Welcome to my special section of Cosmic Anvil’s Recommends blog – N00b Reviews!
I’ve never read or seen any manga before, but have recently seen a couple of dubbed anime series’ such as Sword Art Online, Attack on Titan, Blue Exorcist and Steins Gate that have peaked my interest in all things Japanese. I am completely new to the world of manga though, and so each week I will be reviewing a different popular manga series by reading the first arc of the series and sharing my thoughts and opinions on them as a complete n00b to the manga world!
I am going to start by looking at Fairy Tail; a shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Hiro Mashima. The reason I chose Fairy Tail is because I enjoyed watching the first episode of the anime series, and was intrigued by potential differences between that and the manga.
Fairy Tail tells the story of a 17-year-old Stellar Spirit Mage Lucy, who wants to join the infamous wizard guild ‘Fairy Tail’. Her ambition leads her into the hands of a bunch of unsavory pirates led by a devious magician. Along the way she also meets the main hero Natsu, a strange pink-haired boy that seems to have the powers of a dragon earning him the nickname ‘Salamander.’ He is also part of the wizard guild Fairy Tail; a bunch of crazy mages that always seem to leave a trail of destruction behind them. (For example, in the first issue Natsu saves Lucy from a bunch of perverted pirates and conspiring wizard but in doing so destroys half of the town.) Natsu and Lucy also join forces with a magical flying blue cat named Happy and undertake missions to gain jewels (currency) for the Guild.
My initial thoughts when reading the manga were the issues were quite short, well-drawn but a bit confusing if i’m being honest! But that might be just because I’m not used to the layout of manga yet. I was unsure of the order in which to read some of the speech bubbles and it didn’t seem to make a lot of sense. But on the positive side I did really like the style of the illustrations.
There are also a few ‘WTF??’ pages though:
Is all manga full of super pervy characters? Do they all feature really creepy guys and creatures and constant references to boobs and short skirts..?
What I liked about Fairy Tail:
I really liked the art style and themes of friendship and teamwork similar to Yu-gi-oh. The manga is light-hearted and filled with comedy, the characters were well-written, and it did encourage me to carry on reading more issues.
What I didn’t like about Fairy Tail:
I didn’t like the short story arcs as I felt like I wanted more stuff to happen in each chapter. As I mentioned above I disliked the confused feeling I had with what was happening because I was unsure about the order in which to read some of the speech.
All in all, I did enjoy my first taste of manga and can see it being something I genuinely gain a keen interest in. My only hope is that they don’t all feature loads of pervy characters and confusing dialogue layout. As for Fairy Tail, I would recommend giving it a read if you especially enjoy fantasy and magic-based stories.
And so my journey to discover everything there is to know about manga begins!
Written by Marketing Whizz-Kid Jess Harcastle for Cosmic Anvil.