Fiore is a land of wizardry and magic, and Fairy Tail is one of its many wizard guilds. In addition to its unusual name, Fairy Tail has a reputation for leaving a trail of destruction in its wake, for its good-intentioned wizards are often reckless when fulfilling quests to help the people of Fiore. The first season of the anime show Fairy Tail features a hilarious cast of characters, a story full of adventure and magic, and themes of loyalty, courage, and friendship.
Natsu, Happy, and Lucy form the core trio of Fairy Tail characters. When the story begins, Lucy joins Fairy Tail as its newest member, and viewers get to know the guild and its members along with Lucy. Lucy often feels intimidated among Fairy Tail’s powerful wizards but manages to hold her own with her special brand of celestial wizard magic—where she uses magical keys to summon spirits to help her. Despite a sweet disposition, Lucy can be feisty, especially when Natsu, Happy, and Gray annoy her. Raised by a dragon, Natsu fights with fire magic and a temper to match. Impetuous, cocky, and stubborn, Natsu’s character qualities may seem negative but end up endearing him to his friends and the audience. These traits also make him a formidable opponent when fighting evil wizards because hard-headed persistence can be an effective strategy. Natsu’s best friend is the talking cat Happy, who stands out for being blue, able to fly, and one of the sweetest characters in the show. Gray and Erza are two other main characters. Ice wizard Gray is taciturn and reclusive, and he and Natsu get along about as well as ice and fire because Natsu’s competitive spirit keeps the two of them fighting all the time. Fairy Tail is often like a big, dysfunctional family with constant competition and squabbles, and Erza would be the mother figure, except that she often joins in the bickering herself. An intimidating warrioress who’s most comfortable in a suit of medieval armor, Erza scares enemies and friends alike. Erza wields magical weapons and outfits that she can exchange whenever she wants (leading to one caveat I have about the show, which is that some of Erza’s and other wizards’ outfits are immodest). Because of her powerful abilities and serious personality, Erza is about the only person who can stop Gray and Natsu from fighting and keep them—and everyone else in Fairy Tail—in line.
Much of Fairy Tail’s plot revolves around its characters, developing their personalities and pasts. As Fairy Tail proceeds through the first season, the audience learns each protagonist’s backstory and meets more members of Fairy Tail and other light and dark guilds in Fiore. The story follows Lucy, Natsu, Happy, Gray, and Erza on their many adventures as they answer job requests, help citizens of Fiore, and compete with each other and their fellow guild members. While elements of the plot are very episodic, Fairy Tail also has larger story arcs that tie the show together. In fact, as I watched season two, story threads from season one came back into play within the new plot.
In addition to endearing characters and a fun story, Fairy Tail also contains wholesome themes. Forced to work as a team on quests, the five main characters gradually become friends, learning to trust, fight with, and make sacrifices for each other. Each of them has lost family but finds a new family in Fairy Tail and its members. Thanks to the support of their friends, the wizards are able to forgive grievances, and even the most faint-hearted wizards discover loyalty and courage within themselves. Hidden beneath a reputation for destruction, brawling, and partying, Fairy Tail has true heart that makes it strong. When times are hard, Fairy Tail bands together, supporting and looking after its members and everyone who needs its help.
Happy sums up a lot about Fairy Tail and why I like it. Like Happy’s colorful appearance, unique abilities, and amicable personality, Fairy Tail has a literally and figuratively colorful cast of characters. Each character is unique, and even the serious and reserved ones add to the show’s upbeat tone. Combined with a story and themes to match these characters, Fairy Tail is a fun anime show to watch.