Saturday, July 22, 2017

Manga Watch: Fairy Tail and What It Means to Me

Hello Hello, Lil Buns!

Today's post will be a little different. It will be the manga version to my "Anime Watch" series but this first one will be more of a reflection...

And I'm hiding this behind a page jump so if you don't want spoilers or not caught up yet, it will be safely hidden :)

Fairy Tail

Just yesterday, one of my beloved series ended after 11 long years. For those of you that know me, Hiro Mashima (creator of RAVE and Monster Hunter Orage) is my hero. He is a shonen mangaka (someone who makes manga, in this case specifically boys manga) who is best known for said series - including Fairy Tail. And it's Fairy Tail that just ended.

I was a mess.


In this world, people can use magic. But you're not recognized unless you belong to a guild. Lucy is on a journey to find and join Fairy Tail - well-known for its powerful but destructive mages. But it's not until she runs into Natsu who she finds out later is one of the top mages in Fairy Tail. And that's when the true adventure begins.

"To a wizard, magic is equivalent to the essence of life... Everything begins with a heart that believes. For example, you can consider fortunetelling, religious faith, and prayer as a type of magic. They're miracles that can only be felt by true believers. And only those who believe in the power of magic, believe in themselves, and believe in living in harmony with nature can use magic....Freedom is in the heart." 

~ Grandpa Rob

Spanning 500+ chapters and 200+ anime episodes, Fairy Tail immersed you in a very fantastical adventure. And it wasn't always happy. It was an emotional roller coaster with meetings and partings, loss, sense of belonging, and so much more.

Now I know a lot of people prefer the anime, but for some reason, Mashima-sensei's manga always tugs at my heartstrings more. The feelings you experience are more raw and believable. And you can always pair it with the anime's gorgeous music to make yourself cry even more like a baby XD

I love the characters. Each has their own backstory, some are less fortunate than others but they all learned that they can work for a better tomorrow. And it's this strength that inspires me to do the same.

"Nothing will change. Weaklings will stay weak forever. But weakness is not evil, since human beings are weak creatures to begin with. Alone, you feel nothing but insecurity; that's why we form guilds. That's why we have nakama. We walk together in order to live a strong life. The clumsy ones will run into more walls than the others and it may also take them longer to get there. If you believe in tomorrow and put yourself out there, you can naturally obtain your strength. That's how you'll be able to smile and live strong..."

~ Makarov



Not everyone was as physically strong as Natsu, Erza and Gray. But even they had a time where they weren't. And some you saw in the series actually grow - like Lucy and Wendy. I feel they grew the most. They fought through their circumstances to keep going. And while they didn't have the physical strength, they had their own and supported their nakama.

These characters all had the goal of belonging to something important. They eventually found Fairy Tail which was currently being led by Makarov. Makarov was a father to everyone. And like a parent, he protected and loved them all. This family stayed together and grew because of this love.

Throughout Fairy Tail's journey, they saw both the good and bad in people. Even after stopping their evil plans, they were given a chance to turn things around. They showed compassion to others and it didn't matter where they came from or who they were. As long as they were willing to work at it. Because members of Fairy Tail knew what it was like to be alone or even abandoned. They didn't want that for others.

"I don't think it's wrong to depend entirely on one person, but you're surrounded by so many other people too. People are always connected with other people. See? If you reach'll find them there. Once a person realizes it's lonely being alone, they can grow to be kind." 

~ MiraJane

As the viewer, you saw what each character went through and grew with them. You learned about all kinds of loss - whether it was a parent, a friend or to the past. But no one was left behind. They were there for each other, no matter how bad it got.

Ever since I read my first manga by Mashima-sensei, RAVE, I was hooked on his storytelling. Fairy Tail was another creation of his that made me feel so emotional. Even trying to write this, you can probably tell that my mind is still trying to comprehend all of the feelings I was left with. And I cried. I really did. But it wasn't really a sad cry. I was mostly....happy.

With most series, you get sad and down because it's over or there are some things that weren't completed. But this ending, at least to me, was perfect for Fairy Tail.

Lucy achieved her dream of becoming a writer. Natsu was able to live with his nakama. Gray avenged his teacher. Erza was able to protect her friends. Wendy found home. Happy is well....happy. Everyone was alive and doing fine. Even Makarov who nearly died! And as much as it would have been more powerful if he had died, I believe that it was better this way.

The big shocker of course was seeing Mavis and Zeref having been reborn as normal people. So they were able to be together and live peaceful lives. It actually made me sob because finally they could achieve happiness.

And there were so many other happy scenes for not just Fairy Tail but to all of the guilds that they helped. Which brings me to another point - that kindness can make great things happen. Because you never know how people will give back.

While many people were content, there were some that weren't so happy with this ending. But then I think back to what I read on Mashima-sensei's reasoning. That when he made RAVE, it was a deep but sad story. I remember so many characters that I had loved and they ended up dying. But he wanted this series to be happy. Even if it might be cheesy, I think it was good for Fairy Tail. So much had happened and even the characters themselves tried to help each other to be happier and to be positive. So that things will change for the better.

There were even some saying that Lucy didn't do much. But I think she did a lot more than what people think. She was the one that rewrote E.N.D., cast Fairy Sphere and was always there for Natsu. No matter how bad things were, she was always there for him. Like he was for her. Imagine, two complete strangers who had nothing to do with each other...but were brought together because of their hearts. Not for a romantic love. I never saw those two as a couple. But more for like a familial love. They needed each other more than anything. They brought out the best in each other. And that's why I think Lucy is so amazing.

And how Natsu only needed one hit to finish Zeref...I think that's because he already realized that nothing could stop them. He was tired and wanted to be finished by Natsu. His brother. I think it's during these final fights that made Zeref realize his mistakes as a child. And it would only be right for Natsu to end it.

I learned so much while reading Fairy Tail. It helped me get through some rough times. I could even see more of the good in people. And it inspired me so much to always do my best. It truly moved me. I learned that even though I can't really punch hard enough, I have my own strength. And that is just as important. Every person's story and life is important. And sometimes we are led astray. But you can learn from your mistakes. It's never too late. And you will never be alone.

Thank you so much, Hiro Mashima! I can't wait to see what else you have in store for us!

"Those painful memories are what can help us make it to tomorrow, and become stronger. That goes for everyone - every single human being has that power within them. Walk tall. And I, too, will keep walking tall, ever onwards." 
~ Erza

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you're a fan, let me know what you thought about the ending! Also, what do you think is next for Mashima-sensei?

That's all for now! See you next time!

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