Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fairy Tail, vol. 1

By Hiro Mashima
Released in the US by Del Rey Manga

Slugline: Feels like Rurouni Kenshin with magic.

Lucy is a minor magician that wants to be part of the Fairy Tail, a group of wizards that are respected but also make other wizards very anxious because of their stunts. Lucy thinks she has found a wizard that will help her join Fairy Tail, but that wizard is actually luring women to be slaves. Fortunately, the bumbling kid from earlier in the manga is revealed to be Natsu, a powerful fire mage of Fairy Tail, who after wiping the floor with the impostor brings Lucy to meet the rest of the Fairy Tails. And afterwards, Lucy ends being Sancho to Natsu's Don Quixote to find a missing member of Fairy Tail.

While Natsu does not have the tragic past of Rurouni Kenshin, there are some echoes. The comedic bumbling character who turns out to be super-competent, a female lead that is talented but not very powerful and the impostor drawing on the reputation of the bumbling character's real identity (of being a Fairy Tail member.) I am not saying that this is bad, the art style reminds me a little of One Piece for instance, but there were so many similarities to other works that I have read and no real sense of dramatic weight to the title to make me feel the character's jeopardy, I just never got engaged or really cared over what was going on. Maybe I am just being a little jaded here, maybe for someone who picks this off the shelf this would be an average title, but for me, I need something more.

Fairy Tail, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.


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