Fairy Tail (Japanese: フェアリーテイル Hepburn: Fearī Teiru) is a popular Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiro Mashima. It was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Magazine from August 2, 2006 to July 26, 2017, with the individual chapters collected and published into 63 tankōbon volumes by Kodansha. The story follows the adventures of Natsu Dragneel, a teenage wizard who is a member of the popular wizards' guild, Fairy Tail, as he searches for the dragon Igneel.
As of February 2017, the Fairy Tail manga had 60 million collected volumes in circulation. According to Oricon, Fairy Tail was the eighth best-selling manga series in Japan for 2009, though it dropped to fourth best in 2010 and 2011, fifth best of 2012, ninth in 2013, and 17th in 2014, before rising a little back to 15th in 2015. It also won the 2009 Kodansha Manga Award for shōnen manga. At the 2009 Industry Awards for the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, the organizers of Anime Expo, Fairy Tail was named Best Comedy Manga, while Volume 9 of the series was nominated in the Youth Selection category at the 2010 Angoulême International Comics Festival.
The success of the manga and its anime adaptation have also spawned two spinoff series: Fairy Tail Zero and Fairy Tail: Ice Trail. A third series, Fairy Tail Blue Mistral by Rui Watanabe, ran in Kodansha's shōjo manga magazine Nakayoshi from August 2, 2014 to December 1, 2015, while another, Fairy Girls by Boku, was released in Kodansha's Magazine Special from November 20, 2014 to August 20, 2015. Kyōta Shibano created a three-part meta-series titled Fairy Tail Gaiden, which was launched in Kodansha's free weekly Magazine Pocket mobile app. The franchise also spawned several videogames for consoles and mobile devices during the manga's run, and an anime film adaptation of Fairy Tail, titled Fairy Tail the Movie: Phoenix Priestess, was also released on August 18, 2012.
Canon Summary Edit
Fairy Tail is set in Earth-land, a fictional land where wizards coalesce into guilds to apply their magical abilities for paid job requests. Novice wizard Lucy Heartfilia runs away from home to join Fairy Tail, a guild famous for its members' overly destructive antics. She is invited into the guild by Natsu Dragneel, a dragon slayer wizard who travels the kingdom of Fiore in search of his missing foster father, the dragon Igneel. Lucy forms a team with Natsu and his cat-like companion Happy, which is later joined by ice wizard Gray Fullbuster, armored wizard Erza Scarlet, and dragon slayer Wendy Marvell. The team embark on numerous guild missions together, which include subjugating criminals, illegal dark guilds, and ancient Etherious demons created by the immortal dark wizard Zeref.
Following several adventures, Natsu and his companions encounter Zeref living in isolation on the guild's sacred ground of Sirius Island. A battle over Zeref ensues between Fairy Tail and the dark guild Grimoire Heart, which attracts the attention of the evil black dragon Acnologia. The Fairy Tail wizards survive Acnologia's assault when the spirit of their guild's founder, Mavis Vermillion, casts the defensive Fairy Sphere spell that places them into seven years of suspended animation.
Shortly after the missing wizards return, Fairy Tail participates in the Grand Magic Games, a tournament held to determine the strongest guild in Fiore. In doing so, they prevent an unwitting government conspiracy to ravage the kingdom with dragons brought from the past through Eclipse, Zeref's time travel gate. After observing these events, Zeref decides to eradicate humanity for their continuing conflicts. Later, Fairy Tail wages war against Tartaros, a dark guild of Etherious that aim to unseal a book believed to contain E.N.D., Zeref's ultimate demon. Acnologia returns to annihilate both guilds, prompting Igneel – revealed to have sealed himself within Natsu – to emerge and battle Acnologia. However, Acnologia kills Igneel before a helpless Natsu, who departs on a year-long training journey to avenge Igneel.
Natsu returns to discover that Fairy Tail's master, Makarov Dreyar, has been staving off an invasion by the Alvarez Empire, Zeref's military nation. Zeref and his forces assault Fiore, intending to acquire Mavis' physical body preserved beneath Fairy Tail's guildhall, which houses a wellspring of infinite magic power known as Fairy Heart. During the battle, Zeref reveals Natsu's origins as his younger brother, as well as the true incarnation of E.N.D., whom Zeref resurrected as a demon with the intention of being killed by him. When Natsu fails to do so, Zeref extracts Fairy Heart from Mavis to relocate himself to a new timeline where he may prevent the atrocities he and Acnologia have caused, destroying the present timeline in the process. Natsu incapacitates Zeref, and Lucy rewrites the book of E.N.D. to make Natsu fully human. Mavis, who is revealed to be Zeref's estranged lover who shares his curse of immortality, is then able to lift their curse by reciprocating his love, allowing both to die.
Meanwhile, Fairy Tail and their allies attempt to imprison Acnologia within a space-time rift discovered by Lucy's ancestor, Anna Heartfilia. Acnologia is instead empowered by the rift's properties and escapes, while his disembodied soul traps all of the present dragon slayers in the rift to maintain his new, immeasurable power. Using the accumulative magic of the other dragon slayers, Natsu destroys Acnologia after Lucy and the other wizards immobilize the dragon's body within Fairy Sphere, freeing the dragon slayers from captivity. In the following year, Lucy publishes an award-winning novel based on her experiences at the guild; the award ceremony is attended by two strangers resembling Mavis and Zeref, who fall in love. Afterwards, Natsu and his team depart on a century-old guild mission, continuing their ongoing adventures together.
Main Characters Edit
There are obviously far too many characters in the series to make a full list, and we'd be here all day if we even tried. For the sake of brevity, this list covers the five main characters in the series, which also have the most visibility in the fandom for obvious reasons.
Natsu Dragneel Edit
Natsu Dragneel (ナツ・ドラグニル Natsu Doraguniru) is the primary male protagonist of the series. As Zeref's younger brother, he is resurrected as one of his brother's +400 years old Etherious (エーテリアス Ēteriasu) known as "Etherious Natsu Dragneel" (E.N.D.). At some point during his youth, Zeref turns him over to Igneel, who trains him to be a dragon slayerdragon slayer (滅竜魔導士 ドラゴンスレイヤー doragon sureiyā, Japanese text translates as "dragon-slaying wizard"), a wizard with dragon-like physiology whose magic is designed to combat other dragons. Natsu is immune to flames and is also capable of consuming them to fuel his Fire Dragon Slayer Magic (火の滅竜魔法 Hi no Metsurū Mahō) attacks, which include breathing fire and igniting any part of his body for use when striking. However, he suffers from motion sickness when he is in a vehicle of any sort. He eventually learns to use Dragon Force (ドラゴンフォース Doragon Fōsu), an advanced form of dragon slayer magic that boosts his strength and speed, and covers parts of his body in scales. After witnessing Igneel's disappearance, Natsu embarks on a journey to find the dragon. His search leads him to join Fairy Tail at a young age, gaining infamy as "Salamander" (火竜 サラマンダー Saramandā, Japanese text translates as "Fire Dragon") one of the guild's most loyal yet reckless members who causes most of the collateral damage for which his guild is blamed. Eventually, after his strength proves insufficient to save Igneel from being killed by Acnologia, Natsu spends one-year training alone with Happy, learning the use of Igneel's powers as Fire Dragon King Mode (モード炎竜王 Mōdo Enryūō), before returning to help reform Fairy Tail.
In the Japanese anime television series, he is voiced by Tetsuya Kakihara. In its English dub, his VA is Todd Haberkorn.
Lucy Heartfilia Edit
Lucy Heartfilia (ルーシィ・ハートフィリア Rūshii Hātofiria, named after the Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds") is the primary female protagonist of the series. She is a 17-year-old celestial wizard (星霊魔導士 seirei madōshi) who uses a set of magical Gatekeys (門 ゲートの鍵 Gēto no Kagi) to summon celestial spirits. She also fights with a whip, which she upgrades to the extendable energy whip Fleuve d'Étoiles (星の大河 エトワールフルーグ Etowāru Furūgu, French for "River of Stars"). At age 16, Lucy flees from her home to pursue her dream of joining Fairy Tail. Her efforts lead to conflict with a slave trader named Bora, and Natsu Dragneel and Happy rescue her in exchange for her joining Fairy Tail. She performs guild-posted jobs with Natsu and Happy to fund her rented house in Magnolia, and is bewildered by her guildmates' antics. She is also an aspiring novelist, and writes letters about her adventures to Layla Heartfilia (レイラ・ハートフィリア Reira Hātofiria), her deceased mother. Eventually, Lucy possesses 10 of 12 golden keys that allow her to summon the rare and powerful Zodiac spirits and gain the ability to don magical Star Dresses (星霊衣 スタードレス Sutā Doresu) that allow her direct access to her zodiac spirits' powers.
In the Japanese anime television series, she is voiced by Aya Hirano. In its English dub, her voice is supplied by Cherami Leigh.
Happy (ハッピー Happī) is a 6-year-old anthropomorphic cat with blue fur who can also talk. He is Natsu Dragneel's best friend and sole traveling companion at the start of the series.[ch. 1] Mashima originally intended to name him after the Norse god Freyr, but found the name did not fit his character. Happy possesses a magic ability called Aera (翼 エーラ Ēra, Japanese text translates as "Wings") which enables him to grow white feathered wings and fly at great speeds, giving him the appearance of a winged cat. He uses this form to carry Natsu in the air, and is the only one Natsu is able to ride without succumbing to motion sickness. He was hatched from an egg found by Natsu and Lisanna Strauss, who name him "Happy" after his birth cheers up their guildmates in the middle of a disagreement. Six years later, Happy discovers his origins as an Exceed from Edolas.[ch. 178] At Edolas, he unknowingly encounters his parents, the farmer couple Lucky (ラッキー Rakkī) and Marl (マール Māru), from whom he was separated before birth as part of their queen's plan to evacuate 100 unborn children to Earth-land and save them from their realm's destruction.
In the Japanese anime television series, he is voiced by Rie Kugimiya. Tia Ballard voices the character in its English dub.
Gray Fullbuster Edit
Gray Fullbuster (グレイ・フルバスター Gurei Furubasutā) is an 18-year-old wizard who practices Ice Make (氷の造形魔法 アイスメイク Aisu Meiku, Japanese text translates as "Ice-Molding Magic"), which allows him to instantly create weapons and inanimate objects made of ice. He is more levelheaded and competent than most of his guildmates, but habitually removes his clothing without realizing it, something Mashima based on a personal habit of his own.[vol. 2:afterword] He has a fierce rivalry with Natsu Dragneel because of their opposing personalities and magical elements. At age eight, he survives the Etherious Deliora's attack on his hometown and is taken in by the ice wizard Ur, who rescues him at the cost of her life when he attempts to kill Deliora in revenge.[ch. 36] Seven years after Fairy Tail's disappearance on Sirius Island, Gray encounters his reanimated father Silver and inherits his powers as a demon slayer (滅悪魔導士 デビルスレイヤー Debiru Sureiyā, lit. "Devil Slayer", Japanese text translates as "evil-slaying wizard") to carry out Silver's will to defeat the guild master of Tartaros, E.N.D. Following a heated battle with Natsu upon discovering his origin, Gray instead assists Lucy in stripping Natsu's identity as an Etherious and live normally as a human.
He is voiced by Yuichi Nakamura. In Funimation's English dub, his voice is supplied by Newton Pittman.
Erza Scarlet (エルザ・スカーレット Eruza Sukāretto) is a 19-year-old swordswoman with striking red hair and the daughter of Dragon Queen Irene Belserion. At age 11, Erza is captured by followers of Zeref and becomes a slave girl at the Tower of Heaven. She befriends other slaves her age, including Jellal Fernandez. Erza rallies the slaves for a mass breakout to rescue Jellal from being tortured, losing an eye in the process. However, Jellal is brainwashed into serving Zeref and turns on her to continue the tower's construction. Having gained the requip (換装 kansō) technique, she can use "The Knight" (騎士 ザ・ナイト Za Naito) magic, which allows her to summon and exchange various weapons and armors that enhance her abilities at will. She also gains an artificial eye that grants her immunity to illusions and optical magic. Eventually, Erza becomes Fairy Tail's disciplinarian as well as one of the guild's S-Class wizards, quickly gaining infamy as "Titania" (妖精女王 ティターニア Titānia, Japanese text translates as "Fairy Queen"). However, Erza grows fond of her guildmates after Natsu defeats Jellal and rescues her. Erza later helps Jellal atone for his misdeeds after he is restored to his old self, which inspires him to organize Crime Sorcière seven years later. One year later, after Makarov Dreyar's disappearance, Erza temporarily replaces him as the guild's seventh master.
The character is named after Eru from Mashima's one-shot manga that served as a pilot for Fairy Tail. Mashima initially designed her to only shed tears from one eye due to a defect with her artificial eye, but he eventually abandoned this aspect after accidentally drawing some scenes where Erza has tears flowing from both eyes. He also said that he often forgets what Erza's armor looks like, and changes the design every time she appears.
Her voice actress in the Japanese anime television series is Sayaka Ohara. In its English dub, her voice is provided by Colleen Clinkenbeard.
In Fandom and the PPC Edit
Fairy Tail has many Tumblr pages, which are dedicated to either shipping the loads and loads of characters in the series or posting NSFW-type pictures of the more attractive characters, due to the show’s somewhat ecchi-esque nature. Urban Dictionary also describes Fairy Tail as “a relatively new anime that has become popular due to its great humor and action sequences”. Typing “Fairy Tail” on the DeviantArt search would bring up over 200,000 gifs and fanart dedicated to both the manga and anime. Fanfic of the series also abounds online; the Pit of Voles, for example, has nearly 64,000 fics in total, over half of which feature OCs of varying quality.
Minis from this continuum are mini-Demons, which are smaller versions of the magical beings that have made several occurrences throughout the series. As many demons are able to turn into humans with their magic, mini-demons derived from botched character names can briefly transform into a smaller version of the character whose name was misspelled.
Missions in this Continuum Edit
- "Girls' Night Out", Part 1 and Part 2 (Crossover with Steven Universe, One Piece, and Naruto), with Agents Sarah Katherine Squall and Lapis Lazuli (DIC), Agents Ami Seeker and Violet Rose Greenfield (DF), Agent Aiko Kimura (DF), and Seung-Li Kim (DoSAT)