Fairy Tail and My Tendency to Avoid Long Series

As you know, my dear readers, I like catharsis in an anime.  Somehow catharsis has come to mean a kind of purgation of feeling which is supposed to follow upon watching drama; yet, Aristotle originally meant to mean conciseness in a story, as my Greek professor in college, Dr. Joseph Garnjobst, avers.  One of the surest ways for a series to lack catharsis is for it to stretch on and on.  Series longer than 27 episodes usually lose focus and contain plenty of filler episodes, which cause me to become annoyed and ofttimes drop the series altogether.  For example, without a friend of mine’s rabid love of D. Gray Man, I probably would have been fed up with the overdramatization which occurs around episode 60 and left off there.  In the case of the original Hunter x Hunter, I have less than ten episodes to go, but have somehow not found the opportunity to just sit down and finish off the show.

From stickfigureparadise of deviantart.com

From stickfigureparadise of deviantart.com

But, there have been a few other long series which I have enjoyed: Rurouni Kenshin, InuyashaDeath NoteDragon Ball, and Shijou Saikyou no Deshi Ken’ichi (Kenichi to the English speaking world) come to mind.  Of the big three, the manga drove me away from Naruto after five volumes, Bleach became so dull around episode 100 that I dropped it, and I remember opining to my brother that I would rather watch four episodes of Sailor Moon than one of One Piece.  For those of you who are curious, this would require watching all the television episodes 12 1/3 times–but, I would be more than willing to do than than watch through One Piece once!

Sailor Moon

Yet, a new long series has enthralled me: Fairy Tail.  I have ever been a devotee of fantasy literature, and Fairy Tail, which derives from the pen of the author of Rave Master–a manga I really should get down to reading one day, contains that balance of lighthearted comedy and dire situations which I find most appealing in a story.  The characters, whether the quick tempered Erza, the motion sick prone Natsu, or Gray the exhibitionist, are all very likable.  Of all these, Erza stands out as my favorite.  This is doubtless partly due to her long red hair, beautiful figure, and the ease with which she smites hordes of enemies, but I also can identify with her compassionate nature and unwillingness to open herself up to others.



And so, I have found a new series with which to while away my leisure time.  Hopefully, it will spawn some excellent editorials for you in the future.  Any other fans of Fairy Tail out there?


19 comments on “Fairy Tail and My Tendency to Avoid Long Series

  1. Yes! Fairy Tail is by far my favorite shonen “hot-headed protagonist beats his way through an endless series of duels through sheer obstinacy” series. I like the manga better than the anime, but the anime has SUCH GOOD MUSIC. Erza is easily one of my top five favorite characters from anything ever.


    • Ah, I’ll have to get into the manga too then! I don’t know if I’ve ever given thought to who my top favorite characters are–not sure if Erza would be in my top five. That sounds like a good idea for a new page, though!


      • Of course it suffers the same fatigue all long series do – endless life-or-death battles in which no main character ever dies (not much of a spoiler there). But the humor and the style keep it entertaining.


      • Well, I don’t mind the main characters not dying. George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series has given me enough of killing off likable characters to last a lifetime. And I do love this series’ humor. Eventually, it has to stop being entertaining, but then we can look forward to a new project from this mangaka. Hopefully, he’ll be more creative than Rumiko Takahashi after Inuyasha. You know what I mean if you have read Rinne.


  2. I haven’t read Rinne, but I actually have read ALL of Urusei Yatsura, Ranma I/2, and Inuyasha, and yes, she definitely has a formula she sticks with.


    • I want to read those other two, but the similarities between Inuyasha and Rinne are far too obvious. The only thing that changed is that the Inuyasha character is a quiet sort of person and has red hair. I couldn’t bring myself to read it.


      • UY and Ranma are both HILARIOUS, especially early on. Urusei Yatsura even more so. They suffer from being repetitious and formulaic after a while, but the first hundred chapters or so are easily some of the funniest in manga.


  3. TWWK says:

    Tumblr is packed full of Fairy Tail fans, if you ever choose to get on that site (and if you do, lemme know!).

    I only watched the first episode, and I liked it. But…I’m just overwhelmed at the length of any series that goes beyond 26 episodes, nowadays, so I dropped it before I could get hooked.


    • I actually did the same thing! It wasn’t until my brother encouraged me to watch it that I became properly hooked. Long series are always daunting. It even takes me too much time to finish a regular 24 or 26 episode show!

      I’ll think about getting on Tumblr. From what I have heard, it’s a very popular site.


      • TWWK says:

        Tumblr’s popular, and it’s also…immature? It’s certainly not for everyone. 😛


      • I’ll keep that in mind. The biggest problem with the internet is that anonymity allows people to write things according to the worst part of their characters. On the other hand, my lack of expression in person has always compelled me to show the best part of my character on paper–or, at least, the character I want to have. 🙂


  4. TheBookLion says:

    Thanks for the recommendation – I’ve been looking for a new anime to dig into and definitely plan to check this out.


    • If you’re looking for a comedic fantasy, Fairy Tail is perfect! In many ways, the show reminds me of Rurouni Kenshin: capable of ridiculous, slapstick comedy and poignant drama. Rurouni Kenshin is like my ideal form of anime, so I can’t help comparing others shows to it. 🙂


  5. zeonista says:

    I am not the devoted fan of Fairy Tail that my roommate is, and he has much of the download anime. (The manga is still continuing, although it may be reaching a stopping point.) Fairy Tail is good old-fashioned shounen manga action in a heroic fantasy setting. Nasu, Lucy, and Erza (the main 3 heroes) become stronger heroes through their dedication to working hard, doing their best, helping people, and not becoming power-obsessed jerks. No surprises there, but it’s alright. Fairy Tail is a light-hearted romp that doesn’t take itself as seriously as Bleach or Naruto, while following the same sorts of story lines. The members of the titular guild are all good friends and comrades, and no matter how they might feel about each other at the time, when push comes to shove they will support the main 3 without fear or hesitation. What’s not to like about that?


    • You can say that again! It’s a tried and true formula; but as long as it’s well done and some uniqueness is added to the elements of the story, why not love it?

      I was very pleased to discover that J. R. R. Tolkien was actually an influence on Hiro Mashima. I did not think that the Japanese read Tolkien!


  6. Life is rather hectic for me, so I tend not to follow long series because I probably won’t have time to get into it and enjoy it in its entirety. I recall a friend asking me about Bleach, and I replied that I didn’t wish to watch it because catching up would take me forever (especially with my anime-watching tendencies). Of course, it’s strictly a matter of personal preference, and while I may not read or watch the long-running series, I’m certain they have unique merits that make them worthwhile.


    • Long series do have their merits. However, the Big Three in particular are so long that they would leave little time for anything else. Somehow, I’ve managed to find time for Fairy Tail, and have been pretty impressed, especially with the Edolas Arc. But, for a Japanese who claims to have been influenced by Tolkien, that might be expected. The backgrounds and costumes of Edolas were remarkably similar to Alice in Wonderland–indicating perhaps greater familiarity with the West–and I loved its presentation of a parallel universe.

      Otherwise, it’s better for animators to stick to around 24 episodes and show more focus for their stories. After all, Homer saw no need to narrate the entire Trojan War in his Iliad, you know?


  7. Sindar says:

    I liked the Galuna Island and Phantom Lord arcs. Mostly because they flashed out Gray and Elfman characters. Tower of Heaven arc I feel could have been a little more elaborate. Or rather it is just Erza and Jellal deserved more screen time =) Haven’t seen much past that, though.


    • Any opportunity to give Erza more screen time generally makes me happy as she’s my favorite character. (She might be everyone’s favorite character, but she’s just that awesome. 🙂 )My favorite arcs so far have been the ones around Mavis’ Island and Edolas. You have some great episodes ahead!


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