The Wizards Who Put Friendship First
(Left) Natsu Dragneel, the hero of Fairy Tail. (Right) The characters in Fairy Tail have their own distinctive personalities. (C)Mashima Hiro/Kodansha Ltd., Fairy Tail Production Guild, TV TOKYO Corporation
Another of many unique manga characters is Lucy, the heroine of the Fairy Tail series. Lucy is a young girl who is determined to become a great wizard. One day, she meets a wizard called Natsu, whose special skill is using fire. Natsu invites Lucy to join Fairy Tail, the guild of wizards to which he belongs. (A guild is a group that finds jobs for wizards, and anyone who wants to be a great wizard has to join one.) Fairy Tail is not like other guilds, though, because each of its members is an unusual, one-of-a-kind wizard. What makes Fairy Tail special is that all the wizards accept each other for who they are, including their strengths, weaknesses, and secrets from their past. They trust each other and are always ready to help each other, even if it means making a personal sacrifice. A lot of kids see parallels with their own lives as they read about Lucy and the other wizards growing up together as close friends.
(Left) Happy the talking cat, from the TV anime version of Fairy Tail. (C)Mashima Hiro/Kodansha Ltd., Fairy Tail Production Guild, TV TOKYO Corporation (Right) The cover of the Fairy Tail manga. (C)Kodansha Ltd.
What these two manga have in common is the appealing way that both the main characters and their enemies are portrayed. Even after a battle is over, the villains remain in the story as important characters, which means that the worlds depicted in these manga keep getting wider and wider. This is also one of the reasons why these works have become long-running series and have been turned into successful TV anime.
(Updated in September 2010)