Fairy Tail

http://web.hi10anime.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/fairytailmovie.jpgFairy Tail  is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiro Mashima. It has been published in Weekly Shōnen Magazine since August 2, 2006, and has been published by Kodansha in 30 tankōbon volumes; the individual chapters are being published in tankōbon volumes by Kodansha, with the first released on December 15, 2006, and the 35th volume released on November 16, 2012. Fairy Tail follows the adventures of Lucy Heartfilia, a teenage wizard (魔導士 madōshi), who joins the titular wizards' guild and teams up with fellow guild member Natsu Dragneel as he searches for the dragon Igneel.
The chapters have been adapted into an anime series produced by A-1 Pictures and Satelight, which began broadcasting in Japan in 2009. Since then, the still ongoing series has aired over 174 episodes. Additionally, A-1 Pictures and Satelight has developed four original video animations, an animated feature film, Fairy Tail the Movie: The Phoenix Priestess, and a fifth original video animation, which is the prequel to the movie. The series is scheduled to conclude on March 30, 2013.
The series was originally licensed for an English language release in North America by Del Rey Manga, which began releasing the individual volumes on March 25, 2008 and ended its licensing with the 12th volume release in September 2010. In December 2010, Kodansha Comics USA licensed the series from Del Rey, and has since continued its North American release. The Southeast Asian network Animax Asia aired an English-language version of the series for two seasons from 2010 to 2012. The anime has been licensed by Funimation Entertainment for an English-language release in North America.


Plot


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Grey Fullbuster
Lucy Heartfilia is a 17-year-old celestial wizard who runs away from home to join Fairy Tail, a rambunctious wizards' guild whose members are famous for their overly destructive antics. Along the way, she meets Natsu Dragneel, a boy who is traveling the land of Fiore together with his partner Happy, a blue flying cat, in search of his foster parent, a dragon named Igneel who had disappeared seven years earlier. Lucy is soon abducted by a renegade wizard posing as the famous Salamander of Fairy Tail. Natsu rescues Lucy, revealing himself to be the real Salamander and a Dragon Slayer, a wizard with the abilities of a dragon. After defeating the imposter, Natsu invites Lucy to join Fairy Tail.
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Natsu
Lucy forms a team with Natsu and Happy, along with Gray Fullbuster, an ice wizard with a habit of accidentally stripping, and Erza Scarlet, an armored female wizard. They are tasked with completing missions requested by people and collect money for rewards, such as hunting monsters and combating illegal guilds called dark guilds. Soon after, the rival guild Phantom Lord attacks Fairy Tail, resulting in a guild war. Fairy Tail defeats the rival guild, and Phantom Lord members Gajeel Redfox, a Dragon Slayer raised by the dragon Metalicana, and Juvia Lockser, a water wizard, join Fairy Tail. The guild also crosses paths with Jellal Fernandez, Erza's childhood friend who is manipulated by Ultear Milkovich to revive the ancient dark wizard Zeref using the Tower of Heaven. Natsu defeats Jellal and the Tower of Heaven is destroyed. Later, Laxus Dreyar, the renegade grandson of the guild's master Makarov Dreyar, stages a battle royal in Fairy Tail and is expelled as a result.
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Blue Pagasus Guild
Forming an alliance with the wizard guilds Blue Pegasus, Lamia Scale and Cait Shelter, Fairy Tail fights and defeats the dark guild Oración Seis with the help of a reformed Jellal, who is arrested for his previous crimes. Wendy Marvell, a Dragon Slayer raised by Grandine and the sole member of Cait Shelter, joins Fairy Tail along with her flying cat Carla. Lucy, Natsu and the others enter the alternate universe of Edolas when their guild vanishes due to Edolas' powers. The group encounters Faust, the universe's king who intends to bestow a limitless supply of magic for the universe. Happy also discovers his and Carla's heritage as Exceeds sent to Earth-land as infants on the orders of their queen Chagot. Allying with the Exceeds and Faust's son Mystogan, Fairy Tail defeats Faust and restores their guild at the cost of Edolas' magical power being drained. The group returns to Earth-land together with the Exceeds, one of which, Panther Lily, forms a partnership with Gajeel.
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Grimoire Heart
Several members of Fairy Tail, including Natsu, Lucy, and their allies, participate in an exam on their guild's sacred ground of Tenrou Island in which wizards can advance to a higher rank and thus take part in more dangerous missions. During the exam, Fairy Tail is drawn into a battle against the dark guild Grimoire Heart; the dark guild is seeking Zeref, who has been living on the island. Aided by a reformed Laxus, Fairy Tail defeats Grimoire Heart, and Zeref kills the guild's leader Hades. However, the incident summons the black dragon Acnologia, which attacks the island. The spirit of Fairy Tail's founding master, Mavis Vermilion, protects everyone on the island from Acnologia's assault with a defensive spell, freezing them in time.
After returning to Magnolia seven years later, the returning members of Fairy Tail discover their guild to be the weakest in the kingdom. The group participates in a tournament called the Grand Magic Games to decide the kingdom's strongest guild. Also participating in the tournament are Sabertooth, the current strongest guild, and Raven Tail, a guild founded by Makarov's resentful son Ivan. Jellal, having escaped from detainment and founded Crime Sorcèrie with Ultear, encounters the source of the magical power. After defeating Sabertooth and Raven Tail, Fairy Tail claims first place in the Grand Magic Games. However, Natsu, Lucy and the others are drawn into a conspiracy involving the Eclipse Plan, which involves the use of the 12 Zodiac Gatekeys so that a person can travel back in time and destroy Zeref before he becomes a threat.



Setting


The world of Fairy Tail is populated by humans and numerous other races, including Exceeds, dragons, celestial spirits, and giant beasts. Earth-land (アースランド Āsu Rando), a vast peninsula, is divided into ten different countries: the Fiore Kingdom (フィオーレ王国 Fiōre Ōkoku), Seven (セブン Sebun), Bosco (ボスコ Bosuko), Iceberg (アイスバーグ Aisubāgu), Minstrel, Midi, Desierto, Joya, Bellum, and the Pergrande Kingdom. Sin and Caelum, two different islands, are also a part of Earth-land. However, in the series thus far, the Kingdom of Fiore remains the only explored country.
Magic (魔法 Mahō) is an ability occurring in every individual for some races, although only 10% of Earth-land's population use this magic.


Production

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Hiro Mashima
 After finishing his previous work, Rave Master, Hiro Mashima found the story sentimental and sad at the same time, so he wanted the storyline of Fairy Tail to have a "lot of fun [for everyone]". When originally creating the series, Mashima was inspired by magicians and wizards. He based Natsu's motion sickness on one of his friends, who gets sick when taking taxis together. When naming Natsu, Mashima thought western fantasy names would be unfamiliar to Japanese audiences. When writing individual chapters of Fairy Tail, Mashima takes a five day process: on Monday, the script and storyboards are written. On Tuesday, Mashima writes rough sketches. From Wednesday to Friday, he finishes the drawing and inking on the chapters. Mashima usually begins new chapters after completing the previous ones. For the characters of the series, Mashima drew upon people he has known in his life. In establishing the father-son relationship between Natsu and Igneel, Mashima cited his father's death when he was a child as an influence. Mashima based the humorous aspects of the series on his assistants would make jokes about things that gave him ideas, as well as from both his work and daily life.


Media


Manga


http://ladygeekgirl.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/fairy-tail.jpgWritten and illustrated by Hiro Mashima, Fairy Tail has been serialized in the manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Magazine beginning on August 2, 2006. The individual chapters have been collected and published into tankōbon volumes by Kodansha since December 15, 2006. As of January 2013, there are 313 chapters and 33 tankōbon volumes. A special in Weekly Shōnen Magazine featured a crossover with Flunk Punk Rumble, released in 2008. The official fanbook, Fairy Tail+, was released on May 17, 2010 in Japan.
The series was licensed for an English-language release in North America by Del Rey Manga. The company released the first volume of the series on March 25, 2008 and continued until the release of the 12th volume in September 2010. After Del Rey Manga shut down, Kodansha Comics USA acquired the license and began publishing Fairy Tail volumes in May 2011. As of January 2013, 23 English-language volumes have been published.




Anime

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Fairy Tail Anime
 A-1 Pictures and Satelight produced an anime adaptation of the manga. The anime, also titled Fairy Tail and directed by Shinji Ishihira, premiered on TV Tokyo on October 12, 2009. The series is scheduled to conclude on March 30, 2013, with reruns to begin airing on April 4, 2013 under the title Fairy Tail Best. As of March 6, 2013, 38 DVD volumes containing four episodes each have been released. The Southeast Asian network Animax Asia aired the series locally in English. On January 18, 2011, British anime distributor Manga Entertainment announced on Twitter that the company would release the anime series in bilingual format at the end of the year. On April 21, 2011, they had confirmed that the first volume with 12 episodes would be released in February 2012; however, they later announced that the first volume would be released on March 5, 2012.[citation needed] In 2011, North American anime distributor Funimation Entertainment announced that they had acquired the first season of the ongoing series. The series made its North American television debut on November 22, 2011 on the Funimation Channel.

Original video animations

Four original video animations (OVAs) of Fairy Tail have been produced and released on DVD by A-1 Pictures and Satellite. The first OVA, Yōkoso Fairy Hills!! (ようこそフェアリーヒルズ!!, lit. "Welcome to Fairy Hills!!"), is an adaptation of the manga omake of the same name, and was released together with the 26th tankōbon manga volume on April 15, 2011. The second, Yōsei Gakuen Yankee-kun to Yankee-chan (妖精学園 ヤンキー君とヤンキーちゃん lit. "Fairy Academy: Yankee-kun and Yankee-chan"), is also an adaptation of the omake of the same name, and was released together with the 27th volume of the manga on June 17, 2011. The third, titled "Memory Days" (メモリーデイズ Memorī Deizu), was released together with the 31st volume of the manga on February 17, 2012, and features an original story written by series creator Hiro Mashima

Film

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Fairy  Tail Movie Poster
Kodansha announced on October 12, 2011 an anime film adaptation of Fairy Tail, titled Fairy Tail the Movie: The Phoenix Priestess (劇場版 FAIRY TAIL 鳳凰の巫女 Gekijōban Fearī Teiru: Hōō no Miko?), it was released on August 18, 2012.  It was directed by Masaya Fujimori, and its screenplay was written by anime staff writer Masashi Sogo. Series creator Hiro Mashima was also involved as the film's story planner and designer for guest characters appearing in the film. Funimation has licensed North American distribution rights to the film.

Video games

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Fairy Tail Game
An action video game for the PlayStation Portable, titled Fairy Tail: Portable Guild, was unveiled at the 2009 Tokyo Game Show. The game was developed by Konami and was released on June 3, 2010. Two sequels to Portable Guild have also been released for the PlayStation Portable—the first, subtitled Portable Guild 2, was released on March 10, 2011; the second, Fairy Tail: Zeref Kakusei (FAIRY TAIL ゼレフ覚醒 Fairy Tail: Zerefu Kakusei?, lit. Fairy Tail: Zeref Awakens), was released on March 22, 2012. Two fighting games, Fairy Tail: Gekitō! Madōshi Kessen (FAIRY TAIL 激闘! 魔道士決戦, lit. Fairy Tail: Fight! Wizard Battle) and Fairy Tail: Gekitotsu! Kardia Daiseidō (FAIRY TAIL 激突! カルディア大聖堂 Fairy Tail: Gekitotsu! Karudia Daiseidō?, lit. Fairy Tail: Attack! The Greak Kardia Cathedral), were released for the Nintendo DS on July 22, 2010 and April 21, 2011, respectively. The characters Natsu and Lucy also appeared in the crossover video game Sunday VS Magazine: Shūketsu! Chōjō Daikessen as playable characters.


Music

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Yasuharu Takanashi
The music for the anime was composed and arranged by Yasuharu Takanashi. As of March 2013, four original soundtrack CDs have been released, containing music from the anime: the first soundtrack volume was released on January 6, 2010, the second volume on July 7, 2010, the third soundtrack volume on July 6, 2011, and the fourth soundtrack volume on March 20, 2013. Character song singles were also produced; the first single, featuring Tetsuya Kakihara (Natsu) and Yuichi Nakamura (Gray) was released on February 17, while the second single, featuring Aya Hirano (Lucy) and Rie Kugimiya (Happy), was released on March 3, 2010. Another character song album, entitled "Eternal Fellows," was released on April 27, 2011. Two of the songs from the album, performed by anime cast members Tetsuya Kakihara (Natsu) and Aya Hirano (Lucy), were used for both OVAs as the opening and ending themes, respectively. Other songs on the volume are performed by Yuichi Nakamura (Gray), Sayaka Ohara (Erza), Satomi Satō (Wendy), Wataru Hatano (Gajeel), and a duet by Rie Kugimiya (Happy) and Yui Horie (Carla).

Radio

An internet radio program began airing on HiBiKi Radio Station on February 11, 2012, featuring anime voice actors Tetsuya Kakihara (Natsu) and Mai Nakahara (Juvia) as announcers.


Reception


Manga

In Japan, the fifth volume of Fairy Tail was ranked seventh in a list of the top ten manga, and the series once again placed seventh after the release of the sixth volume. Fairy Tail was in 2011 the 4th best selling manga in Japan (by series). About.com's Deb Aoki lists Fairy Tail as the best shōnen manga of 2008. It also won the 2009 Kodansha Manga Award for shōnen manga. It has also won the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation's Industry Award in 2009 for best comedy manga.


Anime

The anime has also received positive response from critics and viewers alike. In Southeast Asia, Fairy Tail won Animax Asia's "Anime of the Year" award in 2010. In 2012, the anime series won the "Meilleur Anime Japonais" (best Japanese anime) award and the best French dubbing award at the 19th Anime & Manga Grand Prix in Paris, France.
In reviewing the first Funimation Entertainment DVD volume, Carlo Santos of Anime News Network praised the visuals, characters, and English voice acting, as well as the supporting characters for its comedic approach. However, Santos criticized both the anime's background music and CGI animation. In his review of the second volume, Santos also praised the development of "a more substantial storyline," but also criticized the inconsistent animation and original material not present in the manga. In his review of the third volume, Santos praised the improvements of the story and animation, and said that the volume "finally shows the [anime] series living up to its potential."


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