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Published on December 12th, 2017 | by voxx

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Fairy Tail – End of an Era

On July 26th 2017, the Weekly Shōnen Magazine was released in Japan, containing the final chapter of the much loved manga series ‘Fairy Tail’, written and illustrated by manga artist Hiro Mashima. The story follows the brazen fire-wizard Natsu Dragneel, member of the wizard’s guild Fairy Tail, as he searches for the dragon Igneel and takes on jobs with fellow wizards, such as the winged blue cat Happy, Gatekey holder Lucy Heartfilia, icy mage Gray Fullbuster and swordswoman Erza Scarlet. Their many adventures range from rescuing friends from sacrifice to venturing through another world to even fighting invading empires.

The first manga episode of ‘Fairy Tail’ was published on 2 August 2006 and then developed into an anime, with the first episode broadcast in Japan on 12 October 2009. Luckily for fans, a second series premiered on TV Tokyo on 5 April 2014. Hiro Mashima confirmed on his Twitter account that the anime will conclude with a third season in 2018. Two films have also been made out of this series, ‘Fairy Tail: Phoenix Priestess’ and ‘Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry’.

Fans of Hiro Mashima may have also read his other piece of work that’s on par with ‘Fairy Tail’ – ‘Rave Master’, which follows teenage Haru Glory, who’s on a quest to find the pieces of the sacred stone Rave, which will bring peace to the world and defeat the criminal group known as Demon Card. There are many similarities between them. For example, in the Edolas arc of ‘Fairy Tail’, the character Erza Knightwalker wields a weapon called the Ten Commandments, which is also the name of the sword Haru uses in ‘Rave Master’. Both versions of this weapon are able to change forms to gain different effects.

‘Fairy Tail’ is a manga that is read and celebrated worldwide. As of February 2017, around 60 million volumes are in circulation. Japanese statistics group Oricon stated that ‘Fairy Tail’ was the 8th best-selling manga series in 2009, 4th best in 2010 and 2011, 5th best in 2012, 9th in 2013, with a steep drop to 17th in 2014′ before rising a bit to 15th in 2015, which is a very good and quite consistent ranking over six years. It also won the Kodansha Manga Award for shōnen manga in 2009. The anime has received high praise too, with the series winning Animax Asia’s coveted “Anime of the Year” award in 2010, as well as the “Meilleur Anime Japonais” (meaning “Best Japanese Anime”) and the “Best French Dubbing” awards at the 19th Anime & Manga Grand Prix on 23 March 2012 in Paris.

From demon-absorbing models to flying prophetic cats to a girl frozen in a crystal for 105 years, ‘Fairy Tail’ is a fantasy-comedy series that will capture your imagination, both on-screen and in the books. With fans preparing themselves for the final encore in 2018, I’m sure Hiro Mashima’s finest creation will live on for years after its end. An eternal adventure for those in need of a little magic.

- By Matthew Bates


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