Home > Manga Reviews, Reviews > Fairy Tail, Vol. 49

Fairy Tail, Vol. 49

Fairy Tail, Vol. 49Fairy Tail, Vol. 49
by Hiro Mashima
Kodansha Comics,208
Rating: Teen (13 +)

As the last volume came to its conclusion, all seemed lost. Tartaros’ plan to activate the anti-magic bombs seemed to be unstoppable, despite the efforts of Fairy Tail and their allies. Then, as all seemed lost the dragons returned! Now,Igneel and Acnologia clash in the air as the Tartaros arc comes to an end, but what will become of Fairy Tail? Hiro Mashima brings this story arc to it’s explosive, heart wrenching climax and sets the stage for the next arc with Fairy Tail, Vol. 49!

In general, the Tartaros arc has been pretty fantastic. The story had ridiculously high stakes, moved along at a good pace, providing dramatic character moments for the cast of Fairy Tail along with some exciting and intense fight sequences. The climax doesn’t really disappoint in this regard. Natsu’s forced to confront the loss of someone incredibly dear to him in what’s probably the most emotionally moving moment in the series that I’ve come across so far. Unfortunately, it’s all downhill after the first third of the volume. The Tartaros arc was full of things that set up great character moments and could push the characters into new arcs. Elfman being forced to confront his betrayal of the guild, Natsu and Grey struggling with their respective losses and such. Instead of letting this play out and giving us a chance to see how these moments affect the characters, Hiro Mashima decides that it’s time for another time skip! So we’re suddenly whisked one year into the future following the dissolution of Fairy Tail to kick off the new arc which will presumably be Natsu and company getting the band back together. I’m not terribly keen on time skips to begin with and this is the second one in about 20 volumes! Yeesh.

Page from Fairy Tail, Vol. 49

A page from a silent chapter.

The book continues to look slick and polished, with the special attacks from the various characters looking appropriately intense and impressive. Hiro Mashima also uses splash pages and double splash pages to nice effect, allowing important emotional beats to hang in the air, literally in one case, for the audience to drink in. I’m also pleasantly surprised at just how good he is at drawing dragons! Igneel in particular is a fantastic, traditional take on the Western idea of a dragon who looks great on every page he appears on. The other dragons are a bit less traditional, but no less interesting to behold.

While the Tartaros arc was pretty enjoyable, the aftermath which occupies most of Fairy Tail, Vol. 49 just doesn’t click. The forced time skip may provide an ok jumping on point for newcomers, but it undercuts the impact of the arc and sets up an obvious reunion story. I’m sure some of these things will be addressed in the new arc, but the time skip still feels awkward and unneeded.

Fairy Tail, Vol. 49 is available now from Kodansha Comics. Review volume provided by the publisher.

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  1. August 14, 2015 at 12:15 pm

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