Monday, February 21, 2011

Manga Monday: Fairy Tail

Fairy Tail (Volume 1)
Hiro Mashima

From the creator of Rave Master comes a story of a magical world of wizards.  Lucy, a loud, happy-go-lucky girl, wants to join a club that has the most powerful wizards in its ranks, Fairy Tail.  Even if Fairy Tail is always getting into trouble with the council for overdoing it, who doesn't want to be among its members?  Lucy has the ability to open gateways with magical keys, and makes contracts with the celestial beings on the other side of those gates to aid her when in times of need.  It's a powerful ability that she puts to the test several times in this first book, and there's limitless potential for future celestial beings as she acquires new keys.  While traveling to a small town to see what their magic shop has in terms of keys, she meets Natsu, a guy with a huge appetite, who dispels a charm that another wizard uses on the women in the area.  They have kind of a love-hate relationship that eventually lands them together as traveling partners, and while Lucy accomplishes her immediate goals, she learns that there's a lot more to being a wizard than being affiliated with a prestigious club.  I'm sure the comparison has been made before, but the art in Fairy Tail reminded me a lot of Eiichiro Oda's One Piece.  From the fast pace to the great attention to detail and thoughtfully constructed panels, to the rubbery faces of the characters that are exaggerated with emotion, there are plenty of similarities, in art as much as storytelling.  Even the balance between comedy and action seems very similar.  But it's really a perfect balance between the exciting and absurd aspects of a lot of manga, and these two creators have perhaps found the perfect formula to showcase them.  Mashima also put a lot of thought into the world and the power sets of his characters, not to mention the great designs for said characters.  Many of the members of Fairy Tail whom we haven't had a chance to meet past volume one just look cool and I can't wait to meet them.

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