For my first anime review, I want to start off with a current show that many people are familiar with: Fairy Tail!
I was extremely hesitant to start watching Fairy Tail. I had seen the squealing fans at anime cons, the massive amounts of merchandise flooding anime stores, and was immediately turned off. Popular anime generally equals generic action-adventure plot with stereotypical characters, cliches, incredibly long fight scenes, and humor deserving no more than a small smile. Anime I loved as a 13 year old, but now? Not so much.
Fairy Tail, however, was worth giving a chance.
The story: Set in a vaguely medieval world, Fairy Tail is a world full of wizards, dragons, celestial spirits, and other magical creatures. The plot revolves around the members of the wizard guild Fairy Tail – specifically Lucy, Natsu, Grey, Erza and (later in the series) Wendy. Together they take on various tasks, often involving battles between rival guilds and evil wizards.
On the surface, Fairy Tail can be very generic. Yes, some of the story arcs were longer than I would have liked (but definitely shorter than those of most popular anime), but something kept me watching: the humor. Fairy Tail is actually funny. The main reason why I watch it is because it’s funny. The characters all have their own quirks: Natsu, while being as cocky as any other male main character in popular anime, suffers from severe motion sickness. The strict and intimidating Erza never fails to surprise with her range of outfits, from battle armor to cute, girly clothes to skimpy costumes. Grey, on the other hand, can’t keep his clothes on period. Wendy is shy and, as demonstrated in her first scene, quite ditzy. Lucy is always panicking over said quirks. Happy is a flying, talking, blue cat (enough said). Happy’s cheeky side comments are enough to keep me watching the show. The guild members are ridiculously destructive and the gags outrageously silly.
I’m not a huge fan of battle scenes, but the characters all have unique powers that entertain me for at least an episode or two. Though the characters don’t show too much physical growth between battles, their personalities are shaped by their experiences. Be it gaining confidence in themselves or resolving problems of their pasts, the real focus of the battles in Fairy Tail are to show character growth, making the characters more human and relatable. The battles aren’t entertaining only due to flashy combat, but because the characters are easy to love and root for. But if character development isn’t enough to motivate you, there is always a bonus one-episode funny story following each battle arc that are actually better than the major plots of the series.
I will admit, I have yet to finish Fairy Tail. My attention span for any series peeks at about 25 episodes. Fairy Tail has over 200. As of today, I am about a quarter through. Though Fairy Tail is enough to entertain me through a lunch break, it is not something I can comfortably binge watch over a weekend. Yes, it is funny and the characters are lovable, I can only handle it in small doses before I temporarily lose interest.
If action-adventure anime suit your fancy, you’re going to adore Fairy Tail. If you’re like me, it will provide enough laughs to keep you occasionally coming back.