DVD Review: Fairy Tail – Based On The Manga Series By Hiro Mashima
13 episodes filled with excitement, humour and suspense!
Directed by Shinji Ishihira, Fairy Tail is an anime version of a manga series written and illustrated by Hiro Mashima. It is set in an imaginary world called Fiore Kingdom. Located there is a mage guild called Fairy Tail where members include some of the most successful wizards.
The story has a few protagonists, one of them being Lucy who is a wizard and determined to join Fairy Tail. By chance Lucy meets Natsu who happens to be member of the mage guild. Finally her dream of becoming a member of comes true. The episodes follow Lucy and the other members of Fairy Tail as they complete various journeys after facing difficult challenges together.
Although the storyline is quite straightforward, various techniques are used to make the anime interesting and fun. The characters are all very different and have distinctive traits. For example, Natsu has terrible travel sickness and is always hungry, Gray has a habit of taking his clothes off, and Cana is a heavy drinker. Enjoyably, we are reminded of these characteristics frequently, generating within us a sense of familiarity.
The choice of names for each character is mostly non-Japanese, such as Lucy, Loke, Elfman, Mirajane, and Romeo; as is the case for the names of places, Clover, Hargeon, and Magnolia for instance. Using these names in tandem with the use of anime characters with stereotypical physical qualities (e.g. large eyes, nice figures, and pale skin) and speaking Japanese, creates an unusual and exotic disposition which enhances the feeling of this being an imaginary world.
The technique of amalgamating manga style is used, particularly for emphasis on emotion – words often appear on screen to demonstrate the feelings of the characters. This technique is required for manga as it enables the reader to understand what a particular character is feeling, and is highlighted in anime, allowing the audience to recognise the characters’ emotions by observing their expressions and listening to their tone voice. Indeed, emotions are exaggerated through the art work. For example: When a character is crying, they don’t cry a few tears; they cry a stream of tears. And a character is shown scared through the use of the sounds of heartbeat and rapid sweat beads. There is a lot of attention on the eyes as well. When a character is angry the iris and pupil vanish from the eyes, leaving them white. These methods demonstrate the focus on emotions. Although it makes the sentiment of the characters more apparent, it also reminds us that what we are watching is an anime and, therefore, is make-believe.
The voiceovers appear to be very well selected and suit individual characters perfectly. Lucy’s is particularly acceptably matched to her as she is quite a fiery character who loses her temper frequently. The storylines are varied and, at times, interesting, creating different responses from us. There is humour, suspense, sadness and anger, as well as demonstrations of pro-social values such as loyalty, ambition and good over evil.
Fairy Tail is a delightful anime with interesting characters, the ranges of missions the characters embark on are all very different and imaginative. It’s a series that is suitable for those who seek light entertainment.
Label: Manga Entertainment
Release date: 5th March 2012
Running time: 300 mins
Director: Shinji Ishihira
Stars: Aya Hirano, Tetsuya Kakihara , Hiroki Touchi
Naomi Potter’s interest in Japanese culture and language stems from family and visiting Japan many times. She recently graduated in Japanese Studies which she found to be very informative and enjoyable. She’s particularly fascinated by Japanese maiko culture, sumo wrestling, interior design, films, anime and music. You can keep up-to-date with all Naomi’s activities through her facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Japanese-Experience-GeishaMaikoInterior-Design/202899729765218.