Friday, April 25, 2014

Fairy Tail

Fairy Tail is a manga that has been adapted into an anime series from Japan. I stumbled onto the series while looking for character pictures for some of my Pathfinder character concepts and I thought one was so cool I looked into it further.

It didn't take too much detective work to figure out this is Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail. I've enjoy Anime in the past so I thought I'd look this one up and see if it was any good. I found a source with English subtitles and have started through the first season. I think there are in the middle of season 5 but I could be wrong (around 175 episodes so far).

Fairy Tail is based in a world where magic is somewhat common and wizards band together in guilds. Magic is much more varied than D&D style magic and it seems like there are almost as many styles as there are wizards. These are not all scholarly wizards that just stand around and cast magic, they set themselves on fire and punch things, summon magic weapons, and many act more like magic monks or Magi than the stereotypical wizard. Tech level is a bit harder to pin down. Maybe 19th century with trains, magic propelled cars but no gunpowder.

 Fairy Tail is one of the guilds and is famous for being a bit out of control. The main character Lucy is introduced in the first episode as on her way to Era where the guild hall is located so she can ask to join. The most famous member of the guild is the wizard who acts as the waitress in the guild hall and who poses in the world's equivalent of a swimsuit magazine. Like almost all of the female characters in the cartoon she is very... top heavy.

The show starts slow as it introduces characters and key concepts to the show like the various types of magic. Lucy uses celestial magic which is basically summoning. She carries around a bunch of keys that act as summoning foci. She has made a contract which each of her summoned creatures about how often they can be summoned and what actions they will perform. At this point in the show they are all some what limited in their effectiveness but already you can see that Lucy is learning to turn some of these limitations as assets.

The next character introduced is Natsu. Natsu specializes in Fire magic and was raised by a Fire Dragon. Natsu isn't the smartest person around, gets terrible motion sickness, and thinks the answer to just about every problem is brute force. His powers are so strong it often works.

Happy is a talking cat that follows Natsu around and likes to pester Lucy. He has limited shape changing magic and provides a lot of the show's comic relief. He really likes fish and saying "Aye". Like Natsu, he's not all that bright but often has a non conventional solution to a problem the characters are facing.

Gray is an ice wizard that does fights with Natsu constantly. Quieter than Natsu, he likes to think things through before rushing into action although he will still quickly slip into a rage if someone (Natsu) stars pushing his buttons. His magic seems to be better balanced between offense and defense. He has a habit of unconsciously taking off his clothes.

The last to join their team is Erza. Her magic is called Requipping magic. She has stored in an extra-dimensional pocket a number of magic weapons and armor that grant her different powers depending on  which is equipped. She is famous for being able to switch more often and faster than anyone else. Ezra is the strongest woman in Fairy Tail and is one one of 4 members of the guild who is allowed to take on S Class (for Super hard) quests for the job board. Erza is very serious and just about everyone is very afraid of her temper. Natsu challenges her to a duel and she defeats him with a single punch.

Fairy Tail is lots of fun and fairly light hearted most of the time with lots of Japanese zaniness. There is lots of violence but no blood or gore in the cartoon. There is some minor PG-13 language and the show is a bit too sexy for my 8 year old to watch. An example is that Lucy's summons Taurus always compliments her on her cleavage. The characters are well done and seem to grow as the storyline progresses and you start to see friendship and respect growing between them. The villains are interesting that there is a wide variety of secondary characters that I'm sure will grow as the series continues.

If you like Anime, I would check it out.

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