A few years ago, I wondered why I hadn’t gotten into manga the same way I had graphic novels, so I decided to give it a go. I went with Fairy Tail after binging the first few seasons of the anime already on Netflix. In retrospect I probably should have started with a series that has already ended, so I have some sort of goal line on the horizon, but, you know, hindsight and all. So I yoked myself to a current series and the burden that it might be years until I see it through to the end. And then it kept getting pushed down my TBR pile, so I ended up forgetting where I had left off, so I’ve decided to give it a second chance for CBR8.
Lucy is the reader’s guide to the Fairy Tail world, as she has a habit of explaining everything (which cheekily gets pointed out a few pages in). Lots of people practice magic and do so in magic guilds. Wizards are a bit like rock stars in this world. Lucy has high hopes of making her way into a famous guild and has her sights set on Fairy Tail. She meets Natsu, a fire wizard with motion sickness with a flying cat named Happy. They have a few adventures when it’s revealed Natsu is a fairy Tail wizard and gets her into the guild.
For the most part, it’s a very gentle easing into manga for the uninitiated. Mashima seems to be a very personable person and it really comes through in his writing style. There’s enough dark moments to give the story a bit of an edge so everything isn’t sunshine and cats named Happy. (Lucy has a brush with a potential date rapist.) Lucy is, of course, drawn in the style of these things, which means ridiculous body proportions. She also doesn’t have much in the way of characterization yet. So, it’s not quite up to my high feminism standards, but Lucy does come into her own later on (spoiler alert, I guess).