Home > Manga Reviews, Reviews > Fairy Tail: Ice Trail, Vols. 1 + 2

Fairy Tail: Ice Trail, Vols. 1 + 2

Fairy Tail: Ice Trail, Vol. 1Fairy Tail: Ice Trail, Vols. 1 + 2
by Yuusuke Shirato, created by Hiro Mashima
Kodansha Comics
Rating: Teen (13 +)

Are you a fan of Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail and wondered what Grey, the resident ice mage, was like as a kid? If so, then Kodansha Comics has the manga for you! From Yuusuke Shirato and Hiro Mashima comes Fairy Tail: Ice Trail, a two volume story about the Grey’s childhood adventures as he sets out on the path that ultimately leads him to Fairy Tail!

While Fairy Tail: Ice Trail does fill in a few blanks, mostly about how he ended up at Fairy Tail, it doesn’t really break any new ground or offer any new or shocking insights into Grey’s past. Further, since Grey’s fate is already known to us there’s not a whole lot of tension or suspense to the stories in these two volumes. His story also suffers from a weird emotional disconnect. It’s set a short time after Grey lost several people close to him, but throughout most of these two volumes he seems perfectly fine and untroubled. At one point he does show crack a little, but it’s short lived and immediately afterwards he’s back to his upbeat, high energy self like nothing really happened.

A page from Fairy Tail: Ice Trail, Vol. 1

Somebody gon’ get their wig split…

Yuusuke Shirato is apparently one of Hiro Mashima’s assistants and it shows. His art in Ice Trail is reminiscent of Mashima’s but feels looser and more kinetic in places. His action sequences are pretty impressive and high energy affairs, but at times they suffer from a lack of clarity. Certain panels are overstuffed with voice bubbles, sound effects, speediness, etc. Tight shots meant to show impact can be muddled and unclear at times, breaking the momentum and hurting the flow of the action. His character and monster designs seem like a perfect fit for the world of Fairy Tail and the supporting characters and new villains would feel right at home alongside those in the main book.

Fairy Tail: Ice Trail really feels like a safe read. There’s no real risk or real tension and comes off as standard shonen-y action adventure fare. Hardcore fans who just can’t get enough Fairy Tail, or fans desperate to see more of Grey in general will clearly get the most out of this, but even they may find it lacking since nothing really important happens. Most will probably see it for what it is though, a fairly bland and forgettable read with some ok art.

Fairy Tail: Ice Trail, Vols. 1 + 2 is available now from Kodansha Comics. Review copy provided by the publisher.

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