Lucy is a celestial wizard and she’s trying to join the legendary guild – Fairy Tail. To do so she tracks down Salamander, a notorious fire wizard who might be able to get her in. That was the easy part!
Fairy Tail (Season One)
What did you watch?
A lot of the longer-running battle shounen can appear quite daunting if you weren’t there from the start. The other year, I started on One Piece and made it to episode 574 before taking a break. The fact that I’m about halfway through makes it a big commitment to even come back to it. I will. I just don’t know when. Anyhow, I decided that I would tackle one of the shorter shows and that led me to Fairy Tail. Even so, season one is listed on MAL as being 175 episodes long. When I did a little more digging, I believe that season one was actually the first forty-eight episodes so that’s how I’m starting. That’s still the equivalent of four regular-length seasons… Anyhow, if you haven’t seen it, there will be spoilers.
Lucy Heartfilia tracked down Salamander and asked him to get her into Fairy Tail. However, she hasn’t found the real Salamander (well, she had, but I’ll get to that in a second). This fake Salamander tricked her into getting on a boat with a bunch of other women. They were rendered unconscious as they were taken away for some nefarious purpose. However, a pink-haired guy she met in the town and his blue, winged cat arrived to save the day. It turned out he was the real Salamander – Natsu Dragneel. After rescuing Lucy, he offered to take her to Fairy Tail and introduce her to the guild master.
Lucy got into Fairy Tail and set herself up with an apartment in Magnolia, the town where the Fairy Tail guild was located. Soon, she had Natsu and Happy (the blue, winger cat) showing up in her apartment uninvited. Before long, she was taking quests with them, and not long after that they added Gray Fullbuster and Erza Scarlet to the team. Somehow, Lucy had found herself in the guild’s strongest team and was pulled into all sorts of mayhem.
The more they worked together the more they began to feel like a family, although they were all a little too carefree about coming into Lucy’s apartment and helping themselves to whatever they found. Just like family!
What did you think?
I wasn’t sure what to expect going in as it’s a fairly old series and one of the most well-known ones too. I was aware of a handful of characters, but most notably Erza Scarlet for obvious reasons. Anyhow, I actually really enjoyed it. It started a little goofy, but quickly picked up. I also found the humour to be particularly good. It had me laughing when I was supposed to be laughing, glued to my screen when I was supposed to, and feeling every emotion under the sun. If the rest of the series keeps up this level of quality I will be very happy. Admittedly, just getting to see Erza in action is enough, but everything else has been a delight too.
What was your favourite moment?
I think my favourite moment was the Tower of Heaven arc where Erza had been kidnapped and taken to the island where she had been a slave when she was younger. There were a lot of great fights in it and we got to see more of Juvia Lockser who had been an enemy in the previous arc, but since she fell for Gray had somehow become part of the team. I think the final battle when Natsu and Erza fought Jellal Fernandes was excellent and really pulled on the old heartstrings.
It was kind of obvious that Jellal and Siegrain were the same person, but that didn’t detract too much from the action. I was also surprised that the magical council were so easily tricked into firing the Etherion cannon. There were several other great moments and fun arcs, but this one stood above them all because of the stakes.
What was your least favourite moment?
So, the moment I’m going to talk about happened in the Tower of Heaven arc and involved Natsu. He was fighting against Fukuro of Trinity Raven which is a group of assassins from the Death’s Head Caucus. Natsu was in a hurry to get to the top of the tower and help Erza, however, Fukuro was in his way. One noticeable feature of Fukuro is that he has an owl’s head. Well, this isn’t just for show. At one point in the fight, Fukuro swallows Natsu whole and then tells Gray that in ten minutes he would completely absorb Natsu and all of his power.
Now, this is a crazy development, but the sheer body horror of Natsu being crammed inside Fukuro’s stomach as he continues to fight Gray is shocking. I started to wonder if Natsu was going to be partly digested and would need a good amount of healing magic to recover. Thankfully, he didn’t but that really was a gross moment. Amazing in the context of the fight, but the idea alone gives me chills.
Who was your favourite character?
I already knew about Erza as I actually have a figure of her from the Tower of Heaven arc. It’s the outfit when she defeats Ikaruga. The one with the flame pants and bandage top. It’s a nice figure. Anyhow, Erza is a great character and I’m glad we got to see a bit of her past which showed she wasn’t always a complete badass… although she mostly was… Anyhow, she just got better and better as the season went on. By the end of the season, she had made more than two hundred swords materialise so that she could attack as many lightning orbs as possible. Of course, that meant she probably took a hit from that many too thanks to the body-link magic.
Who was your least favourite character?
As is the case with battle shounen a lot of characters will go through some pretty big changes. For example, we had Gajeel Redfox who started out by destroying the Fairy Tail guild and then attacking Levy and her team. He then came back to be a part of the team that defeated my least favourite character. So, I’m sure he’ll get a redemption arc at some point, but as far as the first forty-eight episodes went Laxus Dreyar was easily the most annoying and disrespectful character in it. Even when Fairy Tail was in trouble, he couldn’t care less and then comes back claiming to be upset at how the guild is being perceived.
Would you like some more?
So, I’ve still got one hundred and twenty-seven episodes left to watch and at this stage, I can confidently say that I will watch them all. I am going to take a short break to catch up on some other shows, but you can expect me to be back with a review of season two which is apparently only twenty-four episodes long. Breaking it up will probably keep things interesting too. I’m invested enough to see it through to the end so that’s a good sign.
What have you learnt?
I really enjoyed Lucy’s character in this season. She was the serious character which gave the others something to bounce off with their ridiculous antics. Even Erza would just show up at Lucy’s apartment and jump in the bath or suddenly have a towel on. It really balanced the comedy and made everything that much funnier because we get to experience her frustration. The best thing about the humour is that it often weaved itself into the story. Gray constantly stripping because he’s used to the cold was funny, but when he switched bodies with Lucy it got even funnier, especially everyone else’s reactions every time he tried to undress.
There wasn’t any point where I felt like the jokes went on too long which is a criticism I can lay on Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. They generally fit with the tone of the show and didn’t become obtrusive. It just shows that it’s a good idea to mix up your characters and find a good balance. If it’s done right, you can have a character being swallowed whole in one scene and another character becoming a zombie groupie in the next one. Setting expectations early is a great way to start. Our first meeting with Natsu was on a train with him being sick.
Other posts in the series
- Season One