Stories have driven, taught, and entertained us ever since we first learned to communicate. Video games are rooted in the story traditions with some of them even being based on books. Games offer us a chance to actually take part in a story and experience great adventures from a safe distance without sacrificing immersion. This new series, Bago Book Reviews, will look over various books ranging from Japanese manga, American comics, mystery, fantasy and science-fiction novels. If you would like to read a review about a certain manga, comic, or novel feel free to leave your suggestion in the comment section below or let us know on Twitter @BagoGames. For my first Bago Book Review, I decided on the Fairy Tail manga by Hiro Mashima.
Fairy Tail is a guild composed of talented wizards who are loyal, kind and “slightly” crazy. The story starts from the perspective of Lucy, a girl from another part of the beautiful country of Fiore. She travels to the guild’s home, which lies in the town of Magnolia, in the hope of joining the country’s most popular guild. Various guilds lie within the country ranging from merchant guilds to wizard ones. Wizard guilds accept requests from people in need of magical help and wizards are more than happy to make their living taking on quests and seeking fortune. Lucy, a celestial wizard, wants to join Fiore’s most infamous guild which is Fairy Tail. Little does Lucy know just how dysfunctional the group is and what it means to be a member.
The art style of the series is extremely distinctive. The vast cast of characters are detailed with individual clothing ensembles befitting their personality. Even the sub-cast are easy to distinguish from each other through their physical appearance. Unfortunately, the fan-service tends to run away with it’s self and can act as a cumbersome distraction from the story. Still, the character traits are beautifully done and they were quickly etched within my memory.
Natsu Dragoneel, a fire-dragon slayer wizard and the main protagonist, always wears his scarf made of dragon scales given to him by his foster father Igneel who is an actual fire dragon who has been missing for several years. Grey, an ice-ability wizard, tends to not wear much at all. Grey has obtained an audacious habit of wearing very little in all types of situations. These two are only the beginning of the large cast that expands with each volume. Backgrounds vary from highly detailed architecture and lush forests and dark caves that give adventurers the itch to rush off and start a quest. The creatures and monsters bear their own distinctive markings. The Exceed, a race of magical talking cat-like creatures, have facial features rivaling those of their human counterparts. Each chapter of the Fairy Tail manga series has something new to offer.
Mashima-san’s skill with drawing manga is incredible, as are his assistants. But what is so captivating in this manga series is the creator’s ability to convey character development akin of great novels all within pictorial form and dialogue. The members of Fairy Tail and those in other guilds tend to grow and blossom into full rounded persons that seem so real. A quote from Mashima-san’s first Fairy Tail volume “All I need is the power to be able to protect my comrades. So long as I can have the strength to do that, I don’t care if I’m weaker than everyone in the world” speaks volumes as to the feelings of the guild. After the hundreds of battles, trials, sorrow and laughter the guildmates experience over the course of the manga series, they still want the same things: to live on working together as a family towards the bight-lite future.
I highly recommend the Fairy Tail manga series to anyone who loves magic, friendship, silly moments and hopeful speeches. Look forward to the next Bago Book Review as I will be covering Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.