potential, a super special ability and unbreakable will?  Yep, that’s Natsu.   Does the world need to revolve around a specific item or ability (chakra, reiatsu, devil fruit)?  Yep, that too.   While other series make up special names for it, Fairy Tail just sticks to calling it magic.  Are you expecting world-building based on separating professionals into organizations (shinigami, hidden villages, pirate crews)?  It’s here.   The world of Fairy Tail revolves around guilds (sometimes I like to describe them as frats with members taking on jobs instead of selling tickets or washing cars).   Everything’s there, which probably means that a lesson’s been learned in regards to what sells and what is interesting, but Fairy Tail also succeeds in being itself and carving out its own niche.

One of things that separates Fairy Tail is that so far it doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously.   While it somewhat hurts the show in that it doesn’t get as emotionally high or low as the other series, it also means that the show so far hasn’t dragged in areas like some of the more popular shows have.   You’d be hard pressed to find our hero Natsu or any of his “frat brothers” moping around being depressed, they’re too busy being angry badasses or drinking.   Everyone has their problems mind you, but it seems that they know how to carry on through their daily lives with humor and appreciation.  In a way, this demonstrates how Fairy Tail has learned from its predecessors.   The show has obviously learned one of One Piece’s greatest lessons.  Never forget to be funny.

Another thing that helps separate Fairy Tail is that the females in this show are rather strong and impressive. Altogether being less annoying and more emotionally stout than some of their other counterparts.  The only shounen series I find with more impressive females is Fullmetal Alchemist.  I’ve routinely bashed Naruto and Bleach for having… how do I put this gently?  Infuriating.  They have infuriating female characters.   Characters that have often disappeared for long stretches, been emotionally or physically inept, or suffer greatly from “princess syndrome”.   By princess syndrome I mean they are constantly relagated to being saved or being spectators with their fates on the line, with little or no ability to save themselves (see: Orihime).  Two of Fairy Tail’s most important female characters have already shown much heart in their endevours, much more than I ever expected.   Lucy, while at first seeming like a spoiled and goofy character, has proven herself not just a good source of comedy, but of inspiration as well.   She’s always stood by her friends, helped in tough situations and has taken a beaten.   And speaking of taking a beating, Erza is the hottest tough chick I have ever seen in an anime, with the possible exception being the Major herself from Ghost in the Shell fame.  She already seemed incredibly strong, scaring Natsu and Gray with the mere mention of her name.  But just during the Phantom Lord arc, she’s shown incredible resolve and fighting strength (I almost said “power”, heh, unintentional Dragonball Z reference).   She’s probably in the top 5 of wizards in the guild, and I’ve even seen her one hit K.O a powerful opponent after having taken serious damage earlier in the story.  And even in all this carnage she still manages to guide and encourage her fellow wizards, even while being its de facto drill sergeant.

Another unique and interesting aspect of Fairy Tail is its soundtrack.  This has got to be one of my favorite soundtracks in recent memory.   I’m not saying it ranks up there all-time greats such as Revolutionary Girl Utena, Cowboy Bebop or Samurai Champloo, but I’m not afraid to rock this in my car either.   It has a very middle ages, european flair, but the action tracks are what really stand out for me.  Metal with a celtic flair would probably be a good description.  But it works amazingly well.   The track that played during Natsu’s first battle is what convinced me to keep watching this show.  Perhaps that’s a lesson learned from the Naruto anime.

All in all, twenty nine episodes into a series is a very early spot to give a verdict on a shounen anime.   Some anime have made great strides in that time (Yu Yu Hakusho), while other have barely scratched the surface (Naruto).  But from what I’ve seen so far, Fairy Tail has a place in the shounen anime landscape.   Big battles, big laughs and even bigger mugs of beer, I’ll be looking forward to this show weekly for some time to come.

Further Reading:  Go here for a more in depth review of the Phantom Lords Arc

  1. tehnominator
    May 18, 2010 at 15:04

    This is a pretty great assessment of Fairy Tail so far! I agree with you 100% about how Fairy Tail treats its characters. Even when Lucy does literally become a Princess who needs to be saved, it’s kinda funny that one of the big “princes” who goes to her rescue is another woman. Something to think about.

    Well, I always thought Naruto was misogynistic, so… and Bleach does worse by making great, strong female characters and then chucking them aside so the boys can have shouting match over whose sword is bigger.

    Anyway, let’s hope FT continues to be pure, good fun!

  2. May 20, 2010 at 16:34

    You don’t know how happy I am that you were my first blog comment. There are other shows I could have put in this spot, but I chose Fairy Tail. It represents a potential heir to all the shounen anime that are long past their halfway point. And even if it isn’t an heir, it’s a very appealing alternative. I’ve yet to fall in love with the series, but I’m hoping it wins me over in time.

  3. smokes
    June 3, 2010 at 10:35

    duude, phantom arc was the best arc in ffairy tail
    read the manga) after that arc the manga is going dooown..
    dissapointment after dissapoitment

    • June 13, 2010 at 06:45

      Oh believe me, I’ve heard it numerous times in MAL’s forums. The good thing about this show is that I don’t come into it with any big expectations or prejudices. If it ends up sucking, then so be it. It’ll be one less show that I’ll end up bitching about week to week, arc to arc, like Naruto and Bleach. Besides, I alway have One Piece to lean on.

  4. christian A
    October 22, 2010 at 03:24

    I absolutely love the series. Theres something about it i really like. It’s different in its own way and the characters are hilarious. i think they definatley have something going, perhaps all it needs is a little more mystery, im reading the manga each week with the shows progress cause i dont want to be ahead of it or know everything already. So im excited to see where they go from here. i noticed a few episodes are different from the manga or just completely not in the manga. so if you say it goes down hill maybe they can revise the anime with a few twists and keep it going. so far i have to put this show and manga in my top 5

  5. christian A
    October 22, 2010 at 03:25


    • November 4, 2010 at 09:33

      Thanks for the comment. I think the key thing about Fairy Tail too is that it’s refreshing and new. It’s definitely heavy on the comedy. I think there’s enough mystery so far in the series. It just needs to be exploited more. The disappearance of the Dragons, why is it so bad to have faux Dragon slayer magic, what’s the deal with the old man’s son, what the hell is going on with Mystogan? I’m anxious for these answers and more.

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