Home > Manga Reviews, Reviews > Fairy Tail, Vols. 40 + 41

Fairy Tail, Vols. 40 + 41

Welcome to a belated midweek manga review! Apologies for the lateness of this, I was swamped under some school work. This week I’ll be looking at two volumes of Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail with my review of Fairy Tail, Vols. 40 + 41! But before we get to that, here’s a few news items that have caught my eye from this past week…

The extra days gave me more time to gather some news items it seems. Hopefully that won’t mean next week will be exceptionally sparse. Anyway! On to my review of Fairy Tail, Vols. 40 + 41!

Fairy Tail, Vol. 40Fairy Tail, Vols. 40 + 41
By Hiro Mashima
Kodansha Comics
Rating: Older Teen (16 +)

For the last ten volumes, Hiro Mashima has introduced us to dozens of new characters and factions as part of the Grand Magic Games arc. Now, at long last, the arc reaches it’s climax as Fairy Tail battles not one, but seven dragons! There’s no rest for our intrepid heroes though, as the survivors soon find themselves targeted by a new threat emerging from the shadows!

Fairy Tail continues to be enjoyable light entertainment. Despite having followed the series for nearly the entirety of this arc I still have trouble remembering everyone and their relationships to one another. The cast was absolutely massive when the arc started and in the wake of the Grand Magic Games, it seems larger than ever. You’d think that Mashima might slow down a bit on creating new characters, but no, he continues to build and expand upon the already sizable cast with a new arc that promises to introduce us to a whole new slew of antagonists and supporting characters. That said, within these two volumes he does narrow the spotlight a bit by focusing primarily on Erza, Natsu, Gray and one of the newer characters from the Grand Magic Games, Flare. This does make it a bit easier to keep track of who’s who and what’s what, and gives him a chance to explore some of the character’s backgrounds and histories, but sadly they still end up feeling fairly simple and shallow.

Hiro Mashima's visual comedic flare on display in Fairy Tail, Vol. 41.

Hiro Mashima’s visual comedic flare on display in Fairy Tail, Vol. 41.

Having recently read Monster Soul – a short series that preceded Mashima’s creation of Fairy Tail – makes me appreciate his artwork here that much more. I can’t help but notice how much more variety there is to character designs and how the action feels so much more intense and kinetic thanks to his liberal usage of splash pages and double splash pages to depict the various super moves scattered throughout the volumes. While his character designs can still be a bit goofier than I’d prefer, I’d be lying if I said some of them weren’t fairly eye catching and snazzy to behold. Mashima uses a wide array of body shapes to wonderful affect, conveying personality and menace through the basic designs in a way many artists would do well to emulate or experiment with. The action scenes are gloriously over the top and move along at a fairly good clip, resulting in a fairly speedy read.

The combination of simple characters and the speedy action scenes result in Fairy Tail Vols. 40 + 41 being a fairly enjoyable fast paced straight forward adventure story. At the same time, its simplicity and generic characters keeps it from really leaving much an impression after you finished the volumes. In the end it comes off feeling like a perfectly acceptable, light and fluffy time killer.

Fairy Tail, Vols. 40 + 41 is available now from Kodansha Comics. Review copies provided by the publisher.

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  1. November 10, 2014 at 12:07 am

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